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john stones 130/09/2015 15:19:37
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10189 forum posts
1475 photos

How's your club doing regarding the membership? in the last few months we've had double figures of new members join. Quite a variety in there as well, heli flyer, lad with big i.c and warbirds and a mix of i.c and lecky sports flyers. Age wise they're mostly younger than our clubs average age. Where they all appeared from ? Dunno but i'll credit the new webmaster we have for it myself smiley

John

Ian Jones30/09/2015 16:21:10
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3218 forum posts
1397 photos

We often seem to get a surge of new members late summer/early autumn, don't know why though.

will -030/09/2015 16:48:59
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463 forum posts

People join and leave apparently, but the people at the patch on a Sunday are exactly the same as they were 5 years ago.

Dave Bran30/09/2015 18:13:22
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1898 forum posts
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Posted by will -0 on 30/09/2015 16:48:59:

People join and leave apparently, but the people at the patch on a Sunday are exactly the same as they were 5 years ago.

and none of them fly very much!

Don Fry30/09/2015 18:45:37
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3305 forum posts
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John, hold the creed, members are members. They fly.

cymaz30/09/2015 18:51:20
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8308 forum posts
1148 photos

We have lost a number of members to old age. Now desperately looking for new members.

Lovely bunch of lads in St. Austell .........and me!! cheeky

will -030/09/2015 19:32:49
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463 forum posts
Posted by Dave Bran on 30/09/2015 18:13:22:
Posted by will -0 on 30/09/2015 16:48:59:

People join and leave apparently, but the people at the patch on a Sunday are exactly the same as they were 5 years ago.

and none of them fly very much!

Yeah you're probably right, I spent at least half an hour soaring my motorglider in the middle of the day on my own last sunday

Jon Laughton01/10/2015 14:18:38
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1148 forum posts
101 photos

We have had 20+ new members join since December....I put this down to, increased publicity, our excellent new Website designed by forumite Andy Green and expansion of our flying fields. Long may it continue..

Phil Green01/10/2015 18:02:56
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1493 forum posts
305 photos

Nice site Jon, Andy has done a great job. But is there a reason not to allow use of 459mhz at your site?

Cheers
Phil

ChrisB01/10/2015 19:40:17
1226 forum posts
34 photos

We have 85 members and generally lose 10 a year but. This years been fairly quiet but in previous years weve gained about 15 a year.

There are about 6 clubs in our area, so I guess its competition!

Percy Verance01/10/2015 19:48:27
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7566 forum posts
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An intentionally small club here, and a majority of the membership wish it to remain so. Even at that we picked up two new members this year. We've lost a regular flying member to illness, although he fully intends to remain in the club as a non flying supporter.

Jon Laughton02/10/2015 12:26:18
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1148 forum posts
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Phil: re 459MHz because nobody has asked!

cheeky

Percy Verance03/10/2015 11:30:00
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7566 forum posts
145 photos

I thought 459mhz was still a perfectly legal band?

Cuban803/10/2015 15:03:29
2356 forum posts
8 photos

Our club membership peaked at 135 a few years ago but has settled at around 120. This year we've taken on six new members who have moved into our area and were looking for somewhere to fly or have dusted off their old kit from the attic and wanted to get back into the hobby. No beginners or young flyers (under thirty!) for several years now.

Phil Green17/10/2015 20:46:22
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1493 forum posts
305 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 03/10/2015 11:30:00:

I thought 459mhz was still a perfectly legal band?

Indeed, hence the question - I wondered if there was a particular reason for
it to be excluded from the Oldham clubs 'permitted frequency list' smiley

I'm intrigued by this bit too, from the same page:
Note: Low channel numbers on 35 MHz can interfere with frequencies that are 23 channels higher e.g. 60 & 83. Therefore any member using any of these frequencies is required to display the appropriate DUAL PENNANT

I can see the theory of how a second transmitter 230khz away and close enough to cause distortion might produce 460k at the mixer of a sc rx, and how a really poor 455k IF might allow this through,  but has that ever been a real problem? I've never seen this concern expressed elsewhere...  not criticising, just intrigued smiley

Cheers
Phil

Edited By Phil Green on 17/10/2015 23:44:54

Jon Laughton18/10/2015 05:52:07
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1148 forum posts
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OK Phil.... the detailed answer is that the club historically (i.e. before my time as member / Chairman of Oldham) decreed the frequencies to be used (in part due to the proximity of other clubs) and this has not been challenged by any existing or new members...as I stated earlier nobody has asked us if they can use 459MHz. In my 20 years in the hobby I cannot recall coming across anyone using 459 MHz so I am intrigued as to why people do use it, how many there are & the relative cost of equipment? Do you have a view on that?

