[aprssig] Why different freq in Europe vs US?

R. Rochte rochte at gmail.com
Mon Mar 26 21:22:15 CDT 2012

Wow - thanks for the many detailed replies!  I'll have to re-read the one
below a few times until it all sinks in... I wish we could "sticky" posts
like this somewhere... Is anyone running an APRS wiki?


On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM, Steve Dimse <steve at dimse.com> wrote:

> On Mar 26, 2012, at 12:06 PM, R. Rochte wrote:
> > Why are different frequencies used for APRS in Europe and North America?
> You wouldn't believe how incredibly hard it was to get a single frequency
> for APRS just in North America!
> APRS came late to the 2 meter party, the bandplan never anticipated there
> may someday be a system that could benefit from a single nationwide
> frequency. Use of the band was coordinated locally and therefore had no
> single open frequency that could be used everywhere in the US. In the early
> days APRS activity was on 145.79 (generally designated an experimental
> freq, APRS was experimental then) and 145.01 (a digital freq often
> coordinated for packet nodes and BBS) in the US along with a few local
> areas using other frequencies. Most of Canada used 144.39. A proposal was
> made by the Shuttle Amateur radio Experiment (SAREX) in the late 1990s to
> move APRS to 144.39 in the US so the soon-to-be-built ISS could use 145.800
> worldwide (it was useless over US due to QRM from 145.79).
> A huge amount of angst followed, including some prominent APRS leaders
> arguing that SAREX promises of APRS on the ISS were a lie to grab our freq,
> and a nationwide donation fund for crystals, duplexers, and other hardware
> changes needed for the new freq.
> Before the new millennium began APRS was on a single North American freq,
> making it better than before. SAREX, now ARISS, has certainly delivered on
> it promises. The doom predicted by weak signal operators at the low end of
> 2 meters never materialized. The great APRS QSY turned out to be one of
> those rare things in ham radio that worked out for everyone.
> I can't imagine that ever happening on a worldwide basis, where either
> North America or Europe initiates a QSY to accommodate the rare
> trans-atlantic balloon flight!
> Steve K4HG
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