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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?

Shawn (K1VSR) on June 27, 2004
View comments about this article!

I think that's a fair question to ask. If there's something I hear all the time it's, "I never go on 2 meters anymore. It's nothing but CBers. It's garbage." While I don't buy into that to the extent that some people do, I do agree that 144 MHz does seem to be a magnet for band crowding, commercial interference and bad operators lately.

I'm in no way saying that everyone on 144 MHz is a bad operator, nor am I saying that myself or anyone else is a model operator. But we all know people whose operating practices could use some sharpening.

For those of us who don't want to deal with the crowded band conditions, interference from commercial equipment located just above the band, and bad operating, might I suggest 222 MHz?

222 MHz is still in the VHF spectrum and has propagation that rivals 144 MHz any day of the week. An even bigger bonus is that you don't have digital paging systems and endless other commercial transmitters spewing spurious garbage into the ham band like you do on 144 MHz in a lot of areas.

One common thing I hear from people is "144 is our VHF band and 440 is our UHF band, so 222 really doesn't have a place." I don't buy that one bit. To me, that's no different than saying "17 meters has no place because we have 20 and 15." In my experiences, a lot of people who say these kinds of things would also be the first ones in line to complain if we lost the band. Remember, use it or lose it!

Here in Rhode Island, an increasing number of us have moved over to 222 MHz to escape the 144 MHz wasteland. And making the transition is a lot easier and less expensive than you might think!

Another common thing I hear is "Nobody makes any affordable 222 MHz equipment." That's not entirely true. If you're a Kenwood purist then you might have a case since "nobody" would mean anyone who's not Kenwood.

I'll be the first to gush about Kenwood's legendary audio and the quality of their equipment, but sometimes that can't justify the extortionist prices they charge for their gear. Kenwood makes the TM-642A which is a 144/222 MHz dual-bander for the chest-pain-inducing price of $719.95. Or you could get a TM-742AD which is a 144/440 MHz dual-bander and put a UT220S module (222 MHz) in it, which will cost you a heart-attack-inducing $979.90 ($639.95 for the radio and $339.95 for the module). I don't know about you, but I can find many better things to spend $700 or more on.

If the mere thought of spending that much for a VHF radio made your blood pressure rise, relax. There are some far more affordable options for those of us who don't want to take a second mortgage out on the house to buy a radio. I've composed a list of both HTs and mobile rigs which are either still in production, or recently out of production with stock left that you might be able to purchase at an amateur retailer like HRO or AES:

In Production:

The following units are in production as of June 2004 and should be able to be purchased at most amateur retailers.

  • Alinco DJ-296 222 MHz Monoband HT ($189.95)
  • Kenwood TH-F6A 144/222/440 MHz Triband HT ($309.95)
  • Kenwood TM-642A 144/222 MHz Dualband Mobile ($719.95)
  • Kenwood TM-742A 144/440 MHz Dualband Mobile + UT220S Module ($979.90)
  • Alinco DR-235 222 MHz Monoband Mobile ($249.95)

Out of Production

The following units are out of production but still may have stock available. Consult an amateur retailer.

  • ADI AR-247 222 MHz Monoband Mobile ($209.95)
  • Kenwood TM-331A 222 MHz Monoband Mobile ($499.95)

There are also a number of excellent antennas available for 222 MHz. Some are monoband, some multiband. A little research should find you something that will suit your needs.

As for my own 222 MHz setup, I own both the Alinco DJ-296 and Kenwood TH-F6A HTs, and I have an ADI AR-247 in the car running into a Hustler MX-220 5/8 wave antenna.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for those of us who don't have $700 or more to blow on a VHF radio.

Overall, 222 MHz offers an excellent refuge for those of us tired of the overcrowding, interference and bad operating on 144 MHz. So what are you waiting for? Get a few of your fellow hams together, buy some 222 MHz gear and discover this fabulous VHF band!

73 de K1VSR

Member Comments:
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Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by G7HEU on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Shawn

That interesting - even though we don't a have 222Mhz allocation here.

If you can get a group of purchasers together it might might be worth contacting this company in the U.K. ( see bottom of page):

http://www.garex.co.uk/pmr/pmr.htm

And no, I have no connection with them.

Best wishes

Steve
M0HEU / G7HEU.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AI4EI on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for this cogent article on the American 222MHz allocation's uses. I haven't /completely/ given up on 2m in my area, but the problems you described are universal throughout the States to some extent, I imagine. I do most of my high-band work on 70cm UHF around here.

The cost of 1.25m equipment is exactly the reason I haven't tried it out myself. I considered the Alinco DR-235 radio, and I have heard good remarks about the discontinued Kenwood monoband, but I have heard nothing but bad news out of the discontinued Alinco monoband.

I have a trusty Icom 2m/70cm mobile, and I would definitely buy into an Icom 1.25m radio (hopefully multiband) if it made a reasonable one.

Chris
KN4O
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WA2BOB on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hi just want to say that you are right the 222 Band is more fun, N2QOT and myself WA2ROB use it alot went we want to get away from 2 meter we use simplex 223.500 and sometime we use the repeater 224.820 but we stay on simplex all the time.So give us a call ones in wail to see if we can here you we are on the south side of Long Island so try it I like to send QSL card to the station I take to.
From Robert
PS I have three radio that work on 222 Band Two are Kenwood 742A 2M/440B/222B KW 631A 2M/222B and a ADI AR 247 222B. And if anybody know where I can get a 222B Modular for a Kenwood 790A PSE. let me know E-mail is SERPICO383@YAHOO.CON again thank you.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KF4VGX on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Most hams on the first introduction to their tickets will buy a 2 meter HT. Why price and convenience.
There are a few 440 and one 222 mhz repeaters here in this area. with only a handful of guys using them. (The same handful that hangs on two meters . These repeaters were linked together just this year because of no activity ,to a two meter repeater. Skywarn Repeater at that and still not that much activity .The main reason ( In This Area ) no activity on the bands. Hams will not pay ex-sum amount of cash for a radio where there is no activity?
I agree with the poster that it would be great to have different ideas to use 222 mhz . But how to get amateur's to buy these radios is the question?
I would love to experiment with the 900 / 1240 band
and have started looking for used equipment
Good post 73
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N5ROJ on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I was curious why 222mhz was not included on radios like the Yaesu Ft-847 and the Icom 706 and other like radios. Could it be that the FCC is going to eventually take the rest of the band from amateurs? I'm just a little suspicious because I was looking at an old Icom band plan handout from April of 1991. It is called "Amateur Radio VHF/UHF Band Plan". On this 8.5" x 11" card are graphical representations of how the different bands are divided up for the different operating modes. The bands are 6 meters, 2 meters, 220 band, 440 band, 900 band, 1240 band. For the 220 band as it is refered to it's graphic starts out with the lower edge of the band at 222 and the upper edge ending at 225. The fact that the lower edge starts out at 222 makes me wonder if the FCC decision to take the original 2 mhz from us was allready a "Done Deal" as of April of 1991 and that the radio manufacturers get a "heads up" warning from the FCC about the way future allocations are going long before the rest of us are told so that they can plan what they will offer in the way of band coverage in their new transcievers.

I would use the band if my Yaesu FT-847 had it. But for some reason, the one I listed above, they chose not to so I think they have future plans for the rest of the band 222-225.

James Kidd, N5ROJ
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W7DJM on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Not only is the TH-F6 a damn poor radio generally, in my opinion, but the miniscule power it outputs on 222 (220, 222, whatever it takes) hardly qualifies it as a "true" 222 radio.

The fact is, even though you tried to justify your own arguement by posting some current models, the list was pretty short. None of those radios is really a good candidate for stuff like link or repeater/hilltop use.

What I'm trying to say, is things are pretty limited.

 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KD4AC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"I was curious why 222mhz was not included on radios like the Yaesu FT-847 and the Icom 706 and other like radios."

