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MULTIPLEX on the subject of: 2.4 GHz

For quite a while now the subject of “2.4 Gigahertz” has been much discussed amongst all modellers and in all the modelling media. Every day we are asked about our position, and we now wish to issue the following statement:

New technology!? Yes and no. Yes, because previously this frequency band had no part to play in modelling, and the technology has only started to make inroads in RC model sport relatively recently. No, because this frequency band (ISM band = Industrial Scientific Medical) was designed for digital data transmission, and is already in very widespread use (e.g. by WLAN, Bluetooth, cordless telephones, garage door openers, etc.). What advantages does 2.4 GHz offer us as modellers? The advantages are very interesting, e.g.

  • automatic channel selection (i.e. no conventional manual channel selection required, frequency control unnecessary)
  • short transmitter / receiver aerials
  • telemetry applications (data transfer from model to transmitter)
  • higher data transfer rates (many high-resolution control functions, high transmission speed)
  • good rejection of typical interference sources encountered in modelling applications (e.g. electric power systems, electrical “noise”, ignition interference)

    What about the “legal” aspect?

    On 14 May 2008 a meeting was held at the EUROPEAN COMMISSION TCAM, the participants being representatives of the modelling industry and organisations from across Europe, the R-LAN industry and the European monitoring authorities. The starting point was a drive on the part of the European R-LAN industry aimed at banning model radio control systems from the 2.4 GHz band, together with certain other applications. The outcome of the meeting was that there would be no general prohibition for applications on the 2.4 GHz band. This means that the band can continue to be used regardless of application or technology, i.e. in principle the band’s use for model radio control systems is approved for the whole of Europe.

    However, the meeting did emphasise the importance of observing the appropriate technical regulations and limits, as this was the only means of ensuring that different types of apparatus operating on 2.4 GHz could co-exist without interference. On 01.07.2008 a new version of the corresponding directive for Europe (EN 300 328 V1.7.1) came into force, which contains a new requirement for a Medium Access Protocol. This represents a fresh challenge to equipment manufacturers to ensure that their products can continue to be sold.

    What is MULTIPLEX doing?

    Now that the legal aspect in Europe has been clarified, we are working very hard at making the technology accessible to our customers. In particular we are concentrating on the recently initiated prototype test phase, examining the equipment’s performance in all types of application under the widest possible range of practical conditions. This is essential to ensure that our products will set new standards in terms of functionality and quality. Our aim is to introduce the first products in 2009. The initial range will include the following:

  • a modular solution for retro-fitting to the ROYALpro series*
  • a modular solution for retro-fitting to the PROFI mc 3000 / 4000 series
  • a range of 2.4 GHz receivers

    *) including ROYALevo, if the transmitter has been upgraded to ROYALpro standard by the MULTIPLEX-Service Centre

    MULTIPLEX Modellsport GmbH & Co. KG Product Management, October 2008