Very high frequency
Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten to one meter. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF). Common uses for VHF are FM radio
FM radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, two way land mobile radio systems (emergency, business, private use and military), long range data communication up to several tens of kilometers with radio modems, amateur radio, and marine communications. Air traffic control
Air traffic control communications and air navigation systems (e.g. VOR & ILS) work at distances of 100 kilometers or more to aircraft at cruising altitude. In North America, most of South America and many other parts of the world, VHF Band I was used for the transmission of analog television. As part of the worldwide transition to digital television most countries require broadcasters to transmit television in the VHF range using digital rather than analog format.
1 Propagation characteristics 2 Line-of-sight calculation 3 Antennas 4 Universal use 5 By country
5.1 Australia 5.2 New Zealand 5.3 United Kingdom 5.4 United States and Canada
5.4.1 VHF television 5.4.2 87.5-87.9 MHz
6 Unlicensed operation 7 See also 8 References
"Rabbit-ears" VHF television antenna (the small loop is a separate UHF antenna).
For analog TV, VHF transmission range is a function of transmitter power, receiver sensitivity, and distance to the horizon, since VHF signals propagate under normal conditions as a near line-of-sight phenomenon. The distance to the radio horizon is slightly extended over the geometric line of sight to the horizon, as radio waves are weakly bent back toward the Earth by the atmosphere. An approximation to calculate the line-of-sight horizon distance (on Earth) is:
distance in nautical miles =
displaystyle 1.23times sqrt A_ f
displaystyle A_ f
is the height of the antenna in feet distance in kilometers =
displaystyle sqrt 12.746times A_ m
displaystyle A_ m
is the height of the antenna in meters.
These approximations are only valid for antennas at heights that are small compared to the radius of the Earth. They may not necessarily be accurate in mountainous areas, since the landscape may not be transparent enough for radio waves. In engineered communications systems, more complex calculations are required to assess the probable coverage area of a proposed transmitter station. The accuracy of these calculations for digital TV signals is being debated. Antennas
A VHF television broadcasting antenna. This is a common type called a super turnstile or batwing antenna.
VHF is the first band at which wavelengths are small enough that
efficient transmitting antennas are short enough to mount on vehicles
and handheld devices, a quarter wave whip antenna at VHF frequencies
is 25 cm to 2.5 meter (10 inches to 8 feet) long. So the VHF and UHF
wavelengths are used for two way radios in vehicles, aircraft, and
handheld transceivers and walkie talkies. Portable radios usually use
whips or rubber ducky antennas, while base stations usually use larger
fiberglass whips or collinear arrays of vertical dipoles.
For directional antennas, the Yagi antenna is the most widely used as
a high gain or "beam" antenna. For television reception, the Yagi is
used, as well as the log periodic antenna due to its wider bandwidth.
Helical and turnstile antennas are used for satellite communication
since they employ circular polarization. For even higher gain,
multiple Yagis or helicals can be mounted together to make array
antennas. Vertical collinear arrays of dipoles can be used to make
high gain omnidirectional antennas, in which more of the antenna's
power is radiated in horizontal directions.
A plan showing VHF use in television, FM radio, amateur radio, marine radio and aviation.
See also: Australasian television frequencies
The VHF T
Until 2013, the four main Free-to-Air TV stations in
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
British television originally used VHF band I and band III. Television
on VHF was in black and white with
30–49.6 MHz: Licensed 2-way land mobile communication. Various
30–88 MHz: Military VHF-FM, including SINCGARS
43–50 MHz: Cordless telephones, 49 MHz FM walkie-talkies and radio
controlled toys, and mixed 2-way mobile communication. The FM
broadcast band originally operated here (42-50 MHz) before moving to
Cable television, though not transmitted aerially, uses a spectrum of
frequencies overlapping VHF.
The U.S. FCC allocated television broadcasting to a channelized roster
as early as 1938 with 19 channels. That changed 3 more times: in 1940
when Channel 19 was deleted and several channels changed frequencies,
then in 1946 with television going from 18 to 13 channels with
different frequencies again, and finally in 1948 with the removal of
Channel 1 (channels 2-13 remain as they are today).
87.5-87.9 MHz is a radio frequency which, in most of the world, is
used for FM broadcasting. In North America, however, this bandwidth is
allocated to VHF television channel 6 (82-88 MHz). The analog audio
for TV channel 6 is broadcast at 87.75 MHz (adjustable down to 87.74).
