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Author Topic: 222mhz contesting equipment  (Read 1066 times)
AB5GU
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Posts: 48




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« on: October 25, 2005, 12:31:23 PM »

In looking around, the only commercial 222mhz equipment is FM only. What mode/equipment do the vhf contesters use? I don't want to contest, but enjoy giving out Q's during contests. Do I have to build a transverter? Or have contesters bowed to reality and use FM on 222?
73's,
Marty AB5GU
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2005, 11:30:40 AM »

VHF/UHF contesters use both SSB/CW and FM to make contacts and points on 222 MHz.  FM may make more "contacts," but those aren't very far away, usually, due to the strong-signal nature of FM work.  SSB may make fewer contacts, but the odds of working more grid squares is much higher, due to the weak-signal advantages of the mode and also that everybody's using horizontal polarization on SSB/CW, which helps extend the range of forward tropo scatter.  

Most everybody's using transverters with HF rigs, although some like myself actually have a 222 MHz multimode rig.  Mine is a Yaesu FT-736R with the 222 module in it, and it works well (although only 25W).

Probably the most popular transverters are from Down East Microwave (DEMI), who offers a good selection of turnkey and easy-to-use transverters for all the VHF-UHF-SHF bands right on up through 10.3 GHz.  And everybody who's serious about 222 contesting uses horizontally polarized beams for weak-signal work.  Propagation's the same as two meters, 99% of the time.

WB2WIK/6
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2005, 11:40:59 AM »

I've tried going the transverter route and I honestly find it to be a pain.  So... I am copying Steve's example and buying a well equipped (albeit used) FT-736R with both the 222 and 1296 modules.  It seems to be the most economical way to get on these two bands for SSB/CW operation.

I do know some people who run the Icom IC-375A for 222MHz all mode.  That rig is hard to find and eBay prices are, well... somewhere between stratospheric and totally insane.  I do know people who have found the on the used market for anywhere from $800-$1500. The Icom may have a superior receiver... if you can find one and if you don't care about cost.  I had an opportunity to buy one new on closeout from HRO for $800 way back when.  I wish I had.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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