1.25-meter band

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The 1.25 meter, 220 MHz or 222 MHz band is a portion of the VHF radio spectrum internationally allocated for amateur radio use on a primary basis in ITU Region 2, and it comprises frequencies from 220 MHz to 225 MHz.[1] In the United States and Canada, the band is available on a primary basis from 222 to 225 MHz, with the addition of 219 to 220 MHz on a limited, secondary basis.[1][2][3] It is not available for use in ITU Region 1 (except in Somalia[4]) or ITU Region 3.[1] The license privileges of amateur radio operators include the use of frequencies within this band, which is primarily used for local communications.

History[edit]

The 1.25-meter band has a very long and colorful history dating back to before World War II.

Pre-Cairo Conference[edit]

Some experimental amateur use in the U.S. was known to occur on the "1¼-meter band" as early as 1933, with reliable communications achieved in fall of 1934.[5]

The Cairo Conference[edit]

In 1938 the FCC gave U.S. amateurs privileges in two VHF bands: 2.5 meters (112 MHz) and 1.25 meters (224 MHz).[6] Both bands (as well as 70 centimeters) were natural harmonics of the 5-meter band. Amateur privileges in the 2.5-meter band were later reallocated to 144–148 MHz (becoming the modern-day 2-meter band), and the old frequencies were reassigned to aircraft communication during World War II. At this time, the 1.25-meter band expanded to a 5 MHz bandwidth, spanning 220–225 MHz.

The VHF/UHF explosion[edit]

Amateur use of VHF and UHF allocations exploded in the late 1960s and early 1970s as repeaters started going on the air. Repeater use sparked a huge interest in the 2-meter and 70-centimeter (420–450 MHz) bands, however, this interest never fully found its way into the 1.25-meter band. Many amateurs attribute this to the abundance of commercial radio equipment designed for 136–174 MHz and 450–512 MHz that amateurs could easily modify for use on the 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands. There were no commercial frequency allocations near the 1.25-meter band, and little commercial radio equipment was available. This meant that amateurs who wanted to experiment with the 1.25-meter band had to build their own equipment or purchase one of the few radios available from specialized amateur radio equipment manufacturers. Many of the repeaters which have been constructed for 1.25-meter operation have been based on converted land-mobile base station hardware,[7] often extensively modifying equipment originally designed for other VHF bands.[8]

US Novice licensees get privileges[edit]

By the 1980s, amateur use of 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands was at an all-time high while activity on 1.25 meters remained stagnant.[citation needed] In an attempt to increase use on the band, many amateurs called for holders of Novice-class licenses (the entry-level class at that time) to be given voice privileges on the band. In 1987, the FCC modified the Novice license to allow voice privileges on portions of the 1.25-meter and 23-centimeter (1.24–1.30 GHz) bands. In response, some of the bigger amateur radio equipment manufacturers started producing equipment for 1.25 meters. However, it never sold well, and by the early 1990s, most manufacturers had stopped producing equipment for the band.[citation needed]

US reallocation[edit]

In 1973, the FCC considered Docket Number 19759, which was a proposal to establish a Class E Citizen's band service at 224 MHz. The proposal was opposed by the ARRL and after the explosive growth of 27 MHz Citizen's Band usage, the FCC dropped consideration of the docket in 1977.[9]

In the late 1980s, United Parcel Service (UPS) began lobbying the FCC to reallocate part of the 1.25-meter band to the Land Mobile Service. UPS had publicized plans to use the band to develop a narrow-bandwidth wireless voice and data network using a mode called ACSSB (amplitude-companded single sideband). UPS's main argument for the reallocation was that amateur use of the band was very sparse and that the public interest would be better served by reallocating part of the band to a service that would put it to good use.[10]

In 1988, over the objections of the amateur radio community, the FCC adopted the 220 MHz Allocation Order, which reallocated 220–222 MHz to private and Federal Government land mobile use while leaving 222–225 MHz exclusively for amateur use. The reallocation proceeding took so long, however, that UPS eventually pursued other means of meeting their communications needs. UPS entered into agreements with GTE, McCall, Southwestern Bell, and Pac-Tel to use cellular telephone frequencies to build a wireless data network. With the 220–222 MHz band now left unused, the FCC issued parts of the band to other private commercial interests via a lottery in hopes that it would spark development of super-narrowband technologies, which would help them gain acceptance in the marketplace.[citation needed]

Canadian reallocation[edit]

