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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?

Stephanie Koles (WX3K) on January 19, 2004
View comments about this article!

According to a recent FCC audit, http://wireless.fcc.gov/licensing/audits/220/index.html many licensees have let their licenses expire and did not renew them. Efforts by a utility organization, http://www.ruraltv.org/utility/220/index.htm to gain usage of this band are being attempted.

There is a grass root effort to regain the 220-222 MHz band for amateur radio emergency use, and mainly as a nationally recognized band for county intercommunication within the contiguous United States. Act now to support this effort and tell the commercial industry, they blew it.

Member Comments:
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Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by WA4MJF on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I guess this raises a question.

Two really:

Did the FCC sell these two MHz to
some one, Brown maybe?

If they sell a frequency, then can
the FCC buy it back and reuse it?

If anyone KNOWS the answers to these questions.
I'd be interested even if a is not true,
what is the status of b, as I know some
frequencies were sold.

73 de Ronnie

 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by NE1Z on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Who cares who uses it as long as it is paid for?

The day hams not only pay for something but actually use it, they can have it back!

Highly unlikely!

What a joke!!!!
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by K7VO on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
First off, 222 is quite heavily used in many parts of the country. Here in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area our widest coverage repeaters are on 222. Excellent repeaters cover the entire state, from the Mt. Mitchell repeater in the west to repeaters in Trenton and Grifton on the coastal plain.

Second, UPS never used 220-222 and reliquished it. It has never caught on for commercial use. In theory the FCC could reassign the band, if virtually unused, to the Amateur Radio Service.

We haven't paid for our other bands in dollars, but at least some hams pay in public service, as in volunteering for emergency communications works. In recent hearings to have our county tower ordinance changed it became really clear that our county Commissioners and Planning Board appreciate our work, evident most recently during Hurricane Isabel.

With the excellent coverage and freedom from interference it provides the 220-222 band could once again be the packet backbone as it once was. Seems to me we can make a case for this.

Oh, and no, it isn't a joke.
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by WA4MJF on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Bill, you're the joke and getting
ole fast!

Ronnie
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by WA4MJF on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I know hams don't pay for frequencies
and public safety agencies don't either.

However, a lotta folks do buy blocks
of frequencies. My question still is
when the FCC sells a frequency(ies)
can they ever buy them back? Can the
owner sell them to whomever they wish?

73 de Ronnie

 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by W9WHE on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The author writes:

"regain the 220-222 MHz band for amateur radio emergency use".

HUH? You gotta be kidding...its not April yet.

220 Mhz is dead in most places. By increasing the 220 band you only dilute the sparse activity over an even wider area.

The "lost" 220 segment wasn't used before by more than a handful of hams and now you want it for "emergencies"? Get real. A frequency used for "emergencies" should have, among others, the following qualities:

1) Be universally available. So few people have 220 capabillity that it would be practically useless;

2) Have the capabillity of interoperabillity. Not many 220/144/440 radios out there and even fewer owners.

Let the government sell licenses and use the $$ to keep taxes down.
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by W9WHE on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ronald:

The FCC does NOT "sell" frequencies - ever. They merely auction "licenses" for commercial use. The highest bidder gets a license to use for a specified timeframe.



 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by WA4MJF on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, ok, thanks. I've seen references to
auctions and I thought they were for frequencies.

I guess a license without a frequency not worth a lot.
How to the winners get a frequency, maybe they
go to the coordinator for that service and get one
like they always have, say NABER?

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by NE1Z on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
No, the joke is hams thinking lunch is forever free.

It's not, the band was reassigned & won't be in ham assignment anytime in our lifetimes. Look up ACSSB, SEA or look up systems on FCC ULS. It ain't dead but this rumor should be!

The fact is hams always think they are "entitled" to every hz of spectrum, & should be the only ones there. I will again cite the overwhelming benefit 802.11 has brought to the average person. Hams can't touch that utility & they haven't even tried either!

Thats the joke, it is getting old & hopefully so will those who can't see how far behind we are in the world of communications! Only then will this silliness die off! Not quick enough for this writer!!!

73 Bill
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by OLDFART13 on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free:
http://www.eham.net/forums/Licensing/1351
 
Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by NE0P on January 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What??? They are thinking of giving us MORE frequencies? I thought that if we didn't eliminate CW immediately, we were going to lose all of our frequencies to commercial interests.

