Packet Radio

What is Packet radio?
Packet radio had its origins in ham radio in the 1970s as a way to . . .

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Who We Are

The Northern California Packet Association is a committee of packet special interest representatives and individuals interested in digital communications formed to foster the digital communication modes of amateur radio in northern California. Our goals are:

Packet Roundtable
The NCPA functions as a roundtable for the various packet special interest groups. This provides a forum for working on various problems concerning amateur digital communications and provides a point of contact between these groups and the rest of the amateur community.

Band Planning
The NCPA is the digital band planner in Northern California. We work with other band planners and coordinators to provide a general band plan for the amateur radio community in the region and establish agreements on which segments will be digital. We also establish specific digital usage on the frequency segments allocated to digital.

Through packet special interest groups, we coordinate stations for efficient usage of packet channels. In cases where there are no such packet entities, the NCPA does digital coordination itself as necessary.


Currently only NARCC (The Northern Amateur Relay Council of California) is recognized as the coordinating organization to coordinate repeaters (even digital repeaters) for the 10 meter band and higher in Northern California.

There is a tiny group of hams calling themselves the Northern California Digital Coordination Council that is claiming they are authorized to coordinate DIGITAL REPEATERS.

This organization, named NCDCC, is trying to place some repeaters in the DIGITAL SECTION of the Band Plan.

. The United States Code of Federal Regulations, 49 C.F.R., Section 97.205(b) states the following: "(b) A repeater may receive and retransmit only on the 10 m and shorter wavelength frequency bands except the 28.0-29.5 MHz, 50.0-51.0 MHz, 144.0-144.5 MHz, 145.5-146.0 MHz, 222.00-222.15 MHz, 431.0-433.0 Mhz, and 435.0-438.0 Mhz segments."

Please note the 2 meter repeater exlusionary zones of 144.000 MHz through 144.500 MHz, and 145.500 MHz through 146.000 MHz.

Currently the NCPA digital plan allocates digital station frequencies in the 2 meter segment, from:

  • 144.300 Mhz through 144.500 MHz, and
  • 144.900 Mhz through 145.010 MHz, and
  • 145.600 Mhz through 145.780 MHz.

The United States Code of Federal Regulations, 49 C.F.R., Section 97.3(A)(23) defines the following: "Harmful interference. Interference which endangers the functioning of a radionavigation service or of other safety services or seriously degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts a radiocommunication service operating in accordance with the Radio Regulations."

The FCC's Declatory Ruling states that DIGITAL REPEATERS are in fact REPEATERS, and not some other form of digital station that is not subject to the rules governing repeaters.

The NCDCC's database shows several digital REPEATERS are currently setup and operating inside the digital band causing damaging interference to packet stations, in violation of 49 C.F.R. Section 97.3(A)(23). It appears as though the NCDCC's influence is the source of these digital repeaters being on frequencies that cause this harmful interfernce.

The NCPA DOES NOT AUTHORIZE, SUPPORT, OR CONDONE this blatent violation with regards to these repeaters willfully operating on frequncies that cause harmful interference to authorized digital stations and said station operations.

It should be noted that on the NCDCC's website they appear to attempt some sort of 'mis-direction' by calling stations listed there as "Digital-Systems" and avoid using the true word "Repeater".

The FCC's Declatory Ruling can be found HERE (NCPA Site) and HERE (FCC Site)

Part 97 can be found HERE

Email Discussion Lists

The NCPA-Discussion list is open to all amateur radio operators wishing to discuss packet/digital operations within the NCPA territory. This is a great place for newcomers to ask questions and be Elmer-ed.

The NCPA-Members list is only for NCPA members with a paid membership. This list is used for topics such as 'Voting' where only paid members would be needed to be invloved.