The 10 meter band for a ham radio beginner is one of the best bands you can use to talk to the world. During my brief experience in ham radio I have learned that the 10 meter band will provide more consistent opportunities to make long distance (DX) QSOs than the 6 meter band. The 6 meter band can be hit and miss when the propagation is just right to hear other hams talking. During the fall and winter months the 10 meter band really starts to open up and you can hear other hams all around the world.
The interesting thing about the 10 meter band is that is one of a few HF (high frequency bands) that use SSB and FM modes. The FM portion of the band starts at 29.300.
10 Meter Technician Class Frequency Allocation (Suggested)
A Technician Class license lets you operate on 10 meters from 28.000 – 28.500 however there are allocated frequencies for CW/Digital and Voice. Be careful when you are at the edge of the frequencies below because if go past 28.500 then you will be transmitting illegally. Your best bet is to transmit no higher than 28.495 so that your signal doesn’t bleed over 28.500.
10 Meter Band Plan
Below is the band plan for 10 meters according to the ARRL:
- 28.000 – 28.300 CW/Digital/Data (Maximum power 200 watts PEP)
- 28.000 – 28.070 CW with 28.060 QRP CW calling frequency
- 28.070 – 28.120 – Digital/Data
- 28.150 – 28.190 – CW
- 28.200 – 28.300 – Automated Beacons
- 28.300 – 29.300 Voice/Phone (Maximum power 200 watts PEP)
- 28.385 – QRP SSB 10 meter calling frequency (QRP = 5 watts or less)
- 28.400 – 10 meter national calling frequency
- 28.680 – SSTV
- 29.000 – 29.200 – AM
- 29.300 – 29.510 – Satellite Downlinks
- 29.520 – 29.590 – Repeater Inputs
- 29.600 – FM Simplex
- 29.610 – 29.700 – Repeater Outputs
CW (Morse Code)
CW has been around since the beginning of radio communications. If you want to learn Morse Code and purchase a keyer you will be able to communicate with others when you don’t hear anything on the voice band. I found a great program to help you learn Morse Code called the Koch Method CW Trainer from G4FON. The application starts slowly with a couple of letters and lets you learn them and then adds more letters for you to learn.
Digital Modes – RTTY, PSK31 & FT-8
As Technician Class operator you can do digital mode communication on the 10 meter band. These are the suggested frequenccies if you are going to use RTTY 28080 to 28100 KHz, during contests 28060-28150 KHz. (note: PSK operation around 28120 KHz). Avoid 28199.5-28200.5 KHz (IBP/NCDXA frequency 28200 KHz). The most generally used program for RTTY communication is MTTY. You can learn more about MTTY by clicking here.
PSK31 suggested frequencies on 10 meters is from 28.120 to 28.150. The best software program that I have found to use for the PSK mode is Digipan. The program is fairly easy to setup and easy to use. Click Here to learn more about the Digipan program.
FT-8 is a new digital mode that is taking Ham Radio by storm. With your Amateur Technician Class License you can operate FT-8 on 28074 KHz. You will need a computer, a sound card and the WSJT program to be able to use FT-8. There is a number of Youtube videos on FT-8 operations and setup. When you want to get on the air and prorogation is not so good FT-8 is one of the best ways to make contact with other ham radio operators.. Most of the action for FT-8 is happening on 20 and 40 meters which makes upgrading to the General Class License very appealing.
You can speak to other ham radio operators on the frequencies from 28.300 – 28.500. When the band opens up you will hear people all over the world. There is a group call 10-10 International which is an organization of amateur radio operators dedicated to maintaining high levels of amateur radio communications on the 10-meter amateur band. They have contests throughout the year so you will have plenty of people to hear when working the 10 meter band.
As you can see there is a lot you can do with the 10 meter band with a Technician Class Amateur License so don’t be afraid and get on the air and have some fun.
Below are some ideas for 10 meter radios and antennas: