An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment

An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment
and Developments in the U.S. Market
November 21, 2015
Diana Feinberg, AI6DF
Staff 60
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment
and Developments in the U.S. Market
1. Why so few choices in equipment until lately
2. History of the 222-225 MHz band…and a new threat
3. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz mobile radios
4. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz handheld radios
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment
and Developments in the U.S. Market
1. Why so few choices in equipment until lately
2. History of the 222-225 MHz band…and a new threat
3. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz mobile radios
4. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz handheld radios
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
222-225 MHz amateur band historically under-utilized in
the U.S. due to lack of equipment choices
U.S. 222-225 MHz amateur band until recently had few radio
choices because no world-wide market
 222-225 MHz amateur band only in Western Hemisphere
 Used for television broadcasting elsewhere
 Ireland, Channel J
 Video: 223.25 MHz
 Western Europe; most of Africa and Asia; Australia, New
Zealand:
 Channel 11 audio: 222.75 MHz
 Channel 12 video: 224.25 MHz
 Eastern Europe:
 Channel 12 video: 223.75 MHz
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
222-225 MHz amateur band under-utilized in the U.S. due
to lack of equipment choices…but that is changing
Many new 222-225 MHz radios recently… more expected
 Most new radios coming from China; several from U.S. maker
 Prices very reasonable…but quality varies
 Plenty of reasons to get on the 222-225 MHz band
LACDCS has 224.300 MHz repeater on Mt. Disappointment—
let’s use it
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment
and Developments in the U.S. Market
1. Why so few choices in equipment until lately
2. History of the 222-225 MHz band…and a new threat
3. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz mobile radios
4. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz handheld radios
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Ham radio lost its 220-222 MHz segment in 1988 due to illfated United Parcel Service radio system
Some history about the 222-225 MHz ham band
 1938: Ham radio given 220-225 MHz
 1970’s: Little commercial equipment to modify for use in 220-225
MHz; band largely quiet
 1973-1977: FCC considered and rejected 224 MHz for another
“Citizens Band”
 1988: United Parcel Service lobbied & got 220-222 MHz for
proposed fleet and package tracking system
 Narrow-banded SSB voice and data network envisioned
 But UPS turned to cellular providers for wireless tracking
 UPS abandoned 220-222 MHz, FCC auctioned it to others
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Amateurs need to use our 222-225 MHz band more, can’t
let spectrum sit idle
Some more history about the 222-225 MHz ham band
 1990: Amateur radio decided to prevent another spectrum giveback; major makers started selling 1.25-meter radios
 Early 2000’s: Major brands (ex-Alinco) stopped selling 222-225
MHz radios
 2012-2015: Lesser makers launched low-cost 222-225 MHz
radios, often using non-traditional retail distribution
 2014-2015: A new threat emerging from below in 220-222 MHz
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
A railroad signaling technology called “Positive Train
Control” now the biggest threat to 222-225 Mhz ham band
After some fatal train accidents, 10 frequencies across
220-222 MHz assigned for Positive Train Control
 2008: Chatsworth MetroLink crash with freight train started PTC
 PTC systems use three components with 220 MHz radios
 Locomotive speed control and display
 Bi-directional transmission of track, train speed conditions
 On-board navigation system with database of track speed
limits, other considerations for braking
 Goals: immediately warn train engineer, automatically
activate brakes in 15 seconds
 Ten existing frequencies not enough in major urban areas
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
A railroad signaling technology called “Positive Train
Control” now the biggest threat to 222-225 Mhz ham band
Currently you will find Positive Train Control here:
Frequency Type Tone Alpha Tag
220.12750 BM
PTC-1
220.13250 BM
PTC-2
220.13750 BM
PTC-3
220.14250 BM
PTC-4
220.14750 BM
PTC-5
220.75250 BM
PTC-6
220.76750 BM
PTC-7
220.77250 BM
PTC-8
221.75750
M
PTC-9
221.76750
M
PTC-10
Description
Positive Train Control 1
Positive Train Control 2
Positive Train Control 3
Positive Train Control 4
Positive Train Control 5
Positive Train Control 6
Positive Train Control 7
Positive Train Control 8
Positive Train Control 9
Positive Train Control 10
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Mode
FMN
FMN
FMN
FMN
FMN
FMN
FMN
FMN
FM
FM
Tag
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
Data
An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment
and Developments in the U.S. Market
1. Why so few choices in equipment until lately
2. History of the 222-225 MHz band…and a new threat
3. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz mobile radios
4. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz handheld radios
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
During 2001-2010 Alinco DR-235T was about the only 220
mobile transceiver sold; DCS has these in most stations
 Familiar radio in most
LACDCS rooms
 Ventura Co. disaster
groups heavily use this
radio
 Easy to manually
program
 Head not detachable
 25 watts, 100 channels
 But…issues with IF filter
failure, final PA easy to
blow out
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
59 eham.net reviews =
4.7 rating
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
The Jetstream JT-222M appeared to offer an alternative,
but problems reported
28 eham.net reviews =
3.6 rating
50 watts, 200
memories, but…
Complaints about
units dying early;
poorly-written manual;
poor software
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
TYT (Hytera) then decided to enter the 220- MHz sector
through Amazon.com…and transmit up to 260 MHz
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
27 eham.net reviews = 4.2 rating
55 watts, 200 channels
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Recently some dual-band mobile radios with 222-225 MHz
(and more) started appearing with detachable heads
http://www.buytwowayradios.com/pr
oducts/wouxun/kg-uv920p-a.aspx
15 eham.net reviews =
3.2 rating
Can do 2m/220 cross-band;
or connect two units to
create a 220 repeater;
Includes 88-108 FM
broadcast band
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
New tri-band dual-receive radio with 220 capability
…about to appear in U.S. with 758 memory channels
http://www.wouxun.us/item.php?item_id=343
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
TX ranges go well outside ham bands—be careful
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
This radio cross-bands from 220 to 440
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
A very promising “almost commercial-build” 220 radio
soon to appear
http://www.bridgecomsystems.com/products/bcm-220-mhz-mobile-radio
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Some commercial models are used as taxi radios in Asia
An Overview of 220 MHz Amateur Radio Equipment
and Developments in the U.S. Market
1. Why so few choices in equipment until lately
2. History of the 222-225 MHz band…and a new threat
3. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz mobile radios
4. Recent developments in 222-225 MHz handheld radios
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Mods to commercial radios don’t always work;
what happened to our first MHz with this 217-222 radio?
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
BridgeCom recently introduced a promising U.S.-made
220 MHz amateur repeater
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
5 eham.net
reviews =
5.0 rating
30 watts,
currently only
turnkey 220
repeater;
Made in U.S.A.
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Developments in HT radios for 222-225 MHz:
…Wouxun dual-band UV3-D used by many
 Covers 2-meters and 220
 Dual receivers
 Only transmits in ham bands
 Has built in LED flashlight
 Voice prompts (if desired)
 $99; available at ham stores
 Make sure you get UV3D with 220;
 Same model # also in 2-meter/440
 eham.net: 70 ratings = 4.2
128 channels + broadcast FM 88-108 MHz, no out of band TX
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Another Wouxun HT radio for 222-225 MHz: Unusual band
combinations in this unit but only 3 watts on 220
199 channels + broadcast FM 88-108 MHz + out of band
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Even lower-cost HT radios for 222-225 MHz: Many that go
out of band being sold through non-ham retail channels
128 channels + broadcast FM 88-108 MHz + out of band
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
This low-power TYT does 2m/220 in a small package
Eham.net rating: 12 reviews = 4.3
Only 2.5 watts max.,128 channels +
broadcast FM 88-108 MHz + out of band
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Developments in HT radios for 222-225 MHz: A low-cost
alternative to the Kenwood TH-F6A…for only $66
128 channels + broadcast FM 88-108 MHz + out of band
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Very recent HT for 222-225 MHz: BridgeCom BCH-220
Alternative to other
low-cost 220 MHz HTs;
199 channels;
no out of band TX
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
In summary, choices in 220 MHz ham radios are increasing:
Let’s get on the air!
Credit goes to China radio makers, selling for other uses too
Product quality of some units not very good
Manuals for some not well-written, programming by hand difficult
Be careful where you transmit (some go out of ham bands)
Bottom line: Wider selection and low prices will lead to more
220 MHz amateur operators, including in DCS
We have LACDCS 224.300 MHz repeater for DCS—let’s use it
For more info on 222-225 MHz in Southern California and list of
coordinated repeaters, visit www.220sma.org
Thanks for watching.
© 2015 Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service
Open as PDF
Similar pages