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Summer 2011 Issue

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Bob on 2.4 Ghz

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'Commodore' on 2.4 Ghz

from Bob Wilson

            "As some of you have noticed, our more avante garde members have already converted to the new 2.4 Ghz frequencies. It's that guy you walked up to and told him he forgot to extend his antenna, remember?

            There has been a lot written about the new 2.4 system and I won't bore you with details that I don't know anything about anyway. My technical knowledge about the subject is that it was originally designed by our famous movie actress, Hedy Lamarr, who designed it to use on our torpedoes during WWII. She was a lot more than a movie actress and was one smart lady. I've also heard that it does something called phase shifting (no, not shape shifting) and constantly searches between frequencies for one that the receiver is tuned to. A couple of million times per second. I have no idea what all that means, so don't ask. If you really want to know about this stuff, talk with Greg Doster, our chief electronics expert. Otherwise, just take their word for it that it works.

            Anyway, if it was good enough for Hedy Lamarr, it's good enough for me.

            I suppose the first one to invest in this new technology was our very own Gerry Doubleday. You know who he is, the guy with the dorky hat and blue suede shoes. He is also known for infiltrating the club with his secret electric society and continues to be a threat to the guys who enjoy really big noises. Gerry is working on placing a playing card up front on his models to make a slapping sound. He learned how to do this riding bicycles trying to simulate the sound of a Harley. Lou Vitale, being a model railroader, will probably come out with a sound system that includes a steam whistle sound and sounds of escaping steam. But that is another story.

            Andy Andrews was the first to point out a serious deficiency with the new system. There is no long antenna to point to the airplane. Actually, Andy is right. When I tried using Gerry's TX, I became aware of the lack of antenna and at least for a couple of moments, it befuddled me. Being befuddled is nothing new to me and having had practice in becoming de-befuddled, it became a fleeting flying problem. (Sounds cool, doesn't it?)

            So far, we've seen no problems with the new 2.4 Ghz systems and in fact there were a number at the Joe Nall fly-in last year and no reported problems there either.

            Obviously, 2.4 Ghz is here to stay and by the end of 2008, we'll probably see a number of additional systems in use in our club. For those of you with certain Futaba systems, those can soon be converted to 2.4 with the addition of a module that plugs into the back of the Tx, and of course, a new Rx.

Needless to say, the huge advantage is that you will be able to fly your 2.4 system knowing that no one else is going to be able to interfere on your frequency and cause you to crash. Interference will be a thing of the past.

            There are other advantages too, such as servos having much quicker response times. Eventually, we will be able to dispose of the Frequency Board entirely. The safety factor should improve too.

            Well, that's about all I know. It's not much except for Hedy Lamarr. Such as it is, what's next?"


           Bob 'Commodore' Wilson


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