I'm guessing (but don't actually know as it is lost in the mists of time) that the omission in our club documentation is based on the view expressed in the BMFA handbook (web version pg 83) that as other users use this band there is a risk of interference, but I cannot state this definitively. Having looked at your personal profile I can see that in your professional capacity you will have a much better developed view on this risk than I (and probably most of our members), but when I rewrote our club docs and then had them passed at an AGM, none of our existing members at the time questioned why we did not state that 459 Mhz was a permitted frequency....and as a very active flyer at our club I am pretty sure no existing members nor any of the new ones care.

Returning to the primary focus of this thread I don't see any lack of enthusiasm for joining our club from initial enquiries we receive nor the new members who have joined as a consequence of not flying 459 MHz. These new members are either already on 35 MHz transferring over to 2.4GHz, already on 2.4 GHz or completely new to the hobby and therefore generally unaware of the details relating to permitted frequencies. We advise people to use 2.4...but don't insist on it allowing them the choice between that and 35. I doubt we have lost potential members due to not approving the 459 MHz frequency although we never know what we don't know!sad

I'm just delighted with our growth in active members the year....long may it continue...!

At our forthcoming AGM in December I will ask the question if the club should adopt 459 MHz as a permitted frequency though so thanks for making the point....

Cheers

Jon

Percy Verance18/10/2015 08:32:16
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7566 forum posts
145 photos

Jon

In a nutshell, back in the mid to late 70's, 459mhz promised to be what 2.4ghz is now. It offered what seemed like a good alternative to the (then) available frequencies/bands. Remembering that back then the beginning of CB radio were, in some instances, making safe use of 27mhz something of a hit and miss affair (no 35mhz yet back then).

However, 459mhz didn't always deliver what it promised, with heavy battery consumption, less than good reliability and (occasionally) line of site signal transmission. Two of the big players back then were Reftec (distributed by Ripmax) and Cotswold Controls. Other sets were out there, with World Engines, Simprop, Multiplex and some others also marketing sets.

You may already know some or all of this Jon, in which case I apologise.........

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/10/2015 08:58:30

Peter Christy18/10/2015 09:36:10
1261 forum posts

Re: 459 MHz - there are lots of myths about this frequency. As Percy says, back in the days when we were stuck on 27 MHz and CB interference, 459 MHz offered a way out. Although the band is shared, it is almost empty, and the uses it is put to (mostly paging systems and local telemetry) rarely conflict with flying sites, which tend to be out of town.

I built my own 459 MHz system back in the 80's - still in use today - and have never suffered from interference on that frequency. However, if you are flying near an industrial estate, it might be wise to check the band with a scanner or RF-Explorer. I do this regularly, and have only occasionally picked up very distant signals, and never on the channel I was using (40 available!).

Current consumption is not significantly different from 35 MHz. My PPM Tx draws about 100mA. This is about the same as a 35 MHz PPM set, and much less than most computer radios. The receiver is similarly frugal.

Range is excellent, although the short aerials are easily screened, and I wouldn't recommend it for a model with a lot of metal around (metal framed helicopters or jets).

The main reason it didn't catch on was cost. 459 MHz is only available in the UK, and such a small market doesn't easily permit the kind of "economies of scale" that go with 35 MHz (Europe) or 72MHz (USA). Also, if you wanted to use "plug-in" crystals for frequency changes, this necessitated the use of "military spec" (ie: expensive!) crystals.

Some European countries do permit 433MHz, which is close, and modules are appearing that operate on this band. Some of these can be modified to operate on 459 MHz, although the aerials will need changing to get the best out of them. They are getting popular with the quad-copter community.

Some of these modules use "packet" technology - similar to 2.4 GHz - that enables a more robust transmission system than the PPM I used back in the 80's. Some also allow limited frequency hopping, but please note that this is NOT the same as "Spread Spectrum" as used on 2.4 GHz.

The current Ofcom rules do not forbid frequency hopping provided the channels used are the same narrow band ones used for fixed frequency - ie 25 KHz channel spacing. When I spoke to an Ofcom official a few years back, he indicated that there would probably be no opposition to allowing spread spectrum on 459 MHz, if anyone asked for it. There would need to be a consultation period with other users though.

However, none of this would get around the problem of a very small market and limited production runs, so 459 MHz is always going to be dearer than the 35MHz or 2.4 GHz alternatives. And modellers are notoriously tight-fisted.....! wink

So in short, there are few problems associated with 459 MHz other than finding suitable equipment. Of course, you can always do as I did, and make your own......!

--

Pete

Edited By Peter Christy on 18/10/2015 09:37:13

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