VK3YE amateur radio pages

Return to VK3YE beginner and general articles



Foundation guide to frequencies and getting contacts

These videos are about popular frequency bands amateurs use and the best ways of getting contacts.

Except for 14 MHz portions of all bands featured are available to Australian Foundation and US Technician amateurs with mode and power output restrictions. UK Foundation amateurs have all bands while Canadian Basic holders (without 'honours' or 5wpm Morse) can operate above 30 MHz only. Check exact allocations on your national communication authority's website.


1. Amateur bands

These videos tell you what popular amateur bands do, the times they are most active and what transmitting distances you can expect.

3.5 MHz 80 metres

7 MHz 40 metres

14 MHz 20 metres

28 MHz 10 metres

144 MHz 2 metres

Not all bands are discussed here. For information on the others watch the video on the nearest band that is covered and head over to QRP activity by band for information on its characteristics.


2. Getting contacts

This is an area that a lot of new, and even long-term, amateurs have difficulties with. They may dismiss the bands as dead or blame their equipment when attention to operating technique may be all that stand between failure and success. The first video here gives an overview to the various ways of making contacts. The second gives some things to know. The last two discuss individual techniques in more detail. Watch them all!

General overview

Frequencies, bandplans and activity

Calling CQ

Breaking in

Six Winning Ways to get contacts on HF


3. Further information

Operating technique contains many subtleties and even experienced amateurs are still learning. If there's points you aren't quite clear on there's additional information in First Contacts on Amateur Radio and An HF Primer.

Even more detail on operating is provided in these favourably reviewed books.


Disclosure: I receive a small commission from items purchased through links on this site.
Items were chosen for likely usefulness and a satisfaction rating of 4/5 or better.


Books by VK3YE


All material on this site
(c) Peter Parker VK3YE 1997 - 2020.

Material may not be reproduced
without permission.