 
Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by AC7KZ on January 20, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As an employee of UPS, I have never seen equipment that uses the 220 band at UPS. Our DIAD (Deliver Information Acquisition Device) you know that machine we use to scan packages, uses cellular frequencies to transmit tracking, and messages to and from us. I feel if the 220 band is never used, It should be relinquished back to hams.
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by N2NZJ on January 20, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET 220-222 MHZ BACK. restore it to normal AMATEUR USE.there is plenty of room in this band for EMERGENCY USE.however i don't see this happening anytime SOON.i have to say it would be nice to have it back. as U P S DOES NOT UTILIZE IT ANYWAY. so let us hope some time in the future it will be returned to the A.R.S. soon. 73 TOM N2NZJ ARLS #807
 
Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by W9BBB on January 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hi All,
I would like to see the Amateurs get back the full use of this band.It seem to be better propagation than two meter and especially 70cm.I use this band daily and has less noise from nearby commerical interference.
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by WY3X on January 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The hams in my neck of the woods have only recently begun to migrate towards 220MHz. In 2002 only three had 220 radios. In 2003, six more were added. Since a 220 repeater was placed on the air that has great coverage, the number seems to be inching higher this year. I hope we have two dozen local hams on 220 by the end of the year. There is also a voice weather node on 220 that can be brought up with DTMF tones. By the end of next month, the 220 repeater will be tied into a popular local 2M repeater for greater coverage.

Nobody here was using 6M until 2002. Starting two weeks ago we now have a local 6M FM simplex net, and it has as good a coverage as any of our local repeaters- only a few at opposite ends of the geographic area cannot hear one another. Look for us on 52.525 every thursday night after the local 2M net is over (we have no set time). Net policy is that if the frequency is busy (after all, it -IS- the calling frequency), we'll move. Otherwise, we hope more may hear us and join in!

There are now about equal folks on 220 and 6M here, but only four years ago there was nobody here on either of those bands. If they had been sold prior to us occupying them, it surely would have been a shame! Like they say: use it or lose it!

Instead of complaining, why not start a simplex net on unused bands in your area TODAY! Or better yet, stick up a repeater on an unused frequency! The frequencies you save could be your own!!!

-Web in Myrtle Beach, SC
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by K1CJS on January 22, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>>My question still is when the FCC sells a frequency(ies) can they ever buy them back? Can the owner sell them to whomever they wish?<<<

Frequencies are not "sold" as such, only the exclusive right to utilize the frequencies are. The FCC still takes the position that the government "owns" the airwaves and only allows their use.
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 220 MHz Band?  
by AD6WL on January 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have only monitored 220Mhz band and have never heard a single QSO. Maybe, I should see if I can get some activity started in my area.
 
Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by ND2X on January 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sure hope this happens - 220MHz band has the best propagation of the "big three" (144MHz, 220MHz, 432MHz), and in my mobiling experience (coast to coast and border to border), there is a very decent level of activity on 222.1MHz SSB.

I run 270W in the mobile on 222MHz SSB - works GREAT!! It's VERY rare that I don't run into folks almost anywhere in CONUS who are on this band. In fact, my extensive experience is that folks who say there is no activity and no equipment for 220MHz are those folks who don't have the equipment and, therefore, never listen to the band and wouldn't know if anyone was there even if the band was 100% occupied 24/7!

I don't GENERALLY use the "forbidden mode" of the "shack on the belt" approach to ham radio (FM) when I'm on the road - FM is a strong signal mode for local use, and I DO use it around the local home grid.....

ND2X/5
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by K4CMD on January 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
220? We got a band there? How come none of my brand-new multi-band rigs can transmit on it?

Heck, with apologies to the gentleman from North Carolina, we have more than 15 repeaters here in Richmond (Virginia) and lately I can go an entire evening scanning them and never hear anything but auto ID's. We have a half-dozen 440 repeaters -- even a couple on 6 -- and some stay silent for WEEKS. Yes, WEEKS. Maybe NC has a lot of active hams and needs all these VHF bands, but here in Virginia, even 2 meters is very, very unused these days.

