eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing

W4KYR (W4KYR) on January 4, 2014
View comments about this article!

Eleven years ago there was an interesting and thought provoking article on the question of how come none of the ham radio manufacturers were making a 222 MHz all mode radio. Since that article, the number of manufacturers making an 222 MHz all mode radio remains zero.

Part of the argument was that there was no demand for it. How can there be a demand for something that is not on the market?

The 222 MHz all mode transceiver is still missing from the marketplace since that article was published in 2002. The only rigs ever made with a 220 MHz all Mode was the Yaesu FT 736 (and the required module) and the stand alone Icom IC-375 and IC-375H. The IC-375 is so rare that it when it comes up on E-Bay once or twice a year...they sell for around $1500. I'm surprised that even MFJ ignored the 222 MHz all mode market.

The only way these days to get an 222 MHz all mode today is through a transverter from Down East Microwave at a cost of $479 assembled for a 25 watt version. But then you still need to interface it to a 28 MHz radio.

If there ever was a big gap in the market, (for many years) it is the 222 MHz all mode transceiver. It is my hope that maybe on of the Chinese manufacturers see that big gap. If the Chinese could put a 222 MHz all mode transceiver on the market, they will have that entire market to themselves.

If you have a FT-897 you have all the ham bands from 160 up to 440 MHz in an all mode transceiver (except of course 220 MHz). Why did they exclude the 220 mhz band? They could have at least offered a module for it.

>

Speaking of the FT 897, someone wrote an article on this very subject some eleven years ago here on eham around the time when the FT-897 was about to be released.

I think it is time again to revisit this issue in hopes that one of the manufacturers (especially the Chinese) take advantage of the void in the marketplace.

222 mhz is not some exotic microwave band that needs expensive components to build. An all mode 222 MHz all mode is certainly doable. Several companies (including the Chinese) have been producing 222 MHz hand held FM radios for some time. How far of a stretch is it for them to market an all mode version of a radio that they already produce?

Here is a link to that original article from 11 years ago here on eHam.

http://www.eham.net/articles/3658

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N4UE on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
IMHO, the reason you don't see 'imported' radios that cover is pretty simple. The JA hams do not have use of that band. I purchased a new, 706G that was the "E" version. That is, it only covers the lower 2 MHZ of 2 Meters. Removing some of the 'steering' diodes allows it to receive all of 2 M, but it still only transmits in the bottom 2 MHZ. Fine by me.
Having been to the ham stores in Tokyo many times, the most popular radios are the smaller ones like the 706g. The average Japanese hams just doesn't have the room in their households for radios like the IC-7800, etc. LOTS of mobile operating.
There are toms of smallish radios for sale there, in addition to a huge selection of hand-helds.....

ron
N4UE
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K9ZF on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Pretty simple really. Just not enough market to spend the money to produce a 222 rig. A real shame, I love the band. The way I understand the marketing issues, amateur radio as a whole is a very small market. So when you divide this small market into even smaller niches, there is just not enough there to develop and market a stand alone rig. Although it would seem easy enough to add the band to the 706 / 897 type radios.

There are several companies that produce transverters, but no stand alone rigs, other than FM only.

73
Dan

--
K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
former K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KB8ASO on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"If the Chinese could put a 222 MHz all mode transceiver on the market, they will have that entire market to themselves."

They have:

BAOFENG UV82X 2m/1.25m 5 Watt HT $49.95

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=71489&osCsid=4i68gj49ope42kthldfp21ahv3

JETSTREAM JT220M 50 watt mobile $239.95

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=67242

Randy AB9GO

 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AF5CC on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Icom never made a 375H, only a 375A that did 25 watts. In addition to Down East Microwave, Elecraft makes a 222mhz transverter. There are also some made by European companies, I believe.

If there was money to be made in the 222mhz all mode market, someone would be doing it. Obviously the market research shows that the demand just isn't there. Most people doing 222mhz SSB/CW are just happy doing it with transverters, as that gives them a high performance setup.

John AF5CC
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WS4E on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>They have....

ALL MODE = not just FM, but SSB, CW, AM etc..
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K5TED on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It makes so much better sense to include 160m instead of 1.25m in a FT857D, IC7000, etc. Mobile rig...sheesh.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AA4HA on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I guess the Jetstream JT220M, Alinco DR-235T or some of the HT's that have 220 MHz capability do not count?
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KVW on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
For those who are posting about the 220 FM rigs the article is about 220 ALL MODE RIGS or lack of & not FM only rigs. Plenty of 220 FM gear out there but nothing that does SSB,CW, & Digital modes without a transverter! Without Japan & a market in Europe it will remain an untapped market FOREVER I think.

Clayton
W4KVW
EM80
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N9DG on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In my case getting a transverter to get onto 222 CW/SSB is was what showed me that transverters are actually a better way to get into VHF and UHF band weaksignal band operations to begin with. After I experienced first hand the superior performance of the transverter with a good IF radio I shifted all my bands to transverters and have never looked back.

So no, I for one do not see any particular difficulty of getting on 222 CW/SSB at all. You just need to rethink the whole approach to getting on the VHF and UHF weaksignal bands. And to look for solutions other than just what the so called big 3 offer. There are actually better options out there than anything that they have to offer. It just takes a bit of creativity and initiative to get there..
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KQ6Q on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps an CW/SSB rig for 220 would sell - based on the design for the MFJ-9406 ?
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by VK3DWZ on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As usual, Americans do not realize that the world does not begin, and end at the U. S. borders. Probably no other country in the world allocates amateur frequencies around 220MHz. So, why don't manufacturers make rigs with 220MHz? Simple: there's no demand outside the U. S.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KD8TUT on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
That was a good answer.

I'm a new ham... and had not thought of that. But I'm thankful you pointed it out.

73
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AG2AA on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
i think there is still hope for the commercial market to get more of the band - like when the FCC and UPS made the grab in the US not so long ago... so if a company like yeasu, owned by motorola, does not make ham gear for 220, there will be less hams there and it will be easier for moto to make and sell commercial gear once the hams vacate the band that "nobody uses" because they can't get gear! I agree it's an awesome band, great prop, even on FM.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WA2DTW on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
We need more activity on this band. In the days when 2 meters was crowded with repeaters, it was a very good alternative to 2 meters. But now, its use seems to be limited to contests and the occasional net.

This band is not available in other countries, therefore gear is not made for it. However, there is still the Kenwood TH-F6A FH HT, which can also receive on CW and SSB and delivers a good 5 watts on 222.

Yes. Get the DEMI or Elecraft transverter. And let's see some action on 222!

 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"As usual, Americans do not realize that the world does not begin, and end at the U. S. borders. Probably no other country in the world allocates amateur frequencies around 220MHz. So, why don't manufacturers make rigs with 220MHz? Simple: there's no demand outside the U. S."
=======================================================


Incorrect...


In fact, 220 Mhz encompasses ITU Region II and also Somalia in Region I

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1.25-meter_band

ITU Region 1

Somalia (220–225 MHz)[4]

ITU Region 2

Aruba (220–225 MHz)[23]

Bermuda (220–225 MHz)

Brazil (220–225 MHz)

Canada (222–225 MHz amateur primary exclusive; 219–220 MHz secondary and shared; 220–222 MHz, only for "disaster relief" )[3][11]

French Overseas Departments and Territories in Region 2 (220–225 MHz)[24]
Overseas Departments:
French Guiana
Guadeloupe
Martinique
Overseas collectivities:
Saint Barthélemy
Saint Martin
Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Jamaica (220–225 MHz)

Mexico (222–225 MHz) (Band is channelized in some segments and shared with commercial and government operations, including police.)[25]

Trinidad and Tobago (220–225 MHz)[26]

United States of America (222–225 MHz amateur primary exclusive; 219–220 MHz secondary, shared and limited)[1][2]
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AD4U on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I will give you one reason why.........

I put up a nice (GE Mastr II) 146 MHz repeater in the late 1980's. It has great coverage and fortunately it got and still gets a lot of use.

I was asked about putting up repeaters on other bands. From 1999 until 2005 I added GE Mastr II repeaters on 53 MHz, 444 MHz, and 222 MHz. This was all done at my expense.

Initially some hams used the other repeaters until "the new wore off", then they all gravitated back to 2 meters. The other repeaters sat idle for MONTHS with absolutely no use.

When I count up the money I had in the other repeaters (3 GE Mastr II 100 watt continuous duty repeaters, commercial crystals for each repeater, 3 CAT 1000 repeater controllers, 3 duplexers - $3500 for a brand new TX RX 6 meter duplexer, numerous ComSpec 32 and 64 tone boards, Celwave Station Master antennas, over 1000 feet of 7/8 hardline, hardline connectors, tower climbers, power supplies, lightning protection, labor etc) the investment was astounding.

After several month of sporadic use, the NEW repeaters remained silent.

When I asked those who encouraged me to put other repeaters up why they did not use them, the usual reply was "most of the activity is on your 2 mmeter repeater" so that is where I stay. I sold my other rigs.

The 53 MHz, 222 MHz, and 444 MHz repeaters have been sold at a great loss in $$$ and relocated.

Dick AD4U

 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KG4OJZ on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Yaesu is NOT owned by Motorola. They had a mutual sales agreement a few years back, but even that didn't work. Yaesu and Motorola went separate ways, which in my opinion is much better for the industry.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by VA1CQ on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Motorola bought Vertex, the land mobile division of Yaesu. Yaesu Musen, which builds Yaesu amateur gear, is an independent company.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by VA1CQ on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
W4KYR: I think you proved VK4DWZ's point. In your list of Region II countries, plus Somalia in Region I, there are no large populations of amateurs where the market would support this type of rig in any large way with the possible exception of Brazil. There is no Europe. There is no Asia. It is hard to justify development of any new amateur transceiver even when it can be sold worldwide.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WA1RNE on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
WA2DTW:

"We need more activity on this band. In the days when 2 meters was crowded with repeaters, it was a very good alternative to 2 meters."

IMO, you inadvertently provided a plausible reason.

The days when 2 meters was crowded are long gone - like about 20 years ago. The 70cm, 33cm and 23cm bands are not exactly bustling with activity either, which may be (or most likely already) realized by commercial competitors sooner than we think, and possess a heck of lot more clout and financial resources than amateurs.

When articles like this come up asking why equipment manufacturers aren't producing gear for 222, it's strikes me as a bit amazing considering some of the mostly unused but very valuable spectrum "real estate" we occupy.

If hams actually value a little used band like 222 mhz, what value do we place on 33 and 23cm?

Given the boom in smartphone and mobile broadband services, frankly I'm amazed we haven't lost 33 and 23cm by now, especially 33cm. Since 2001, mobile wireless providers have invested $246B into wireless service infrastructure, which includes the 700 Mhz band used for 4G data. But the spectrum between 700 Mhz and 2.5Ghz is considered "prime" real estate and is in high demand - and in my opinion, it won't be long before we lose it.

Hams need to take a hard look at their competition for spectrum, and the FCC web site is one of the best places to go. The 16th Mobile Wireless Competition Report provides just about everything we need to know about what's coming and why:

http://www.fcc.gov/document/16th-mobile-competition-report

In particular, pages 84-97 provide some of the technical rationale behind the value of 700Mhz-2.5Ghz spectrum to wireless providers. Capital expenditures by mobile providers starts on page 139, providing some insight about the kind of $$$ they have to expand, which is driven by smartphone data demand.

Even federal agencies have been asked to relocate from AWS or Advanced Wireless Service spectrum in the 1.7 Ghz band to free it up for commercial use:

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/aws-1710-1755-mhz-transition

This isn't 1965 or even 1985 when upper UHF and microwave spectrum was a vast territory occupied primarily by UHF television, some government agencies and hams. We need to use it or we're going to lost it.

WA1RNE

 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K1HC on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I concur with the other posters mentioning that use of a transverter is really the only realistic option for the band, and it is really not hard to set it all up. I bought an Elecraft transverter and paired it up with a Yaesu FT-817 and a solid state amplifier. I have had good success with it on SSB and CW. So much so, I just ordered the Elecraft transverters for 144 and 432 MHZ and an Elecraft K-3 to use as an I.F. rig. The Elecraft transverter owner's manual shows the wiring needed to easily switch the transverters quickly so it looks like it will be a pretty seamless operation.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W9SAM on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Here in SW Ohio & even the Tri-State area of Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana, we have almost 30+ 222 repeaters on line and working. This has just happening just with-in the last 2 or so years. The 1.25 band has reappeared and is working very well too. We have to scan our radios to catch all the radio traffic that is happening on multiple frequencies too. Wasn't that way when I first entered the band some 5 years ago, only 3-4 machines here in the Dayton Area were on-line & working but not any more. So for all the folks that don't think the 1.25 band isn't around any more, NOT so here in the Miami Valley, Dayton, Ohio, (Home of the Dayton Hamvention; every May) Tri-State area. The 1.25 band is alive & well & is ON The Air !!!!
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K1CJS on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Here in southern New England, the 222 mhz band is somewhat used (FM) because of one thing--the military preempting the use of the 440 band because of the Pave Paws radar on Cape Cod. I don't know if this is true in northern California and Oregon too, but it seems likely.

Even though, the 440 mhz band was never all that active around SE Mass--and neither is 222 mhz.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K8IO on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have been on 220 since the 70's and to put it bluntly as I once had it put to me by one of the Japanese manufacturers reps, "since it it not a band in the home country of the equipment manufacturing leader, Japan, we are not interested in producing equipment for the band." We hounded the manufacturers at all the shows and rigs have been produced in limited numbers over the years. Sales were ALWAYS weak. Compared to 2 and 440. So blame the US hams for that. Cant really blame the Hams entirely. The FCC first tried to give 220 to CB radio in the 70's. Then the FCC riped off the lower 2 mhz for the acsb debacle. Which is where the weak signal stuff all was. So there are several factors. Multi-mode just has not caught on. The Chinese have changed that some with their cheap FM radios and I have several 220 radios but all are FM. 220 FM is alive in this part of the world and is somewhat active. I think it is pure supply and demand at work. No demand = no supply.
Paul K8IO
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KD8MJR on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
220 is another useless band IMO. I know some people like it and use it, but I would give that one and 6M up in a heart beat to get twice as much 20M bandwidth and another band near 20M like 12Mhz with at least 350Khz BW
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by NA5XX on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I use the 220 band on occasion and like it. When my son and I go to an amateur event and get separated, we use it to find one another. It is virtually a private channel. That is too bad. I think the 220 band suffers from the chicken and the egg syndrome. Is equipment not made because people don't use it or do people not use it because there is no equipment. Also since the band is limited to ITU region 2 there is a limited market for manufacturers. The band is unavailable in the region where those manufacturers are. Yes a few FM radios are available, but all mode is restricted to a very few used radios that come available at high prices. Because of the region 2 only use of the band, a manufacturer needs to be located in that region. To my knowledge that is limited to Ten Tec, Elecraft, or MFJ. So back to the chicken/egg scenario. Everybody who is truly interest in an all mode 220 radio needs to contact the chickens in region 2 and tell them what kind of egg you want. If there is enough demand then perhaps there will be a supply provided.

