222 Tuesday — A Great Idea That Didn’t Have Enough Long-Term Participation

      7:45am Friday —

     Happy Veteran’s Day to everyone who has served our country.   Thank you.  

    I promoted 222 Tuesday hard from Sept. 2009 to April 2011.  It wasn’t my idea; the credit goes to N8WNA (EN82) and K8GDT (EN91) plus others who tried hard before them.  (K8TQK EM89 and K4TO EM77 for many years, ending about 2007-2008)  Where I put most of my energy was toward … you guessed it — PROMOTION!   How the heck is anyone going to get on 222 if they don’t know where and when to find regular activity?   I emailed everyone that I had in my 222 logs, plus all Midwest V/UHF contest groups, a nationwide VHF list and the 222 MHz Propagation Logger every week.  Told them that 222 Tuesday was the nationwide activity night.    No net control, no single area of focus.  Everybody get on in the evening, call CQ, swing your beams and make noise. 

   It worked for a time.  There were nights where I’d work 8-10 contacts, and I would get email and feedback from other parts of the country that said they enjoyed the activity too.  One area that really tried hard was the Southern Plains.  K5SW in EM25 helped spread the word and there would be regular activity from OK and TX. 
    After about 8-10 months, the activity dropped off greatly.  The supportive email I would get was always from the same 4 or 5 guys.   222 Tuesday needed dozens of guys getting on from various states to make it work.  One guy here, one guy there wasn’t going to cut it. 
   I kept promoting until late March, early April of 2011.  The last two meaningful posts I made about 222 Tuesday were this http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4351 and this http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4480.  If you care about 222 MHz, read those posts and see if you can somehow make a difference.  There *REALLY* should be some way to promote more frequent 222 activity.  I’m not sure what it would take to cut thru the apathy, but I hope someday, someone can figure it out.  
   My understanding is that you may still hear some 222.100 activity out of MI and OH on Tuesday evenings.  N8WNA and K8GDT would be the focus, I’d imagine. 

     222 MHz is just an excellent band.  It’s quieter and has better propagation.  I always get out a few S-units stronger on 222, vs. 144, with the same antennas and power.  The yagis aren’t as pointy as those on 432 and higher bands, so you tend to hear at least some strong stations off the side. 
    Problem with 222 is there’s a real lack of commercially-available SSB gear.  Most guys go the transverter route and if you have any tech skills, you should too.  A transverter should have better sensitivity.  Or you have appliance operators like me (it’s true) who prefer to use vintage Yaesu FT736R’s that have the optional 222 band module installed.  Yaesu FT726R’s are also an option.    There’s also the highly-prized Icom 375 series, but those rigs have become very overpriced.  
    Because there’s so few 222 rig options, there’s a huge lack of activity on the band.  When will you hear a 222 signal?  In a strong band opening, there might be some activity, as guys liasion on 2m or 432 to make contacts on 222.  The one time you’ll hear signals on 222 MHz  is in an all-band V/UHF contest.  If you enjoy the V/UHF contests, make sure you get 222 up and running someday.

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