©2004-2023 F. Dörenberg, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be used without permission from the author.

Latest page update: February 2023: updated/expanded Feld Hell Club Facebook-links.

Previous updates: 4 August 2019.

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The following table shows the HF amateur radio band segments that are recommended for "narrow band" digital modes. That is, digital modes with a transmitted bandwidth of no more than 500 Hz. The standard Hellschreiber modes, in particular Feld-Hell, qualify as "narrow band digi mode" - but only if 1) you use original 1930s Hell fonts, and not any kind of modern font or lower-case, and 2) not over-modulate your transmitter!

Hell net

Always check the (voluntary) bandplan for the region and country that you are operating in! The table above is provided in good faith, without guarantees for being correct and up-to-date!


Here are links to "spot" pages with real-time reporting of Hell activity:

  • Hellschreiber spots by Laurie, VK3AMA
  • The "Digi-Mode spots page" (including "Hell") by Risto (W6RK) appears to be off-line permanently.

You may also want to check the "Sked Request" page of the Feld Hell Club. The message board of the "FeldHellClub Groups.io" is also regularly used/abused for skeds.

External links last checked: August 2019


For over 30 years (!) the European Hellschreiber Net has been taking place every Sunday. Over the decades, the net-frequency has switched back and forth between 80 and 40 mtrs several times, with the sun-spot cycle. In recent years, it has been on 80 mtrs:

  • Frequency: around 3592 kHz USB
  • Mode: Feld-Hell (of course!)
  • Starting time: depending on seasonal sunset times and associated propagation conditions, and :
  • Fall/Winter (after after end of Summer Time / Daylight Saving): typically 16:30 local time in Western Europe (CET = UTC + 1 hr)
  • Spring (sometime in March or around start of Summer Time / Daylight Saving): typically 17:00 local time in Western Europe (CEST = UTC + 2 hrs)
  • Summer: typically 17:30 local time in Western Europe (CEST = UTC + 2 hrs)
  • Late summer: typically 17:00 local time in Western Europe (CEST = UTC + 2 hrs)
  • Stations are primarily from The Netherlands, at least one with an original Feldfernschreiber machine (Arthur, PAØAOB); everyone is welcome!
  • The net may be skipped some weekends in July/August, due to vacation of the primary operators (PAØAOB, PAØKDF, PA3FFZ, F5GL).

If you are beyond range on 80 meters, you can still listen live and print along, via a web-SDR in The Netherlands. This is what I do myself (I typically use this one), and when I'm SWL-ing, you can follow the QSO on my Hell-WebCam.

On 6 December 2009, I finally (!) managed to participate in the Net, from my QTH in the south of France. My brief QSO with Bastiaan, PA3FFZ was my "first" Hell QSO on 80 mtrs and covered a respectable distance of 1084 km (675 miles). I used 80 watt and a temporary 2x13m inverted-L.

Hell net

DX-signals from Bastiaan, PA3FFZ printed by me (left) and my signals printed by Koos, PAØKDF (right)

The Feld Hell Club also has been running some weekly nets, though I am not sure whether they are still active:

  • 160 m: Mondays (2nd & 3rd week of the month), 03:00 UTC, 1806 kHz; net lead: Lou, W8LEW
  • 80 m: Saturdays, 04:00 UTC, 3576 kHz; net lead: Hugh, AC7XF
  • 40 m: Tuesdays, 00:00 UTC, 7043 kHz; net lead: Hugh, AC7XF
  • 20 m: Sundays, 12:00 UTC, 14063 kHz; net lead: David, G0DJA
  • 10 m: Mondays, 18:00 UTC, 28074 kHz; net lead: Larry, N3LFC; this net is not regular, due to the sunspot cycle.

For the latest status of these nets, check the "Nets" page of the Feld Hell Club.


  • Since 1977 (!) a group of Hell-enthusiasts gets together once a year, primarily from The Netherlands and surrounding countries. This is referred to as the Annual Hell Meeting. I have been attending since 2008.
  • The "Feld Hell Club" (FHC) was founded in 2006. I am member number 24. Membership (free, by the way) is over 7300! The FHC offers Awards (Hell-DXCC, "Worked All...", etc.), and organizes regular contests (see below). The FHC has two Facebook-hosted pages: the Feld Hell Community page and the "FHC-members only" regular Facebook page; other than the access, they are basically the same. The FHC is also present on Twitter.
Hell net

There is also a "FeldHellClub Groups.io" group (transferred there in May of 2018 from the "Feld Hell Club" Yahoo Group), and an inactive "Hellschreiber for Meteor Scatter" Yahoo Group.


The world's first Hell contest took place in 1980 and was organized by the Deutsche Amateur Funkschreiber Gruppe (DAFG). Since 1981, this activity is organized by the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC, Deutsche Amateur-Radio-Club e.V.). The official contest rules are here (in German).

  • HF: Saturday and Sunday of the first full weekend in October
  • Saturday: 80 mtrs, 16:00-18:00 UTC
  • Sunday: 40 mtrs, 09:00-11:00 UTC
  • The 1981 contest results are here.

The Feld-Hell Club organizes a contests each month! Their contest calendar is listed here.

On December 30/31, 2006, I participated for the first time ever in a contest - Hellschreiber, of course! I did OK: came in 12th out of 79 participants. Worked 68 stations in 26 countries on 3 continents.

Hell contest

On September 20, 2008, I participated for one hour in a two-hour "Sprint" contest of the Feld-Hell Club. My QSOs with N8BA and WB2HTO, and prevailing poor propagation conditions, made me the winner in the DX category:

Hell contest

"Hell" contests are fun, no stress like contests of all other modes, and are short (no more than a couple of hours). Go for it!

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