Amateur Radio Band FAQ
|Canada's National Amateur Radio Society|
|"We're ALL about Amateur Radio!"|
As time goes on, and there are more and more users of the radio spectrum, we are under increasing pressure to share our bands, or to accept interference from other users.
There is considerable confusion amongst many amateurs, as to just what rights we do have when it comes to using our bands. It is not a simple matter. Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions and answers.
Q - What are the current Amateur Radio bands in Canada?
A - The Canadian Amateur Radio bands are listed on a separate page on this web site
Q - Do amateurs have exclusive rights to use their frequencies?
A - Some of our bands are Exclusive. No other service may use them. On the other hand many of our bands, or parts of our bands are shared in some way with other users.
Q - What is meant by sharing ?
A - Technically, Sharing means that two or more services have equal rights to use a band of frequencies. For example Amateur may share with Radiolocation, which is often used by military radars.
However, in common everyday terms, sharing means that two services use the same frequency band, even though they may have different rights, as for example when amateurs are not allowed to interfere with users of other services in the same band.
Q - Are the Amateur Radio bands the same in all countries ?
A - No, although there are International Allocations to the amateur service contained in the regulations of the International Telecommunications union (ITU), many countries have made domestic allocations for their own amateurs which differ from the International allocations.
Often the International Allocations differ according to the ITU Regions 1, 2 and 3.
Region 1 covers Europe, Africa, parts of the Middle East and northern Asia
Region 2 covers the Americas, Caribbean and Hawaii
Region 3 is what is left, which is primarily Asia, South East Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand
Q - What are frequency allocations?
A - Allocations are frequency bands set aside for the use of a particular service, or services.
Amateur radio is a service, Radiolocation (usually radar) is a service. The Mobile Satellite service is made up of users of mobile earth stations and their satellite systems.
Q - What is the difference between an allocated frequency and an assigned frequency?
A - Many radios must operate on assigned frequencies. That is, a single frequency is specified in their licence.
Q - What is meant by a Primary Allocation?
A - When a service such as Amateur Radio is granted a primary allocation, its users do not have to worry about causing interference to users of a secondary allocation in the same band. On the other hand, if there are two primary allocations in the same frequency band, they must share and must work out arrangements so as not to cause each other interference.
Q - What is meant by a Secondary allocation?
A - Users of a service which has a secondary allocation, must accept interference from, and cannot cause interference to, users of a service having a primary allocation in the same band.
As an example, in Canada, all the amateur bands between 430 MHz and 10.4 GHz are secondary allocations. Some bands, like 1260 MHz may have as many as four differentprimary users that we must share with.
Q - What rights do licence exempt devices have?
A - Licence exempt devices are usually very low power, may not interfere with users of any licensed service, and must accept interference from users of any licensed service.
Q - What rights do Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) devices have?
A - It depends on the frequency band.
In some bands, users of all services must accept interference from ISM devices. For amateurs, this is true for the 902, 2400, 5725 MHz, and 24 GHz ISM bands.
On the other hand the ISM band 433.05-434.79 MHz. is not available in Canada. Therefore, ISM devices operating in this frequency range may not interfere with amateur radio in Canada.
Q - Which amateur bands have a primary allocation
A - In Canada, Amateur is primary in the following bands,
Q - Which amateur bands have a secondary allocation
A - In Canada, Amateurs have a Secondary allocation in the following bands. In these bands we must accept interference from other primary service users.
Q - Which amateur bands are not exclusive?
A - In the following bands in Canada, we must share with other users even though we have a primary allocation. Except for parts of the 160 metre band, which we share with Radiolocation in Canada between 1.850 and 2.00 MHz, the other users are located in other parts of the world.
Q - What are the current threats to our use of the Amateur bands in Canada?
A - Please read the current threats
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