Northern California Digital Band Plan

Quick jump to sections:

MF:         160 m    

HF:         80 m     40 m     30 m     20 m     17 m     15 m     12 m     10 m    

VHF:         6 m     2 m     1.25 m    

UHF:         70 cm     33 cm     23 cm     13 cm    

Information:         Definitions     Notes     Organization     Procedure for Changes  

160 meters, 1.8-2.0 MHz (same as ARRL)

1.800-1.810 Digital

80 meters, 3.5-4.0 MHz (same as ARRL)

3.570-3.600 Digital
3.590 DX Digital
3.585-3.600 Automatically controlled digital

40 meters, 7.0-7.3 MHz (same as ARRL)

7.040 DX Digital
7.080-7.125 Digital
7.100-7.105 Automatically controlled digital

30 meters, 10.1-10.15 MHz (same as ARRL)

10.130-10.140 Digital
10.140-10.150 Packet, Automatically controlled digital

20 meters, 14.0-14.35 MHz (same as ARRL)

14.070-14.095 Digital
14.095-14.0995 Packet, Automatically controlled digital
14.100 NCDXF Beacons
14.1005-14.112 Packet, Automatically controlled digital

17 meters, 18.068-18.168 MHz (same as ARRL)

18.100-18.105 Digital
18.105-18.110 Packet, Automatically controlled digital

15 meters, 21.0-21.45 MHz (same as ARRL)

21.070-21.110 Digital
21.090-21.100 Automatically controlled digital

12 meters, 24.89-24.99 MHz (same as ARRL)

24.920-24.925 Digital
24.925-24.930 Packet, Automatically controlled digital

10 meters, 28-29.7 MHz (same as ARRL)

28.070-28.150 Digital
28.120-28.150 Packet, Automatically controlled digital

6 meters, 50-54 MHz (same as ARRL)

BBS long-haul forwarding
50.62 Keyboard to Keyboard , Packet calling
50.64 Duplex , cross-band
50.66 NA
50.68 NA
50.70 NA
50.72 NA
50.74 NA
50.76 NA
50.78 NA

2 meters, 144-148 MHz

144.33 Telemetry & Experimental
144.35 Keyboard to Keyboard, mailbox
144.37 BBS forwarding
144.39 APRS (USA and Canada)
144.41 APRS (secondary channel)
144.43 TCP/IP (OK to run duplex with 145.65)
144.45 NA
144.47 NA
144.49 NA

144.91 EP
144.93 NA
144.95 NA
144.97 Misc. Digital
144.99 TCP/IP
145.01 WL2K
145.03 Keyboard to Keyboard, mailbox
145.05 Keyboard to Keyboard, mailbox
145.07 EP
145.09 BBS

145.61 Duplex , cross-band
145.63 WL2K
145.65 TCP/IP 9600 baud (OK to run duplex with 144.43)
145.67 DX Spotting
145.69 EP
145.71 DX Spotting
145.73 EP
145.75 EP
145.77 DX Spotting

144.90-145.10 is a non-repeater segment.
144.31 is relatively close to the weak signal segment, please watch your FM deviation.
144.49 may very rarely be used for voice uplink to the ISS.
Some packet operations in the middle segment have recently report receiving interference. See here for more info.

1.25 meters, 219-225 MHz (same as ARRL)

219.05-219.95 100 kHz channels,

223.52 Keyboard to Keyboard, mailbox
223.54 EP
223.56 EP
223.58 Duplex , cross-band
223.60 BBS local forwarding
223.62 EP
223.64 Links, Control
223.66 Links, Control
223.68 Links, Control
223.70 Links, Control
223.72 TCP/IP
223.74 DX Spotting backbone

219-220 channels are by coordination only. There are currently political/legal problems with using 219-220, making them unavailable in most of northern CA. Contact the NCPA (Gary Mitchell, for details.

