N8WNA John reported that 4 guys from MI and OH had a pleasant roundtable on 222.100 (USB-mode) last night. MI and OH is where the latest version of 222 Tuesday started, so I’m glad to hear they’re still enjoying it. I emailed John today and he knows I wish them the best. I still hope that 222 Tuesday will work out across much of the USA and VE.
Myself, I’ve stopped promoting 222 Tuesday, but that’s just a personal choice. If other guys can somehow create widespread 222 activity across the USA and VE, they should. I tried hard and I don’t feel it made much of a long-term difference. If all you wanted was a short story, you’re done.
If you care about having regular activity on 222 (outside of contests and band openings) then take a few minutes and read on. Maybe some good can come of this. I think there’s a formula out there that will spark regular 222 activity, and I hope someone finds it.
As VHF’ers go, I’m one of the newer ones. I will tell you what I know about weekly activity on 222, since I got on the band back in early 2004. At one time, K8TQK and (I’m told) K4TO had regular activity or a net on 222.150 (I think?) for several years at least. I can remember veterans telling me they got out a long ways and guys had a lot of fun with it. Not sure when that faded away. Guessing about 2008.
In the early fall of 2009, I heard from N8WNA and K8GDT that they were restarting 222 activity on Tuesdays. I thought this was a great idea and I asked them if they minded me promoting it. They said “go ahead” and for some time, “222 Tuesday” was going pretty well. I would read email about activity from Texas up thru the southern Plains, plus in FLA, and southern New England. I would make contacts with at least 6-12 guys from a wide area surrounding WI (mostly to the east). If at least 2-3 dozen guys still got on (AND called CQ because “just listening” is USELESS on a dead band) most Tuesdays, from a variety of states and grids, I think you’d have something.
I promoted 222 Tuesday by sending weekly email reminders to all 222′ers in my logbook, plus some word of mouth referrals from other guys who thought it was a good idea. I also made posts to the 222 Propagation Logger at http://dxworld.com/220prop.html plus in time, the VHF reflector at email@example.com. So in theory, most of the 222′ers in the USA and VE, should have at least known about 222 Tuesday. I doubt that 20% ever got on, and certainly no more than once or twice.
My conclusion is the majority of weak-signal guys with 222 gear are on for the contests and perhaps the major band openings. Which I actually understand because really, I’m a contester at heart. If you love contesting, you should get on 222. Why? Because I’ve had at least 3 contests in the last 3 years where I’ve made over 60 Q’s on 222 alone. (Aug 2008 UHF 66 Q’s; Aug 2009 65 Q’s and Sept. 2009 VHF 68 Q’s.) It’s a great band. Just don’t expect to call CQ at any old time and find activity. Kind of the same deal with 432.
It became clear to me last winter that 222 Tuesday was really dying off. My own 222 station hasn’t rotated in months, but I never saw anything on the ON4KST.com chat (IARU Region 2 Room for 144-432 MHz) and rarely saw anything on the Prop Logger.
About a month ago, I started asking questions about how to improve things. Asked them via the Prop Logger, and that VHF reflector (which is alleged to be nationwide). I referred those who were interested to this post at my website: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4351 If you care about the future of 222 Tuesday, you are free to use that post as the basis for somehow motivating 222′ers, anywhere. Or do it in your own way – I’m sure there are others with great ideas.
Once I made that post, I waited several weeks for any replies from anyone. Received none. That told me all I needed to know about me promoting 222 Tuesday any further. I will concentrate my energy on the things that hams care about. The 2m nets are going great and new guys are getting on all the time. I can feel guys getting motivated by that – even after nearly 3 years.
I’m still rooting for 222 Tuesday and I hope it perks up with the nicer weather. N8WNA assures us you can find 222.100 activity if you’re near MI and OH. I want folks to know that it’s not dead. I’m just not promoting it anymore.