Ham Radio for Beginners, part 2

What are “meters”?

You often hear Ham Operators refer to “2 meters” or “10 meters” when talking about radio frequencies and bands.  “Meters” in this usage means exactly what it sounds like: meters as a form of measurement.  A meter is a metric measurement of length, slightly longer than a yard.  When talking about radio frequencies, the term meters is used to signify the wavelenth of the frequency.  (See the picture below)

  • 2-meters is the wavelength of the radiowave around 150MHz.  The 2-meter Amateur band is 144-148MHz
  • 70-centimeters is the wavelength of the radiowave around 450MHz.  The 70-cm Amateur Band is 438-450MHz, commonly referred to as “440”

To calculate the wavelength in meters, divide 300 by the frequency.  So 300/2 meters=150MHz.  Inversely you can divide the frequency into 300 and come up with the wavelength – 300/150MHz = 2 meters.

You can use this formula for all radio bands everywhere.  A list of all the Amateur Bands is here.