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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: Can any examiners help with a B?
05/06/2009 11:49:03
Gareth,
 
The Watford club has plenty of heli examiners, and an exclusively heli field! You could also try Dave Fisher at the Flyin'Fish flying school which operates in West London.
 
Let me know if you are interested and I'll get you some contact details.
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Bylaws
16/03/2009 19:11:34
Allan,
 
The BMFA is a volunteer organisation. The only employees are the minimum necessary to administer the office, membership, insurance, etc.
 
Why not volunteer to be your club's rep on the Area committee? Then you can start putting your suggestions into practice....
 
--
Pete
 
15/03/2009 09:41:05
It certainly used to be the case that if a Council *banned* flying, they were obliged to provide a *suitable* alternative site.
 
Most of them got round this by imposing restrictions that made flying impractical, rather than an outright ban.
 
Not sure if the law has changed or not!
 
Like I have said previously, the BMFA has a Flying Site Advisor, who is an expert in these matters. You really should try and get in touch with him if you are having problems.....
 
--
Pete
 
13/03/2009 11:58:33
I very rarely fly in public areas any more. I'm lucky in having access to a couple of private club sites, and the hassle from the general public just makes flying in park area unattractive.
 
And its strange how, at the sound of an engine, a previously deserted park suddenly fills with children.......!!!
 
--
Pete

12/03/2009 16:33:21
Its a long time since I was directly involved in this, and *I am not a lawyer* - BUT, as I recall the situation from some years ago - there is a specific legal definition of a "powered" or "power driven" model, and it specifically refers to internal combustion engines. Otherwise, even a rubber powered "toy" could qualify as "power driven". Electric models were specifically excluded from the legal definition of "powered".
 
I also have a feeling that it is unconstitutional for a Council to pass a bye-law saying that you couldn't fly unless there was a specific sign saying you could. Bye-laws don't work like that. For a bye-law to be valid, it has to be prominently displayed at all the entrances to the site which it covers. If there isn't a clear sign, the bye-law becomes unenforceable.
 
That is not to say that a Council cannot try and pass an illegal bye-law. There are plenty of examples of this being done in the past, but any such bye-law can be challenged - and the consequences for the Council could be quite serious! They could for example be required to trace and refund every individual whom they had prosecuted under said by-law.
 
And I well remember the case of a club that used to fly in a park near my then home, where a member tore down the notices of an illegal bye-law, took them to the police station and handed them in explaining why he had done it. He also threatened legal action against the Council if they replaced them! They never did!
 
However, you need to be VERY SURE of your position before you do anything so drastic, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a course of action.
 
The BMFA has a flying site advisor who is an expert in these matters. He can be contacted vie the BMFA office. If you have any doubt about the legality of local bye-laws, he should be your first port of call.
 
Don't assume a bye-law is valid just because a Council says so. But DO make sure of your position before you take it further!
 
--
Pete
 
 
Thread: Have JR just put another nail in their coffin?
04/03/2009 12:05:49
Both the Spektrum/JR and Futaba systems have received the official green light from nearly all the European regulatory authorities. The one or two (Dutch and Belgians?) who initially banned them admitted that they'd misread the rules, and were told to go away and lift the bans PDQ!
 
The rules are being re-drafted, but only to make them comprehensible! The originals were so badly written that no-one was really sure what they meant.
 
After last year's "summit" in Brussels, the rules were taken away to be re-drafted. Putting it simplistcally, anything that operates "politely" (their term, not mine - meaning it will co-operate with other 2.4 GHz gear) will be allowed 100mW erp. Anything that does not operate "politely" - ie single, fixed frequency systems, old analogue TV transmitters, etc - will be restricted to 10mW.
 
All the existing equipment from major manufacturers meets this specification. As long as you stick to one of the well-known names from a reputable importer, you need have no fears.
 
However, if you want to import a "Ying-Tong" set from a backstreet shop in Indonesia or somewhere, be it on your own head!
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Bylaws
21/02/2009 16:43:03
The BMFA have a dedicated Flying Site Advisor. But until someone contacts him - either directly or through the office - nothing is likely to happen!
 
They're not psychic, y'know!
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Flycam v3
18/02/2009 15:11:41
Because having a TV transmitter right next to the receiver would be like trying to have a conversation with someone on the other side of the street whilst he was stood next to a working pnuematic drill!
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Ofcom U-turn
05/02/2009 15:19:12
It doesn't affect 2.4. Radio mics previously used gaps in the analogue tv band (roughly 400-800 MHz). With the digital switchover, these gaps are vanishing, so the radio mics need a new band. Shouldn't have any impact on us at all....
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Bristol Beaufighter
05/02/2009 15:12:42
I recall a guy in our club building one some 30 years ago - twin Merco 61s if I recall correctly.
 
It certainly looked the part, but had some "interesting" handling charateristics which led to its early demise.......!!!
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Bylaws
01/02/2009 18:20:41
I am not a lawyer!
 
But, as I understand it, for a bye-law to be valid, it has to be posted clearly at all the entrances to the sites to which it applies.
 
If there is no notice, the bye-law is ineffective, no matter what the park nark may say! And remember that if he tries to interfere with your freedom of action, he could be liable for it.
 
However, also remember that just because its possible to do something, it is not necessarily *wise* to do it!
 
And please check with a lawyer before you do any of this!
 
