A proposal for revitalizing the 1.25m band

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by N0AQX, May 4, 2015.

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  1. N0AQX

    N0AQX Ham Member QRZ Page

    URL: http://dailymorsecode.com/222.html

    A proposal for revitalizing the 1.25m band

    In 1973 the FCC proposed opening up a Citizen's Band on 1.25m at 224MHz. The AARL blocked this. Fifteen years later, over the opposition of the ARRL, the FCC reallocated 220-222MHz from amateur use to land mobile use (at the request of UPS). Part of the reason this was allowed: amateurs simply weren't making use of the 1.25m band.

    Today: not counting the Chinese radio makers, only two companies -- Alinco and Kenwood -- make new handhelds covering 1.25m; Alinco is the only non-Chinese manufacturer of 1.25m mobile radios; and nobody makes a radio which does SSB on 1.25m (you have to buy a transverter). Overall use of the band by Radio Amateurs is so low as to be non-existent throughout the country (not counting contest weekends).

    So before we lose the 1.25m band completely, I have a proposal: Create a new Citizen's Band within the current 222-225MHz Amateur Band and encourage the production of radios which are shipped with firmware that limits them to that new CB portion but able to be unlocked to use the full Amateur band by anyone qualified to verify the credentials of an amateur radio licensee (eg: Volunteer Examiners or staff at amateur radio retail store). To make the band attractive to current FRS, MURS, and GMRS users, allow more power -- 5W for hand-helds, 25W for mobiles and base stations -- as well as using whatever antenna they want (the more gear they buy, the more incentive to become a licensed operator and being able to use the rest of the 1.25m band, especially repeaters, up to full power).

    For example: 224.5 - 225.0 could be allocated into 40 narrowband FM channels at 12.5kHz intervals. Both licensed HAMs and non-licensed folks could communicate on these channels; such dual use could accommodate things like over-the-air classes for preparing would-be HAMs for taking the Technician's test or for communicating with one's non-HAM family and friends.

    What this would accomplish:
    • Increased demand for gear capable of communicating on the 1.25m band
    • Increased interest in the band by currently licensed amateurs as new gear becomes available
    • Increased interest in amateur radio by folks who can talk on the CB portion and listen-only on the HAM portion of 1.25m
    • Reducing to as near to zero as possible the chance that the FCC will take this band away from HAMs altogether.

    Some old school HAMs will not like this idea but the alternative is clear: the FCC will continue to sell portions of this band to the highest bidder until the 1.25m Amateur Radio band is only a memory.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
    KV4BL, N8EKT and W8SIG like this.
  2. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    222 is alive and prospering here in SoCal! in fact our Radio club has a repeater on that band!
    but the main reason for lack of activity is that there are very few Handy talkies available for that band. The KENWOOD THF6A does 222, but it is very low power. I bought a BAOFENG UV-5R at DAYTON that had 222 in it (SPecial edition) and I found a TYT for 222 as well. But there are very few mobiles and most hams just don't have a 222 rig!
     
  3. K6AQ

    K6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Yaesu VX-8DR also has 1.25cm (albeit only 1W).
     
  4. N0AQX

    N0AQX Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. K6AQ

    K6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's well hidden in the spec page at the back of the 8DR's manual but it's listed as "222-225MHz (USA version only)" for TX. Also it looks to be 1.5W and not just 1W. I forget if they still sell it though.
     
  6. KM5FL

    KM5FL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where did that come from??? Just what we need, A bunch of unlicensed CBERs mucking things up on our band.. No need to wait for "qualified personel"..Within 15 minutes of going into effect, the whackers and hackers will be doing their thing.

    Where's the ballot box?? I want to be first to vote NO

    KM5FL
     
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  7. N0AQX

    N0AQX Ham Member QRZ Page


    And how active are you on 1.25m now? Would you rather the FCC take away this band because it's not being used than to allow for a half a megaherts slice for VHF CB?
     
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  8. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    AQX:

    You have your facts confused! The FCC did NOT propose the Class "E" Citizens Radio Service in the 220 MHz to 222 MHz segment. That proposal came from the EIA (Electronics Industries Association). If I remember correctly, there was never an NPRM issued for several reasons. However, a number of Japanese radio manufacturers were so sure that this would happen that they started production of 220 MHz FM equipment so that equipment would be available on the first day that operations could commence. When the Class "E" Citizens Radio Service was not approved, those manufacturers were "stuck" with a lot of equipment in inventory. To recoup at least some of the expense, those manufacturers "dumped" those radios on the U.S. amateur radio market.

    The loss of the 220 MHz to 222 MHz segment came about because UPS (United Parcel Service) wanted to establish a nationwide radio system. The UPS proposal, to the FCC, was that they would use true "narrow band" technology (ACSB, amplitude companded side band). UPS even had prototypes of 220 MHz ACSB equipment designed, and manufactured, by SEA, put into trial systems in various portions of the United States. When the 220 MHz to 222 MHz segment was reassigned to land mobile, UPS came back to the FCC wanting to have the "narrow band" technology restrictions removed so that they could use "normal" FM. This was proposed because of the cost of FM equipment compared to the cost of ACSB equipment. Basically, UPS was not happy because the ACSB equipment was considerably more expensive than normal FM equipment. The FCC did NOT change the technical requirements to allow UPS to use FM equipment instead of ACSB equipment. Today, there are a number of commercial two-way radio systems operating in the 220 MHz to 222 MHz segment. However, UPS is NOT one of those!

    The only "good" thing that came out of the UPS debacle was that the Amateur Radio Service as given primary status in the 222 MHz to 225 MHz segment. Prior to that, the Amateur Radio Service was secondary in the 220 MHz to 225 MHz segment. Amateur radio also gained the 219 MHz to 220 MHz segment for certain data uses.

    Really, how many nanoseconds do you think would happen before the "unblocking" sequence of the expanded frequency capabilities became published on the Internet? Doing such would result in the same illegal operations now taking place by "free banders". That is, the entire 222 MHz to 225 MHz segment would rapidly be taken over by those new "CBers".

    As you are a recently licensed amateur radio operator, I believe that you definitely have NOT left your "CB" roots behind!

    I do have equipment for operating on the 222 MHz to 225 MHz band including SSB, CW, and FM. I also built the first 220 MHz FM repeater in the Dallas, Texas, area using a high band Motorola Sensicon "A" receiver (extremely easy operation) and a modified Motorola "G" transmitter (also an easy modification). That was in the mid 1970s.

    Glen, K9STH
     
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  9. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    We have plenty of 222 activity here. Please don't pollute our band.
     
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  10. KM5FL

    KM5FL Ham Member QRZ Page

    More active than you know, and I'm probably more active than you as I have 3 radios that are 220 capable, one of which is ALL MODE.. I have an FT-736R driving a 250 watt "brick" feeding an eleven element HB beam for 222 SSB at 80 feet.. A TM-742A (FM) whose 220 band is feeding an "omni" sitting above the aforementioned beam.. ANOTHER TM-742a in the mobile..

    My log book is loaded with 1.25 meter contacts dating back to 1996 when I purchased the FT-736R

    Is that "active" enough for you????


    You'd do well to read Glen's post again.. I suggest you get off the computer, do some more research, then come back with more accurate facts concerning 1.25... Mixing CB and Amateur Radio on the same band???? SHEEEESH!!!!!!!


    KM5FL
     

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