Mostly because the U.S. is the ONLY country (that I know of) that has an allocation for 222. It just isn't cost effective for the big guys to produce radios with 220 capability for one country. I suspect that's part of the reason Kenwood has such high prices on their 220 equipment. I used to have a Kenwood 632 144/222 mobile and 315 222 HT... I thought 222 was great. The 632 was stolen and why I got rid of the rest of the stuff I don't know.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WA2DTW on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
A very good article. 220 is a great band and certainly deserves more use and activity. We've already lost the bottom 2 mhz, and the rest of the band is threatened. The problem is a dearth of equipment, since this is exclusively a US band. It is hard (or impossible?) to find a multimode 220 rig.
About the TH-F6. It is an excellent HT which affords access to 2M, 220 and 440, and multimode general coverage. In the palm of the hand. What can beat that?
73
Steve
WA2DTW
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KD4AC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"220 is a great band and certainly deserves more use and activity. We've already lost the bottom 2 Mhz..."

And the real pisser about that was we lost the 2 MHz to UPS so they could build some great radio system for themselves... only to NEVER actually do it. As far as I know, no one is really using it so why can't we get it back? I mean, besides the fact that hardly anyone uses 222 MHz now.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KD7HZH on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I recently purchased a th-f6a for 222 use in Arizona and have enjoyed it very much. We have around 10, 222 repeaters in the valley which include the condor connection that connects us with southern and northern califonia as well as las vegas. I must disagree with the gentelmen on the remark about the th-f6a being worthless or a true 220 rig it will do 5 watts on all bands and will allow dual rx as well. This is my personal opinion.

Mike
KD7HZH
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here is a good rule of thumb for the ham frequency spectrum. The higher one goes in frequency, the more narrow-minded individual one is likely to encounter.

K6BBC
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hi, everyone,

Here on the eastern fringe of the Raleigh/Durham, NC area I can get into nine 222MHz repeaters well. One, the 224.84 in Grifton, NC is as busy as any 2m repeater in the area. Two really local ones on the channel 47 tower near Louisburg (224.22 and 224.58) were, until recently, fairly quiet. An upsurge in interest in the band has made them moderately active repeaters with a good community of users. Another, 224.16, is probably the widest coverage repeater in the eastern half of the state on *any* band. No 2m or 70cm repeater can be used over such a wide area.

Here is the key: if there are decent repeaters in your area that are hardly used, well... USE THEM! Get on, encourage friends to get on, and you'll be amazed how fast things pick up.

I disagree about the Kenwood TH-F6A being a poor radio. Quite the contrary. Oh, and since when is 5W out of a handheld "miniscule"? Are you confusing the TH-F6A with the Yaesu VX-7R quad bander? That one only puts out 350mW on 222. I have a friend who has a VX-7R. The repeaters around here have such good coverage that he can hit them full queiting with his HT a dozen miles or more from the repeater site. His audio is excellent, too. There is no shortage of good HTs for 222.

222MHz is NOT only a U.S. band. The allocation is throughout region 2, meaning Canada, Mexico, and Latin/South America all have the band.

Finally, you can pick up good, used, if somewhat older 222MHz mobile rigs for around $100. One friend found a KDK FM-4033R for all of $50 at a hamfest, so sometimes there can be incredibly cheap ways to get on the band.

Here is some additional used equipment;

1. Late 80's to date, typically 25-35W out, with programmable CTCSS (PL) capability. Rigs are monoband mobiles unless otherwise specified:

Azden PCS-7200
Icom IC-37A
Icom IC-38A
Icom IC-2330A (2m/222 dual bander)
Icom IC-900 with UX-39 module (multibander)
Icom IC-901A with UX-39 module (multibander)
Icom IC-W21A (2m/222MHz dual band HT)
Icom IC-u3A (HT)
Kenwood TM-321A
Kenwood TR-3530
Kenwood TM-621A (2m/222 dual bander)
Kenwood TM-631A (2m/222 dual bander)
Kenwood TH-31BT (HT)
Ten Tec (T-Kit) 1230
Yaesu FT-33R (HT)
Yaesu FT-311RM

Here are some older rigs with single channel optional PL capability:

Azden PCS-4200
Icom IC-03AT (HT)
KDK FM-4033
Kenwood TH-31AT (HT)
Yaesu FT-109R (HT)

Here are some really old ones that should be quite inexpensive. No CTCSS (PL) capability unless you add an aftermarket board:

Drake UV-3 (tribander)
Icom IC-3A/IC-3AT (HT)
Midland 13-513
Tempo S3 (HT)
Yaesu FT-127R Memorizer
Yaesu FT-103R (HT)

Truly ancient crystal rigs, maybe worthwhile if they already have your local repeaters crystalled up. Assume no CTCSS (PL) and assume these should be dirt cheap:

Clegg FM-76
Midland 13-509
Yaesu FT-127

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. The point, though, is there is plenty of old, used equipment, some of it very expensive indeed. Lack of available equipment is a rather lame excuse, not a reality. Just look at eBay if you don't believe me. Plenty of 222 rigs there, though I often don't like the prices they fetch.

True story: I go to a hamfest in South Carolina with my triband IC-901A in the car. I'm told there are no 222 repeaters in the area. I check the SERA Journal, find a few in the area, one with truly wide coverage, and proceed to talk to folks on 222 on the way home where there are supposedly no repeaters.

This was an excellent article. If you don't have activity in your area create it. Get on the band! Don't post here discouraging people and claiming there are few equipment choices or that they are all expensive. You may not have been aware what was out there, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Don't spread misinformation if you really don't know.

73,
Caity
K7VO
No, options are not limited.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AF4KK on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here in the South Floida area (Palm Beach County) there really isn't any 222 mHz activity to speak of. I have FM equipment but what about SSB for 222 mHz? Where is all THAT?!? I have seen < ONE > company with a transverter for around $500! Egads!
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K2WH on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Not only is the TH-F6 a damn poor radio generally, in my opinion, but the miniscule power it outputs on 222 (220, 222, whatever it takes) hardly qualifies it as a "true" 222 radio."

Sorry, but the TH-F6a is probably the best HT on the market at this time and it puts out a full 5 watts on 220mhz. I think you are probably referring to the ICOM unit.

K2WH
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K2WH on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
And another thing..........

I do not use 220 here in the Northern New Jersey area because, there aren't any repeaters that I can hear. Never ever heard one.

K2WH
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K2WH on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
And still another thing..........

The original poster called 2 meters "Garbage". I don't know where he operates, but 2 meters in this area NNJ are nothing like CB nor can they be called "Garbage" or "Just another CB band". Two meters rules.

Strange though, I have heard this "Garbage" opinion about 2 meters from others in other parts of the country.

K2WH

 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AG4RQ on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
South Florida is an area that has loads of repeaters. There is very little 2m activity here except during "drive time", and even then it is sparse. Activity on 440 is almost nonexistent. When I first got my Tech license in 1995, I was advised to get a dual-band mobile for 2m/440. I feel that buying a dual-bander was a waste. A monoband 2m rig would have sufficed. Why would I want to invest anything in a radio for 222? As it is, I very rarely use my dual-bander even on 2m. Living in the hurricane belt, I feel it is necessary to have 2m capabilities for emergency use if nothing else, but a radio for 222? No.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Two meters is not garbage. It’s a wasteland. Something happened 20 or so years ago to destroy that band. In the Los Angeles areas there are repeaters occupying every split and barely a one is heard. This fact is merely a symptom of the overall decline of amateur radio as a hobby. I did have limited experience on 220 and discovered the repeater in my area was populated by the most socially inept creatures I have ever encountered. I have had similar experience dealing with many of the hams that work in ham radio stores. If it were not for ham radio, I am not sure if there would be a place in this world for many of these folks. So where 220 is concerned, they can give the entire band to UPS – and they can have 440 while they are at it.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KI7G on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

I really like 222. The thing that really makes this band stand out is that while there aren't nearly as many folks on it, the ones that are tend to be highly knowledgeable and interesting people - They are a self selecting group of highly committed amateurs! Further, if we are to keep our bands, we have to use them…all of them.

I use a 20 year old Icom IC-37a, the oldest rig in my shack, and it does a great job with great audio. I think I paid $75 for it and it is in perfect shape.

