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Old May 23, 2005, 12:11 PM
Doug McLaren
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Re: A pet Peeve

On Mon, May 23, 2005 at 09:51:05AM -0400, John Derstine wrote:

| In today's world of synth radios and exchangeable TX modules, this
| practice is not reliable either.

Of course, these things have been around for 10+ years. And people
have been changing crystals for even longer, probably ever since the
first radios came out that didn't take up the _entire_ 27 mHz band for
your 1 channel plane ...

This practice was _never_ reliable, though I'll agree that it's even
less reliable now than it was a few years ago.

Still, it's common courtesy, and unless you fly by yourself on your
own property exclusively, you really should display your channel on
your radio. If you regularly change channels, just make up a few
different frequency flags (and remember to change them!) and if you
tend to pick random channels thanks to having a synthesized
transmitter and receiver, just make a flag that you can write on with
dry erase marker ...

| The only certain way to determine what channel someone is on is
| to scan the frequencies. People forget to put their pin on the
| board when they change modules, like wise it is easy to forget to
| change your flag. There is no substitute for good frequency
| control at any gathering via an impound and scanners.

The scanners really are optional if the rest is done right. But
they're nice to have. Spread spectrum, take us away!

My question though is this --

How much of a cut is Gordy getting for each Hobbico scanner that's
sold? With as much as he pushes them, you'd think it was pretty
substantial ...

(Mine should arrive wednesday. I already have a scanner that works
well enough, but this should be a lot more convenient to use.)

One thing to keep in mind is that these things are really only going
to be reliable (with a decent antenna that is) at detecting other R/C
pilots, and not at detecting other sorts of interference.

Our receivers are vulnerable to interference on their specific
frequency, of course, but they're also vulnerable to noise on some
other frequencies as well, with the specific frequencies and the
strengths of the signals needed to interfere depending on the specific
design of the receiver in question. (The receiver in the scanner will
also work like this, so if the design is similar to your specific
receiver, it'll probably pick up other noises that may interfere. But
if the design is different, it may not ...)

So just because the light doesn't light up, that doesn't mean that
there's not something that could interfere. Still, at $55 + $8 for
the antenna (sounds like it's an essential option, if you could
actually buy it!) it's cheap insurance against the biggest danger --
other flyers.

--
Doug McLaren, dougmc@frenzy.com
It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
--George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
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