Now I have a technical question on this subject. Is 220 band not provided in all-band radios because it is a 1/2 harmonic of 440? Does this present issues internal to the radio that can cause problems?
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WB8VLC on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
220 is like 900 mhz, a nice place to get away from all the noise and jamming found on 2 meters and on the lower bands. I'd gladly give up all of 20 meters for another meg around 220 along with an allocation around 42 MHz for ham use.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W6SDW on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Sure glad some of you aren't part of FCC rulemaking committee. I've used this band on and off for decades. Even had a small EME setup before FCC kicked amateurs out of the 220-222 portion. "For lack of use" was the reason citied by those that wanted it. Why? They didn't want to use one of the available commercial bands for their commercial endeavor. Those of us old-timers remember that it was common to use this band for remote control of repeaters, where telephone line control wasn't available. (the ONLY band that had a portion for this by FCC decree at the time). Often, all things being equal (Pwr, antenna gain) this band out performs 2 meters here on the west coast.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K1FPV on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I think you don't see any equipment for 222 mHz. in that nobody works it. I use an Elecraft XV222 transverter and a home-brew amp for weak signal operations, but the only time I hear any activity is during VHF/UHF contests.

I do have a 222mHz FM transceiver, but the few repeaters on the band rarely have any use at all. If there was more interest in the band, you would see a lot more activity. When I first got on the band 40+ years ago, all equipment was home-brew. With many newer hams today, home-brew is an unheard of pear of words.

Bill
K1FPV
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by VA7OJ on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Only one problem; Motorola no longer own Yaesu. They spun Yaesu off several years ago.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W8AAZ on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The 2 meter band has no problem with crowding or excessive activity around here anymore for many years. Lots of repeaters, no one using them. Same on 440. So really there is nothing to get away from anymore, and thus, no one is gonna pay alot for the gear, I suppose. Just to listen to another band where no one is talking. Otherwise I have nothing against it. But probably that explains the lack of anyone seemingly on 900 or above here. Except hard core experimenters and DXers. Cellphones and internet are probably at the root of all these bands being hardly used anymore to an extent.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WB8NUT on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well the Chinese are doing it. No excuses for not getting on 220. Baofeng dual-band 2/220 - $50.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W7AIT on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hams did in 220 themselves.

I've been on 220 since 1965 where our CD group had Gonset Communicator IV - 220 AM transceivers. Even though there weren't any repeaters in those days, the radios worked well and we used them for our CD nets and ragchews.

Now came along UPS and the FCC giving away 2 mhz of the 220 band in 1988. Hams got all bent out of shape, said they were going "to pack up their toys and abandon 220" because they didn't like what the FCC did. So they did; never mind by the way we still have perfectly good band from 222 to 225 mhz, but no matter, hams were going to show those bad old FCC guys!
"Group think" and "holding life long grudges" is rampant among hams; to this day, any Old Fart Ham who isn't a silent key will tell you "we must stand our ground and show those bad old FCC guys we didn't like what they did back in 1988". To this I say "how ignorant", and talk about "shooting yourself in the left foot"; you fool hams did an excellent job for being fool hearty, hurting no one but themselves.
So we must "live free or die", us hams aren't ever going to show weakness, we are going to boycott 220 no matter how much it hurts, how foolish it is, or no matter how crowded other bands get because of over crowding, or how great the no noise propagation is on the 220 band. We hams will never give in! No siree Bob!

So what did I do? I ignored all this foolishness, and bought a nice 50 watt Jetstream radio for here at home; also my Kenwood THF6A HT works great on 220. I have fun on about 6 repeaters and the big linked "Condor" system. I get to enjoy the no noise background feature of 220 myself and with my friends, who by the way, also found 220 as a great band.

To the rest of you Old Farts, live free or Die! Stand your ground and show that mean old FCC!

But don't tell your friends my secret - 220 is a great band and me and my friends have it all to ourselves.....while you "stand your ground"!


 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K8IO on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Good points all around. I actually heard a couple old farts on the air complaining aobut incentive licensing!!! As In loosing general privlidges. I was shocked! I could not help my self I just had to tell em to get over it.
 
Topic & Thread - give the wrong ideas  
by AI2IA on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
1.25 meter band is alive and well, at least in the Greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area. In Brooklyn alone there are five 1.25 repeaters, there is at least one in Manhattan, and more scattered here and there. Most are cross linked so you can enjoy QSOs with hams on other bands.

I have had two 1.25 H/Ts for several years, Alinco DJ-280Ts with outputs of 1W @ 7.2 volts and 4W @ 13.8 volts, and an Alinco DR-235 with 25W (high) and 5W (low) outputs. These are very nice, reliable transceivers all the way around.

1.25 has the nice capability of getting through the sides of buildings and works very well indeed in Lower Manhattan. The band is quiet as far as noise goes, and has gentlemen rather than savages on it.

With two H/Ts, I can always toss one to a ham friend when we go off on a hike or bicycles, or even just a nice urban walk through the big parks.

1.25 is just fine. Get a used Alinco and have some fun with the band.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W9MT on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I, too, have been on 220MHz since the mid-1970's beginning with a rockbound, black Midland 13-509. Throughout the succeeding years I owned a variety of FM-only rigs for 220.

I had a friend (who now is an SK) who owned an Icom IC-375. It was a wonderful multi-mode rig and "did him well" during contests, but >95% of the time it sat unused due to the dearth of weak signal CW and SSB activity.

After the rig got discontinued I asked one of the salespeople at the old Spectronics store in Oak Park IL for the reason why. I was told that Icom told him the sales response to the '375 was "underwhelming".

Yes, I agree with many of the other commentors...It's simply "supply and demand". There's not enough money to chase to make a multi-mode rig for 220 economically feasible.

The '375 @ $1500 both when it was new or today on the used market was too much money for too little operating enjoyment. (Even when AES was closing them out @ $900 new, that was too rich for my own operating tastes.)

But... if someone made a mobile sized multimode 220 rig in the $300 price range, I'd buy one.

 
222 MHz FM is used in Virginia  
by KK4MRN on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I like it because it simply is not 2 meters or 440. We get malicious interference (I think you call this jamming?) on 2 meters. So we QSY over to where the jammers do not the ability, such as, 220 or 440.

My Kenwood TH-F6A works well as a transceiver on the 220 FM repeater 224.42 (W4MEV) here in Richmond, Virginia which is linked via IRLP (or is it EchoLink?) to other repeaters in Virginia. There is even a ham in Virginia that does other modes on 220 like SSTV, SSB, etc... But he does like to homebrew stuff.