70 centimeters, 420-450 MHz

TCP/IP backbone , 100 kHz
433.15 Duplex , cross-band, 100 kHz
433.25 NA (100 kHz)
433.33 NA (60 kHz)
433.37 BBS , 9600 baud
433.39 DX Spotting
433.41 EP backbone
433.43 TCP/IP 9600 baud
433.45 NA
433.47 Keyboard Node Interlink
433.49 TCP/IP
433.51 Keyboard to Keyboard, mailbox
433.53 Keyboard to Keyboard, mailbox
433.55 NA
433.57 NA
433.59 NA

434.85 NA (100 kHz)
434.95 NA (100 kHz)

438.40 NA (100 kHz)
438.60 NA (100 kHz)
438.70 NA (100 kHz)

441.50 Any digital

Amateur 70 cm is secondary to the PAV PAWS radar at the US Air Force base near Sacramento. Many amateur stations in Northern CA have had to cease operation on 70 cm or significantly reduce power output. If you will be transmitting any significant 70 cm signal near the greater Sacramento area, you might want to consider using another band.

33 centimeters, 902-928 MHz (same as ARRL)

915.0-918.0 TCP/IP 3 MHz
(1.5 MB/s duplex pair, 10.7 MHz separation)

900 MHz activity is on a non-interference basis to vehicle locator service. 900 MHz is not considered suitable for omindirectional systems and is recommended for point-to-point links only.

23 centimeters, 1240-1300 MHz (same as ARRL)

1246.0-1248.0 FM point-to-point links and digital,
Duplex with 1258-1260, 25 kHz channels
1248.0-1249.0 NA 1 MHz
1249.075 D-Star data link, 150 kHz
1249.150-1249.900 NA (750 kHz)
1249.90-1250.0 NA (100 kHz)
1251.00 Experimental 2 MHz
1252.0-1258.0 ATV #2 (digital) 6 MHz
1258.0-1260.0 FM point-to-point links and digital, Duplex with 1246-1248, 25 kHz channels

1298.00 NA , 2 MHz
1299.05 NA , 100 kHz
1299.15 NA , 100 kHz
1299.25 NA , 100 kHz
1299.35 NA , 100 kHz
1299.45 NA , 100 kHz
1299.55 NA , 100 kHz
1299.65 Duplex , cross-band, 100 kHz
1299.75 NA , 100 kHz
1299.89 DX Spotting
1299.95 NA , 100 kHz

Channels this band are 25 kHz. unless otherwise noted

13 centimeters, 2300-2310 & 2390-2450 MHz (same as ARRL)

NA , fast data (4800 or more) duplex
2303.0-2303.5 NA , slow packet (2400 baud or less)
2303.5-2303.8 NA , slow TTY, packet (2400 or less) 2.5 kHz
2303.8-2303.9 NA , packet, TTY, CW, EME, 2.5 kHz
2304.2-2304.3 NA , packet, fax, AMTOR, SSB, SSTV, AM, 2.5 kHz
2304.4-2304.5 Experimental , packet, fax, AMTOR, SSB, ACSSB, SSTV, AM, 2.5 kHz

2396.0-2396.55 NA , fast data (4800 baud or more) duplex
2396.65 Duplex , cross-band, 100 kHz
2396.75-2399.0 NA , fast data (4800 baud or more) duplex
2399.0-2399.5 NA , slow packet (2400 baud or less)
2413.0-2418.0 NA , fast data (4800 baud or more) duplex

Channels on this band are 25 kHz unless otherwise noted


9600  Stations using 9600 baud, typically using direct FSK or 9600 baud modems such as G3RUH, TAPR, etc.

APRS  Automatic Packet Reporting System.

ATV  Amateur TV, digital.

Backbone  No uncoordinated stations. These channels are for specific purposes as defined by the NCPA and/or affiliated groups. These are frequencies where the various BBS, nodes, and networks forward traffic at high volume. Not for user access.

BBS  Full-service Bulletin Board System, part of the cooperative world wide packet BBS network carrying routine personal messages, bulletins, and NTS traffic. See BBS list. Some Keyboard to Keyboard activity is tolerated on these channels. (See mailbox for stand-alone systems that do not forward traffic. See EP for emergency BBSs.)

DA  Digitized Analog. Any digitized analog, including voice or audio. Simplex only.

Duplex  Simultaneous transmit and receive. Duplex channels are intended for high-volume applications. 9600 baud or higher is encouraged, but not required. Cross-band is for duplex operation with either the transmit or receive in this band, the other on a similar channel in another band--thus eliminating the need for RF cavities.