I agree with the original post, 222 is the way to go!

73 de Arden KI7G
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W6EMR on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Good topic; especially if you like 1.35M; otherwise the naysayers will abound.

Unfortunately for Hams in other ITU regions, 222 Mhz is dedicated to public safety use........
Canadian Hams still have 220-222Mhz (IIRC) and are the primary users of the band.

K7VO, good list of rigs...........some I have never heard of.
There should be a mention made of ALL MODE rigs for this band........meteor scatter and SSB are used regularly by some op's.

Personally, I have two TH-31BT's and a TH-31A (no PL) and an IC-37A mobile rig used as a base with a PC power supply fan running behind it to keep it cool. Five watts gets me almost 90 miles out to repeaters in the Bay area..........Even the little 1 watt TH-31's will make it; with a little white noise.

It's a good band with good users..........most of the guys you find on there are Extra's........the Tech's stay pretty much with 2M and UHF.........Got to start somewhere!

I think it is wrong to characterize 2 Meters as a place for "lids"............there are poor op's on any band............listen to 75 meters sometime; Riley could stay busy with those guys. I have met some great people on ALL of the bands I have operated, including 2M.............Just don't write off 222Mhz, it's a great alternative and it's NOT busy..........Use or lose...............
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N5LB on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've never tried 220 but I recall when the only gear was either homebrew, or maybe surplus.

As far as 2 meters is concerned, I don't hear any of the so called "CB" operators. The problem with 2 meters in this area is that I don't hear anyone.

There are a lot of 2 meter repeaters in the area and no activity. I actually have more luck mobile on 52 in raising someone to chat with.

Driving to Dayton this year my son and I used 52 much of the time and 3825 USB most of the way. 52 was great and we met a lot of good people. So was 3825, but thats another story.

I suspect that most 2 meter repeaters are largely just robots now broadcasting a periodic ID.

I many parts of the country I suspect that's the case. My son, a newly licensed no code tech from a few years ago has made a few contacts on 52 but none on any repeater unless it was with me.

220 might be fun to experiment with if there were others in range.

Thanks for pointing out the commercial gear available. It does get one to thinking.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It’s probably time to shut down most of these useless repeaters that dot the ham landscape in favor of new, high-speed data modes of communication. I might suggest hams use two meters and 220 and 440 for digital television broadcasting. As it is now, VHF and UHF is a near waste of space. I would also end the concept of closed repeaters. I mean, what kind of jerk puts up a repeater and tells his fellow hams they are not allowed on the machine. When I was first licensed in 1968, all this nonsense was not going on. Now there are so many closed repeaters, especially on 440, that are not being utilized, it’s criminal. I say, open them up or tear them down. And it’s time to make a 100 % effort to modernize out communication modes and yes, attract hams. Especially hams that are younger. The average age of an amateur is above 56, and that’s a tragedy for us all. I heard an old crotchety ham on 20 meters today complain because Field Day was interfering with his “medical net.” Now, what the heck is a “medical net.”? It sounds like a bunch of old goats complaining about their medical problem. Enough of that stuff. How are we to attract younger hams with that kind of conversation going on?

K6BBC
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W6EMR on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
A good site for info on Condor; a Linked 222 system: http://www.condor-connection.org/
System use is free and covers a LOT of area.
I am "shadowed" from the nearest link site, but I can get in. Maybe I will get on later this eve. and see who's on.........

:-)
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by OBSERVER11 on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
a classic example of why we should limit all contests to a slice of the bands, and not the whole band!

We do not need MORE hams, we need QUALITY hams. It is time to change the filter on the gene pool.

around here, 220 is dead and the FCC slew it after UPS stole it.

Rememebr Field of Dreams? Built it and they will come... well, build a decent 220MHz repeater and you will get users. 220Mhz has always been a nice band, it exhibits the qualities of 2m and 440. It is not included in most scanners, so it is a private band.

If anyone really wanted to build a super system, 220 would be the perfect place to built it.

The biggest problem, is that someone actually has to work at building a repeater, you cannot pull a MASTR2 off the shelf and put it on 220MHz without serious mods. This leaves the good old workhorse, the 13-509, the Cobra 200, or the Clegg FM76... but the BEST is the Yaesu FT127, but I have never seen one in the USA.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by X-WB1AUW on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Many of the “us” you refer to, run HF—“we” rarely use VHF, and have no desire to spend money to have gear for 220 or 440.

If I want to talk to a local ham, I call him on the phone. We might get on 10 meters, 40 meters, or 80 meters to talk.

Bob
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KB9KHF on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you for the equipment lists. I have been compiling lists like that, for ham fest reference, so I don't have to try and remember what bands a piece I find, works on.

 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W4KPA on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I know from reading the FCC enforcement letters that problems exist from time to time on 2 meters, but I don't hear much bad operating. Yes, occasionally I hear a new operator who hasn't quite shed him/herself of the CB lingo, but those folks are always anxious to fit in, so that never lasts long. Mostly what I hear on 2 meters is silence. And, the silence is even more deafening on 440. There may be overcrowding in southern California or in other places, but over most of the country use is pretty moderate. I was surprised on a recent driving trip into NYC just how quiet 2 meters was.

There's no need to trash 2 meters. A far better reason for getting people active on 222 is because it's a damn fine piece of spectrum that we ought to be putting to good use. What we need on all of our vhf/uhf bands is a little more imagination that sparks interest the way PSK31 has on hf. The 222 band in particular is wide open for something new, since the band is lightly populated with existing repeaters.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I live in So. Cal. Two meters is as dead as everywhere else. In fact, I have never read a post where anyone stepped forward and complained 2 was crowded. Never. Not once.

K6BBC
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K4RAF on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood also made the TM-621A which was an excellent dualbander with a full 25W on 220. I used 220 for many years, even after the lost "defense" of 220 for simplex & remote base in crossband/HF duplex remote.

I recently sold most of my 220 equipment which were all "assault radios" that covered 220-225MHz. I did not need them since moving to the country left me with no one to talk to.

I still have a pair of 621A's & a pair of 721A 144/440 dualbanders I'd part with. k4raf.AT.earthlink
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AF4OD on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
hello all
dont forget, you can use 222 in ssb and cw mode also. There's good tropo dx occasionally that is much more exciting than talking to your friend next door about lawn mower parts!

73
bill
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WB2AMU on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, 222 MHz would be great for SSB and CW but there are no current off-the-shelf radios for this band!!!
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KG5JJ on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Here is a good rule of thumb for the ham frequency spectrum. The higher one goes in frequency, the more narrow-minded individual one is likely to encounter.

K6BBC"

Strange...the higher I go in frequency, the more technically savvy, professional engineering types I run into.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by NN2G on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

I am on 222 FM and its a good band to get on to.
But.....

Where can I buy a brand new 222 multimode ? Nowhere Where can I buy a used 222 multimode? Nowhere

I searched for the IC 375A and 222 multimode at E-Bay and it came up zero.

I went to Dayton 2004 and could not locate any 222 multimode gear new or USED for the bands and the modes I am licensed to operate.

The only route to go seems to be a $300 transverter. Why?

How many of us are writing the manufacturers and asking them to include ALL our bands including 908 MHZ , 1296 MHZ and the 222 band.

Why are we getting more of the same band lineups from the manufacturers? Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom Its time to include our other bands include 222, 908, 1296.

We are authorized to use them after all, they are YOUR bands. You have a right to use them. Finding equipment for it is another story.

Surely the U.S is a big enough market to include those missing bands. These manufacturers are not even offering a optional module to put in their radio for 222. Even the IC-910 only has provisions for 1200 Mhz module and non for 222. Why not?

Those that havent gone onto 222, see what you are missing. Enjoy it before they take it away from us.

 
I like this band, a lot, but...  
by KZ1X on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
... it's just easier and cheaper to get on 440FM for local comms.

Many more ham radios and surplus commercial gear available, and better in-building penetration than 223 MHz. $75 for a used mint IC-T42 is not bad! Plus the smaller antenna bonus on 440. A car with a black 1/4 wave 440 NMO-base whip just "looks right" somehow.