The Kenwood TH-F6A will allow you to receive 222 MHz band using CW, SSB (LSB or USB), AM, FM, or Wide FM.

And I can tell you 220 is used more than 440 here even though there are more 440 repeaters than 220 repeaters.

Granted, this article was about all-mode 220 (CW/SSW/AM/FM/etc.), but the commercial transceivers you see for 220 ham band is FM only.

I see Alinco, Kenwood, TYT, Baofeng have 222 transceivers.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KASSY on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I made a new friend a few months ago. He's a business planner currently in the consumer wireless products industry. His job is to assess where a company should put its R&D money...what's the next product they should design? But he's got some history in ham radio, he did the same kind of work for some of the companies.

I asked him about this a while ago.

He said it about like this. Icom made 6, 2, 220 and 432 all-mode radios in the 1980s. Sales volumes were highest for 2, then 6, then 432. Of all the years they were built, sales for the 220 radio never exceeded two digits, while all the others were four digits.

If you were developing a new radio, and one band was fairly sure to sell only 1% as much as the next-better band, would you bother?

I asked about design re-use. He said you can't always just slap a different front end on a radio, sometimes the frequency relationships mean that a common IF frequency is problematic for one band or another. Apparently, the reason that up-conversion got popular in general-covereage HF rigs is because the only case where you don't have frequency/harmonic problems is when the IF frequency is more than double the highest input (band) frequency. If they used the same base IF radio, and they included the 432 band, the IF would have to be almost 900MHz.

But if you have only a few bands to cover, then you can pick an IF frequency that isn't a problem for those few bands. Every added band reduces the suitable frequency list.

At the end of the discussion, I got the idea that it would be a large effort to consider adding 220 to an existing "platform" and if sales are going to be fewer than ten per year, the effort would hardly pay off.

Companies who have stockholders can't spend on development, unless they have researched and concluded that the sales of the product will pay them back for the design work.

- k
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KJ4DGE on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have used 220 on FM with the VX-6R, had a UPS ACSB mobile rig that I got on Ebay but never could figure out why I bought it till after I sold it again. I guess if I could have (maybe), moded it for SBB on 220 with a lot of work, well it came down to time. I like 220 FM, there are now a nice mix of mobile and HT radios out there for 220. Jetstream mobile rig is reasonable. Lots of hams in NY area use them for linking. When you think about it we (USAA hams) have the best of all worlds compared to the rest of the frequency deprived planet. Oh and give up 6 meters for another chunk of 20 meters? You have to be crazy! BTW I am getting one of those Wouxun 2/6 FM HT's in the near future, 6 is "magic".
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KG4RUL on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
To put it in perspective:

small market for FM rigs

microscopic market for all mode rigs

Anyone got a spare couple million they can afford to burn to develop an all mode rig?
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N4NYY on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Supply and demand. There is little or no demand. In my area of southern NJ, I do not know anyone that is on 220. In the store, we hardly ever sell 220 radios, specifically the JT model. The vast majority of sales are 2M and 440.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N4UFO on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
There is a bit of misinformation being posted about the 220-222 reallocation... Yes UPS wanted it, but the FCC did not 'take it away' from amateurs... because we never had it!

I was a repeater builder/owner/operator at the time and had three 220 machines... there were also several more in my area. Yes, activity was comparatively low. But most everyone I know that was active saw that we got a good deal in the frequency reallocation. Amateurs went from being SECONDARY USERS of the original five megahertz to PRIMARY USERS of the remaining three megahertz. Weak signal ops might have disagreed, but I didn't know any at the time. There is still an SSB segment on 222 and for those wanting/needing linking frequencies 219-220 has been reallocated to amateur use with restrictions.

UPS asked for the band to do experiments... they didn't prove to work out as well as hoped. UPS made agreements with cell networks to use their stuff instead. The hope was that UPS WOULD use the band... so that commercial equipment (duplexers, antennas, etc.) would become readily available.

Again, I've never done any 222 weak signal work, but on FM it is the BEST all around band for repeaters. It has about 90% of 2 meters range (222 is still VHF) and about half of 440 Mhz's reflection capability (220 is at the edge of UHF). The result of that? I could go into a big box store with an HT.. if it was 2m, I couldn't get out of the building, period. If it was on 440 MHz, I could get out of the building and reach a cross band repeater in my vehicle, but the HT did not have enough 'umph' to reach a regular UHF repeater. BUT on 220... I was full quieting on a half watt!

I don't own, maintain or USE FM repeaters any more... but if I did, 220 would be a great place to go. I experienced a few tropo openings on 220 FM... so i can only imagine how much fun 220 weak signal work would be!

73 - N4UFO
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by NK2U on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
220's a great band and I have had multiple radios for it throughout my 30 years in the hobby. Yet listening to the weak signal part, I have never heard a peep. However on FM, there are loads of repeaters with good coverage. The problem that I see with FM repeaters on 220 is that there is no commercial gear available to port over to 220. All the gear's amateur grade and not as good as the GE stuff etc... 73 de NK2U
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K9MHZ on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>@VK3DWZ As usual, Americans do not realize that the world does not begin, and end at the U. S. borders. Probably no other country in the world allocates amateur frequencies around 220MHz. So, why don't manufacturers make rigs with 220MHz? Simple: there's no demand outside the U. S.

@VA1CQ W4KYR: I think you proved VK4DWZ's point. In your list of Region II countries, plus Somalia in Region I, there are no large populations of amateurs where the market would support this type of rig in any large way with the possible exception of Brazil. There is no Europe. There is no Asia. It is hard to justify development of any new amateur transceiver even when it can be sold worldwide.<<<<


As usual a couple of dingbats who've got an axe to grind against Americans post drivel like this, from countries with 15K or so amateur populations. Tell me what, if anything, would get developed for any band, if there wasn't a 730K ham population/market somewhere?

 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by VA1CQ on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
K9MHZ: You've again made the point initiated by VK4DWZ. If you remove a significant portion of the amateur population who can legally use a particular product, it would be tough to make that product a success. This is true whether you remove Europe and Asia, or if you remove the U.S. amateur population. You agree with us!
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K7CB on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have a nice Kenwood TM-3530 and a TH-315 HT on the way. But it isn't going to get used because there aren't any 220 repeaters where I live. The closest one is 25 miles away. In most cases, that's within "striking distance." However, this repeater is deep in the mountains to the west of me - with 14,110 ft Pikes Peak being my biggest obstacle. That said, I like the band and used it when I lived in Southern CA. Back in the day, I had a Kenwood TM-631 144/220 mobile. Unfortunately, some scum stole it out of my truck a year later and Kenwood was no longer making the radio.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

I appreciate the comments, good, bad or indifferent. Again the main focus is 222 Mhz multimode equipment and not just FM. I'd like to address some comments if I may and attempt to bring up some valid points.
___________________________________________________________
Original Comment....

>>>>> "I think you don't see any equipment for 222 mHz. in that nobody works it. I use an Elecraft XV222 transverter and a home-brew amp for weak signal operations, but the only time I hear any activity is during VHF/UHF contests."<<<<<<<<<<<

-------------------------------------------------------------
My Response...

