222 MHz Fall Sprint is Tonight — Sept 25th. 900 MHz and Up Sprint is This Sat. 7am-1pm.

   7:15am — 
   If you’re looking for the Wed. night 2m net announcement, it’s right below this post. 

   Tonight is the 222 MHz Fall Sprint.  Runs from 7-11pm in your local time zone.   I should be on, calling CQ and looking in all directions, from at least 7-10pm. 

   Because fewer VHF’ers are on 222, here’s hoping hams with this wonderful band will step up tonight and make some noise.   Why is 222 a wonderful band?  Better propagation characteristics and lower noise levels than on 50 or 144 MHz.  With the same amount of antenna gain, height and output power, I’m always an S-unit or two better on 222 than 144. 
   Why doesn’t everyone have 222 SSB?  Because there’s a lack of commercially-available gear.  To get on 222 takes more effort than 50 or 144.  You need to either find a vintage Yaesu FT726 or 736R (make sure the rig has the optional 222 band module installed), or you can spend a fortune for an (also used) Icom IC-375, *if* you can find one.  (Good luck).  Or you can take the step up in performance to a transverter.  Do a search for “222 MHz transverter” on Google; you’ll find plenty of info there.   Getting on 222 SSB/CW is definitely not fast-food hamming, but it’s well worth the effort.  You will find plenty of 222 activity in the sprints and ARRL V/UHF contests, plus there’s still pockets of weekly 222 activity, on Tuesday nights.  One such pocket is alive and well out of MI/OH and surrounding areas. 

   With the sprint tonight, you may also find activity on 223.500 FM mode.   Rover WB8BZK will be doing this as he transits Chicago’s EN62/61/52/51 grid corner tonight.   Experience tells me I should be able to work Mike this way, over a 100+ mile path, especially since he’ll be using both horizontally and vertically polarized antennas.  (Horizontal pol. is the norm on SSB/CW portions of any V/UHF band, and vertical pol. is the norm on the FM side) 
   The SSB/CW call frequency is 222.100 and activity may be found from roughly 222.080-222.130, depending on how much activity there is. 

   *ALSO REMEMBER THE MICROWAVE SPRINT (all bands 900 MHz and higher) IS THIS SAT. MORNING, SEPT 29TH.  7AM – 1PM LOCAL TIME.*  Even if you don’t currently have gear for bands like 902/903 MHz, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, or 5 gig or 10 gig, you may be able to get a sense of activity by listening along on 144.260.  Many microwavers use this freq. as liasion for “finding” other uWavers.  Why do they use 2m?  Because the high gain antennas on the microwaves have very narrow beamwidths, and it can be very tough to find random activity.  By calling around on 2m, where the antenna beamwidths are more forgiving, we can find others and get our headlights pointed at each other as we switch to 900, 1296, etc.

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