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Club Bans 35 MHz

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Phil May12/12/2011 13:57:23
1520 forum posts
154 photos
Hi all, as promised.
From the start I wish to make it clear that I do not agree with this ruling.
Our club, of which I am one of the 2 safety officers, has decided to ban 35 MHz radio from 1st January.
It was decided that this is a safety issue, if control of a model is lost then it could hit someone - fair comment.
We are a long established club (approx 20 years) and as all clubs we have had the occasional problem which could be genuinely blamed on interference, but we also have the many losses blamed on it, never on servo failure, never on battery issues and, heaven forbid, NEVER pilot error.
Our chairman, whom is an area chief examiner and a fantastic flyer, recently lost a turbine which was on 35. He suffered 'interference of some kind' and brought the model in straight away but again lost control and the model was a right off.
Now, I have been told by other members of the committee that you are not able to fly 35MHz at most shows due to safety issues, I do not know how true this is.
I'd love to hear any opinions on this and no doubt I will be popular with the committee.

Edited By Big Phil on 12/12/2011 14:01:20

Ultymate12/12/2011 14:12:06
1703 forum posts
62 photos
Phil it's true that a lot of big events are going 2.4/G only, the big advantage being it negates the need for heavyweight transmitter control ie compound and several marshals etc. But on the other hand 35Mhz is still perfectly legal and providing frequency control is still observed should be no problem. In these hard financial times it seems hard to force people into the expense of changing radio. I think everyone will change eventually due to natural wastage if you like but it seems very punitive to force the issue.
Olly P12/12/2011 14:14:38
3215 forum posts
181 photos
Thanks for the info Phil. I suffered a fly away about 2 months ago. The aircraft appeared to continue flying at the last inputs, but pushed to extremes (A gentle pull up became loops), This was initially blamed on the brand new top reciever that was mounted in the A/C. This airframe was on .....2.4GHz.
The cause I believe was the BEC on the ESC, Both supplied in the ARTF model, failing.
I know at Greenacres fly in they allow 35Mhz fo fliers. I would start by looking internally for the cause of the issues- are people using the peg system for example?
I would also look at getting a frequency checker and see what it can pick up on 35Meg.
35Meg is supposed to be dedicated to RC A/C, but there can be leakage from NDS(None Dedicated Sources) Onto any freq.
I would say this needs more investigation - certainly if I flew at your club on 35Meg I would be moving my membership rather than changing all of my Rx's, and my Tx.

Edited By Olly P on 12/12/2011 14:15:17

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator12/12/2011 14:18:25
6765 forum posts
199 photos
Well, my reaction is one of amazement & sheer bafflement.......
Why & on what grounds has it been banned? Safety? Yes I agree that 2.4 has some benefits in this area such as a lack of frequency clashes but it is still a radio link from ground to model. Any & all radio links can fail......
Where do they draw the line? If Futaba's FASST system is "proved" to be better than the DSM system will only Futaba radios be permitted......?
I don't see who gains from this restriction.....35MHz users are still insured by the BMFA after all so any claims arising will be met by the insurers. Anyone who doesn't trust their 35MHz gear is free to upgrade at any time but why this should be imposed by a club is quite frankly beyond me.....
I'm looking forward to hearing what others think......
Vecchio Austriaco12/12/2011 14:44:30
1515 forum posts
728 photos
I still have my old Futaba FX18 to sell - so I don't like such moves which bring the value to zero in no time....
If a radio is not too old I see absolutely no security problem with it. Especially with PCM technology it should not be much worse than 2.4.
Ok, the odd glitch from time to time - but normally the radio doesn't restart and you have the control back without delay.
A short time ago we had the discussion if 2.4Ghz is a legal frequency? And now we are going to the other extreme.
Too much rules and regulations will kill the hobby.
Cheers VA
Peter Beeney12/12/2011 14:44:58
1593 forum posts
59 photos

Big Phil,

I would certainly not wish to comment on the rights or wrongs of your club rules, except to say that I would hope it was a democratic decision, taken by all the club members in a free vote. I would certainly question the availability of any evidence to support claims that 35 MHz usage is dangerous.

However, if as I suspect, some (or perhaps many!) incidents are unrelated to the frequency in use then nothing is really going to change, so after some time has elapsed and there has been no change in the rate of these incidents, then it might be easy to justify some fairly pointed questions on the subject. If, however, all the incidents suddenly stop then it might be radio problems all along.

