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High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. Also known as the decameter band or decameter wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten decameters. Shortwave (2.310 - 25.820 MHz) overlaps and is slightly lower than HF.
Additional recommended knowledge
Since the ionosphere often reflects HF radio waves quite well (a phenomenon known as skywave), 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 (for example, via satellites), but may maintain HF stations after switch-over for back-up purposes. However, the development of Automatic Link Establishment technology based on MIL-STD-188-141A and MIL-STD-188-141B for automated connectivity and frequency selection, along with the high costs of satellite usage, have led to a renaissance in HF usage among these communities. The development of higher speed modems such as those conforming to MIL-STD-188-110B which support data rates up to 9600 bit/s has also increased the usability of HF for data communications. Other standards development such as STANAG 5066 provides for error free data communications through the use of ARQ protocols. (See also High Frequency Internet Protocol)
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.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "High_frequency". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|