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Member postings for Peter Christy

Here is a list of all the postings Peter Christy has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Horus compatibility question
24/01/2017 16:10:43

Hi MattyB: Yes, I'm familiar with the EU side of things, and yes, if you don't use LBT, you are restricted in the percentage access to the medium. What I was asking is, as the FCC had considered a similar requirement, why didn't they implement it? At a rough guess, because they considered it unnecessary.

The whole point of spread spectrum is that it causes very little in the way of interference to other users, and virtually none to other spread spectrum users. The EU regs seem an unnecessary complication.

Other than 35 and 40 MHz, all model control operates in the ISM (Industrial Scientific and Medical) bands, and I suspect that a few multi-nationals see the opportunity of a "land-grab" of unlicensed frequencies, rather than pay a lot of money for a proper, licensed band of their own. They don't want us cluttering up "their" band.

Now, where did I put my tin-foil hat.....? wink

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Pete

Thread: LMA v BMFA insurance
23/01/2017 17:04:11

Andy, who has your chairman being phoning? The insurers or the BMFA? Forget going direct to the insurers, pursue it through the BMFA would be my advice!

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Pete

23/01/2017 13:55:31

Hi Andy,

Yes, I well recall the original dispute, as I was serving on the Council in another capacity at the time. This probably isn't the correct place to go into the gory details, and I believe that others are pursuing this through official channels, so I will just make a couple of points and then shut up on the subject!

Firstly, the story I have heard since returning to my home area (after over 40 years absence!) is somewhat at odds with my recollections of what Council was told at the time. But more to the point, there are some here who dispute that the decision to disband the sub-area committee was widely supported by the clubs. I wasn't here at the time, so I can't confirm or deny that. All I can report is what I have been told!

Regarding Devon being represented, I am aware of how the situation was meant to be handled. However, that doesn't seem to have happened in practice. Speaking to the secretaries of the three clubs to which I belong reveals that there appears to have been no consultation at all with the clubs on any of the current "hot topics" - or indeed any other topics - for a number of years. Its interesting that you say that the clubs were still represented by a delegate. How can anyone represent without consultation? And aren't delegates meant to be elected at regular intervals? When was the last election? Where are the minutes?

Note that I'm not accusing anyone of impropriety! I know there was a big bust-up in the past. But it does seem that a "black hole" has been left in the South-West area, and perhaps it needs revisiting!

Now I'm going to shut up, as promised!

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Pete

23/01/2017 10:30:28

Well said BEB! And how refreshing to see a thorough and dispassionate analysis of the situation for once.

Although I regularly defend the BMFA, I have also accepted that there are aspects of its organisation that need reviewing, and I too would dearly like to see it become more democratic. Big strides were made a few years ago, with the introduction of "one member, one vote" for elected officials. I had hoped, at the time, that that would result in the spread of that process throughout the BMFA. Sadly, it appears to have stalled.

Making it a fully democratic system would also solve another problem, of which I have become aware since my retirement to a rural area. The area in which I now live has had no representation even for clubs for a number of years now. Surely, for an organisation that insists that the clubs are its members, dis-enfranchising a whole county is even worse than the dis-enfranchisement of country members!

However, it would be unwise to under-estimate the scale of the task. It will not be as simple as waving a magic wand and changing matters overnight. Large chunks of the articles of association will probably need re-writing, as well as all the existing mechanisms for actually running the organisation on a day to day basis. And no matter how carefully this is done, there are bound to be unintended consequences.

But none of that is an excuse for not making a start, and anyone who stands for election on such a ticket will certainly get my vote!

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Pete

23/01/2017 09:13:14

Graham,

It takes a big man to make a confession like that!

Respect!

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Pete

Thread: Horus compatibility question
22/01/2017 18:15:36

Thanks for the pointer, Dave. Do you know why they didn't adopt it? I would guess because they saw no need, but it would be nice to know.

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Pete

Thread: LMA v BMFA insurance
22/01/2017 16:50:16

BEB: No one is forcing you to belong to the BMFA. You are quite free to sort out your own arrangements if you choose.

