Wavelength Conversions to Frequency
Radio waves are often referred to by their wavelength in meters rather than by frequency. For example, most people have heard commercial radio stations make announcements similar to the following: "Station WXYZ operating on 240 meters..." To tune receiving equipment that is calibrated by frequency to such a station, you must first convert the designated wavelength to its equivalent frequency.
As discussed earlier, a radio wave travels 300,000,000 meters a second (speed of light); therefore, a radio wave of 1 hertz would have traveled a distance (or wavelength) of 300,000,000 meters. Obviously then, if the frequency of the wave is increased to 2 hertz, the wavelength will be cut in half to 150,000,000 meters. This illustrates the principle that the HIGHER THE FREQUENCY, the SHORTER THE WAVELENGTH.
The wavelength in meters divided into 300,000,000 yields the frequency of a radio wave in hertz. Likewise, the wavelength divided into 300,000 yields the frequency of a radio wave in kilohertz, and the wavelength divided into 300 yields the frequency in megahertz.
Now, let us apply the formula to determine the frequency to which the receiving equipment must be tuned to receive station WXYZ operating on 240 meters. Radio wave frequencies are normally expressed in kilohertz or megahertz. To find the frequency in hertz, use the formula:
To find the frequency in kilohertz, use the formula:
To find the frequency in megahertz, use the formula:
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