Certainly from the evidence of our small club, which is now mostly 2.4 anyway, the rate of ‘repair jobs’ has not decreased at all. So I would conclude from that there is no correlation between radio frequency and ‘crash rate’.

Difficult to see what the club can really do, I would think. If someone is pedantic about it, and insists on using 35, will the club actually expel him? I wonder what the BMFA might have to say on this, but from much experience of similar situations in the past, they simply state they will not interfere in the way any individual club is run.

I can only wish you all the best of luck with that little conundrum, sounds like a good subject for some lively club meetings.

Chris Bott - Moderator12/12/2011 14:55:15
6844 forum posts
1430 photos
1 articles
Phil I think one of your initial post paragraphs says a lot:-

as all clubs we have had the occasional problem which could be genuinely blamed on interference, but we also have the many losses blamed on it, never on servo failure, never on battery issues and, heaven forbid, NEVER pilot error.


35Mhz gear was always accepted as perfectly adequate before 2.4 came along. One new issue with it is that people using both can forget about frequency control or about pulling their aerial up. But I fail to see how it has suddenly become unreliable.


It will be very interesting to see how the committee explains it's self if the incident rate does indeed continue as it was before.

Olly P12/12/2011 15:01:42
3215 forum posts
181 photos
And do you have any data on rates before the switch?
BTW Interference does not just 'disappear' from a spot there has to be a cause, has anyone else on the same freq experianced the same issues in the same locations? If not I would suspect PTS (Pilot ThumbS)
Was this put to the AGM or was it a committee only decision?
If Committee only I would be very annoyed and probably leave the club
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator12/12/2011 15:10:02
15748 forum posts
1460 photos
While of course it is every club's right to run their own affairs, and yours is no exception Phil, this is a very strange decision.
Declaring my hand - yes I'm a 2.4GHz flier. Like many others I suspect, I went to 2.4 not because I believed it was intrinsically safer, but because I was due a new Tx and 2.4 offered a number of advantages regarding convienience over 35MHz. Also it was actually getting quite difficult to buy a 35MHz system!
True 35MHz does demand a slightly higher level of self discipline from fliers - but that's a minor issue and any club worth its salt will have a fully developed and rigourously applied frequency control system.
As I say, a very strange decision - and not one I believe my club has even contemplated - and I don't think we ever would. For one thing the complete abadonment of the 35MHz band might not be in our long term interests.
Dealing with Peter's point - I think the club is quite within its rights to do this provided it goes through proper procedure as demanded by the club's constitution. For our club, for example, that would mean a vote at the AGM on a proposal to adopt a rule amendment as recommended by the committee. If the democratic procedure has been followed (whatever it is in your case Phil) the club is not breaking any rules with this that I can see. Just being a bit silly that's all.
Remember clubs are private societies, provided they don't break the law (racial, sexual or other discrimination for example) they can have any daft rules that the membership is prepared to vote for!
If there is a flaw in your constitution which, for example, allows the committee to introduce a rule change without approval from the general membership then maybe that needs addressing. In most clbs that follow the BMFA outline constitution the committee does have the right to make an emergency rule change with instant effect - but it must seek ratification of that rule change at the next AGM if it is to remain perminantly as a club rule.
fly boy312/12/2011 15:13:21
3773 forum posts
22 photos
Seems a drastic solution to the problem that could well end in a drop of club membership. Would this have occured if the failure happened to a learner writing off his 1st trainer. Cheers.
Ultymate12/12/2011 15:15:37
1703 forum posts
62 photos
If enough members dislike the change you could probably call for an extraordinary general meeting and try to table a poll of the members on the issue.
ken anderson.12/12/2011 15:25:13
8767 forum posts
813 photos
sounds like a bit heavy handed approach......i dont think that forcing everyone to use 2.4ghz will stop models from many members are in the club?..i think that pilot error will overtake the radio interference issues.. 
ken anderson ne..1 2.4ghz dept.... pilot error i mean--- before the model arrives at the field and fly' of the model(fit for pupose) of the radio equipment...?