So, we put up a "monster" and a "local" (small monster!) UHF repeater, and that's that.

I had a couple of VERY nice IC-3SAT units also, but due to my continued unemployment, ended up selling them and now have nothing on 222-225 MHz. ;-(

These are THE best handhelds ever made for this band, and as you might guess, command the highest resale prices, too.

$300-ish for a one-band, one-mode radio is just a head scratching event for me these days. Maybe if I ever get working again, I will change my outlook ...
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AC5CH on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Great article! 222 is a great band - Especially on SSB!

 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you KG5JJ – you have proven might point marvelously.

K6BBC
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W9GRN on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Great band to play with.Use it a lot around my area.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you, K6BBC, for your willingness to give away the bands I use and enjoy most. I am an Extra class operator. I've been licensed for 20 years this summer,. I am active on all bands from 40m to 70cm plus 23cm. Who are you to, based on your view from Southern California, to judge activity in the rest of the country? 6m, 2m, and 222 are all very active here, thankyouverymuch.

You don't like a band? That's fine. Don't use it. Don't assume nobody else is using it.

No activity in your area? Well... START SOME! You and your friends have a wide open 2m band. Use it!

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Why no 222 SSB/CW gear? Well... it simply didn't sell when it was available. I remember HRO closing out the IC-375A for $795 and getting no takers for a very long time. Japan alone has more than twice the ham population of the U.S. and a much lower drop out rate for new hams. The U.S. and Canadian market alone cannot make such a rig profitable.

Having said that... transverters by Down East Microwave and SSB Electronics are made in the USA and are very readily available... but they are expensive. Used Microwave Modules transverters also turn up from time to time. The Yaesu FT-736R with the 222 module turns up regularly. Ask the folks who run 222 SSB on the VHF reflector out of Stanford University about it. They'll be a great source of information.

The point is... if there is a will there is a way. For under $100, as I and others have pointed out, you can get on 222 with a used FM rig.

I am also amazed how those who have never used a given band feel they have enough knowledge to dismiss it.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KF4VGX on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I live in So. Cal. Two meters is as dead as everywhere else. In fact, I have never read a post where anyone stepped forward and complained 2 was crowded. Never. Not once.

K6BBC



Thank you, K6BBC, for your willingness to give away the bands I use and enjoy most. I am an Extra class operator. I've been licensed for 20 years this summer,. I am active on all bands from 40m to 70cm plus 23cm. Who are you to, based on your view from Southern California, to judge activity in the rest of the country? 6m, 2m, and 222 are all very active here, thankyouverymuch.

You don't like a band? That's fine. Don't use it. Don't assume nobody else is using it.

No activity in your area? Well... START SOME! You and your friends have a wide open 2m band. Use it!

73,
Caity
K7VO

The man made an observation in Southern Cal. No where near your area .How did you read so much into his statement. GeZZZZZ ! Take a chill pill.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have driven most of the UD west of the Mississippi. 6 and 2 meters is vastly underutilized. That is just a fact. And, it’s getting worse.

K6BBC
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KR4BD on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The 222 band is NOT just a US band. It IS available in Canada and most of North, Central and South America. True, it is not available in Asia (Japan) where most of the radios are made. This is probably why the band is generally not included in all the Mega-band radios now available.

I've been on the band since 1977 and back then, rigs were available at reasonable prices. A club I belonged to at the time bought a dozen or so Clegg FM-76 rigs direct from Clegg for $99 (in bulk) plus the crystals. It was part of a promotion where we also got a repeater for a very reasonable price. I still have mine and it still works.

Tom, KR4BD
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by UT7UX on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
We have not 222MHz band in Europe so 70cm is the only one way to escape. On 144 same problems: intermods, CBiers and other LIDs...
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W3RAZ on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The VX-7R also has 222, even if it's only 300 mW.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N3QT on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello:

VHF-UHF

FM: 10m 6m 2m 1.25m 70cm 33cm

I have essentially talked to myself on each of these bands while mobile. 2m "FM" is the most frequently used and monitored.

SSB:
When I want to feel even more lonely, I switch to SSB. I have had the most luck with 10m SSB.

My observation has been that the conversation topics monitored never seem to change. I blame myself for my inability to assertatively direct the conversation to new and interesting topics.

Bad operators: We are all amateurs involved in technology. I suspect the introverted, non-people skill sterotype is true in my case. Lead by example and "TOASTMASTERS" for everyone!!!

I digress, turning the HAM radio off seems to be the easy way out. Unfortunately, that leads to the environment where the most experienced elmers are listening to public radio on the way to work. ..or moving to 222MHz. The fine examples of radio operation move on, and the skills are not transferred to the new folks.

Skills are perishable. Preserve the legacy.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K0RGR on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think it's all been said here.

When I lived in the Bay Area, our radio club got a special deal on 220 rigs and a repeater, so most of us had them. 220 became our primary ARES frequency, in part because more of our members had the 220 rigs than 2 meter rigs, and partly due to the inherent privacy of this band (no scanners).

Midland, Regency, Clegg and ICOM IC3-AT HT's were very popular. All of the available 220 repeater slots were taken out there, and some of the repeaters were very active. This was the band where the most far-out, innovative things were done.

Someone else mentioned the Condor Connection wide-area link. The most active repeater in our area got occasional use of a satellite 'wormhole' which they used to link us to busy systems in other parts of the country - in other words, Echolink without the Internet. It was cool walking around with an HT talking to people thousands of miles away particulalary in 1973!

We had a 220 repeater co-located on the same tower with 2 meter and 440 repeaters, all of comparable power and antennas. We found that 220 had a substantial advantage in penetrating the canyons out there in California.

Hamtronics still sells 222 Mhz. transmitter and receiver kits. Sadly, they no longer offer their newer synthesized rigs as kits, only the older crystal controlled models. The synthesized rigs will run you about $400 for the receiver and transmitter boards assembled and tested. The crystal rigs are cheaper, but the cost of a set of crystals pretty well eats up the difference. And they have stopped selling the 220 version of their transverter, too.

There isn't much activity here in the Upper Midwest. I had a 222 SSB rig (FT-736R) which I used to make distant contacts in contests, but I never worked my own grid square! I found that when 2 was open for tropo scatter, 222 was usually better over the same path.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by NJ0E on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
my experience on 2m in central texas is that the
operators are fine generally, but the level of
activity is lower than it was in the late 70's &
early 80's.

73
scott nj0e
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K3UD on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
In my almost 40 years as a ham I have often either heard or seen in print the phrase "220...Usit It Or Lose It". The truth is, except for some pockets of use around the country, we do not really use it.

The closest we ever got was in the 70s when 2 meter repeater frequency pairs were in short supply in many areas of the country, and again for a short time after Novices received 220 privileges which sparked the installation of a number of repeaters.

By and large, the manufacturers have largely ignored this band or have made it so expensive to get on it that most hams just balked. The most popular rig today may well be the Icom 706 MKIIG and it does not have the band on it. I guess the addition of 220 really would not have been a strong selling point.

I had a piece of converted surplus that I used on the band in the mid 60s running AM. The Mt. Airy VHF Society used to run regular AM nets on 220 (and may still) and a number of hams around the Philadelphia were active.

There was also quite a bit of VHF contest activity from the east coast on 220 back then, most times eclipsing 432 activity. Much of the 220 activity seemed to go away in the 70s with advent of 2 meter repeaters and the decline of AM on VHF.

I think 220 will reamin a "niche" band as there is not enough support infastructure and lets face it, interest, to keep it populated.

73
George
K3UD
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KJ7XJ on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I was was licensed in the mid 80s and lived in So. Cal. K6BBC has valid points when he mentions 2m being much like CB. I found that true in LA, but not so much after I moved out of the area.
Becasue of this, I migrated to 220Mhz and in 1987 started talking on 223.78 which was a repeater in a garage in Palos Verdes. Today,that same system has many linked repeaters throughout Southern/Northern California and Nevada. The WALA system is a perfect example of what a system can be if enough people show the intrest (and finances) to get a system, or in this case, multi-linked system operational.
I also sold my 220Mhz eqpt in the early 90s when I moved out of state and found no activity. I wish I still had it now as the Seattle area is slowly becoming active.
Eric
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The technology exist to link repeaters cross-country. Where are these repeaters? In Southern California I can find no cross-country linked repeaters. Are there any? If there were, I’d try them out. Does anybody know? And I’m not talking about regional linked repeater – I’m talking cross-country.

