The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States is proposing new rules for amateur radio. These rules aim to remove restrictions on baud rates that have been in place since 1980. These changes would likely only apply to certain bands, such as some VHF and UHF bands, as well as the lightly used 630 and 2200 meter bands (approximately 475 kHz and 136 kHz).
Ham radio operators have traditionally used digital modes like radio teletype. With limitations on antennas and increasing interference from wireless networks and solar panels, digital communication has become even more popular. The affordability and accessibility of computer soundcards have also made it easier for people to engage in digital communication. Moreover, modern digital modulation techniques have far surpassed the capabilities of the outdated TeleType systems.
Currently, the FCC imposes a baud rate limit of 300 baud or lower. This limit is meant to regulate signal bandwidth and prevent an entire band from being overwhelmed by a high-speed RF network. However, advancements in technology now allow for more data to be squeezed into less bandwidth. As a result, the FCC plans to shift the limit to signal bandwidth instead of baud rate.
The desired bandwidth for commonly used bands is around 2.8 kHz. However, for the VLF bands, the FCC is open to suggestions. It’s worth noting that the 2200 meter band itself is not even 2.8 kHz wide.
All this discussion might motivate some people to start building a device for the 2200 meter band or consider piezoelectric technology as an alternative option.