Organizing Memory Channels On Your Radio


More modern radio's are gaining larger and larger capability to program in channels in your radio. My old Kenwood from the 1990's featured a total of 80 channels and you had to determine the split between VHF/UHF before programming. Now my new Kenwood has the option of 1,000 memory channels and creating groups. So the following is the best practice I have found in organizing your memory channels.

Radio Continuity

Once you get your memory channels organized you will want to have them be the same memory numbers across all of your devices. That way being on channel 15 on your mobile is the same as being 15 on your HT. This keeps you from having to remember different numbering systems across your radios. In order to make this happen you first have to identify the radio that has the least capability. This may be the radio that only has 128 channels. If you program the memory in all of your radio's to the 128 channel limit, then you know the channels can be the same across all of your devices.

Memory Groups

Some radio's like my Kenwood have radio groups, however not all my radio's have groups so I do not use this feature. If all of your radio's have groups this is a great way to separate channels based on your operating modes. However, you can still do an informal grouping of frequencies on any radio which is what I have done with mine.

Top 10 Frequency Group
My first grouping is my top 10 frequencies, these are my local popular repeaters, nets I check into, and our family simplex frequency. These are my most used frequencies and I find myself sticking to the top 10 most of the time.

Not Quite Top 10 Frequency Group
The second grouping is a random collection of frequencies I used some time, mostly while traveling, or less popular local repeaters I can QSY to if the main ones are busy.

Simplex Frequency Group
My third group is simplex frequencies either national or local on both 2m and 70cm. The national frequencies are essential, but the local ones are important to have programmed, so you can use a simplex around camp or car to car knowing you are not walking on a link system. Check with your local frequency coordinator for a list of these frequencies.

EmComm Frequency Group
My fourth frequency group is a collection of ARES or EmComm groups I check into. Each frequency is first programmed in with the repeater, then the same frequency as simplex. This helps for simplex nights in being able to switch to simplex then back to repeater. I then have in all the alternative frequencies for those groups since they will have multiple for other types of nets or back up frequencies.

Intertie Frequency Group
My fifth group is several grouping for intertie or linked repeater systems. Here in the mountain west we have the Intertie system that is a set of repeaters linking from Idaho down through Utah to Nevada and Arizona. I have all of these frequencies entered in geographically north to south. We also have another system called the sinbad network. This is also entered in geographically north to south.

Digital Mode Frequency Group
My sixth group is my digital mode group. This is where I have my APRS, and other frequencies setaside for digital mode traffic.

Satellite Operations Frequency Group
My seventh group is for satellite operations, this will take up quite a few frequencies for the birds since I will need to record in splits between uplink and downlink and doppler effect shift on the uplink. Each bird is entered in multiple times to shift as the frequency changes.

Monitoring Frequency Group
My next to last group are frequencies put into memory that I will monitor. This includes NOAA weather channels, select GMRS/MURS frequencies, local airport frequencies, and public safety channels. Once again these are monitor only and I have transmit inhibit selected in programming for radio's that could transmit.

Special Event Frequency Group
My last group is for special event support. Even though the frequencies may already be stored in memory elsewhere, I keep the sequence of frequencies used in a collection so I am not jumping around my memory program to find the right frequency. For LOTOJA Bike event, this is important because in the course of the day you will QSY across several nets and frequencies as you move through the 200 mile course. It is important to have all event frequencies entered even if you do not think they will apply to you during the event. You may get a last min reassignment, or be asked to relay a message to another net. You will need all nets and frequencies programmed into memory to not be limited day of the event. After the event I will wipe these frequencies and put in the next event. This is mostly to save on space of memory frequencies. Also, since this list may vary I keep this at the top of the list so it can grow or shrink as needed.


I hope you have found this grouping of frequencies helpful. These are my best practices that I do for my gear. There may be some other grouping that makes more sense for your operating preferences. The key is to have organization, and same programming across all of your radio's so the channel selection becomes second nature as you transition through radios.


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