How many here work 432 Mhz multimode?

Before Icom and Yaesu produced the IC706MKIIG, IC 7000, IC 7100 and FT100, FT 817, FT 847, FT 897, FT 857 that were capable on 432 multimode.

How many hams bought dedicated 432 Mhz multimode transceivers and used the band?

Now how many hams would work 222 multimode if Icom and Yaesu produced them in future multiband, multimode radios?

____________________________________________________________

Original Comment...

>>>>> "W4KYR: I think you proved VK4DWZ's point. In your list of Region II countries, plus Somalia in Region I, there are no large populations of amateurs where the market would support this type of rig in any large way with the possible exception of Brazil. There is no Europe. There is no Asia. It is hard to justify development of any new amateur transceiver even when it can be sold worldwide."<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
-------------------------------------------------------------

My Response...

Point One...
The 70 Mhz band is not an American Band, however there is a new 70 Mhz MULTIMODE Radio in development (or is on the market) that will miss the entire American market of 730 K hams.

http://g4vxe.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-new-dual-band-multimode-radio-for-50.html

Point Two
So my question is, how is it that a 70 Mhz Multimode can be developed, but not a 222 Mhz Multimode, especially when 222 Mhz is an older and more established band in ITU Region II ?


Point Three
And the question remains, why couldn't Yaesu, Icom or Kenwood just include the 222 Mhz band for ITU II and just block it out with a diode for other markets?

Point Four
Likewise, why can't the big 3 include the 70 Mhz band and just block it out in Region II?

Point Five
Whatever country you reside in, why should any of the manufacturers leave out a band you are licensed to use? Be it 220/222 or 70 Mhz. They are bands YOU are licensed to use.




 
It's a deal !  
by N4QA on January 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I would buy the BAOFENG UV82X 2m/1.25m 5 Watt HT $49.95
...provided:
They would add freq steps of 10 Hz, 100 Hz and 1 KHz.

Oh, and drop FM mode and add CW mode.

72,
Bill, N4QA


 
RE: It's a deal !  
by G3RZP on January 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting about Somalia. The Radio Regulations say:

5.243 Additional allocation: in Somalia, the band 216-225 MHz is also allocated to the aeronautical radionavigation service on a primary basis, subject to not causing harmful interference to existing or planned broadcasting services in other countries.


Although Somalia is apparently pretty chaotic, and is likely a place where most anything goes! I wonder if they even have a working aeronautical navigation service.......

Otherwise, the general allocation in R2 is 220 - 225 to amateur, fixed, and mobile, all on a primary basis, and radio location on a secondary basis with no new installations allowed.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by G3SEA on January 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

No real demand.

This band will inevitably be grabbed ( like some UHF /SHF Ham bands ) by commercial interests.

It's a question of economics for the manufacturers who
still manage to put out a line of 2m/70cm rigs.

Interestingly enough the Amateur Radio news Line recently pointed out that a recent survey showed that the Japanese Ham population had dropped 60 %

KH6/G3SEA
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KB0RDL on January 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I think a 222 sideband radio would be a great thing, especially if it were marketed as a multi-band UHF/VHF radio that had sideband on its frequencies. I've long wondered why there were no 2 meter radios with sideband made anymore. I think there would be a lot of interest. It would be a way for techs to get into sideband and put up a horizontal beam and a rotor.

Vertical polarization works well on 2-meter with only moderate loss compared to horizontal so a new antenna isn’t really necessary among hams who are similarly polarized. Cross-polarization even works at short range. I know that I'd buy a new 2-meter sideband radio in a heartbeat and retire my old 10-watt Kenwood TR-9000.

Except in areas where all of the 2 meter and 440 repeater pairs are already homesteaded by people who hardly use them, 222 repeaters are unusual. However, 222 and 6 meters are the only place there are available repeater pairs in some areas. California probably has the highest concentration in the country.

On the other hand if the goal of the ham radio hobby is to bring amateur radio operators together another frequency and mode pair might just isolate small groups of hams even more. It would be just another clique of a couple of guys with a "club" and even more "privacy."

I live in the Kansas City area and all or nearly all of the 2 meter and 440 repeater pairs are taken. We have several 222 repeaters listed in the ARRL guide but there's little activity except for small nets on a couple of them.

In fact, except for some notable exceptions most of the area repeaters are basically unused and I think many of them don't even exist even though someone is holding on to the frequencies. It's pretty quiet out there, so why do we need another place for no one to talk on?
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AF5CC on January 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"I've long wondered why there were no 2 meter radios with sideband made anymore."

There are:
Icom 9100
Icom 7000
Kenwood TS2000
Yaesu FT817
Yaesu FT857D
Yaesu FT897D

If you mean a 2 meter monoband SSB radio, the MFJ 9402 is still made.

73 John AF5CC
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KB0RDL on January 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I was aware of most of these HF radios with VHF sideband capability. It's good that they exist but because they have so many other features they're all pretty expensive.

What would be nice would be a single band 144 radio with side-band capability. Cost should be reasonable. Imagine, as an example,a 50 watt Yaesu 1802 -- a very good single band 2 meter radio that also had SSB capability. I would guess it ewould sell for about $100 more than FM alone or about $250.00. I suspect this would be a good seller.

The same setup in a two or three-band rig (70 cm and 144 and 220 Mhz -- all with sideband, would sell even better. None of these are particularly difficult to manufacture. The three-band model would probably sell for $500 or $600. Again, I'd buy one in a heartbeat if it had good reviews.

Also, MFJ or other amplifiers could boost their power up to 300 watts for about $300.00. With decent conditions Tech class hamms could talk across the United States with more modest antennas. A whole lot could be done with this mode.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on January 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Original Comment>>>>>>> "The same setup in a two or three-band rig (70 cm and 144 and 220 Mhz -- all with sideband, would sell even better. None of these are particularly difficult to manufacture. The three-band model would probably sell for $500 or $600. Again, I'd buy one in a heartbeat if it had good reviews."

---------------------------------------------------------------

My Comment...

I agree, however I would like to see a three bander multimode rig cover these bands. 220 Mhz, 900 Mhz and 1.2 gig. This rig would compliment those dc to daylight multimode radios.

And as for the argument that including the 900 mhz and 1.2 gig bands would cost too much because of expensive components. Well they make cell phones operating around those same bands and you can buy a cell phone without a contract for $50 these days.

A really good solution would be a way to convert a FM only 220 radio to SSB/CW multi-mode. But I was told that would be more trouble, and more expensive than it is worth and that is only if it could be done.

So again the only entry into 220 Mhz multimode in 2014 is $479 for a transverter from Down East Microwave.

The other 'solution' is to check on ebay for the FT-736 or the IC-375 and spend $1000 to $1500 just to get a band that the manufacturers should have included in one of their multiband, multimode radios.

Remember that these are your bands, the bands you are licensed to use. Tell the manufacturers that you want all the bands to be included in their radios that you are licensed to use.

The manufacturers could have included 220 Mhz to the FT-847,817,895,857 and to the IC 706,7000,7100 for $150. They probably could have also included both the 900 mhz and 1.2 gig for $300 extra on top of that.

So what can you do? Write to the manufacturers and tell them how you feel. Write to some of the new and upcoming Chinese manufacturers and tell them how they can have an entire market to themselves.