I have used two linked systems in So. Cal; the Condor system on 220 and the CARS system on 6 meters. Both are great systems and both are useless as nobody talks. I got so frustrated one evening on CARS that I did a rant on the subject of this great system where nobody talks. That said, most time when hams talk on the world above 50 they sound like stupid jerks. Well, after my rant, a very nice chap came back to me. He was quite happy to chat and had been thinking the same thing.

The history of VHF and UHF has always been checkered. In the early days, before the influx with commercial gear, those bands were populated by techie, wannabe police/safety monitor types. These “folks” had the worse people skills one could imagine. Very often, the new entry on to the band would be ignored. Unfortunately, this lineage still exists in some genetic code that has been carried through generation to generation. Many new hams are infected with this attitude without the slightest awareness what dark past it slithered from. What many don’t realize, the 10 code was predominantly used in those days. This was not due to converted cbers, but rather the desire to talk like a policeman. So, the next time you hear the 10 code on 2 meters, remember where the origin springs from.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KJ7XJ, were did I compare 2 meters to CB? With all of Amateur Radio's current challenges, there is absolutely no comparison of the two.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KC8VWM on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Many postings here indicate the idea that we have many underutilized bands.

I have 220 capability but I never seem to hear anything happening on the popular 2 meter band, never mind the 440 and 220 bands.

440 seems to be nothing more than an array of various "privatized" links for cross band 2 meter repeater operation in my area. We used to have a 440 echolink repeater there, but after the owner became a SK,(WB8ONA)- it went down never to return.

I was considering the idea of "carrying the flame" by creating a new echolink repeater on that same frequency but there seems to be alot of unclear questions and legalities about cross linking - running repeater equipment in any unattended capacity or modes.

I have scanned 220 regularly with zero results and not a single voice is ever heard in my area.

In fact, I have yet to actually carry on an actual conversation with another amateur on 220.

There simply are no 220 repeaters to be had in my area. My ARRL repeater directory says they are there, but they are no longer in operation. This also holds true for the 6 meter band listings. However, at least 6 meter band openings provide the opportunity to hear some from time to time.

I have considered putting up a repeater myself. I think the last thing I would want to do is consider putting up yet another 2 meter "ID Beacon" repeater with no activity on it. We have some 2 meter repeaters in my area that have never had any activity on them at all. Makes for a rather expensive 2 meter beacon ID'er if you ask me !?

I think we need to stop putting up more 2 meter repeaters and shift our focus on some of the other bands. 2 meters is simply maxed out as far as repeaters are concerned.

Anyone out there considering putting up a new repeater in their area should seriously consider doing this on 6 /220/ or 440 instead (myself included)

73

Charles - KC8VWM


 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AE6OX on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I doubt we'll ever see Icom/Kenwood/Yaesu produce a new 222 MHz transceiver. Perhaps TenTec or Elecraft (or someone) might see the potential in a low power multimode transceiver for 222, either a monobander or incorporated into a multibander.
 
Weak signal rigs  
by NE0P on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There have been 2 rigs that included 222 ssb/cw. One is the Icom 375A which is a 222 all mode monobander. It is difficult to find and commands a good price.

The other is a Yaesu FT736R which has a 222 module as an option. Puts out 25 watts. Used to have one, and it is a great radio to do VHF/UHF on. You can also get a 1.2ghz module for it. Yaesu really dropped the ball with the FT847. Terrible performance, and no optional modules. Bad replacement for the FT736.

The Kenwood TS2000X will do 1.2g out of the box. The 910H will do 1.2Ghz with the optional module.

You can also find used Microwave MOdules 222mhz transverters from time to time. Downeast Microwave makes a radio/transverter interface that makes it very easy to hook up a transverter to any 10 meter rig.

 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by NA6DF on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You said: "An even bigger bonus is that you don't have digital paging systems and endless other commercial transmitters spewing spurious garbage into the ham band like you do on 144 MHz in a lot of areas."

What many folks don't realize, is that probably 99% of the commercial interference that people hear on the 2 meter band, is not a problem with the commercial folks, but is in fact a problem with the *CRAP* receivers in most amateur-grade 2 meter rigs available. It's called front-end overload! Try programming up a motorola VHF commercial rig on your 2 meter frequencies with the same antenna setup, and you will see what I'm talking about. The typical 2 meter rig has no front end selectivity in the receiver. This problem can vary widely between rigs and manaufacturers, but it is a problem. The commercial versions of the same brands of equipment that we buy for ham use have much better front ends than the amateur equivelents. I'd gladly pay more bucks for a better front end. 2 meter gear is pretty cheap these days, so whats another 10 or 20 percent or so for much higher grade stuff? My 2 bits worth.. 73

 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K0RGR on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I would go along with the argument that there are too many repeaters on the air. I think this is a big part of the 'malaise' that's sunk in on the band in the last 20 years.

Too many repeaters means co-channel interference, which dictates that everybody use PL, which in turn makes it difficult for travellers. This leads to fewer people using 2 meters on the road. In this area, you can put up a co-channel repeater as long as it is 75 miles from the next one! It would be great if we could change the coordination rules to only allow one repeater within a given grid square on the same channel, at least here in flat country. Then, we could stipulate that all repeaters in the grid square will use a certain PL tone, which would be easy to look up.

Too many repeaters means that our meager ham population is spread too thinly across many machines - which also results in less activity. Maybe ARRL could start a program for clubs and individuals to donate their unused repeaters? These machines could then be shipped overseas to groups actually needing
the equipment. (Yes, the duplexers are too heavy to ship, but that problem can be overcome). Or, they could be offered at a low price to domestic clubs in areas where there are no repeaters today, or as backups for existing high level machines.

 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KB3KHW on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Shawn has written a good article. At a personal level, I have a straightforward answer.

I don't use 222MHz because every time I tune 222MHz I hear nothing, even in frequencies where there's supposed to be a repeater. My HT covers 222MHz and I will not spend a penny more on 222MHz gear until I hear more activity in my area, or somebody proves that my HT's 1.25m RX is dead (it works well for three other bands though).

Mario
KB3KHW
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KJ7XJ on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K6BBC wrote - "KJ7XJ, were did I compare 2 meters to CB?"

You didnt say that. Your quote was, " Two meters is not garbage. It’s a wasteland."

I took this as your response to K1VSR's quote, "I never go on 2 meters anymore. It's nothing but CBers. It's garbage."

Thus, I thought there was a comparison being made between the two. I applogize for any confusion.

Eric
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by VE7LGT on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As far as Im concernered FM stands for Frequently Mundane. Lets face it 4 hours of working HF on field day was far more exiting than trying to find someone to ramble on about nothing on a VHF or UHF repeater. Now 2 meter & 440 SSB sporadic E , meteor or even moonbounce now that is where we should be puting our energy as far as FM repeaters on the 222 mhz band who needs them. There are too many repeaters siting idle on UHF and VHF already!!

Larry
VE7LGT
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WPE9JRL on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
All this arguing over nothing.

I hardly hear any usage of 2M and 440 around here. So many repeaters and so little usage. And now we need to use 222?

Hey, wake up and smell the coffee....

Ham radio is a dying hobby with waning usage of all frequencies. Get real.