Edited By ken anderson. on 12/12/2011 15:28:46

Martin Harris12/12/2011 15:29:21
9548 forum posts
258 photos
That seems to be a terrible over-reaction if one incident and some (possibly muddled) thinking regarding shows has prompted this draconian response. As I said in the thread which this new thread has sprung from, widespread adoption of such policies could lead to withrawal of our use or exclusive rights to use the 35 MHz band which could be a concern in the future should emerging uses of th very open 2.4 GHz band make our use of it impractical in future years.
We've lived with 35 MHz for many years and back in the days of its almost universal use, coped with it with very few incidents even with multiple users of the same crystals at busy clubs.
I think I'd want to be a lot more convinced that "interference of some kind" was attributable to the use of 35 MHz before encouraging a blanket rule like this at our club!
What next? A list of "approved" transmitters and receivers, servos, batteries, switches, ESCs, uBECs etc?

Edited By Martin Harris on 12/12/2011 15:55:24

Olly P12/12/2011 15:35:27
3215 forum posts
181 photos
Indeed Martin,
I think I would - as stated above, be voting with my feet. And I fly 2.4!
As I've 'advised' above, a frequency checker might be the way to prove/disprove the theory of interference- they are only about £35 from Webbies...
Lee Smalley12/12/2011 16:29:29
2125 forum posts
68 photos
2 articles
i am a 2.4 gig user but i am sorry but yet another example of a stupid rule, the sad thing is this was made by a majority vote!!!! staggering !!!! hang your heads in shame boys !!!
Steve Houghton 112/12/2011 16:30:35
1932 forum posts
129 photos
I am also a member of the same club as Big Phil. This ban seems to stem from a couple of specific spots on our airfield, one of which is at the very bottom end of the field to the right of the pits, the other also to the right and slightly behind the pit line, a ditch or Reen dividing two fields. I have seen models on 35mhz have reception problems whilst being flown over these two areas but, I have also seen and heard of models on 2.4Ghz having reception problems, but not necessarily in those two specific spots. Big Phil himself lost his PC-9 through what appeared to be reception loss on 2.4, if I remember correctly.
Personally, if I was on 35Mhz I would change clubs. I wasn't at the AGM and I don't know if this was put to the vote or not, but I don't believe it was. The committee made the decision several months ago and that was that. I would be a very unhappy bunny otherwise.
David Ashby - Moderator12/12/2011 16:40:09
11089 forum posts
1748 photos
620 articles
Strange decision. We've had a few glitches on 35 over the years and always in certain areas but not enough to make us want to ban the frequency and, as folks say, it's not as if 2.4 is immune from human frailties.
We've a fair number of old timers who still actively and safely use 35 meg and they would be mortified if such a rule was introduced. Some RTF trainers are still fitted with 27 and 35meg and are brought down to the patch by beginners, it would seem harsh sending them home. I doubt they'd return.

Edited By David Ashby - RCME Admin on 12/12/2011 16:40:33

Kevin Fairgrieve12/12/2011 17:01:39
1682 forum posts
2980 photos
Posted by Steve Houghton 1 on 12/12/2011 16:30:35:
Personally, if I was on 35Mhz I would change clubs. I wasn't at the AGM and I don't know if this was put to the vote or not, but I don't believe it was. The committee made the decision several months ago and that was that. I would be a very unhappy bunny otherwise.
My feeling entirely.
I fly 2.4 but for a good number of years flew 35MHz
Think if it was my club, even though not dirrectly affected, I would think twice about my continued membership.
Some of my friends still fly 35MHz, and to be told I could not fly with them anymore would not sit well with me.
weasel12/12/2011 17:07:24
381 forum posts
6 photos
Its becoming a sad world having to be told not to use perfectly servicable 35meg radio equipment. If i was a member of any club who issued the policy to ban 35meg i would not hesitate to pack the club in. why should it be banned? yes you get the odd glitch now and again. Even with 2.4 they are not toataly reliable,
Well thats my moan for today, Weasel dedicated 35meg user..
Tom Wright 212/12/2011 17:33:26
3908 forum posts
297 photos
Most of the relevant comments have been well made ,I think the the club committee would have improved safety by reminding members ,that the vast majority of crashes are due to ,lack of knowledge,or poor installation ,relating to flight batteries,Bec,s,rx,and of course pilot error ,along with avoidable poor airframe integrity problems. All these things are in my view pilot error.
Personally I prefer 2.4 but don't see a case for banning 35 ,but if the majority agreed 2.4 was on balance slightly more reliable then may be a a/c weight limit for 35 might be fairer.

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