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Pete

22/01/2017 15:40:12

Geoff: From what I heard at the time - and I have no idea if this is accurate information or not - Goosedale closed following a disagreement with the local council over planning permission for some boating lakes!

Graham: I'm sorry, but I just don't follow your reasoning! You ARE only charged £11 for the insurance! The rest of it is your membership fees, and pays for the running of the BMFA.

A vote was taken many years ago to make insurance included with BMFA membership.

Although much of the work of the BMFA is undertaken by volunteers, there is a small core of salaried staff in a small office building in Leicester. The staff have to be paid, as does council tax, maintenance, etc on the property. How would you propose to run such a specialised organisation without full time staff? Would YOU be prepared to undertake all those roles as a volunteer for no reward?

Oh, and by the way, the reason we get the insurance so cheaply is because the BMFA *have* negotiated a very good deal for its members.

There is nothing to stop you sorting out your own insurance arrangements if you want to. You just won't be able to fly at BMFA affiliated events or clubs. But there are quite a lot of non-affiliated clubs out there.

Indeed, there is nothing in law compelling you to have insurance at all, though I would suggest that to fly without it would be criminally irresponsible.

I'm sorry, but I simply can't follow your logic!

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Pete

Thread: Horus compatibility question
20/01/2017 15:41:57

I don't think there are any "bugs" - its just legal niceties! The EU - for some strange reason - decided that they wanted systems to check a channel was free before transmitting - hence LBT - "Listen Before Transmit".

But that overlooks the whole point of spread spectrum transmission - that it reduces any interference between systems to a minimum anyway!

Strange how a system that works perfectly everywhere else in the world isn't good enough for Europe!

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Pete

Thread: BMFA Country Members
20/01/2017 14:47:37

I spent some time as an Area rep on the Area Council. Our area always held a meeting before any council meeting, where we would go through the agenda, and I would be instructed how to vote on each topic. It was always understood that should new facts come to light at the Council meeting that shed new light on the matter, I was at liberty to vary my vote, but that I would then have to justify that change at the next meeting.

I think I only had to change my vote once (maybe twice - its a while ago now!), and each time my actions were approved by the area retrospectively. But it was a matter of trust. They trusted me to vote on their behalf, and I had to respect that trust.

Any rep who loses the trust of his constituency won't last very long!

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Pete

Thread: Horus compatibility question
20/01/2017 14:16:01

I suspect that as with so many other EU regulations, there are enough loopholes to confuse pretty much everyone!

As far as I can make out, the regs say that manufacturers are required to ensure that currently sold equipment complies with the current regulations, and cannot be used in older (non-compliant) modes. By selling the system with a "lock" in the transmitter firmware (note: NOT the RF firmware), FrSky could probably successfully argue that they have complied. That would apply to both FrSky's own system and those supplied with "EU" OpenTx.

However, I suspect that the RF firmware is capable of both - even in current systems. Access to it is denied by the FrSky or OpenTx part of the system, which is completely separate from the RF side.

Certainly my Taranis has the LBT RF Firmware on it, and I can still access D8 mode as long as I un-check the EU box when I download OpenTx.

In my case, this is perfectly legal, as my transmitter pre-dates the change to the regulations. But from a purely technical aspect - ignoring any legal niceties - I would expect current transmitters to be exactly the same.

The only way to lock down the RF stage would be to remove the facility for upgrades to the RF firmware - something that might well cause more problems than it solves.

No doubt the EU will at some point insist on this latter arrangement, but with any luck, by then we'll be outside the EU anyway. In recent years Ofcom have shown themselves to be much more accommodating than in the old "Busby" days. I would not be surprised if, once outside the EU, they could be persuaded to allow "international" standards to be allowed alongside EU.

Note that I am NOT making any political judgements about other benefits or otherwise of EU membership! My comments relate solely to the technical aspects of the topic under discussion! wink

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Pete

Thread: Why does this happen?
20/01/2017 09:37:16

David: Bear in mind that if you choose to use a Super-Tigre, they run best on straight fuel - no nitro! The later ones will tolerate a small quantity, but if you want to use your existing stock of nitro fuel, it would be best to shim the heads slightly.