SideBandPat has spoken.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WB4QNG on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I thought when they gave novice voice on 222 it would really take off. I thought 2 meters would die and 220 would take over. How I was wrong. I guess the Novies either upgraded or moved on to something else. I am like a lot of the rest of the hams. Why spend the money. I have a 2 meter rig that is on right now. It has 20 repeaters in the memories plus 5 on simplex. The only thing I have heard in the last 30 minutes was the repeater ID's. With all this open space for local communication why do I want or need anymore. I noticed in the repeater direcctory that there are two 222 repeaters and 10 440 repeaters in my area but I think about 1/2 of the 440 repeaters are linked to two meters. My 2 cents worth.
Terry
WB4QNG
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N2NZJ on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I BELIEVE 222 MHZ IS A REAL GOOD BAND BUT IT IS JUST ANOTHER BAND THAT GOT FORGOTTEN IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS. I used to work it years ago it was really a great band i only wish more people kept up the interest in this band. and the equipment as well. IT NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. only interested hams all over the country can try and bring it back to life. I AM GOING TO GET SOME 222 MHZ GEAR AND DO THIS BAND AGAIN IN MY AREA. so hope to work some of you on 222 mhz. TOM 73
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WA2DTW on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"It’s probably time to shut down most of these useless repeaters that dot the ham landscape in favor of new, high-speed data modes of communication. "
One or more of these repeaters could save hundreds of lives in an emergency. When the power and cell phones go down, emergency-powered repeaters can continue to work. And most mobile rigs can't read high-speed data modes of communication.
LET'S TAKE BACK 220!
73
Steve
WA2DTW
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KF4VGX on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
LET'S TAKE BACK 220!

I'm all for that. The question is where to get the equipment to setup repeaters and etc. I'm in the mood to per- say link a few Repeaters on 222 mhz and 900 mhz . If I had an option to buy said equipment.
At a quantity price to increase the band use .
I probably would give away a few HT's etc ,to get others involved. Why not help ! :) Its great for the Hobby .

 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KF6KDA on June 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
220mhz isn't dead everywhere.

Bottom line, use it or lose it.

'nuff said
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K1QL on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm ... I live in RI about 10 miles or so from Shawn and am a little curious about some of the statements he has made concerning 2 meters. First of all, where are the crowded band conditions??? We have many 2m repeaters through out the state, and with the exception of one or two, most of them are pretty much dead most of the time. That's probably because many of us use simplex on 2 meters. Also, I've never encountered interference from commercial equipment either on simplex or the repeaters on 2m. And finally, I think most of the active hams around here are very professional and courteous operators. Shawn, you wrote "Here in Rhode Island, an increasing number of us have moved over to 222 MHz to escape the 144 MHz wasteland." HUH??? Sorry buddy, but 2m is not a wasteland. And although I don't operate on 222 (don't have the equipment), I do monitor it, and have a few friends that use it occasionally. Now THAT is the dead band around here in RI.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong in utilizing the 222 MHz band. I'd be on it myself if I had a radio that could transmitt on it. And I appreciate you writing this article encouraging people to use it. I'm just very surprised that two people who live so close could have such opposite impressions of a band. And for the record, I've not had the pleasure of talking with or meeting Shawn. But I must say that I have made some life long friends and have had many people help and guide me through my ham radio journey here on the two meter band. Some of the guys I talk to on a daily basis on 2m have been operating for 30, 40 or even 50 years! They certainly aren't CBers!
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry buddy, but 2m is not a wasteland. -- 1 : barren or uncultivated land <a desert wasteland>
2 : an ugly often devastated or barely inhabitable place or area
3 : something (as a way of life) that is spiritually and emotionally arid and unsatisfying

Sounds like 2 meters to me.

Buddy (K6BBC)
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7IHC on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I guess I'm not on the 222 MHZ band because I spend too much time on the 23 cm (1.2 gig) band... There's been a bit of sporadic-E on 6m lately, so I've been on that, too.
Here in Northern Calif (SF Bay Area/Sac Valley), there's quite a bit of useage on specific 2m, 440 MHZ, and 1200 MHz repeaters/linked systems. There are some good repeaters on 222 in the area, but I only know a few hams who use them.
I'm also looking for some used Kenwood TK-series 900 MHz equipment so I can get on the 32 cm (902) band.

I think the main reason for the lack of hams on 222 is the minimal availability of equipment. It's much easier to find lots of good used stuff for the *other* VHF/UHF bands.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by DB2NK on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You forgot to mention the
elecraft XV 222 transverter for 349 $.

MfG,

Nicolas
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by AG5T on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
2 meters crowded? In Houston, Texas there are a ton of repeaters listed for both 2 meters and 440. Yet, in a city of nearly 4 million people, I can scan both bands and be lucky to come across 2 conversations on either band. We had better start using our local bands, yes, including 222, or we are going to lose them. Why are all the repeaters so silent in Houston? Well, many of them are from losing their site to businesses who want to charge outrageous fees for repeater site locations. Others are simply from lack of use. Apparently repeaters are not the rage in southeast Texas. Again, I stress, please use them or we are gonna lose them!
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by VE7LGT on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Can anyone tell me where all the traffic on repeaters is . It would appear that non of them are busy . Lets face it other than scheduled nets it is all but impossilble to find any one on the local repeaters . As i sayed above there are a lot of other modes that can be experimented with on these bands lets start pushing them. How boring is it to be limited to a local area talking to the same old people . We can do that with CB and FRS . I use to live in a small town surrounded by mountains . the repeater was seldome used but when itwas down it was amazing to see how far you could get on simplex . Lets face it most repeaters are the comercial side of ham radio they are installed ,opperated and repaired by a select group . and are there as toys for the rest of us to use . And that also goes for most new radio equipment . We must find ways to put the amateur back in Amateur Radio!!

Larry VE7LGT
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Dear VE7LGT, you are 100 percent correct. What you have stated has brilliantly made the argument that the Technician Class License is a poor entry level in ham radio. This is why I fully support the ARRL’s plan for license restructuring. And if the rest of you had an ounce of good judgment, you would too.

K6BBC
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KB0NHX on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here in Springfield, MO we have now 220 repeaters--but there's about 20 of us that use 223.500 simplex. I can talk to stations just as far if not farther on 220 simplex with 25w than I can on 2m simplex with 50w! 220 is a great band. And, the statement about the operators on 222 also holds true. Though I've not noticed it, I think every one I've talked to in this area on 220 IS an Advanced or Extra class operator. We have lots of good technical conversations.

The Alinco 235 is a great radio, as is the ADI-247. Both affordable and work well. I use a Kenwood TM-742 with 220 modules in the house and the car, and also use a Yaesu FT-736R for 222 SSB and some FM voice.

Hopefully our local club will get it's 222 repeater on the air soon. I think it will surge local activity. I talked to many hams at field day that have 222 gear, just didn't know there was activity. They're taking it out again and going to fire it up. That's great!
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by WB4QNG on June 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K6BBC, I agree with you. The tech. class is not a good entry to Ham radio. A person around here would get bored in a hurry if that is all he had. I like the new plan.
WB4QNG
Terry
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KE4SKY on June 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The 220 band has much to recommend it for Emergency and Public Service communications. The band is much quieter and has fewer problems with intermodulation disportion than 2 meters.

"220" also gets in, out and around buildings almost as well as UHF, but has very good simplex range which is similar to 2 meters. We recommend that our RACES operators have at least a portable which operates on the 220 band. If you must use a repeater or simplex frequency for an extended period for an exercise or public service event, you won't inconvenience as many users, if you use 220. Another advantage of 220 is that "most" popular handheld scanners don't receive it, only the more expensive commercial and public safety models do.

We use either digital modes or 220 voice for traffic that you would rather not have the public and news media listening to. Using 220 for local voice talk-around reduces interference which results from both voice and data systems on site operating on the same band.

