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Author Topic: 222 Mhz ?  (Read 3571 times)

Posts: 63

« on: April 24, 2001, 09:38:47 AM »

This months QST has a slick project to convert a Ten-Tec transverter from 2M out to 222Mhz out.  The modification is so straight forward it prompts one to wonder why more 2M equipment can't be modified to work on 220Mhz.

I'm please to see the folks at Alinco marketing a 222 Mhz FM radio, but I can't help but wonder why we don't see more from MFJ and Ten-Tec.  MFJ has their line of "Adventure Radios".  I'd like to see a 222Mhz SSB/CW radio from them.  

Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu have some pretty nice all-mode radios but where is the 222 Mhz option?  With all of the bands they cram into a radio these days I can't help but think it would be pretty simple to stick 222 Mhz in them too.  They blockout the cellular portion of 900Mhz on radios sold in the US, they can blockout 222Mhz the same way in countries that aren't as lucky as we are to have the allocation.

The bottom line is that we need more equipment on this band.  This weekend I'm writing letters to all of my favorite radio manufactures asking them to include 222Mhz on more of their multi-band radios.  Please join me.

Posts: 21818

« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2001, 02:05:48 PM »

222 MHz is an authorized amateur allocation only in North America; the market is very limited.  GREAT quality HF-to-222 MHz transverters have been available all along, for many years, and still are -- and these are the things most weak-signal enthusiasts are using for 135 cm work.  

It's not so cheap & simple to add a band to an existing VHF-UHF design.  Even using synthesized local oscillators, there still needs to be a tuned, dedicated mixer* and some tuned, dedicated RF stages*, plus probably an independent I/O port...added cost likely to be in the $100 range.  To include this circuitry (and likely firmware to create the injection signals) and then "block it out" for those unauthorized to use the band, which is 90% of the world, seems an unreasonable expectation.

I'm very happy that at least a few manufacturers, with Alinco as a recent addition, are offering 222 MHz FM transceivers!  Even this is a huge improvement for band utilization.  For a very long time, between the old Gonset Communicators of the later 1950's & early 1960's, and the Tecraft 20W transmitters and nuvistor receiving converters, until sometime in the late 1970's, there was virtually nothing being manufactured for the band.  When Midland introduced a crystal-controlled 220 MHz FM transceiver back in the mid-1970's, thousands of American and Canadian hams jumped right on it, it was the only new piece of equipment made in several years.

If you have an HF rig, you might look into the purchase of a linear transverter, including the modified Ten-Tec unit written up by Bunky K4EJQ recently, but also those existing units sold by SSB Electronic-USA and others.  And of course the old Yaesu FT-736R (I have one), which was made and sold for more than 10 years, offered a high-performance 135cm module...

73 & hope to hear you on 222!  Steve WB2WIK/6

*To meet FCC spectral purity requirements.


Posts: 3

« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2001, 06:54:22 PM »

I appreciate your desire for more equipment on the 222 band. As noted, since the 222 band isn't a world wide amateur band, it becomes difficult to expect manufacturing concernings to produce a large number of rigs with this band one it. This is really a long time problem, since even U.S. manufacturers haven't had much concern for commerical ssb equipment in this part of the spectruum. Linear transistors and or power modules don't specifically exist in large numbers as well. Class C parts for intermediate power levels are not in high demand as there is no commerical FM in this region as well.

The K4EJQ project was an attempt to get those so inclined to experiment abit, just possibly enter the world of VHF radio and or expand the horizons of others that would like to try another little used VHF band. There exist several fine lines of VHF linear transverters, both built and kit, that get the job done with greater performance. Yet, I also wouldn't take away from those that are so driven to try a little tinkering for themselves. I only hope it spurs (no pun intended) more though  toward the use of 222 and many other fine vhf bands......

I applaud your efforts to get more commerical equipment on 222, however, it is the nature of this band to require generally a different approach. Most of the rigs are either FM only or are moduled type that can include 222, therefore inherently not 222 specific. It is neccessary then to decide just what you are interested in as far as general use of the band.

Many fine future elmers are only waiting for someone to ask them about a project of some sort or another, be it antennae, amplifier, transverter or heaven forbid transciever. Maybe ham radio has grown largely away from these things, but maybe just maybe it can have abit of that as well. It was in this spirit that the project was offered...not the final word....just something to chew on.....most of all enjoy Ham Radio and Pass It On!


Posts: 2

« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2001, 02:14:50 PM »

222 is a great VHF band.  You can work aurora almost as easy as on 144 and tropo is a bit better.  Most people who use the band for weak signal work use transverters from DEM, SSB, or older models.   An HR2600 coupled with a modified TenTec or 222 transverter is a low cost way onto the band.  For those in the upper midwest, look for my 222.060 beacon from EN34IU.


Posts: 16

« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2001, 04:22:11 PM »

ADI and Alinco both offer a 220 mobile radio.  They cost around $250.00 each.  I am not familiar with the Alinco, but I do own the ADI AR-247.  It is a very nice radio, quite similar to the Kenwood 220 mobile (the TM-331, which costs around $450 to $500.00).

The 220 band is nice in that it is often quiet.  It is not crowded like 2 meters.  It is also similar to 2 meters, and propogates about the same.

In most areas, such as the area that I am in, there is very little activity.  In larger cities, you will find more activity.

73 de,
Dan, W8MMQ


Posts: 1045


« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2001, 03:10:39 PM »

The 220 band is the best kept secret in amateur radio and many of us like it that way.  We need to use the band enough to keep the spectrum, but I'm not sure that I want to see a WHOLE lot more users.  Of the VHF spectrum 220 is my favorite, BECAUSE it is quiet, "the family channel, no lids, no kids."  

We use it alot for ARES / RACES because we don't tie up more popular 2 meter repeaters and thereby inconvenience other users.  The characteristics of 220 are ideal for EmCom, lower noise floor, quiet, less intermod problems and it has excellent FM simplex range.  It does about as well with 25w as 2 meters does with 50w with the same antenna gain and height. A bonus is that it gets in and out of buildings almost as well as UHF.  It is nearly perfect for urban EmCom.

We use it alot.  Several of our ops have the new Alinco mobile and like it so far.  I have a couple older Kenwoods, TM631 and TM621 dual-band 2m/220 a TM642 2m/220 with 440 added, and a Stdnard C228A HT.
Several of our ops like the older TM321A Kenwood and these are a good mobile if you can find one reasonable.  
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