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WB4CS

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It depends on your location. In very populated metro areas 220 MHz can have some activity. In most of the US 220 MHz is fairly dead except for a few areas that have a group of dedicated 220 MHz users.

220 is a great band with propagation characteristics of both 2M and 70cm. Unfortunately with the limited amount of consumer radios on the market that include 220 MHz, there's just not many people with the capability to use the band.
 

DJ11DLN

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220...

I have what few 220 repeaters I could find in the extended area programmed into a scanner here...other than identifiers, it never locks on any of them. I'm near Terre Haute.
 

jaspence

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220 (222) MHz

There are at least three 2 meter/1.25 meter (222) handhelds on the market today, and at least one 222 MHz mobile unit was introduced not that long ago. The Baofeng UV-82 is available for about $40.00 in the 2 meter/1.25 meter configuration.

The frequencies are underused and not available in most foreign countries, which is a reason for the limited radios available.
 

902

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220 had been fairly heavily used in the early-to-mid 80s in a few urban areas as a relief band to 2 meters. My personal experiences with 220 came after about 1982 when some of the guys from a local 2 meter group wanted to "break away." One bought a Maggiore repeater and put it up at his workplace. Another built a repeater out of strips. It represented the "alternative" to 2 meters. After a while, some people migrated to 440 because common user equipment, like Icom 3-AT, 03-AT, and 37A were no longer available, and "dualbander" radios were typically 2 meters and 440.

The chunk taken out in 1985 because UPS *HAD TO* have its own spectrum (and subsequently discarded it for CDPD and newer wireless technologies) also discouraged manufacturers from investing in R&D.

There's nothing wrong with the band. In fact, it works very nicely - a cross between the efficient propagation of VHF and the smaller antennas/less crowding of UHF. I still have an 03AT at home. Now, if I only had someone else to speak with, I'd very happily buy a new battery.

But that's just the hammie side of things.

Around the mid-80s, people were experimenting with ACSB - amplitude compandored sideband. That was SSB with a pilot tone and compression/expansion. It was less than desirable. They also experimented with 2.5 kHz narrowband, which is what public safety has compressed down to today. Up until the late 90s, 220 was used for the inland waterways systems for vessel tracking and telephone communication. But other technologies proved to be better. Likewise for trunking in metropolitan areas. iDEN kicked 220 SMRs collective behinds. So, those were gone in the 90s, too.

Now you see what's left. Use it or lose it.
 
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