--
Pete
 
01/02/2009 18:19:39
I am not a lawyer!
 
But, as I understand it, for a bye-law to be valid, it has to be posted clearly at all the entrances to the sites to which it applies.
 
If there is no notice, the bye-law is ineffective, no matter what the park nark may say! And remember that if he tries to interfere with your freedom of action, he could be liable for it.
 
However, also remember that just because its possible to do something, it is not necessarily *wise* to do it!
 
And please check with a lawyer before you do any of this!
 
--
Pete
 
Thread: Is 2.4Ghz universal around world?
09/01/2009 14:19:00

Permitted output in Europe is 100mW erp. In the USA it is much higher, but the practical limit is 200mW. As Timbo pointed out in an earlier post, this makes little or no difference in practice.

 France only permits a subset of the 2.4 GHz frequencies to be used at 100mW. The switch on the Futaba sets restricts them to that part of the band. Spektrum do produce "French" modules that are also restricted to a limited part of the band. Outside of the subset of frequencies, you are limited to 10mW in France. This is fine for indoor / park flyer applications, but not for full range equipment.

 Following a big meeting in Brussels last year, the EU have instructed the body responsible for frequency allocations in Europe to re-draft the rules, as they were incomprehensible! The Dutch (and Belgians?) conceded that they had incorrectly banned 2.4 GHz, because thay had misunderstood the regulations.

 The new rules will allow 100mW erp for all equipment that operates "politely" (as they put it). In otherwords, if it will not use already occupied channels, then it will be allowed to use 100mW. Both Spektrum and Futaba comply with this requirement. Equipment that does NOT detect occupied channels will be limited to 10mW.

 All EU countries (including France!) will be required to comply with the new regulations eventually. The UK already does!

The BMFA was instrumental in organising the representation of the model flyers interests at the meeting, and came away with an excellent deal! I know they come in for a lot of flack at times, but when we get results like this, they are well worth the money!

--

Pete

Thread: Sky lift to 2.4ghz
27/12/2008 21:32:00

Not sure about the blade Tx, but I've done it with a DX7 and a JR DSX9. The trick when using the "big" transmitters is to plug the throttle plug into the "pitch" output of the receiver.

 If you don't do that the mixer unit gets confused because the pulses arrive in the "wrong" order....

--

Pete

Thread: 2.4 GHz gear
16/12/2008 08:56:00

Oh, dear! I've been discovered!

Yes that was me, and yes you ARE showing your age!

That was an awful long time ago.........!

--

Pete 

Thread: Linear Servos
15/12/2008 18:53:00

Yes, you didn't need to bother with servo reversing either! On my old Bonner Digimite, the servos are completely symmetrical. If you want to reverse it, you simply take it out, rotate throught 180 degrees and put it back!

The "Microprop" servos used by Sprengbrook were pretty good too!

And they were perfect for mounting in wings to drive conventional ailerons......!

I've still got a few Dunhams servos that had both linear and rotary outputs!

--

Pete

Thread: 2.4 GHz gear
15/12/2008 18:48:00

Hi Myron,

No, we don't need to worry too much. The path "budget" for 2.4 GHz is so high that for our purposes, we don't need to worry. The British Waterplane Association have done extensive tests with flying boats and seaplanes, and not had any issues. Avoid totally enclosed carbon fibre fuselages though, as these can work as a "Faraday Cage" and effectively screen the signal.

However, I have suggested to the BMFA that tying a (potentially) wet pennant to the end of a highly tuned 2.4 GHz antenna is probably NOT a good idea. If they haven't dropped that recommendation already, they soon will!

Sorry about the use of the dreaded four-letter word! I've been doing a lot of long/late shifts lately and my mind must have been slightly fuddled this morning.........

8( 

--

Pete

15/12/2008 14:54:00
Ooops! Sorry! Replied in a hurry before I left for work this morning! I should have addressed that to Myron of course......!
15/12/2008 10:33:00

The protocol that dictates that systems should co-exist harmoniously only applies to *digital* technology!

 There's quite a lot of gear out there - especially video cameras - that are analogue! A PAL colour TV signal (analogue) needs about 5.5 MHz of bandwidth - and will fully occupy that bandwidth!

It will also transmit continuously - not in bursts like a digital signal. This will have the effect of "deafening" any nearby receiver, digital or not! It would be a little bit like trying to hold a conversation with someone on the other side of the street, whilst standing next to a pneumatic drill!

 Of course, analogue equipment is slowly being phased out as digital is generally cheaper to mass-produce. But there's still quite a bit out there, and because it is obsolescent, it is quite often sold at very tempting rock bottom prices!

So I repeat my original advice - be very wary of installing 2.4 GHz video equipment in a model controlled by a 2.4 GHz link!

 Timbo - the reason that 2.4 GHz is the "magic" frequency is that it is useless for serious communications work! Because 2.4 GHz is the resonant frequency of a water molecule, signals tend to get absorbed very quickly by our damp atmosphere. Also the noise generated by microwave ovens raises the background noise level substantially. That means that about the only thing it can be used for is short range communications. Ideal for us, and computer networks, but totally useless for anything requiring long range!

--

Pete

Thread: Vertigo VTOL model video
14/12/2008 17:40:00

Don't know about the stability - remember the pilot is having to learn how to fly it too! How steady were any of OUR first landings with conventional aircraft - or even helis?

 --

Pete

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