DX Spotting  Northern California DX Packet Spotting Network. No other activity should be on these channels.

EP  Emergency Packet. Emergency communications involving ARES, RACES, OES, EOC, etc. Any digital modes and systems may be employed, including WL2K, APRS, BBS, keyboard, nodes, etc. During non-emergencies, general usage is allowed.

Experimental  This is where you can test new gear, programs, etc. Pretty much anything is allowed, but no permanent activity.

Forwarding  These channels are where the various BBSs, nodes, and networks forward traffic to each other and are very high volume. Not intended for user access. No uncoordinated stations.

Keyboard to Keyboard  Primarily users chatting directly or through nodes. Also includes mailboxes. Some emergency communications may be here too. No continuous high-volume activity such as full service BBS, DX Spotting, or TCP/IP servers.

Interlink  Typically used to link nodes or systems of nodes. See Forwarding.

LAN  Local Area Network. These are forwarding frequencies where participating systems are grouped into LAN's for more efficient forwarding. Please do not attempt to access servers on these channels.

Links, Control  These include forwarding links, remote control of a station, or even audio links. They can be digital or analog.

Mailbox  A BBS-like system that stores messages of a personal, local, or special-purpose nature. These are stand-alone systems which do not forward traffic. Such systems are typically part of a TNC's firmware or run on a computer for more capacity and features, (the latter are sometimes called maildrops). Mailboxes operate on keyboard to keyboard channels.

Misc. Digital  For digital modes other than AX.25 packet. This is intended for the sorts of digital modes you see on HF.

NA  Not Allocated. These channels are not currently allocated to any specific activities, but may be assigned at any time, so no permanent activities please. Otherwise, treat the same as Experimental .

TCP/IP  Stations using TCP/IP protocol either direct (e.g. ethernet) or in an AX.25 envelope. Regular AX.25 is tolerated to communicate to TCP/IP stations if a compatible p-persistance access method is used.

Telemetry  Balloons, model rockets, model vehicles, or anything else sending data by telemetry. Devices that do not use standard collision avoidance techniques (as AX.25 normally does) should only operate temporarily.

User Access  User access to a network. This is for the next generation of packet which is expected to operate like the internet. Users would access such a network on these frequencies. The load on these channels may be rather high, like BBS channels. The activity may be like a combination of BBS , keyboard to keyboard, TCP/IP, or other modes.

WL2K  Winlink2000 message server or anything involving the Winlink network.


The Northern California region is roughly the top 2/3 of the state, from the Tehachapi Mountains north.
Click here for a map. (NARCC covers the same territory.)

All bands except 2 M and 70 cm are the same as the ARRL's band plans.

Channel spacing, unless otherwise noted:
20 kHz for VHF and 70 cm
25 kHz for 33 cm and above

Bandwidth and data rate limits:
300 baud or 1 kHz FSK on 160 M through 12 M
1200 baud or 1 kHz FSK onr 10 M
19200 baud or 20 kHz on 6 M and 2 M
56 kbaud or 100 kHz on 125 cm and 70 cm

Data rates up to 9600 baud are generally allowed on any channel. Lower data rates are tolerated on channels specified as 9600 baud or higher so long as it doesn't interfere with higher speed communications.

For 1200 baud packet, FM deviation should be 4 kHz or less.

Organization information:

Except for the 219-220 segment, and BBS's, the NCPA currently isn't coordinating individual stations, nodes, etc. leaving that to the special interest groups. DX Spotting is coordinated by DXPSN. Some digital may be coordinated on auxiliary channels by
NARCC. All repeaters, including digital repeaters are coordinated by NARCC in the repeater segments.

These exceptions aside, any digital station that comes to the attention of the NCPA, that has setup a working node that is not in compliance with the digital band plan, will be listed in the Digital Database as being in violation of the band plan.

NCPA freq. coord.: Gary Mitchell, WB6YRU,, packet BBS: WB6YRU@N0ARY.#NCA.CA.USA.NOAM

Procedure for changes

Send requests for changes to either the frequency coordinator or the
NCPA remailer. The frequency coordinator will then present the requests to the NCPA along with suggested assignments. The NCPA makes all digital assignments.

last updated December 24, 2020