This post was originally made on Feb. 23, 2015
Occasionally when I review the chat archives at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at www.on4kst.com, I look to see how 222 Tuesday is doing. Well, it looks like it is holding its own, which I’m glad to see.
If you’re wondering what 222 Tuesday is, let me explain. If you already have 222 gear, you can skip down below these next 3 paragraphs.
Back in the heyday of weak-signal VHF/UHF, guys had an informal agreement that Monday was 144 MHz night, Tuesday was 222 MHz night and Wednesday was 432 MHz night.
222 MHz is a great band with a low-activity problem. I had 222 for years and it *always* was an S-unit or 2 better than my 144, and I had the same antenna gain, height and power levels on both bands. Plus 222 is quieter. So if you are serious about enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF bands, you really should do yourself a favor and step up to 222 MHz.
The reason some guys don’t get on 222 is because it’s hard to find commercially-available gear for 222 SSB. You basically have 2 paths: 1) step up to a transverter. I’m the last guy to talk intelligently about transverters because quite honestly, I am an appliance operator. But a good transverter will do the best job, from a specs standpoint. Ask other experienced VHF’ers or start poking around on Google. The #2 path) is to find used Yaesu FT-736R’s that have the *OPTIONAL* 222 MHz module installed. Look around hard enough at various ham classified forums and you will eventually find FT-736R’s. You also have the rare Icom 375H or 375A rigs, but they are very pricey, if you can even find one for sale.
On to how 222 Tuesday works…
222 Tuesday is a general activity night. It is not a directed net and if you sit around and “just listen” you may or may not hear a thing. It is far better if you actually get on/near 222.100 and call some CQ’s in various directions, to get something started.
222 Tuesday starts about 8pm eastern/7pm central and I suspect it would be busiest during the first 30-60 minutes. BUT… get on when you can, make some noise and look around in different directions. Also consider following along at the ON4KST.com ham chat. Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz. There are guys in different states posting who they’re working and where they are looking, which really helps perk things up. If you are diligent about playing along on 222 Tuesdays, and you let others know where you are and that you are looking for contacts, you could get some nice momentum going in a few weeks.
FOR THE FM’ERS…
I would get on/near 223.500 FM simplex and see what you can stir up. No reason 222 Tuesday can’t include all modes. It’s just that you get superior range on 222.100 SSB.
Resolve in 2015 to get more signals on 222 MHz. Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies. Encourage them to use this fine band.