Not that I wouldn't enjoy more frequencies -- what ham wouldn't. But I don't think we'd give 220 much more of a showing than UPS did.

Meade K4CMD
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by K1CJS on January 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The only way there will be more 220 mhz rigs made and available is if the manufacturers saw there was an upswing in interest on the band. The few additions that have been made by some hams won't even be noticed. Ditto on getting the lost segment back. My source of info? Common sense!
 
RE: Amateur Radio to Regain 'Full' 220 MHz Band?  
by N2XL on February 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hello all - Todd, N2XL here. And yes, I've read your posts on various similar topics, Ronnie. Sorry to see you only were provided snippets of a story written years ago to form a conclusion about me, even though we've known each other for so many years. Unfortunately, you're comment was wrong, and it was wrong of you to generalize about me personally. However, thanks for keeping up the good work with the Wake ARES e-mail messages; I for one appreciate them.

To answer a few relevent questions -

Yes, licenses (grants) by the Commission are bought and sold daily between entities. Example - Entity A wins a grant to use a particular set of channels at 220 MHz in the last auction, and realizes their anticipated plans won't come to fruition for whatever reason. Entity B wants to put up a data communication system for a specific need, and approaches Entity A with an offer. Entity A sells the license grant, logs onto the FCC's ULS, and goes through the Commission's 3-stage sale/assignment/consummation process. Entity B is now the holder of the license grant. This process is well outlined by the Commission at http://wireless.fcc.gov.

Who is using 220-222 now? A number of data systems are going into use across the country. How many? A lot more than one would think. Yes, there are a number of vacant channels that have dormant equipment sitting on them. However, I would never suggest that 220 is unused by commercial entities.

Yes, UPS went a different direction with their wireless needs. But folks, this whole issue is YEARS behind us. FIFTEEN YEARS, to be exact, for those who are somewhat new to ham radio.

To outright attack anyone who has worked to utilize existing commercial channels is flat out misplaced. As I have stated many times over many years, I would rather see commercial interests find something to do with 220-222 than to let it sit fallow. Imagine losing 20 meters to broadcasters, and then only a few broadcasters even bother to put something on the air. It would be frustrating, wouldn't it? I know several people who remember using 5 meters once upon a time, but never bickered about losing it to commercial interests.

About all this significant 220 use in NC; I ran a non-scientific experiment (for those who think you MUST be a degreed EE engineer to be qualified to understand or comment on anything technical) three years ago to see how many people were using 220 locally. I heard there were plenty of excellent repeaters with wonderful range. Those reports were correct! I was pleased to see how well Danny's machine worked as well as others in the area. What I was at a loss to understand is why only SEVEN LICENSED HAMS were heard during a six-month period. Granted, I could not listen 24/7, did not have a logging recorder present, and could only listen to one channel at a time while scanning. I'm sure there are a number of folks who have 220 radios but rarely use them do to the traffic on 2 meters, 440, etc. I was greatly disappointed.

However, we hams are a different lot. I recall about fifteen years ago offering to sell a commercial 2-meter repeater to the local club at my employer's cost (they were the manufacturer itself) and being told to effectively get lost, among other things. Never mind that at that time the current repeater was of the same make, put together using engineering one-of-a-kind board test samples, and consistantly rolling over in very inopportune times. Forget the time I personally drove to a tornado strike years later in a nearby local town to deliver a portable repeater for ham disaster communications. I've been recently told that I have never done any public service, yet have operated a state EOC relay from my former property on 75 meters in conjuction with none other than Ronnie, WA4MJF for several years during the 1990s. Nor that I did anything with the American Red Cross, yet I am a former employee of the local chapter and have been friends with the director of disaster services for many years, ever since I advised them in the mid 90s about communication needs related to their ERV when it was driven to my office for an audit. (He's getting ready to retire; maybe a "ham volunteer" that is really interested in disater relief will step up?) If you don't know what an ERV is, please ask someone in your local chapter; volunteers are always appreciated.

For those so inclined, this is the season of Lent. Do something for someone else; volunteer your time, talent, and treasure for the good of your community. Use your skills to better your community.

Maybe I'll turn on my 2 meter handheld today. Every time I turn it on, every local repeater is dead silent. Maybe that will change today!

Todd, N2XL
 
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