It is true that no amateur mode is "secure" in the national security sense. However, using amateur bands not received on common consumer scanners, and packet store & forward protocols with file compression data modes is more "discreet."
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W6PMR3 on July 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've been using 220 for years and it's a great band. True, there are not a lot of radios for the band but good used radios are at swap meets and on the net.
In Southern California the 440 band is almost all PRIVATE machines, not closed, PRIVATE. Don't bother to use the band because small groups of Hams have seen to it that everyone is excluded from 440. But 220 was/is filled with wide coverage open systems.
For years the band, (220) was always more active in LA then most places because of this. Now I live in Northern Cal. and the band is still full of systems but it's DEAD. I brought up a bunch of 220 gear, slapped up antennas and found machines all over the place, but nobody on any of them!! Oh well.
BTW my Kenwood F-6 is THE BEST HT I have ever had. Mine is 5 watts on all bands and has no RX problems,
what is up with that bad review? Just a couple of early morning rambles before the coffee guys. Paul.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N1VLQ on July 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I would gladly buy a rig if I could get one for under $150 for an FM mobile rig, or even better, an all-mode transverter for $150 or so. And to be honest, I haven't actively searched for one. But I somehow doubt there'll be very many available in that price range, and I'm not interested in paying more than that for a band on which I'll not make many contacts. But I would like the capability.

The lack of affordable transverters somewhat mystifies me. I guess I can understand why the big-boys don't add that band to their rigs, 220 being a North American band. But why are the transverters for 220 so much more than for 6, 2 or 440?
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KA7JEX on July 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Someone listed older equipment and stated that the Yaesu FT-127 is crystal controlled. Not so - it is one of the older synthesized units, usually without a pl board. The factory board utilized a resistor to set the PL, as I recall... One of these units is slated to be part of a new 222 repeater system in Vancouver, Washington.

Duane KA7JEX
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on July 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
To KA7JEX: You are confusing the Yaesu FT-127RA with the Yaesu FT-127. They are two DIFFERENT radios. The FT-127RA "Memorizer" is the synthesized rig you are thinking of. I had one way back when and it worked very well indeed. The original FT-127 is a 12 channel crystal controlled radio.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on July 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
N1VLQ: You want a 222 FM rig for under $150 but can't find one? Hmmm... I jjust did a search of completed auctions on eBay for 222 gear. Several Icom IC-37As sold in your price range. The older gear I mentioned (above) is often around $100 at hamfests. How many rigs do you want? I can find you plenty.

Regarding all mode transverters, you are right. None will be $150 or under.

I had to take a day trip to Monroe, NC (about 168 miles each way) and had solid 222 coverage and several QSOs for the entire trip. $100-$150 is well worthwhile in this part of the country.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by G7HEU on July 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
How much for a mono mode-tranverter? :-)
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by NN6EE on July 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
About a year ago I had my Kenwood TM-331A re-aligned and it has USUALLY always been a stellar performer!!!

Even though we don't typically use 222mhz or above that much, at least the activity up there is "Gentlemanly" and reliable!!!

Jim/ee
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on July 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What is a "mono mode transverter"? I've never seen one.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by NN2G on July 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Can any multiband multimode VHF?UHF radio be modified for 222 Mhz? FT-100 ? IC-706?

Maybe there is a market for off the shelf 220 Mhz radio put together by a ham.

Somebody could sell a HTX 10 or HTX 100 with a transverter all set up and ready to go. Sell them together and reset the 10 meter radio to 222 Mhz readout. It could sell for $400 to $ 450 and a profit still could be made. Anyone interested?
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K8OT on July 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Years ago many people had Radio's that had shortwave bands on it. It was AM. they could listen to hams on the HF bands. Today their are few radios that have shortwave om them and DO NOT recieve SSB.
they have scanners that will recieve 2 Mtrs. that is their introduction to ham radio. so what can we expect.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N0TONE on July 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Whew - thanks for hitting us over the head with a 2 X 4. Based on your list there are ZERO inexpensive rigs for 222 MHz. Two hundred bucks for a single-band, single-mode rig is nuts for anybody who's not wealthy!

I tend to drive to Dayton every second or third year, and despite my best efforts, one of the gang insists on having a multi-band rig or more along. We scan 2, 222, 440, and 1.2 Gig.

On Hamvention weekend, the QSOs on all bands are the same drivel.

I'm equipped for 144 and 440 FM, and via transverters, 50 through 2.3 Gig multi-mode. My own experience (living not too far from the west coast, and making frequent trips elsewhere) is that 144 and 440 MHz have exactly the same type of QSOs. A fair amount of "honey bring home some milk" and a fair amount of "I love this rig because it fits my shirt pocket" and precious little of "I was using the propagation modelling tool to predict the best times for us to possibly see some ducting..." in other words, people mainly talk about trivial grocery store matters or how many buttons a given model has, and little of technical meat. I would want another band, sandwiched between these?

I agree with several others on here - in the past ten years, I have never heard anybody complain that two meters is crowded. Sure, for the ego-driven gang, there are no repeater allocations left, but those frequencies are completely unused. Heck, I get to the San Francisco Bay Area at least once a month, and have never encountered a situation where more than four frequencies are in use at once on two meter FM! And that's with a ground plane, clamped to the balconey of a hotel on the 30th floor, so it's not for want of an antenna!

As far as the claim that UPS isn't using 222 MHz, they're actually WAY ahead of the hams! They're using it for truck monitoring, using meteor scatter. You don't THINK they're using it because the transmissions are in bursts and your FM-only rig can't possibly hear them.

AM
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on July 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Funny, I'm not rich. Far from it. $200 for a single mode, single band rig used to be the norm on 2m. I am buying another Alinco 222 rig brand new. For the amount of use I get out of 222 it is well worth it.

Oh, used rigs can be had around $100-$125 if you don't mind older equipment.

If you think 222 is expensive, try 1240-1300MHz rigs.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W9ZS on July 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Nice artical on the 220 band! I have a 220 repeater in
Northern Illinois that rivals most of the 2 meter machines in the area. It was the best investment I have made in Ham radio. We have around a dozen members, and its the perfect intercom for our club members. EVERYONE useing the repeater supports it!
We don't have folks breaking in for a signal report, and totally interrupting the conversations in progress.
If someone wanted to join in the conversation, without taking over the roundtable, then a signal report wouldnt be a problem. 220 mhz users are among the most
courteous and friendly operators. I almost hate to advertise 220, fearing that it might attract the 2 meter folks that caused a lot of us to move up in frequency! In addition to the radios you mentioned, I
recently found a "Motorola" 220 radio MADE for the
220 to 240 range, 25watts, 64channels, that works perfectly for the 220 US band. It isn't made in the US, but it is typical Motorola high quality stuff!
220 is so popular in the Chicago area, that there are NO MORE repeater pairs available for new machines!
Best Regards...
Tom, W9ZS
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KC8BTM on July 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
A better question would be, why have many of the manufacturers chosen to ignore the band? Some companies didn't hesitate to jump on the 60 meter "bandwagon", yet, how long has 1.25 been around? If more manufacturers produced 222 mhz equipment, perhaps the competition would force down the ridiculous prices some makers are charging. I'd like to see 222 mhz integrated, just like 6, 2, and 440, into HF rigs, instead of making expensive monobanders.
Monobanders are already well overdone in the market.
They're called CB's.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N3TTN on July 5, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The answer to the question is simple: To coin a phrase, the silence was deafening, literally. I live in one of the most high density repeater environments to be found anywhere in the country (Wash. DC/Baltimore metro area) and there are several dozen 220 repeaters around, the trouble is NOBODY and I mean NOBODY is to be found on them. I actually went to the trouble of setting up a 220 station when I first got my ticket, to try and help "stimulate" some activity on the band, and basically I was rewarded with DEAD silence. The few contacts I managed to make were fleeting and far between, and after a year or so I just gave up and sold the rig, a Kenwood HT as I recall. One notable contact I did make was with a General class op who had set up a repeater so he could talk with his YL, a novice, on her commute home. He was genuinely shocked to hear me on the repeater, and told me I was the first (besides his YL) he had heard in many months, although he said I was welcome to use the machine any time I wanted, for what it was worth. Bottom line: I agree with you that 220 is a promising band, if we could just get more hams to utilize it. I am no ratchet jaw by any means, but I like to have an occasional contact, and as it stand around here at the moment, there just is not enough activity on the band to justify buying a rig and antenna for 220 mhz. All the best,

N3TTN
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by PHINEAS on July 5, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K6BBC obviously does not own a 222mhz radio. I am not only originally from Los Angeles, but I can tell you there is a well used system in that area called the condor system. They have links all over the state, and there is always someone on it. The last time I drove there, I did not even get on 2 meters.(unless it was simplex!) Not only that, I could talk on the system all the way from Kingman AZ.

