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Author Topic: What happend to 220?  (Read 2036 times)

Posts: 33

« on: November 08, 2000, 02:20:57 PM »

I see a lot of dual banders 2m and 440Mhz.  Why do they skip the 220 band?  Is it too new?  Is it too narrow?  Is it going away?
I have 2m on my icom 706MII and often hear about activity on the 440 band but nada on the 220Mhz.

Looking for enlightenment
73 de Mark k9cf

Posts: 35

« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2000, 02:58:39 PM »

Throughout Asia, 222 to 225 MHz is a Public Safety band critical to life and limb. Also, in Europe this same spectrum has just become occupied by the Digital Satellite Broadcasting Network. It is a ground-to-mobile service that trasmit audiophile quality music and news to car stereos. We live in the only IARU region (US, Canada, Carribean, parts of South America) that has 222 to 225 MHz as a ham allocation. The market for sales is small as this band is under-utilitzed. In addition, I believe their might currently be pressure from the Japanese government on Yaesu, Icom, and Kenwood to NOT aggressively market 222 to 225 MHz radios. Why? Because an Asian pirate or terrorist group could easily modify one of these radios to create chaos on their Public Safety bands. So, we are limited to a few FM-only rigs and transverters from Down East Microwave and SSB Electronic USA. I doubt we will ever see an allmode monobander such as the Icom IC-375A again. Neither will we see rigs in the future with optional band modules for 222 MHz such as the one that was available for FT-736R. Don't let the lack of gear discourage you. You can buy a fully assembled xvtr from Down East Microwave for about $400. Sometimes propagation on 222 MHz is better than on 2 meters or 70 centimeters due to variable geometry within troposopheric ducts. Let's use 222 MHz! In other parts of the world, there are ham bands that we don't have: 40 and 70 MHz (EU); and 576 MHz (Australia).

Posts: 75

« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2000, 05:20:04 PM »

It's hard to imagine anything deader than 440. In my area, the highlight of the week is someone kerchunking the 440 repeater.

Posts: 90

« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2000, 07:35:25 PM »

I disagree that 220 gear is not marketed because the band is underutilized.  I think it's mostly because Japan has no 220.  There are a LOT of repeater owners, who I think tend to be "in" on commercial surplus equipment, that use 220 for repeater links and control. Try to program a Motorola with out their damn overprised software lately??  

If you think 220 gear is not in demand, just watch the price of just about ANY 220 radio that shows up on ebay.  Including an old 03at, or similar

And of course other than conversions, there is basically no commercial gear available, either, like 2m or 440.  By that I mean Motorola, etc.

Posts: 47

« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2000, 11:22:26 PM »

When I first became a ham, 220 Mhz was an active band and growing.  Then, the government bowed to United Parcel's (UPS) request for a large amount of spectrum to use for their business use.  The US government sold them about 1/2 of the 220 band for several hundred million dollars.  But, the process took so long that UPS found another way to do what they needed and as far as I know, they never utilized 220 mhz.  To make a long story short.......immediately after that event, everyone was afraid to invest too much in the 220 band.  About all that was left of it were the repeater inputs and outputs.  It is a good band and has some unique properties.  I think the sale of 1/2 of it to UPS was a big wakeup call to the amateur community.

Kenneth (AB5CC)

Posts: 5


« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2000, 09:26:21 PM »

In reguards to NI6G's comment about bands, here is Australia we are having our bands sucked away from us, 576Mhz was left only for ATV repeater output (since it is in the UHF TV range), but, as soon as a station want's to use that channel, guess who gets priority.  We will be getting primary back on 6m, a larger dx segment on 75m (larger that 4khz), but we are just about to lose 420-430 (out of 420-450), which is another ATV channel, plus parts of the spectrum around 2.4Ghz, 3.3Ghz and some above that have also been 're-allocated', mainly for wireless digital services.  In reguards to 220Mhz, in AU it became a new TV channel recently 'to make way for digital TV' (probably wouldn't have become amateur anyways).  So, if I were in the US, I'd be happy about that situation, no stolen equiptment interfering, etc.  What someone should do is make a good kit for that band, then the only people there will have an interest in it, and normally better for a QSO (that relates to yourself).
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