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Re: 220 MHz Radios and Region 2 Hams

This discussion makes me want to begin production of a VHF/UHF 
muti-mode SDR with dual Rx and plenty of access for addition of 
modems into wide-band circuits...i.e one that incorporates all our 
"wish lists".  I wonder if the Gates Foundation has any grant money 
for a poor dillussionary ham wannabee entrepreneur?  Ha ;-)


At 07:03 AM 3/15/2008, James Duffey wrote:
>Nigel - ITU Region 2 includes all of what geographers call the western
>hemishpere, including South America. As you surmise, the US has about
>3/4 of the hams in Region 2. Region 2 has about a third of the World's
>I suspect that several thousand 220 MHz multimode rigs could be sold,
>enough to recoup development costs and have a bit left over for
>profit. If an existing platform were used as a basis for the rig, or
>220 MHz incorporated into other VHF/UHF multimode rigs development
>costs would be low.
>US Ham gear manufacturers Elecraft and DEMI both make 222MHz
>transverters and in Elecraft's case they integrate nicely with the K2
>to provide what nearly transparent operation controlled by the K2.
>They still are separate boxes though.
>The US manufacturers are victims of the return on investment paradigm
>embraced by many modern companies. They have limited resources and
>those resources are used to address the big markets, high performance
>do everything HF transceivers and smart HF linears. The development
>funds never make it down to the demand for secondary ham markets like
>VHF/UHF multi mode rigs, nor to tertiary or niche markets like 220 MHz.
>The trend towards putting lots of functions into firmware that can be
>revised also drains resources away from development resources for the
>secondary markets. The Ten-Tec 6N2, a nice duo band rig, was dropped
>by Ten-Tec when resources were diverted to support the Orion, even
>though the 6N2 was well thought of by hams and sold reasonably well.
>With this happening to a reasonably popular rig, imagine the
>difficulty in getting development of a 220 MHz rig started. The 6N2
>was leveraged from the Argonaut.
>The 222 MHz band suffers in the USA from an uncertain future and has
>for the last 25 or 30 years. This uncertainty has limited interest in
>the band, both by potential users and by potential manufacturers. It
>enjoyed a brief stint of popularity in the late 70s as a refuge from
>the crowded 144 MHz band during the FM explosion of the 70s. A number
>of companies dipped their toe into the 1.25 M waters including
>Vibroplex and Sears Roebuck. Then UPS made a proposal to the FCC to
>take the band for a communication, location, and tracking service.
>This pretty much stopped any manufacturer interest in producing 220
>MHz equipment. And that slowed interest in the band by hams. The FCC
>finally gave UPS the bottom 2 MHz of the band and they promptly
>abandoned any plan for it. People are atill unusre of what the future
>holds for the band.
>Not all Americans that reside in the USA are the jingoistic egotists
>you imagine. Most are not. The current low exchange rate has made that
>painfully clear to most of us, as have rising energy costs. We live in
>a global economy. In the long run, that benefits everybody. I would
>like a 220 MHz multimode rig. I don't care where it comes from. I
>realize that most of the World's hams, including you, could care less
>about this. I don't have a problem with this. The rise of Japanese
>radio manufacturers was a contributing cause of the demise of ham
>radio manufacturing in this country. Some of us would like them to
>realize that they have most of the ham radio market here and that
>providing a rig that provides 220 MHz capabilities for an area in
>which they dominate the market is not too much to ask. They could
>probably make a buck or two on the deal in the meantime. - Duffey
>James Duffey
>Cedar Crest NM
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73, Ed - KL7UW              BP40iq, 6m - 3cm
144-EME: FT-847, mgf-1801, 4x-xp20, 185w
http://www.kl7uw.com     AK VHF-Up Group
NA Rep. for DUBUS: dubususa@hotmail.com

Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
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