The 222 MHz (1.25 meter) amateur band is underutilized in our region, yet it has some great qualities. It has the long range of 2 meters, some of the signal bounce characteristics of 440 MHz and a lower noise floor since it is further away from public safety and other land mobile services. Best of all, the band has a primary allocation to amateur radio, unlike 440 MHz and 900 MHz. New 222 MHz repeaters in Harwich and Fall River have been placed on the air in the past year, with one on the Bourne water tank and Dartmouth at SEMARA soon to follow.
If the above argument hasn't intrigued you enough to invest in a 222 MHz transceiver, how about the fact that you can get a handheld for under $125.00? Or, how about the fact that you may already own a Kenwood or Yaesu handheld that can transmit on 222 MHz! I've compiled a list of radios that are currently in production and can easily be purchased online or at your favorite amateur radio supplier. Shown above is the JT220M, DJ-V27, TH-F6A, VX-8 and KG-UVD1P (click on the image for a larger view). Below is a break down of these radios (and a few others) along with links to search for them easily using Google:
- Alinco DR-435T - 35 Watts, Single Band 222 MHz (~$300)
- Jetstream JT220M - 50 Watts, Single Band 222 MHz (~$250) - Best Value! Higher Power, Lower Price
- Yaesu FTM-350R - 1 Watt*, Triple Band 2m/222*/440 (~$500)
- Alinco DJ-V27 - 5 Watts, Single Band 222 MHz (~$200)
- Kenwood TH-F6A - 5 Watts, Triple Band 2m/222/440 (~$300)
- Wouxun KG-UVD1P - 4 Watts*, Dual Band 2m/222* (~$110)
- Wouxun KG-UV3D - 4 Watts*, Dual Band 2m/222* (~$120) - Best Value! 1700 mAh Battery Included
- Yaesu VX-6R - 1.5 Watts*, Triple Band 2m/222*/440 (~$250)
- Yaesu VX-7R - 0.3 Watts*, Quad Band 6m/2m/222*/440 (~$325)
- Yaesu VX-8 (DR or GR) - 1.5 Watts*, Quad Band 6m/2m/222*/440 (~$400)
For more information on other transceivers for the 1.25 meter band, including discontinued and rare models, check out this web site. The Wikipedia article on 222 MHz is also very comprehensive on providing additional general information on the band.
QSO with you soon on 1.25 Meters! :)
Richard J. Cabral, W1RJC