The HF band has been the traditional space for amateur operators since the start of radio broadcasts. The HF frequency range spans from 150kHz up to 30MHz and is divided into several bands (160m, 80m, 40m, 20m, 10m, and others) for amateur use. Using HF bands often requires a full license. In some countries novice licenses are also allowed to use (parts of) HF frequencies.

The physical properties of the HF radio waves allows for great distances to be covered, spanning the entire globe. Atmospheric conditions, weather, temperature and other factors determine how well HF waves can travel the ether. For this reason bands can open and close depending on season and time of day.


A general coverage rig usually covers all bands between 160 and 10m. Many modern HF rigs also incorporate the 6m band. Typical power output is 100W SSB, some high end rigs put out 200W. QRP (low power) rigs will only do 5 or 10W.
The good ham operator will use just the amount of power needed to communicate with the other station, no more
In the early days of amateur radio, CW or morse code was the way to communicate. It is still used very much. CW signal can be distingished even if there is very much noise on the line. For this reason, CW allows one to communicate with stations great distances apart.

On the bands below 10MHz LSB (lower side band) modulation is generally used for phone communications. Above 10MHz, USB is used. This is a gentleman's agreement, so stations can (and will) use other types of modulation from time to time.


Good HF antennas are large by definition. A widely used design is the 1/2 wave dipole. For the 160m band, this antenna must have an optimal length of about 2x 40m. Several design tricks are used to get away with shorter antennas, sometimes with surprisingly good results, mostly not so good.
The best way to increase your power
is by using a good antenna
Read more about antennas.

Sorted rigs
Stay connected

© 2008 - 2017  RigReference.com
RigReference.com is a community web site for (ham) radio operators. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at .

View this site in English | Deutsch | Nederlands

About us | Terms of use | Contact