Amateur frequency allocations and bandwidth requirements by licence class

Notes:

  1. Any emission mode allowed within bandwidth constraints
  2. Technically 8 kHz is allowed, however this would exceed band limits.
  3. Wideband emissions above 430 MHz must not interfere with other (non-amateur) services
  4. The 3.4-3.6 GHz band is used for 5G mobile telephony.  Amateur stations are restricted from operation in most of this band in capital cities and many regional areas.  Refer to the ACMA LCD, Schedule 5 (p26).

Maximum output power – Advanced Station

135.7-137.8 kHz – 1 watt effective radiated power

472-479 kHz – 5 watts effective radiated power

All other bands:

400 watts Peak Envelope Power (PEP – also known as Px) for the following modes:

(a)       analogue television; or

(b)       Single Side Band (SSB) suppressed carrier; or

(c)        SSB reduced carrier.

For all other modes – maximum output power 120 watts mean power (also known as Py).

Maximum output power – Standard Station

Maximum output power 100 watts PEP for the following modes:

(a)       SSB suppressed carrier; or

(b)       SSB reduced carrier.

For all other modes – maximum output power 30 watts mean power.

Maximum output power – Foundation Station

Maximum output power 10 watts PEP for all modes.

Causing interference

You must install and maintain your amateur radio station correctly, so that you do not cause interference.  The ACMA has the right to restrict the operation of an amateur station if it is causing interference.

If interference is occurring to another licensed radiocommunication service, even it is not your fault, you must stop transmitting until the problem is resolved.

If interference is not to a licensed radiocommunication service, such as a television, then you should exercise diplomacy and common sense to resolve the problem.

Spurious limits

Spurious emissions from an amateur station must be attenuated by the following amounts:

For frequencies less than 30MHz:

5W and above output power – 50 dB

Below 5 W use the following formula:

43 + 10 log (PEP) dB

For frequencies 30MHz and above:

Because the required level of spurious emission attenuation (below 500W) changes with Mean Power (P), the maximum permitted spurious emission is independent of Mean Power and is fixed at 0.05mW (i.e. -13dBm) for all transmissions above 30MHz.

Primary and secondary band users

The radio spectrum is a finite resource.  It needs careful management, otherwise chaos would result.  Accordingly, frequency allocations are divided between primary and secondary users.

Primary users, as the name suggests, are the principal users of the spectrum segment.

Secondary users must not cause harmful interference to Primary users and cannot claim protection from harmful interference caused by Primary users.

Harmful interference is defined as interference that:

  • endangers the functioning of a radionavigation service or other safety services that are operating in accordance with the Radio Regulations; or
  • obstructs, repeatedly interrupts or seriously degrades a communications service operating in accordance with the Radio Regulations.”

Amateurs have primary status in the following bands:

160M, 80M, 40M (7-7.1 MHz), 20M, 17M, 15M, 12M, 10M, 6M (52-54MHz), 2M, 12mm, 6mm, 134-136 GHz and 248-250GHz.

Emission designators

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has developed a system of letters and numbers which are used to identify different radio transmission types.

For example – SSB suppressed carrier is represented by:

2K80J3E

The first four letters/number represent the necessary bandwidth of the signal – 2K80 means two thousand, eight hundred kHz, or 2800 kHz

The final three letters/numbers represent the modulation used – J means the carrier is amplitude modulated, 3 means single channel analogue and E means telephony (speech).

FM is represented by:

16K0F3E

16K0 = 16 kHz bandwidth

F = Frequency modulation

3 = Single channel analogue

E = telephony

A full description of the ITU system may be found at: 

https://www.acma.gov.au/publications/2005-01/guide/emission-characteristics-radio-transmissions