Write to MFJ and tell them you would be interested in buying a 220 mhz multimode radio from them if they produced one.

Again, thanks for all the comments.

 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AF5CC on January 10, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"So again the only entry into 220 Mhz multimode in 2014 is $479 for a transverter from Down East Microwave."

That is not correct. See:

http://www.elecraft.com/XV/XV.htm

http://www.ssbusa.com/transys.html
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on January 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sure the ssbusa transverter is a quality piece of equipment. However at $890 it is a very expensive way just to get access to the 220 mhz band with multimode capabilities.

(From their site)
LT220S 220MHz. High Performance DBM Transverter 20 watts 890.00


Although the Elecraft XV 222 at $399 seems like a bargain in comparison. It is a kit and does not work out of the box, in fact some could not get it to work properly. Few of the reviews on eham were not good.
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3734

XV222 222 MHz Transverter 399.95

All this extra expense and the issues that go with it could be simply avoided if the manufacturers just included the 220 mhz band in their line of multiband, multimode DC to daylight radios.

What reason did Icom have for not including this band in their new $1500 radio, the IC-7100? 730K hams and all of ITU Region II do not matter?

And what reason does Yaesu and Kenwood for continuing to ignore the 220 mhz band. They could have easily included it for $100 or so, especially in their higher end radios where the extra $100 or so would not matter.

One other thing I would like to add. It was said that when Icom produced the IC 375, the 220 mhz multimode transceiver. It didn't sell well.

Well the list price was $2000 and even in the 1980's it was selling upwards of $1000+ just for a mono band rig. No wonder it didn't sell well, Icom literally priced it out of the market.

MFJ can certainly produce a 220mhz multiband 10 watt rig for around $300 or less as well as one of the upcoming Chinese manufacturers. It can be done, after all it is your band that you are licensed to use. Use it or lose it. Write to the manufacturers and ask them to include it.









 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N6CAZ on January 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I think the reality is that the 222MHz band will always be a "niche" band in that only those who can afford it or happen to have the right gear will see the benefits. I read in QST that the results from last year's June VHF contest showed propagation to be typically better and points multipliers the same as 432MHz, and yet the lack of all-mode gear for that band will likely always keep contacts down. I've managed to acquire all-mode Kenwood rigs for both 2m and 70cm (TR751a/851a), but they never made one for 1.25m. I see all-mode 222MHz gear as something to look for, but not something to expect to ever find easily.

Actually, hearing that the Elecraft transverter is a kit kind of makes me want one even more. Putting a little effort into something makes the contacts a little more rewarding, as I found when I built some antennas for the first time. In fact, the only antenna I have for 220MHz is a J-pole I cut myself. Maybe the challenge is what this band is presenting us with...

As for FM - not really the topic but still brought up in previous comments - I credit the companies that at least cover the 222MHz band on FM. I have a Yaesu VX-7 which only does a 1/4W on 222 FM, but it's enough to open the only repeater on that band in my area. Never heard anyone on it, but it is there. The newer VX-8R actually increases that, but they note coverage of 222MHz as a side note. While in San Diego, I was amazed to find over 20 repeaters on 222 - which compared to 440MHz, was a lot unless you include private club repeaters. Sadly the only real activity I heard on 222 was from repeaters that were linked to 2m.

Overall, the use of repeaters has dropped since I was first licensed, and it stands to reason that since the gear for SSB/CW operation on the same VHF/UHF bands was limited in production and aging, activity will always remain low on 222. Let's just agree to use what bands we have, and hope that's enough to keep them. Some will try to plead their case to the big MFRs, but others will find a way on their own.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N3HSH on January 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I for one, don't miss this band at all! Why would anyone want an all mode rig on this band let alone FM for repeater use? 2m, 6m and 440Mhz repeater activity is all but gone in my area compared to 20 years ago. I got rid of my all mode 2m and 440Mhz rigs as I grew tired of "talking to myself" 99.9% of the time.

As others have mentioned, activity on bands from 2m on up has declined significantly and I also wonder how much longer it will be that hams will have use of these frequencies.

 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K1ZJH on January 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
A lot of hand wringing over 222 MHz and some comments regarding 70 MHz... but no one has broached 900 MHz? it has been available to hams since 1985 or so. And no ham manufacturer supplies equipment.

Pete
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Missing The Point  
by W4KYR on January 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Original Comment...


>>>>>>> "Why would anyone want an all mode rig on this band let alone FM for repeater use? 2m, 6m and 440Mhz repeater activity is all but gone in my area compared to 20 years ago. I got rid of my all mode 2m and 440Mhz rigs as I grew tired of "talking to myself" 99.9% of the time. "<<<<<<<<
--------------------------------------------------------------

My Comment ...

How does the ham community benefit with less bands to use? How does the ham community benefit from the manufacturers excluding bands? This may come as a surprise, but since the advent of these dc to daylight rigs in the 10 or 15 years or so that they have been on the market. The band coverage has not changed, it is still HF plus 6 meters, 2 meters and 440 mhz.

My whole point was and still is, that these are ham radio bands that you are licensed to use, but the manufacturers have made the decision for you of not letting you have the choice to use those bands with their 'dc to daylight' rigs.

Shouldn't the ham radio community decide if they want to use the band or not? The companies should provide access for the bands you have a right to use. The 220 mhz band is between the 2 meter and the 440 band, it should not require exotic expensive components to incorporate 220 mhz into these radios.

If the 220 Mhz band was included from the get go when these multimode, multiband radios hit the market, no doubt the use of 220 (222) bands would be far more in use than they are now. If you think I'm mistaken please read the next paragraph.

In one of my earlier points, I pointed out that until the manufacturers started including the capability of 432 mhz multimode. How many hams went out and bought a multimode monoband rig for 432 SSB? I don't think very many. Now 432 mhz SSB is available to any ham who purchases one of these rigs.

But why stop at 440? In addition my point for including the 220 Mhz band, why can't the manufacturers also include the 900 mhz and the 1200 Mhz band in their so called DC to Daylight radios?

Icom could have certainly included the 220, 900 and 1200 mhz bands in their IC-7100 radio. At $1500, the IC-7100 covers the same basic bands as the IC 706MkIIg did.

One would think by now perhaps some of the manufacturers would get the clue by including some more bands in these rigs. They will sell more rigs if the manufacturer includes the extra bands to offer the ham radio community. I see no reason to buy the IC-7100 if they offer the same bands as the FT-897 or the IC 706MkIIG. Offer those three extra bands and now there is a valid reason for getting that rig.

To drive my point home, whether you own the IC-706MkIIg, IC 7000, IC 7100, FT 847, FT 897, FT 817, FT 857. You are getting the same band coverage. HF plus 6 meters, 2 meters and 440 and it has been that way for 10 to 15 years. What about 220, 900 and 1200???

Isn't it about time for the manufacturers to finally start including new bands? All it has been for the last 10 to maybe 15 years of the same band coverage in subsequent newer rigs, just with a different model number and higher price tag however frequency wise, they are all the same.

And now is time and it is long overdue for these three missing bands to finally appear on these so called 'dc to daylight' rigs.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Missing The Point  
by AF5CC on January 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The manufacturer's aren't stupid. If they knew that there was a market for 222mhz rigs, they would be selling them. They do their market research and obviously they couldn't make enough money on one to make it profitable.

