Effective January 8th, 2024, the FCC’s symbol rate limit rule on Amateur bands will change. The FCC will remove it’s baud rate limit and replace it with a 2.8khz bandwidth limit.

Excerpt: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) amends its amateur radio rules to eliminate the limitations on the symbol rate (also known as baud rate)—the rate at which the carrier waveform amplitude, frequency, and/or phase is varied to transmit information—applicable to data emissions in certain amateur bands. In place of the baud rate, the Commission sets a bandwidth limitation of 2.8 kilohertz in the respective amateur bands, consistent with the Commission’s treatment of other wireless radio services, which also have service-specific bandwidth limitations. This bandwidth limitation will promote continued sharing in these amateur bands.

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What this means for users?

This change opens up the ability to use PACTOR-4 protocols for higher speed data transmission on Amateur radio bands. Something Marine bands already supported. Previously the symbol/baud rate rule limited speeds on Amateur bands to PACTOR-3. PACTOR-4 is roughly 2X the speed and PACTOR-4 modems also have better performance with noisy connections. This enhances data transfer with services such as Winlink and many emergency services platforms.

Read more about this change here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/12/07/2023-26770/amateur-radio-service-rules-to-permit-greater-flexibility-in-data-communications

Learn more about PACTOR4 here: https://www.p4dragon.com/pactor-4.html

Interested in a PACTOR4/P4Dragon modem or an HF/SSB Radio package for boats with PACTOR 4 modems included, check out our SSB Page!