As a whole I have found people are more ready to cheat themselves way more and faster than anyone else is out to cheat them. That is not only in Amateur radio, but in life.

Operate like you want where you want, and I will do the same. I think this was a good article personally.

Phineas
K0KMA

 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K7VO on July 5, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I keep reading how monobanders are too expensive. A Yaesu FT-127RA "Memorizer" was advertised here on eHam for all of $75. I just arranged to buy it and the money order will be in the mail first thing in the morning. Is $75 too much to invest in a band?

I read how DC area repeaters are silent. Yep, I've been there, and unless the repeater (i.e.: the one in Manassas) is linked to another band I found silence. I did put out several calls. However, if instead of abandoning the band, selling off equipment, and leaving it silent how about a few people start using the band and see how good it is? I don't think our repeaters in the Raleigh area and eastern North Carolina are in any way "better" than the ones in the DC metro area. We just use ours :) Well, several of them anyway.

I agree that many hams cheat themselves of wonderful opportunities.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on July 5, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K0KMA, I live very close to a Condor repeater. The system, like most VHF/UHF repeaters, is vastly underutilized and silent. On the rare occasion I did encountered someone on the system, they were clannish. This was my experience.

K6BBC
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KS9Y on July 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I use the Yaesu FT-311RM on 222Mhz. It has served me well for over 20 years.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6LCS on July 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood's TM-642 is no longer available. None in production...none in the warehouse.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6LCS on July 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood's TM-742 is no longer available...None in production, none in the pipeline. Existing stock only.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6LCS on July 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>Not only is the TH-F6 a damn poor radio generally, in my opinion, but the miniscule power it outputs on 222 (220, 222, whatever it takes) hardly qualifies it as a "true" 222 radio.

You are confusing the TH-F6a with some other HT...Because the TH-F6a is a solid performer - at full power on 2M, 220 and 440.

Clint Bradford
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6LCS on July 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>I live in So. Cal. Two meters is as dead as everywhere else.

You must be joking. There's not a single available repeater pair in the region. There are scores of machines up and running in greater SoCA.

Clint Bradford
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6BBC on July 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"You must be joking. There's not a single available repeater pair in the region. There are scores of machines up and running in greater SoCA. "

Yeah, up and running call sign beacos.

K6BBC
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KD4ZGJ on July 7, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think 222 Mhz is a great band. It has the best of both worlds 2m/70cm. You get the distance of 2m & the penetration of 70cm through buildings.

Let's all start e-mailing/writing all the ham manufactures and let's all ask for a true tri-display / tri-band mobile radio with cross band repeat in any direction on 2m/1.25m/70cm.

This would truly be the cat's meow!

I own a Kenwood TH-F6a HT and I think it is the best HT on the market right now for performance. Full power on all the bands and it receives AM broadcast with that internal ferrite core antenna like a champ!

The more bands we have in our HT's, Mobiles and Bases, the better!

Andrew Rosengarten
KD4ZGJ


Use them, or we will loose them!!!!!!!!
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W6EMR on July 7, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Contacting Manufacturer's and letting them know what we want is fine, but they will only make what the vendors can sell.

NA6DF had a good point about "reciever selectivity". All the new radio's available have "wide open" recievers that cover Broadcast and Public Safety freq's. This is cute, but a good scanner can do that, at least from my standpoint.
Ham radio Transceivers should only cover........The Ham Bands!!
This "DC to Daylight" reciever coverage opens the "front end" to everything; especially Intermodulation products. My ICOM 207 is a prime example. I have to keep the attenuator on all the time or the local Cellular and Paging stuff gets in.......ugh!

A new Tri-Band mobile rig (with 1.35M included, even if it's a "module") from a major Mfgr.?
Excellent idea.
Broadcast, Aircraft and public safety recieve capability?
BAD idea.
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K0RKS on July 7, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Good article as of today My wife and I built a 220 Jpole. I fired up the old cobra 12 channel and had fun just like the old days.. I ordered a new ADI 220mhz mobile.
I'm back on 220 and it's a blast..

Ron K0RKS

 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K8KAS on July 8, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Whats with 222Mhz, there is little to no activity on 2 and 6 meters, repeaters execpt for the going home boys are dead. Why would I want to spread it out even more. I wish 146.52 had a good crowd, you might hear one or two stations on all day in this area. No, I don't need 222Mhz at all.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by K6RMR on July 8, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hi
I have a TS-790 Also. The only Module for the 790
is 1.2 Gigs.
Look at the Alinco DR235. We have a lot of 222Mhz.
Activity in the area and many have bought it.
No complaints except that it can not listen on the
input of a repeater. With 100 Memories the guys just
Program the repeater input into the next memory.
The ADI DR237 is made in China and seems to be Junk.
The Displays are forever going out on them.
Stan
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W9UD on July 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, some 222mhz gear is expensive. But there have been
articles over the years about building transverters that interface with your low band transceivers for your home qth operating.

Oops, build something? Holy Cow! I must be out of my mind.

Jim Roseman w9ud en41rl
41 states worked on 222mhz
160 grids
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by KC2MLZ on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hey K2WH...

You need to see the light...
but stuck up there in the mountians is likly why you can not hear all the many repeaters that i am able to hear & talk to on even my HT...Ha Ha Ha..

get your head out of the sand...ups i ment the lake & reseviors & if you need to take a ride to high point to smell the coffee...

untill then do not complain of things you have no knowledge of...

Have a nice day..

Later
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by W6EMR on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
W9UD, what type of antenna(s) are you using and what modes?
A lot of mention of rigs here, but little of the antennas used.
I have a 1/4 wave "spike" for the roof of the car, NMO mount. I use a Ventenna VT-22 for QTH operation.
 
RE: Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by G0RTN on December 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
VHF/UHF operation is well down everywhere, not just in the US. I live in one of Europe's biggest cities (London) and have visited its two main rivals for that title - Paris (and speak passable French) and Istanbul (and speak good Turkish) with my VX7R in the past 6 months. In all three activity is relatively sparse. Despite all repeaters being 'open' in Europe (as far as I know) you can call for ages, even with a semi-exotic foreign callsign, and get nowhere, except maybe in the rush hours. 70 cms is in slightly better shape in London, with a few repeaters having regular activity. But not enough to justify our 10 MHz of spectrum space now that ATV has migrated to 23cm, especially when you listen to how crowded the spectrum above 440 and below 430 is with commercial users.

IARU Region 1 has moved from 25kHz to 12.5kHz channels on 2 metres recently and lots of new 2 metre repeaters are being licensed in the UK at present. God alone knows why. Although I suppose a lot of people just get a buzz from building repeaters, which is fair enough. If you want my honest opinion, when packet came along in the 80s, a lot of people dropped out of VHF FM, and the amount of unlicensed and other tools jamming repeaters, etc., chased a lot of others away and they never came back.

Because of all that, I tend to operate almost exclusively on HF CW, where I find lots of other people to chat to. Although of course, that's a dying, obsolete mode, isn't it...
 
Why Aren't More of Us Using 222 MHz?  
by N7EOJ on October 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
We've heard all the excuses, but in the past six months, three new 222 MHz repeaters have come on the air in Southern Arizona. A weekly net is held on one of those wide coverage mountaintop repeaters.
All are open. One hosts a six band remote base from 144MHz to 1.29 GHz, another is linking to a 2M repeater via EchoLink and will have IRLP & WIRES capabilities soon. The third may be linked into a UHF network as soon as time permits. There is another in production that will host an autopatch. Remember? Those were the reason so many got licensed a few years ago, before they could afford cellphones.
We also have a Yahoo discussion group dedicated to promoting the band. 2nT-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Anyone wishing to unload any 222 MHz equipment, please contact me. (my callsign at yahoo dot com)
73
Budd
224.50, 224.18, 224.06, 223.94 & 224.74 MHz U.S.E.R.S.
Tucson, AZ
 
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