High frequency

From Academic Kids

High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. This range is often called shortwave.

Since the ionosphere often reflects HF radio waves quite well, this range is extensively used for medium and long range terrestrial radio communication. However, suitability of this portion of the spectrum for such communication varies greatly with a complex combination of factors:

The high frequency band is very popular with amateur radio operators, who can take advantage of direct, long-distance (often inter-continental) communications and the "thrill factor" resulting from making contacts in variable conditions. International shortwave broadcasting utilizes this set of frequencies, as well as a seemingly declining number of "utility" users (marine, aviation, military, and diplomatic interests), who have, in recent years, been swayed over to less volatile means of communication (e.g. via satellites), but may maintain HF stations after switch-over for back-up purposes. CB radios operate in the higher portion of the range (around 27 MHz), as do some studio-to-transmitter (STL) radio links. Some modes of communication, such as continuous wave morse code transmissions (especially by amateur radio operators) and single sideband voice transmissions are more common in the HF range than on other frequencies, because of their bandwidth-conserving nature, but broadband modes, such as TV transmissions, are generally prohibited by HF's relatively small chunk of electromagnetic spectrum space.

Noise, especially man-made interference from electronic devices, tends to have a great effect on the HF bands. In recent years, concerns have risen among certain users of the HF spectrum over "broadband over power lines" (BPL) internet access, which is believed to have an almost destructive effect on HF communications. This is due to the frequencies on which BPL operates (typically corresponding with the HF band) and the tendency for the BPL "signal" to leak from power lines. Some BPL providers have installed "notch filters" to block out certain portions of the spectrum (namely the amateur radio bands), but a great amount of controversy over the deployment of this access method remains.

See also


Radio spectrum
ELF | SLF | ULF/VF | VLF | LF/LW | MF/MW | HF/SW | VHF | UHF | SHF | EHF
3 Hz | 30 Hz | 300 Hz | 3 kHz | 30 kHz | 300 kHz | 3 MHz | 30 MHz | 300 MHz | 3 GHz | 30 GHz | 300 GHz

da:Højfrekvens

fr:Haute fréquence ja:短波 nl:HF

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