Calling on all U.S. hams…

 In my last blog post, I had a comment from Tom a future ham and he asked me the question posted below. Since I am in Canada and my expertise is not the U.S. band plan for a technician class licence (or any other U.S. licence class for that matter) I asked him if I could start a new post featuring his question.  

The floor is your Tom...

 Hello. I thought this may be a place to get an answer. First, I am taking the test in September for my technician license. I am a CB operator and want to get into the ham world. Navy vet, electrical engineer, love radios and antenna theory. I am struggling with something. I really respect the knowledge of the amateur radio group. My struggle is understanding where the technician can operate. Google searches, YouTube searches, ARRL, Practice Tests, have yielded me the following:
1) Only HF
 2) HF and some bands of VHF
 3) Only 10-meters in HF
 4) ARRL band plan shows more
 5) HF and some bands of VFH, UHF.
Arrrgggg!!! I look at dates when I read things. This question is all over the place. Can one of you experts in here shed some light on this? Did something change? I understand the pool of questions for technician is now new as of July so maybe something changed….
Thanks for any help!!
– A future ham, Tom

 In advance, I would like to thank those who contribute to answering Tom's question. I am also sure we all wish him the best as he writes in September for his Technician licence.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

18 Responses to “Calling on all U.S. hams…”

  • EdWoodrick WA4YIH:

    The ARRL and Icom both have some excellent Band Plan charts and

    On each chart you will see the frequency allocations for Technicians.

    In short, Technicians get all modes on 6M and up (50MHz+) That generally means that you can do 2M and 440 MHz FM voice, one of the most common modes for VHF/UHF. (And there are hundreds of others that you can use ab 50MHz+

    Below 50 MHz, it’s mostly CW only, but there are some bands that Technicians don’t have any access.

    A Technician definitely has enough privleges to get them busy, but if you want to talk on HF, you will need a general license.

  • Ed thanks very much for the great information and if anyone else wants to add to this please feel free.

  • Tom N1YR:

    ” . . . if you want to talk on HF, you will need a general license.”

    Except that Technicians CAN use SSB (upper sideband by convention) on 10 meters between 28.3 to 28.5. Look at the yellow box on the chart that was linked. Ten meters is still HF (3 to 30 MHz.).

    Considering that the energy on USB is actually radiated ABOVE the dial setting, that would practicably mean transmitting with dial settings from about 28.301 to about 28.495.

    Technicians can also use Morse Code (CW) in the old HF Novice bands in 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters. Data and Radio Teletype (RTTY) are also allowed in the low end of 10 meters.

  • Ted, K4TML:

    Hey Mike, and our future ham!

    Welcome to the hobby! In addition to lower-band CW and all modes at 50 MHz. and above, Techs have SSB and CW privileges on the ten meter band from 28.3 to 28.5 MHz., with a power limit of 200 watts.
    With the solar cycle on the rise, ten can offer some great DX openings!

    73, and happy hamming de,

    Ted, K4TML

  • Ken KM4JNV:

    Google this …


  • John, N8FYL:

    Mike, and all future hams,

    Our hobby is governed by the FCC Part 97 – Amateur Radio Service Rules. The ARRL provides useful links to the government version and to an ARRL maintained version at Subpart D-Technical Standards, section
    “§97.301 Authorized frequency bands” is the final (and current) authority on operating privileges for every license class.

    All all the answers to “Rules and Regulations” questions in the question pools are in Part 97.

    73, John / N8FYL

  • Kuchta Petru YO8CDQ:

    For Tom, future radio amateur in Canada.
    Hello Tom, as an old radio amateur with a license from 1968, i wish you success in your first exam in your new hobby. You have to obtain the first “novice” authorization and then with the passage of time you will gain experience in working HF, VHF, UHF bands. I mention that CB is not HF, there are completely different rules here. You expressed your desire to work in 10 meter band, but here you have to have good antennas, even ” directives , to get rezults. I don’t want to scare you from the beginning, but with time you will understand how things are with this hobby i recommend you to get in touch with the local community of radio amateur in Canada. I am closing my message and waiting for new news about you. With respect and honor, Kuchta Petru YO8CDQ- Iasi city, Romania

  • Cliff KU4GW:

    Thanks for posting the band plan link Ken! I had never saw that one before and I really like the graphics they used! It kind of reminds me of how the graphics used on the DXHeat DX Cluster website at appears. Mike, the two links posted by Eric, WA4YIH, should be all that Tom will need. I had copies of all 3 ITU region band plans saved, but none of them distinguished between the individual license class’s operating frequency privileges.

    Very 73,
    Cliff, KU4GW

  • Good afternoon Tom (N1YR) thanks for the input and by the sounds of it Tom if he stays as a tech would want to jump into the CW waters. I had done that to get my licence way back when. I told myself that I had worked so hard to learn the code that I was not going to forget it. For that reason, I now (with practice) not too bad with the code and it’s pretty cool it’s like knowing another language.
    Thanks for the assistance, Tom.

  • Hello Ted (K4TML), I add the calls now as I have found in the past that when answering a comment to let’s say “Frank” I have found there could have been 3 Franks commenting and they are confused as to whom I am answering. Anyway I digress, thanks for your warm welcome to Tom and I am sure all this info is helping him right along his journey.

  • Ken (KM4JNV) is very short and to the point and Cliff KU4GW very much appreciates the link as I am sure Tom does as well.
    Thanks, Ken for the link.

  • Good afternoon John (N8FYL) thanks very much for the link and I am sure it will be very handy for Tom.

  • Good afternoon Kuchta (YO8CDQ) thanks very much for the comment, Tom is in the U.S. and the rules and regs are a bit different and that is why I wanted the U.S. hams to take over with the answer to his question.
    Thanks for your input.

  • Good afternoon Cliff (KU4GW) as always very nice to hear from you. I am glad to read that you found the link posted by Ken to be helpful. I agree Cliff that there seems to be an abundant amount of info here for Tom to get his bearings regarding the band plan for a tech.
    Have a great weekend,

  • Ron N8WCR:

    Hello Mike!
    I have one bit of advice to your friend looking into ham radio. Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT make any decisions, or base anything about what ham radio is for you by searching on YouTube or reading articles. Ham radio is a huge broad hobby. Find an Elmer, go find a ham and sit down with him and play on the air. Do POTA with someone, participate in a contest with a ham, participate and find your niche in ham radio. There is so much you can do in ham radio, and trying to read and learn about it all without participating will only confuse you and most likely frustrate you. Make it as simple or as complicated as YOU want it. Ham radio is supposed to be about FUN.
    Ron N8WCR

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Ron and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, very wise words and really for most of us in the ham world we can never become bored with all that is going on with ham radio.
    Have a great week Ron,

  • Alex W5ALX:

    Hi folks:
    Something that Tom might want to remember, Ham Radio, even on VHF/UHF is a lot different from CB. Listen in to Ham conversations and get a feel for ettiquette. Using your callsign instead of “break” is a good idea. Use your callsign everyy 10 minutes as required. I know a lot of people are into privacy, and on CB people rarely identify themselves except by a cryptic “handle”. We use names and callsigns.
    When you get your ticket, go onto and set up your page, so when people talk to you, they will have an idea of who you are. There are also great practice tests here for free, and are the best on the Web.
    It is a great hobby, and welcome to it!
    73 de Alex, W5ALX

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Alex, very good advice and yes QRZ is a great starting point once licenced. I came from the CB world and never looked back.

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