2-7 A sine wave can be one cycle or many cycles. Recall from chapter 1 that the number of cycles of a sine wave that are completed in 1 second is known as the frequency of the sine wave. For example, 60 cycles of ordinary house current occur each second, so house current is said to have a frequency of 60 cycles per second or 60 hertz. The frequencies falling between 3000 hertz (3 kHz) and 300,000,000,000 hertz (300 GHz) are called RADIO FREQUENCIES (abbreviated rf) since they are commonly used in radio communications. This part of the radio frequency spectrum is divided into bands, each band being 10 times higher in frequency than the one immediately below it. This arrangement serves as a convenient way to remember the range of each band. The rf bands are shown in table 2-1. The usable radio-frequency range is roughly 10 kilohertz to 100 gigahertz. Table 2-1.—Radio Frequency BandsDESCRIPTION ABBREVIATION FREQUENCY Very low VLF 3 to 30 KHz Low LF 30 to 300 KHz Medium MF 300 to 3000 KHz High HF 3 to 30 MHz Very high VHF 30 to 300 MHz Ultrahigh UHF 300 to 3000 MHz Super high SHF 3 to 30 GHz Extremely high EHF 30 to 300 GHz Any frequency that is a whole number multiple of a smaller basic frequency is known as a HARMONIC of that basic frequency. The basic frequency itself is called the first harmonic or, more commonly, the FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY. A frequency that is twice as great as the fundamental frequency is called the second harmonic; a frequency three times as great is the third harmonic; and so on. For example: First harmonic (Fundamental frequency) 3000 kHz Second harmonic 6000 kHz Third harmonic 9000 kHz The PERIOD of a radio wave is simply the amount of time required for the completion of one full cycle. If a sine wave has a frequency of 2 hertz, each cycle has a duration, or period, of one-half second. If the frequency is 10 hertz, the period of each cycle is one-tenth of a second. Since the frequency of a radio wave is the number of cycles that are completed in one second, you should be able to see that as the frequency of a radio wave increases, its period decreases. A wavelength is the space occupied by one full cycle of a radio wave at any given instant. Wavelengths are expressed in meters (1 meter is equal to 3.28 feet). You need to have a good understanding of frequency and wavelength to be able to select the proper antenna(s) for use in successful

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