Adding 222mhz to a 7000/FT857D etc isn't as easy as you make it to be. You have to add additional bandpass filters, and additional circuitry to get the extra band going. I am not sure what exactly that would cost but obviously it isn't cost effective, or it would be done.

The sad thing is that probably 80% or more of hams with the HF/VHF/UHF rigs have never used the 2m or 70cm portions on anything other than FM. Let's get more hams on 2m and 70cm SSB first, then we can get them over to 222mhz.

73 John AF5CC
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KG4Y on January 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
While I am interested in getting back on 222 MHz after a long hiatus (read as: no equipment), I do reminisce a bit about my first days as a ham some 25 years ago now, and how much I enjoyed operating 222 MHz repeaters in Western Massachusetts / Southern New England then. I had aspirations of getting into weak signal work, but at the time, the cost was prohibitive.

Anyway, fast forward to January 2014 - I took the plunge and bought one of the cheap Chinese rigs to get back on 222 MHz FM to try out some of repeaters (namely K8GP/R up near Mt. Weather) in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, area where I live now. I've expanded my mobile DC-to-Daylight rig's (Yaesu FT-857) capability to 6 Meter FM mobile (by adding a dedicated 1/4 wave whip) in addition to 2 Meter and 70 Centimeter bands. Sadly, I've yet to get the brand new TYT 9000 out of the box and try it out. I drive a 2005 Honda Civic Coupe, with the Yaesu FT-857 mounted in the trunk, and the control head custom mounted to the dash... I have no room to put the TYT 9000 in the front of the car, and it doesn't have a separation kit available. I too wish 222 MHz was integrated in the DC-to-Daylight rigs! I guess the TYT 9000 will end up in my home shack, and won't get on the air until I get an antenna up at the house to work this band.

My point is this: Maybe I'm lazy and a creature of convenience, but there's a few reasons I'm not yet QRV-capable on 222 MHz at this time. Maybe, rather than give the Chinese the market share, a U.S. company like Ten-Tec could come up with some kind of competitive, compact DC-to-Daylight band, and add the bands that'll give them a niche market... Who knows - maybe they could even add a 72 MHz / 4 Meter band option to sell it in the UK! Still, the Elecraft K2 and / or K3 with the transverters can get you all modes on all the U.S. amateur VHF bands (and 70 CM UHF band) - with equipment sourced from the United States!

73,

Mike
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KL7AJ on January 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like a great band for homebrewing. Might be an open market for a 'cottage inductry" ham manufacturer too!

Eric
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AF6RR on January 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"A lot of hand wringing over 222 MHz and some comments regarding 70 MHz... but no one has broached 900 MHz? it has been available to hams since 1985 or so. And no ham manufacturer supplies equipment."

Actually, Alinco announced the DJ-G29T at Dayton in 2011.. It is a dual band 220/900 HT. FM only of course, but it is on the market, and you have been able to buy it from the usual suspects for a couple of years now..
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on January 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Alinco took a huge step in the right direction with it's 220/900 HT. It would have been even better if they issued a 220/900 SSB rig. Hopefully that won't be far in the making. It is long overdue for the manufacturers to start including these bands in their multiband, multimode radios.

220 Mhz SSB has propagation characteristics of both 2 meter and 440 from what I have been told. During a good tropo ducting opening, the 220 band would really shine. It would be a shame if this band (or any other ham band) would go away because it was being under utilized because manufacturers don't want to include it.

This is why it is important to contact the manufacturers and tell them to include bands like the 220, 900 and 1.2 gig in their multimode radios. If we don't use them, we will eventually lose them. And that is the crux of the matter.

And why multimode and not just FM? SSB and CW can carry much further than FM. With the advent of digital communication and digital modes like PSK31, the 220 band would be a fine band to experiment on with both weak signal and digital communications. How about setting up your own beacon on 220? WSPR? APRS? The possibilities are endless.

Besides just local contacts via ground wave. These other types of propagation are also possible with SSB, CW and digital; tropo scatter, tropospheric ducting, meteor scatter, moon bounce and even E-skip are all possibilities and without interference of the more utilized two meter band.

Yagi antennas for 220 are smaller than for two meters and you almost get the same propagation characteristics of two meters but with smaller antennas. Since the band is unfortunately currently under utilized, you can use that to your advantage and it would be almost like having a private channel with others if you were on 220 mhz using SSB or even PSK31.







 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K0LTD on January 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Don't forget the Kenwood TH-F6a 5 watts on 220 a real triband FM HT
 
FT-736R & 222 MHz the Missing Band  
by WB9YCJ on January 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have a ft-736r (with the 220 module in it). While I dont have a decent 220 antenna up at this time, I wonder if the 736r (with the 220 module) needs the Mutek mod for 220 to be really effective (like the IC-375a)?

Also, I dont like calling any rig an all mode when it does not have AM. I notice the Japanese get away with calling the 736 and IC-375 (and others) all mode when they are not. Marketing. Icom also had the IC-901A mobile which had a 220 FM option. I enjoy my TH-F6a on 220.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N2SLO on January 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am unhappy. A excellent IC 375a finally showed up on e-bay, after a two years of looking, and the final sale price was $1780. That is ridiculous. A one band radio, 25 watts (all mode) for that money is crazy. The alternative is to go the transverter route.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N2SLO on January 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am unhappy. A excellent IC 375a finally showed up on e-bay, after a two years of looking, and the final sale price was $1780. That is ridiculous. A one band radio, 25 watts (all mode) for that money is crazy. The alternative is to go the transverter route.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by N6CAZ on January 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Original comment: "I got rid of my all mode 2m and 440Mhz rigs as I grew tired of "talking to myself" 99.9% of the time."

My comment:
I only picked up an SSB rig for 2m in the last few years, and love it. The use of repeaters has tapered off thanks to cell phones I guess, but if you have room for even a modest VHF/UHF beam or other horizontally-polarized antenna, it's amazing what is out there...weak signal work is a whole new ballgame. Activity varies by area, and season, but it expands the band beyond the locals too.

For about $40 I got with friends and built copper-loop antennas for 6m and 2m and they make a difference.


Original comment: "Also, I dont like calling any rig an all mode when it does not have AM."

My comment:
It does seem like AM is an after-thought these days. Of course newer rigs that do offer AM do so with less power too. Maybe a more accurate term is "multi-mode" rather than "all-mode"...
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by AJ4LN on January 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The new Icom IC-7100, European version, has the 70.Mhz band. Too bad the US version doesn't have the 220 band.

I recently got a Baofeng UV-82X 2M/220 $50 HT in order to be able to participate in a local 220 net, among other things. It seems to work well.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on January 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
That price of $1780 for the IC 375a shows that there is a big demand for a 220 mhz all mode radio and goes against the comments here which some claim that no one is interested in the band. If there was no interest in 220 multimode, why did the radio sell for $1780 instead of $200 to $250?

Yes the price is ridiculous, but when the manufacturers continually to ignore that band. Whatever does come to the used market will be snapped up at a premium.

Yes, why did Icom include the 70 mhz band for the European market in the IC 7100? Yet totally ignore the 220 Mhz band for the American market 700K of them and also all of ITU II?