Several stations, most notably those joining the
Marine VHF radio
List of oldest radio stations
Apex (radio band)
FM broadcast band
Moving image formats
Polar mesosphere summer echoes
^ "Rec. ITU-R V.431-7, Nomenclature of the frequency and wavelength
bands used in telecommunications" (PDF). ITU. Archived from the
original (PDF) on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
^ Seybold, John S. (2005). Introduction to RF Propagation. John Wiley
and Sons. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0471743682.
^ Grotticelli, Michael (2009-06-22). "DTV Transition Not So Smooth in
Some Markets". Broadcast Engineering. Archived from the original on
June 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
^ "Going Digital - When is my area going digital?".
goingdigital.co.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Archived from
the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
^ The 42 MHz Segment is still currently used by the California Highway
Patrol, New Jersey State Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol and other
state law enforcement agencies.
^ Industry Canada, Canadian Table of
v t e
Broadcast bands with Roman numeral designations
Band I Band II Band III
Band IV Band V
v t e
ELF 3 Hz/100 Mm 30 Hz/10 Mm
SLF 30 Hz/10 Mm 300 Hz/1 Mm
ULF 300 Hz/1 Mm 3 kHz/100 km
VLF 3 kHz/100 km 30 kHz/10 km
LF 30 kHz/10 km 300 kHz/1 km
MF 300 kHz/1 km 3 MHz/100 m
HF 3 MHz/100 m 30 MHz/10 m
VHF 30 MHz/10 m 300 MHz/1 m
UHF 300 MHz/1 m 3 GHz/100 mm
SHF 3 GHz/100 mm 30 GHz/10 mm
EHF 30 GHz/10 mm 300 GHz/1 mm
THF 300 GHz/1 mm 3 THz/0.1 mm
v t e
Gamma rays X-rays Ultraviolet Visible Infrared Terahertz radiation Microwave Radio
← higher frequencies longer wavelengths →
Violet Blue Green Yellow Orange Red
W band V band Q band Ka band K band Ku band X band S band C band L band
EHF SHF UHF VHF HF MF LF VLF ULF SLF ELF
Microwave Shortwave Medium wave Longwave
v t e
Cable protection system
Prepay mobile phone
Edwin Howard Armstrong John Logie Baird Paul Baran Alexander Graham Bell Tim Berners-Lee Jagadish Chandra Bose Vint Cerf Claude Chappe Donald Davies Lee de Forest Philo Farnsworth Reginald Fessenden Elisha Gray Erna Schneider Hoover Charles K. Kao Hedy Lamarr Innocenzo Manzetti Guglielmo Marconi Antonio Meucci Radia Perlman Alexander Stepanovich Popov Johann Philipp Reis Nikola Tesla Camille Tissot Alfred Vail Charles Wheatstone Vladimir K. Zworykin
Coaxial cable Fiber-optic communication
Free-space optical communication
Network topology and switching
Links Nodes Terminal node Network switching (circuit packet) Telephone exchange
Space-division Frequency-division Time-division Polarization-division Orbital angular-momentum Code-division
ARPANET BITNET Cellular network Computer CYCLADES Ethernet FidoNet Internet ISDN LAN Mobile NGN NPL network Public Switched Telephone Radio Telecommunications equipment Television Telex WAN Wireless World Wide Web
v t e
NTSC PAL PAL-M PAL-S PALplus SECAM
Back porch and front porch
Multichannel television sound NICAM Sound-in-Syncs Zweikanalton
Broadcast transmitter/Transmitter station
Frequencies & Bands
Field strength in free space
Distortionmeter Field strength meter Vectorscope VIT signals Zero reference pulse
Dot crawl Ghosting Hanover bars Sparklies
v t e
Analog and digital audio broadcasting
AM FM COFDM
VHF (low / mid / high)
C band Ku band L band S band
ADR DAB-S DVB-SH S-DMB SDR
Commercial radio providers
1worldspace Sirius XM Holdings SiriusXM Canada
AAC AMR-WB+ HDC HE-AAC MPEG-1 Audio Layer II
AMSS DirectBand PAD RDS/RBDS SCA/SCMO DARC
Audio data compression Audio signal processing
Belar C-QUAM Harris Kahn-Hazeltine Magnavox
AM broadcasting AM expanded band Cable radio Digital radio Error detection and correction FM broadcast band FM broadcasting Multipath propagation Shortwave relay station
History of radio International broadcasting
Comparison of radio systems
GND: 4131658-7 N