I follow the AR902MHz Yahoo group and also the CSIDMR Yahoo group, both of which often talk about the 900MHz band. I’ve posted before about my interest in the 900MHz ham band, and I am currently running a radio in the truck for analog use on this band. I also have a Motorola CPR-4580 in my shack that is setup for the analog 900MHz repeaters around the area, but I don’t yet have a base-station antenna.
During one of the recent email strings, it was mentioned that the Alinco DJ-G29T 220/900MHz dual band HT radio was about to be discontinued due to “lack of interest”. Here is a quote from that email chain:
TC is not wrong when it comes to amateur interest in 900mhz, unfortunately. I just saw a BRAND NEW XPR6580, with battery, charger, etc., sell for $255 on eBay, others just sit there. Alinco makes a 902/222 mhz dual band HT that is going to be discontinued because of lack of interest, even though it is a terrific little radio.
While there is some commercial use of 800-900mhz, and that’s why Motorola (and other manufacturers) produce equipment for the 800-900mhz band….but it is absolutely right that there is very little amateur interest in the 33cm band outside of densely populated urban areas and the coasts. I wish there was more interest, because I like the band and wish there was more activity
I don’t agree 100% with the comments above about the 33cm band, but I can certainly see why they were made. If you live in an area that has little interest in 900MHz, then it would be easy to think that the band is dead. Similar to the 1.25M band in DFW (there are lots of repeaters listed, but most of them show off-the-air or ‘status unknown’ on repeaterbook). But I often seen people spending several hundred dollars on 220MHz equipment on ebay, such as the Mirage C3012 amp and the TYT TH-9000 monoband radio (I own one of these myself). That basically tells me that somewhere, there is a larger interest in the 220MHz band than there is in DFW.
Likewise, I believe there is a larger interest in DFW for 900MHz than perhaps other areas. DFW has the only (to my knowledge) 900MHz DMR repeater owned by N5LS. It was located in Denton, but has been taken down and moved to Dallas, where it will be deployed atop the highest building downtown. Alongside this repeater is the current analog machine, owned by N4MSE, at the 927.0625MHz frequency. This repeater’s footprint reaches well into Denton and Tarrant counties, as well as far passed the East side of Dallas county. In all, with a 10-watt mobile unit, you could talk on this repeater at a distance of greater than 60+ miles.
Back on topic: I did a brief search online and according to Universal Radio, this Alinco unit has indeed been discontinued. It is a shame, really. So I just had to pick one up before all the current stock was gone, and also because HRO has them on sale for $199, free shipping.
Here is some info about the radio. Of course I will be doing a review of it once I receive it and have some time to play with it. I’m looking forward to trying cross-band repeat from 220MHz to 900MHz LOL.
Alinco DJ-G29 Dual Band 222Mhz and 902Mhz Handheld Transceiver
- 222MHz 5/2/0.8/0.3W, 902MHz 2.5/0.8/0.3W max output with a standard Li-ion pack.
- Selectable full duplex system allows operation of main band and sub (Receive-only) band simultaneously
- Independent dials for main and sub band
- Rugged polycarbonate body resists dirt and dust
- High-grade water-resistant materials compatible to IPX7
- Alinco’s unique user-selectable PTT delay option eliminates the annoying squelch tail noise that some repeaters retransmit at the end of receiving non-reverse burst tone-encoded CTCSS signals
- Great audio with large 32mm internal speaker
- Easy-to-read backlit alphanumeric display
- Large screen full-matrix LCD with easy-to-read icons and battery charge level
- Patented “ChannelScope” function allows visual monitoring of nearby signals
- “Wild key” lets you quickly change to frequently used setting
- 39 CTCSS tone squelch (encode + decode) and 104 DCS
- Keypad selectable wide / narrow bandwidth and mic gain
- Keypad selectable multi-step receiver attenuator
- Cloning capability between DJ-G29T units or through PC (optional cable needed)
- Quick-write memory channels
- Direct frequency input through illuminated keypad
- DTMF encode and auto-dialer
- 500 Memories with memory banks
- Automatic repeater-setting function
- Keylock function
- Multiple scan functions: VFO, Memory, Program, Tone, DCS & Sweep
- Crossband repeater feature