2m and 70cm are the most used VHF/UHF bands. 23 and 13cm are used for short distance communications, as well as data and television transmissions. The 6m band is also popular, although in some countries this band is not open to amateur radio users.

VHF/UHF is frequently used by novice operators. Many countries have a licensing system in which VHF/UHF can be used by novices and HF requires a full license.


Many VHF/UHF rigs are multiband designs. They often allow one to transceive on both 2m and 70cm, and more recently also on 23cm. Rigs for 13cm and shorter wave lengths are still relatively scarse. The 6m band is often combined in HF rigs.

In some countries the 4m band is also open (or to be opened) for amateur use. Rigs for this frequency are hard to get. Some modern rigs can be programmed for this band even though they were not advertised to support it in the first place.


As typical antennas are 1/2 or 1/4 of the length of their intended wavelength, VHF/UHF antennas are conveniently small. This makes them very suitable for portable and mobile use.


The range of VHF and especially UHF communications are usually limited by the line-of-sight. Antennas of both stations have to be able to see each other. The practical range is about 50km (35 miles). Sometime atmospheric conditions are such that stations far beyond the horizon can be reached. This condition is called sporadic-E, named after the atmospheric E-layer which conducts VHF/UHF radio waves. Using sporadic-E communications of several 100's or even 1000's of kilometers can be achieved.

The shorter the wave length, the more the radio waves suffer from physical obstructions like trees and buildings. Where HF waves pass though most of these obstructions, UHF waves are reflected and will not reach their target.

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