Until January 2006,[11] Canadian amateur radio operators were allowed operate within the entire 220–225 MHz band. Canadian operations within 120 km of the United States border were required to observe a number of restrictions on antenna height and power levels to coordinate use with non-amateur services in the United States.[12]

In 2005 Industry Canada decided to reallocate 220–222 MHz to land mobile users, similar to the US, but unlike in the US, a provision was included to allow the amateur service, in exceptional circumstances, to use the band in disaster relief efforts on a secondary basis. In addition, the band 219 to 220 MHz was allocated to the amateur service on a secondary basis. Both of these reallocations went into effect January 2006.[3][11]

Band usage[edit]

Canadian band plan[edit]

Band plan
License class 219–220 220–222 222.00–222.05 222.05–222.10 222.10–222.275 222.275–222.300 222.31–223.370 223.39–223.490 223.49–223.590 223.59–223.890 223.91–225
Basic(+), Advanced
Key for the band plan
= Available on a secondary basis to other users.[3][11]
= Available only to assist with disaster relief efforts.[3][11]
= Reserved for EME (moon bounce)
= Continuous wave (CW), 222.1 calling freq.
= SSB, 222.2 calling freq.
= propagation beacons
= FM Repeaters (input −1.6 MHz)
= High speed data
= FM simplex

Scope of operation in North America[edit]

Wouxun KG-UVD1P dual watch handheld for 2M and 220 MHz.

Today, the 1.25-meter band is used by many amateurs who have an interest in the VHF spectrum.

There are pockets of widespread use across the United States, mainly in New England and western states such as California and Arizona with more sporadic activity elsewhere. The number of repeaters on the 1.25-meter band has grown over the years to approximately 1,500 nationwide as of 2004.[13]

The attention that band received in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to the reallocation of its bottom 2 MHz sparked renewed amateur interest. Many amateurs feared that lack of 1.25-meter activity would lead to reallocation of the remaining 3 MHz to other services.[14] Today, new handheld and mobile equipment is being produced by amateur radio manufacturers, and it is estimated that more amateurs have 1.25-meter equipment now than at any point in the past.[15]

Auxiliary stations[edit]

An auxiliary station, most often used for repeater control or link purposes or to remotely control another station, is limited in the United States to operation on frequencies above 144.5 MHz[16] excluding 144.0–144.5 MHz, 145.8–146.0 MHz, 219–220 MHz, 222.00–222.15 MHz, 431–433 MHz, and 435–438 MHz. Operation of such control links in the crowded 2-meter band is problematic[17] and on many frequencies in that band expressly prohibited, leaving 1.25-meter band frequencies as the lowest available for remote control of repeaters and unattended stations.[18]

List of transceivers[edit]

Standard c228a dual band handheld for 2M and 220 MHz.

A full list of new and used 222 MHz transceivers is available. [2]

Since the band is allocated mostly in ITU Region 2 (Somalia, in Region 1, being the only exception thus far), the major equipment manufacturers (Kenwood, Yaesu, and Icom) do not often offer transceiver models that cover the frequency range. (see Novice licensees get privileges). This exacerbates the lack of usage of the 1.25-meter band, though manufacturers argue that what equipment they have produced hasn't sold well compared to other products.[citation needed]

In recent years, Kenwood and Yaesu have both included the 1.25-meter band in some of their multiband handheld transceivers. The Kenwood TH-F6A, the Yaesu VX-6R, VX-7R and VX-8R (USA and Canada version) include coverage of the 1.25-meter band in addition to the more popular 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands. Wouxun now has the KG-UVD1P in a 2-meter/1.25-meter model, legal for use in the United States. In the 1980s, ICOM offered the IC-37A—a 220-MHz, 25-watt FM transceiver that can still be obtained as used equipment from various sources such as eBay and/or private collectors. As of 2013, the BaoFeng UV-82X, a cheap 2-meter/1.25 meter handheld, has become available.

Several 1.25-meter base/mobile transceivers are available. Among these are the Alinco DR-235T,[19] the Jetstream the JT220M,[20] and the TYT TH-9000 monoband radio, which comes in a 1.25-meter model.

The Chinese company Wouxun offers a 2- and 1.25-meter dual-band HT, the KG-UVD1P.[21] These have received FCC approval in the United States; but are awaiting approval Industry Canada.[citation needed]

Elecraft offers an all-mode (CW, FM, SSB) transverter for the band[22] compatible with their K2 and K3 transceivers.

