[VHFcontesting] Trends in VHF/UHF Weak Signal Operating

Zack Widup w9sz.zack at gmail.com
Sat Feb 15 11:50:59 EST 2014

Maybe most of the hams that are active just want radios they can take
out of a box, plug in and use. I don't think that's true for
contesters - it requires a lot of work to build even a small contest

I've always been a builder. My VHF+ station consists entirely of
transverters. I built all of them. I also built all the antennas I'm
using. But even if you bought a transverter from Down East Microwave
or somewhere, maybe it is just too much for the typical ham to figure
out how to interface it. I'd like to think that's not true.

I built the 222 MHz transverter designed by Zack Lau W1VT. I believe
it appeared in QEX magazine in 1993. You can find templates for the pc
boards at the ARRL site. I made my own boards. This transverter is a
great performer.

W1GHZ also sells boards for a small 222 MHz transverter designed to
work with the FT-817. It should work with any transceiver if you
connect it properly.

Again, maybe that's just too much work for most people.

In contests in this area, all the VHF contesters who have more than
one band seem to have 222. I usually work almost as many people on 222
as I do on 432 in contests.

73, Zack W9SZ

On 2/15/14, Duane - N9DG <n9dg at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --------------------------------------------
> On Wed, 2/12/14, Peter Laws <plaws at plaws.net> wrote:
> "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!  I, for one, am not interested in
> being belted *or* flayed.  But yes, that would surely be helpful if for no
> other reason than to make sure there is more than one point of view
> represented."
> Based on my experiences of trying to do just that for more than 10 years now
> on places like eHam is that you will find more than likely to be simply
> "unheard" than be criticized for posting information about what we do on the
> "ultra highs". But yes, please do chime in, it gets pretty lonely out there
> trying to offer information to the masses about what we do on these bands.
> There was a recent eHam.net article ("222 MHz the missing Band - Still
> Missing") posted by W4KYR asking why after 10 years after someone had posted
> that same question in a previous article that there are still no all band,
> all mode, radios with 222 in them from I, K, Y, or even anyone else. The
> responses were interesting. Several of us pointed out that there are a
> couple readily available off the shelf transverter options to get going on
> 222 SSB/CW. And I further pointed out that for fixed station uses where
> portability isn't important transverters are a better way to go anyhow. That
> was basically the exact same comment I made 10 years previously to the
> article cited by this most recent one.
> Then there were numerous comments that conflated FM only gear availability
> with the topic of the article that was specifically about SSB/CW capability.
> But then also many of the posters to that article were so completely fixated
> on the notion that only legitimate way to get on on a band is to buy it in a
> box from I, K, or Y they simply couldn't (refused to??) comprehend that
> there are others ways to get onto 222. There's this really peculiar
> perception out there that if it isn't available from I, K, or Y, then it
> doesn't exist. And that it won't exist until it can be bought from I, K, or
> Y.. This widely held belief out there in amateur radio land has baffled me
> almost more than the reality of there being 10's of thousands of radios with
> 6m, 2m, and 70cm in them already out there in people's hands that never get
> used on those bands and modes.
> So I will continue assert that it is not equipment availability, or
> availability of information about what we do that is the limiting factor for
> why people don't get on these bands and modes we do, it is something else.
> Duane
> N9DG
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