I am just getting into ham radio, and I find it very interesting, but to make phone calls, you have to be on a 10 meter band. Does anyone know how to infer the band you're on is 10 meter? Thank you very much.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you thinking about a repeater's telephone autopatch feature? I thought those went out after cell phones came into common use. In any case, back in the day most everyone used 2 meters for that. Perhaps there are/were some in the FM portion of 10m. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Oct 15 '20 at 3:43
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    $\begingroup$ I forgot to mention yesterday, hello Jon and welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Oct 15 '20 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ I think Jon is talking about phone privileges for Technicians in the US, which are available from 28.3 MHz - 28.5 MHz only. I'll edit my answer to explain how "phone" ≠ "phone calls". $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Oct 15 '20 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ @rclocher3 Could be, but he did write "make phone calls". $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Oct 16 '20 at 4:13

Frequency and wavelength of a wave are related: the frequency times the wavelength equals the speed of the wave, in this case the speed of light. For HF, the frequency in megahertz times the wavelength in meters equals 300. Modern radios display the frequency. Bands are referred to by their approximate wavelength for historical reasons.

If the frequency displayed on your radio is between 28 MHz and 29.7 MHz, then you're on the 10m band.

For hams in the US, the ARRL's band charts come in handy for remembering what band is where.

By the way Jon, I think ham radio jargon may have gotten in the way. In the US, Technician-class licensees have "phone" privileges between 28.3 MHz and 28.5 MHz only. But "phone" here means radiotelephone, which means any analog mode used to carry voice sounds, such as AM, FM, or SSB. So ham radio "phone" isn't the same as telephone. In other words, one can't ordinarily use a ham radio to place a telephone call. There is such a thing as an autopatch, which is a device to connect a radio to a landline telephone. So if you're talking on the radio to someone with an autopatch, the other operator could make a telephone call for you and connect the radio to the call. But autopatches are rare these days.

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    $\begingroup$ Great answer. Love that it is clear ànd welcoming, a better introduction to the ham community than lots of hams give to newcomers! $\endgroup$ – Dieter Vansteenwegen ON4DD Oct 16 '20 at 18:28

If you are a new ham, you need to go to the https://arrl.org web site and get a listing of the ham bands that they publish. You can find them on their site by searching for ham bands.

Print out one of the listings; the 8.5 by 11 inch chart is in color. They also have some that are able to be printed in black and white. On those charts, it lists that you with a Technician class license can transmit Phone from 28.30 to 28.50 MHz in the ten meter band.

I would also recommend you search for local clubs nearby you and see if they have a web site and try to join. Local hams usually enjoy helping new hams get started in this hobby.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello Lewis, and welcome to this site! :-) +1 for suggesting that the OP try and get help from a local ham or amateur radio club. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Oct 19 '20 at 17:34

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