Countries with known allocations[edit]

ITU Region 1

ITU Region 2

  • Canada (222–225 MHz amateur primary exclusive; 219–220 MHz secondary and shared; 220–222 MHz, only for "disaster relief" )[3][11]
  • Mexico (222–225 MHz) (Band is channelized in some segments and shared with commercial and government operations, including police.)[25]
  • United States of America (222–225 MHz amateur primary exclusive; 219–220 MHz secondary, shared and limited)[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "FCC Online Table of Frequency Allocations" (PDF). 47 C.F.R. Federal Communications Commission. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "US Amateur Radio Frequency Allocations". The American Radio Relay League. 1.25 Meters. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations" (PDF). Industry Canada. February 2007. pp. 24 & 99. Retrieved 2 September 2011. C11 In the band 219–220 MHz, the amateur service is permitted on a secondary basis. In the band 220–222 MHz, the amateur service may be permitted in exceptional circumstances on a secondary basis to assist in disaster relief efforts. 
  4. ^ a b "Regarding authorised amateur radio frequency bands and transmitter power output in Somalia" (PDF). 22 June 2004. Ministry of Information, Telecommunication and Culture Garowe, Puntland, Somalia. p. 2. Archived from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  5. ^ DeSoto. Clinton B. 200 Meters and Down: The Story of Amateur Radio, 2001 edition. Newington, Conn.: The Amateur Radio Relay League. p. 129.
  6. ^ Francis Colt de Wolf. The Cairo Telecommunication Conferences. The American Journal of International Law, 32;3(July 1938):562–568.
  7. ^ GE Mastr II Modifications for 220MHz, WB6RHQ, 20 January 1989 Accessed 2009-03-27. Archived 25 April 2009.
  8. ^ 222 MHz Motorola Micor Modifications, Kevin Custer W3KKC, Scott Zimmerman N3XCC Accessed 2009-03-27. Archived 25 April 2009.
  9. ^ http://jplarc.ampr.org/calling/1977/nov/nov77.html JPL amateur radio club newsletter, retrieved 2010 Feb 09
  10. ^ Why 220MHz?, Todd Ellis, 220MHz: An MRT Special Report (MRT Magazine), 6 Mar 2002. Accessed 2013-03-26. (Formerly http://220.mrtmag.com/ar/radio_why_mhz/index.htm)
  11. ^ a b c d e "Spectrum Allocation and Utilization Policy Regarding the Use of Certain Frequency Bands Below 1.7 GHz for a Range of Radio Applications" (PDF). Industry Canada. June 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2011. In the public consultation, the Department proposed provisional changes to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations in the bands 216–220 MHz and 220–225 MHz. As a result, the following allocation decisions for both bands and the spectrum utilization policy for 220–225 MHz were implemented in January 2006: 
  12. ^ http://www.rac.ca/en/rac/services/bandplans/220/agr.php Radio Amateurs of Canada interpretation of the 220 MHz operating agreement, retrieved 14 March 2010
  13. ^ Repeaters – what are they and how to use them, American Radio Relay League Accessed 2009-03-27. Archived 25 April 2009.
  14. ^ 220 MHz (125 cm) info, Radio Amateurs of Canada, 2004. Accessed 2009-03-27. Archived 25 April 2009.
  15. ^ Getting on the 220 Band, St. Lawrence Valley Repeater Council Accessed 2009-03-27. Archived 25 April 2009.
  16. ^ FCC regulations, part 97, subpart C--Special Operations
  17. ^ Federal Communications Commission In the Matter of Kenwood Communications Corp. Request for Declaratory Ruling to Determine Compliance With Applicable Sections of Part 97 of the Commission's Rules or Waiver of Applicable Rule Sections, 28 July 2000
  18. ^ What is the difference between a repeater and an auxiliary station?, Gary Hendrickson W3DTN
  19. ^ DR-235TMKIII 25W FM Mobile/Base unit
  20. ^ 220 MHz 50 watt radio
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ Elecraft XV Series Transverters
  23. ^ Aruba application for a visitor's license. http://www.qsl.net/aarc/P4A.PDF accessed 1 November 2008.
  24. ^ "Décision no 2013-1515" [Decision No. 2013-1515] (PDF) (Press release) (in French). Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes. Réseau des Émetteurs Français. 17 December 2013. pp. 4–5. Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Mexico Amateur Radio frequency bands and channel allocations" (PDF). 15 December 1994. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2008. 
  26. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago Frequency Allocation Table (9 kHz to 1000 GHz)" (PDF). The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. 16 October 2009. p. 27. Retrieved 15 November 2009.