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Pete

Thread: LMA v BMFA insurance
18/01/2017 16:34:54

Good point, Percy! I seem to recall that at one time, most kits and models sold used to include an application form for the BMFA, along with some bumf explaining its purpose. Perhaps this is something that could be usefully re-instated!

Regarding the NFC, over the years we seem to have lost a number of major events that used to promote our chosen hobby. The Sandown Symposium was one, and I fear the Nationals may now have gone the same way. Both of these were major events that people travelled from all over the country to attend, and we lost them because the venues were outside our control. Maybe the NFC will provide something similar to Sandown, where manufacturers can show off their latest wares. The downturn that the hobby has suffered in recent years needs addressing, and the NFC might just do it. Certainly Goosedale never seemed to have problems finding enough events, and that was done for profit! I don't see why the BMFA shouldn't succeed like Goosedale did.

I would certainly agree that there are things within the BMFA that need addressing. Nothing made by man is ever perfect! And if you think there is a problem with country members being disenfranchised, you might want to look at the situation in the South West! Since I've retired down here, I've discovered - to my horror - that the whole of Devon has been without any proper representation for years! And I'm not talking about individual members here, but whole clubs!

So yes, there are things that need fixing. But the means of fixing them exist. And the benefits - to me - far outweigh the things that are wrong.

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Pete

Thread: Why does this happen?
18/01/2017 09:26:13

I've always found a decent sized ammeter in the plug leads an excellent starting aid. A 5 amp meter with a decent size scale (think old car battery charger!) will give a good indication of whether an engine is dry or wet.

For example, most of my models use OS No8 plugs, which normally draw around 3 amps. If the engine is flooded, this will rise to 4 or more amps. If the engine is dry, the current will rise slightly when the engine is cranked by a starter, dropping back when you stop cranking.

You need a decent size meter to be able to read these differences, the tiny things on most glow sticks are useless, other than as a "glow - no glow" indicator.

Any IC engine with compression, fuel in the right proportion and ignition of some kind will run. If it isn't running, its because one of these is missing. In the OP's case, I would guess the engine is dry, but an ammeter in the glow lead would quickly confirm this.

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Pete

Thread: LMA v BMFA insurance
18/01/2017 09:15:09

I edited and published a newsletter for a small special interest group for many years. It was nothing like on the scale of the BMFA newlsetter, and it was hard work. Trying to get others to contribute was like trying to get blood out of a stone!

However, it did seem to bind the group together. After I retired from doing it, a decision was made to make it into an electronic only publication. Now it may have been coincidence, but around the same time, interest (and membership numbers!) slumped! A year or so later, the newsletter was abandoned, and membership slumped even further.

Now this may all have been coincidence. The slump in numbers may have been purely down to the ebb and flow of interest as "just happens". But at the same time, there was an increase in members asking what they got for their £10 annual membership.

Don't underestimate the value of positive communication, even if most members do only give it a casual glance before consigning it to the kitty litter tray!

And to answer Graham, who seems unhappy about the BMFA membership fees: A lot of the benefits of BMFA membership are hidden - until you need them! And past benefits tend to get lost in the mists of time. Were it not for the tireless efforts of the BMFA staff and volunteers, it is highly unlikely we would have got the 35 MHz allocation at a time when we desperately needed it, and certainly not the generous allocation we ended up with. Similarly, it is unlikely we would have been granted the use of 2.4 GHz, along with all the benefits that has brought, were it not for the quiet, and behind the scenes, efforts of the BMFA.

Currently the BMFA is expending a lot of effort in trying to protect us from the more extreme attempts to regulate drones - something else that could see the death of model flying in the UK if not challenged.

From my perspective, the fees of less than £1 a week - including comprehensive insurance cover - are worth every penny!