I don't know excuse Icom has for leaving the 220 mhz band off their multimode rigs, if they could include the 70 mhz band, they should have included the 220 mhz band. Icom would have sold more of the IC 7100 if they included the 220 Mhz band. The IC 7100 band coverage is essentially same as the IC 706MkIIG and the FT100 except for 70 mhz in Europe.

Again, hams need to write to Icom and the other manufacturers and tell them to stop ignoring the 220 Mhz band and include this band in multimode DC to daylight rigs. If the band were included, more people would be using it. It is a band you are licensed to use.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KE6KA on January 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"VK3DWZ on January 4, 2014 -- As usual, Americans do not realize that the world does not begin, and end at the U. S. borders. Probably no other country in the world allocates amateur frequencies around 220MHz. So, why don't manufacturers make rigs with 220MHz? Simple: there's no demand outside the U. S."

220 is allocated to amateur radio throughout ITU Region 2. Most countries in North and South America have this allocation, and quite a few have a larger allocation that we do in the U.S.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W2PRJ on January 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have the yaesu 736r uhf/vhf all mode transceiver, It has 2m-6m-220-440,,, stock it has 2meter and 440 you can get other plug in modules for 6M,220,& 9.2gig hz I get great reports with a stock mic.and it works great on my austin subburban antenna wich covers all four bands that I have in the radio This rig can hit repeaters on the 220 band 75 miles no problem check out reports on e-ham nice rig ((new call w2prj ))
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WA6ITF on January 30, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Having written on this subject since the mid-1970's -- including my old "Looking West" column in the late and lamented 73 magazine, the answer is very simple. Outside of IARU Region 2 (the Americas) there is zero market for a 222 MHz radio. Period. And no international manufacturer in its right mind is going to devote development costs to a non-world-wide market.

Back in the 1970's, Uniden had the first and only truly successful 222 MHz radio (actually 220 to 225 MHz in that era) in its model 13-509 -- which was a 12-channel, crystal controlled radio derived from its 2 meter sibling. The reason the 13-509 (along with its OEM clones the Clegg FM-76 and Cobra 200) succeeded is that it not only was a good user radio, but easily converted into repeater service as shown by Jim Hendershot, WA6VQP, and others -- again in that era. But with the exception of certain heavily RF congested areas of the USA (IE: Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, etc.) there really never existed a true user base for mass produced ham radio gear. When the band was cut to 222 to 225 MHz most of those manufacturers with gear for that band simply opted out of investing in new models which simply did not have enough of a sales base to warrant such. (Also note that with few exceptions, a 220 radio was really a spin-off of a similar 2 meter model by the various manufacturers. IE: The Icom IC-37 was a spinoff of the IC-27; the IC-3AT hand hekd was based directy on the Icom IC-2AT and Icom IC-4AT models, etc). Over the years there have been attempts to revive the sales of 222 MHz gear, but while those of us who enjoy the band welcome the investment of Alinco, Jetstream (really a close cousin to the Alinco) and a few others, the reality is that with the decline in overall use of repeaters (even though coordinators have waiting lists on 2 meters and 70 cm for new ones) the market for new 222 MHz gear at this time is dry.

I have tried and actually own the Wouxun 2/222 dual bander and once you get past its oddball "must use a computer" programming, the radio is a delight -- and outperforms my older Icom 222 MHz HT's by a mile. But the only reason that radio exists is because of a special US order by the original US distributor. Its not as much a different model as it is the same as the 2m/70cm Wouxun with different internal software and RF tuning. But those were limited quantity radios, and I do not think you will be seeing them much longer as the market for them saturated a year or more ago.

As for the prospect of China coming out with 222 MHz specific products, just like their counterparts in Japan they are aware of how truly minuscule the 222 MHz market is and that the radios being marketed in ITU Region 2 have very limited sales potential. And keeping in mind that all of the radios from China are mainly for use under FCC Part 90 -- not the ham radio Part 97 market -- the sales potential would be nil for specific gear for 222 to 225 MHz. Only when as an "added attraction" will you see much gear covering 222 to 225.

The simple reality is that unless or until the 222 to 225 MHz band becomes a world wide allocation, there is simply not enough of a market for direct investment in making gear for the band. Thats the reality as I sit here in Santa Clarita CA monitoring one of the few active 222 MHz repeaters that some 35 miles away.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by K6ZRX on January 31, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
We are hams and part of being a ham is building and modifying equipment for your needs. We have no good, strong 220 repeaters in my area, so a friend and I are putting one up for local use. We each had a HT, I have an old Yaesu and my friend a newer Chinese import, and antennas at home. We wanted mobile and base radios, without a large output of money. The solution was simple, a few eBay "tech special" Motorola Maxtracs and Radius mobiles. Got them all working properly on 2 meters, then modified them for 220. We had some old 220 ACSB mobiles around to donate PA modules. Now that I am good at it, I can convert a radio in less than 2 hours. For our repeater, I converted a 220 ACSB repeater to FM. The duplexer is from the combiner that was with the surplus ACSB equipment we had, a very nice Telewave unit. The repeater is on a temporary antenna, a cut down Kreco GP155, while I modify a 155MHz dipole array.
So, now we have commercial grade mobiles and repeater. Very little money was spent on the entire project, with the pride of everything being modified or converted for it's new use on the 220 ham band. So don't complain about a lack of commercially supplied equipment, make your own in the tradition of amateur Radio!!!
73 de K6ZRX
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by W4KYR on February 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I appreciate the comments about 220 FM Repeaters and 220 FM Simplex. And it is great that there are several 220 mhzFM handhelds and mobiles on the market today.

The focus of the article is that there are no 220 SSB/CW rigs on the market and there haven't been in decades and that the manufacturers could have easily included the band from the IC-706MkIIG and the FT-100 up to today. In fact today, the Icom 7100 includes the 70 Mhz band for hams in Europe but Icom in it's infinite wisdom continues to leave out (again) the 220 mhz band.

There are no 220 mhz SSB/CW rigs on the market anywhere.

The manufacturers have been intentionally leaving the 220 band out out of their multi band, multi mode rigs. While some manufacturers have included the 70 Mhz band in their new rigs for hams in Europe.

The 220 mhz band continues to be left out in the and that is a shame as the 220 band has the best features of 2 meters and 440 mhz.

This is an older band and assigned to the U.S., Canada, Mexico and all of ITU Region II. If this band were included in these various DC to Daylight rigs from the get go 12 or 15 years ago, many more hams would have used the band.

We need to write to the manufacturers and tell them we want a 220 mhz SSB/CW radio on the market.

 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by WA3SKN on February 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
1. No Region 1 market.
2. No Region 3 market.
3. Limited Region 2 market.
This kinda limits the market!

As Zappa used to quote... "No Commerial Potential"!
73s.

-Mike.
 
RE: 222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by KE4RWS on February 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I guess you missed the part where he clearly said "ALL MODE". The rigs you referenced are FM-only.
 
222 MHz the Missing Band -- Still Missing  
by VE2HKW on February 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I was browsing around and found that the IC-375A was an allmode 220 transceiver! Mind you the general theme of the article is about current equipment. I just wanted to point out that there was a allmode 220 rig out there at one time
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Radios Articles
Smart Expander Keypad... for Your Radio