900 MHz??

Someone recently offered to give our club a 900 MHz repeater. 900 MHz?? Who uses that band Well, apparently, there is a lot of activity up there, and maybe the least of it amateur activity.

I got to thinking about how we might use it. The first thing to cross my mind was digital TV. Other kinds of digital apps, such as some kind of instant messaging, might also be interesting.

Here are some resources:

  • Exploring 900 MHz by KB9MWR. Some good basic information on the band and equipment you can use there.
  • AR902MHz Yahoo Groups Mailing List. This list has more than 1,400 subscribers and is relatively active.
  • San Diego 900 MHz ARC. General info on 900 MHz as well as specific info on what’s going on around San Diego.
  • GEMoto.Com. This is a networking group made up of mostly New England hams interested in converting and using GE and Motorola commercial radios. According to Ben, N1WBV, there’s a fair amount of 900 MHz activity around Boston because their use of 440 MHz is fairly restricted.


  1. I can tell you who I’ve found *not* using 900MHz: Appliance operators. I was lucky enough to find a 440/900 linked repeater (which I could *just* get into, thanks PAVE PAWS), and I always found the conversations on it good and interesting!

  2. Dan,

    Dan W2PUT already has a 900 repeater in Ann Arbor., linked to his repeater in Milan & Echolink & IRLP.

    He and a friend in NY wrote the book on converting surplus radios to work on 900. Talk to him about a radio, or if you want I can bring mine to the museum.

    The ARROW has its hands full getting its 144MHz/220MHz/440MHz back on the air.

    73 de AA8RK

  3. While I agree with Ralph about ARROW having its hands full, I think we should look into this a bit more, or at least think about it for a while. Part of me says, we don’t have enough volunteers for what we’re already doing, but another part of me says we should go for it, and break some new ground. Maybe develop a digital network that can handle short messages (IM or Twitter style), longer messages (packet style), APRS position reports, data streams for digital TV or image transmission, or whatever. If I’m actually describing D-STAR (and I don’t know if I am or not), then maybe we can implement it on 900 MHz.

    The repeater doesn’t have to be tied to the traditional ARROW repeaters; for experimentation, it could be set up in someone’s garage. You can use mine, if the machine’s waterproof and the antenna can be 25 feet or lower.

    Just some thoughts from someone that has too much free time one evening (for once in the last few years).

  4. Has anyone tried putting the GTX900 mobiles onto 9600 baud packet yet? Figure 4.8k might be more doable (not as wide), but just curious. Finding the tx injection point would probably be about all that is needed, I think usable flat rx audio is present on the accessory plug. I’m considering it, but don’t have access to a service manual yet and figure maybe someone else has already figured it out.


  5. Isn’t this also a commercial radio band?

  6. It is shared with some other users.

  7. If you guys don’t want it send it my way. There is a small group of us in South West Michigan trying to get a 900MHz Repeater on the air. 73 de KR8U

  8. I am part of a group that’s pioneering 900 Mhz. in the Richmond, VA area. We acquired a group of Kenwood radios and programmed them with all the usual simplex and repeater frequencies. We’ve sold them at a reasonable price to an eager group of locals. So far, I’m the only one with a rotatable beam. We’re hoping for a repeater in the area soon.

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