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Pete

11/01/2017 14:34:27

Hi Percy,

Yes, that was what I was trying to recall - when it happened and why. I do remember it happening, and that the general consensus at the time was that it was a good idea, but it was a long time ago.

It must have happened as a result of a vote at the AGM, but it was long before I got involved with anything to do with the BMFA, so my recollection is a bit vague. I have no idea where the proposal came from, but I do remember it being generally welcomed in the club I belonged to at the time.

It certainly made life much simpler for the volunteers on the committee.

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Pete

11/01/2017 13:54:57

I'm trying to remember when BMFA membership and insurance were combined - I know it was a long time ago. But I also recall a time when more than one organisation offered insurance. Who else remembers MAP insurance, organised by the then publishers of RCM&E as I recall?

For various reasons, all the alternatives fell by the wayside, perhaps due to society becoming increasingly litigious? But in any event, when the MoD started insisting very large amounts of protection before allowing events on their property, some kind of common policy must have made sense.

I've been involved in organising a few events myself, and I certainly wouldn't have time to read every individual policy to see if an entrant was adequately covered before allowing him/her to fly. If its BMFA insurance, I know that not only is the entrant covered, but I am too!

Similarly, at my local club, I can be confident that everyone there carries adequate insurance to protect me and my belongings in the event of an accident. I am in favour of my club being affiliated, but that is a free choice I and the other members have made. If others feel differently, then fine, that is their choice.

Nobody forces clubs to affiliate to the BMFA, nobody forces people to belong to the BMFA. Everyone is free to make their own choices over this. You may well argue that getting decent cover without belonging to some kind of organisation is difficult, but to accuse a not-for-profit and generally benevolent organisation of running a closed shop is taking things a bit far (in my humble opinion, for the benefit of BEB!).

And it is VERY cheap for the level of protection it affords!

Come on, folks, get a sense of proportion here!

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Pete

11/01/2017 09:31:21

I have to say, I'm with PatMc on this one. A "closed shop" to me is where a single organisation controls all access to a job / flyingsites / whatever in a particular area. For a start, in BEB's case, there are three totally independent organisations involved, the council and the two flying clubs. The council are not insisting on BMFA membership, and the clubs have each (and independently) voluntarily decided to affiliate to the BMFA. The BMFA won't have coerced them. Ergo: Its not a closed shop!

BEB could 1) try and persuade the council to change its attitude or 2) try and persuade one or both of the clubs to de-affiliate or 3) travel outside the area to fly.

I would concede that 1 & 2 are unlikely to succeed, but no way could this situation be considered a closed shop! Believe me, I've had experience of "closed shops"!

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Pete

10/01/2017 22:39:28
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 10/01/2017 21:13:56:Like many in the UK I live in a fairly crowded part of the world. There is not space for a new flying club. Also, note that our local authority does not allow modelling flying in our parks or on our beaches. So, if you are to fly RC models you need to join one of the existing clubs. There isn't really another way.

Within 1 hours drive of my house there are two clubs. Both are BMFA Affliated clubs. Now, the BMFA have a rule - for a club to have affliated status all of its members (no exceptions!) must hold BMFA membership.

So, in practice, if I am to fly RC models I have to be a member of BMFA - i have no real choice. If I was not a member - I couldn't join either of these clubs and so I wouldn't be able to follow my hobby. Whether I believe it is a splendid organisation or not - in practical terms I have to join the BMFA.

Please explain to me how that is not effectively a "closed shop"?

BEB

Its not a closed shop enforced by the BMFA. The local council are just as much to blame for their short-sighted and restrictive attitude. Why blame it all on the BMFA? If it wasn't for council regulation, you would be perfectly free to form your own club outside the BMFA. Indeed, you probably still could, but it would take a lot of effort.

So no, its not effectively a closed shop.

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Pete

Thread: Binding and updating
10/01/2017 22:32:28

Ah! I think I hear the sounds of a solution approaching! Which I'm very glad about, because I was beginning to wonder what else could possibly be wrong!

Well spotted, team! Hopefully Graham will now be able to get his system up and running in a proper fashion!

Cheers,

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Pete

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