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Old Jul 24, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Tony Oliver's Avatar
North-East England
Joined Mar 2002
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You've not got a bug in your model?

I've had this gizmo pointed out to me.

It seems to have removed all problems we may have with buying tracker systems and is far cheaper than those which are available.

I still haven't managed to fly my Mini Weaver yet so...
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Old Jul 24, 2006, 07:36 PM
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Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Joined Oct 2004
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Only good up to 600 feet? Phooey!
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 01:29 AM
NSWFFS
Richmond NSW Oz
Joined Apr 2005
706 Posts
Looks heavy/bulky but mebbe you could strip it down. Range would be useless down here where retrieves over a couple of km are common. For not too much more you can buy a decent transmitter and use a cheaper receiver to keep costs down.

FWIW a complete transmitter and receiver here is $A460.oo, not sure on the pound equivalent but I'd guess about 180 pound. Transmitter alone is $115 or about 45 pound then use a cheap receiver. Range on the ground is dependant on terrain but probably a couple of km with home made Yagi.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 03:13 AM
The Crazy Rubber Band
ramon.alban's Avatar
Bedford UK
Joined Jun 2006
112 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applehoney
Only good up to 600 feet? Phooey!
Not if you are walking the line - you can get as close as 200 yards easily.

See here for a description of it in use last weekend at O.W.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=546301
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 03:52 AM
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North-East England
Joined Mar 2002
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' Not if you are walking the line ' - Absolutely right! We all use line of sight as the initial direction to get somewgere near. It's rare for a model to be so far away that you can't get within 1/4 mile. For the sports flyer there's not much need for the more sophisticated - or lighter - bugs.

It remains to be seen how much use they get, but I would predict a huge increase (in model terms) of the use of bugs like this in comparison to the others.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 06:59 AM
NSWFFS
Richmond NSW Oz
Joined Apr 2005
706 Posts
Unfortunately for us the prevailing winds are SW which means you'd need to swim the river and climb the cliff. A good unit is the only way to go.

Not poopooing the one you show, it just wouldn't cut it locally.

In the end it comes down to what the model is worth to you. I certainly know of a few planes that were retrieved here to save the cost of replacing the transmitter rather than to save he airframe.

Definitely no argument on more being used if the costs came down. I looked long and hard for a circuit I could build before I paid for my set.
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Last edited by McGiver; Jul 25, 2006 at 07:00 AM. Reason: typos
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Joined Oct 2004
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>It's rare for a model to be so far away that you can't get within 1/4 mile.

Agreed - but that's well over twice the advertised range of this gizmo, so it's still not too much help in that circumstance... and how far off that 'line' can you unwittingly diverge over a distance of a mile or so .. or even more?

My Tx/Rx (F&L Electronics) has a smaller yagi than a Walston and a signal strength meter; by progressively collapsing the antenna and adjusting the gain on the meter I'm led, literally, to within feet of the airplane no matter how dense the 'bush' or how many diversions I might make from the 'line' en route to skirt obstacles, etc.
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Last edited by Applehoney; Jul 25, 2006 at 09:23 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Tony Oliver's Avatar
North-East England
Joined Mar 2002
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What I want to know is what do you do when you lose the receiver while on the field?

I get your point Jim, but I still think this could be a useful gadget for the sport flyer. It's limitations are not a problem for us. The fact it's the price it is, reflects its origins. I'm quite certain that it will be a victim of the mass electronics system like MP3, Walkman etc and be copied and provided very cheaply within a few months.

Sport flyers in general are totally turned off by Yagi aerials, and all the cobbled together appearance of the normal tracker systems originally meant for other purposes than models. If we can buy a ready to fly radio controlled model and its radio gear for 15 - Maplin style of course, then this is the cheapo version many would use - as soon as it appears it will sell (probably from Maplins, come to think of it).

Now, where did I put my car keys.....
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 02:26 AM
NSWFFS
Richmond NSW Oz
Joined Apr 2005
706 Posts
I can't speak for other systems but there's not much chance of losing mine at the field unless I confuse it with someone else's. Generally however they stay in the model box until required. The transmitters on the other hand, can be lost if dropped. In that case the receiver aerial is removed or a small nail used initially to get closer to where it lays. Thankfully it wasn't mine but I've seen the same guy drop his twice.

Nothing about this system is cobbled together, it's a purpose built system for aero-modellers, built by a leading Aussie scientist who also happens to be a leading Aussie aero-modeller.

The large side of the receiver shown is about 2" by 4". Yagis aren't supplied but plans for your own are. I've seen all sorts of setups from multiple TV antennae to aluminium welding rods. The better ones fold so are quite compact and less likely to damage whilst not in use. They are far more directional than the std antenna, you can get by without one but it'll take longer to find your model.

It'd be good if quality gear was manufactured en-masse and cheaply but I'm not sure the market is there for that, at least not yet. The cheapest lightest model recovery system is still a label with contact details although they too don't always work.

RC guys are already able to buy a cheap audible locator beacon and indeed many of these circuits are available free online, they are extremely simple and activated by lack of transmitter signal receipt and run from the receiver battery when activated.

Lastly, don't take these posts the wrong way, it's all too easy to do online. I looked long and hard before buying the more expensive units, I'd be pleased if I could have found the quality for less of my $$$.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 12:49 PM
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North-East England
Joined Mar 2002
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To be honest about it, I don't take any of this too seriously. I'm a modeller. As a result, I accept that sooner or later I will lose yet another model due to a combination of errors on my part. Absolutely any assistance (and I particularly like 'cheap') would help.

I had a spell a while ago when I tried to rationalise the amount of 'stuff' I was carting around to the flying field. My intention was to avoid having to put wheels on my flight box - you all know the feeling. I even had a strobe on a telescopic aerial to locate the box out on the field after retrieving in the near darkness of late evening. Spending the last half hour of fading light searching for the box was something I came across relatively often. Some things never made it to the newer, lighter and smaller box.

I never got around to the bug and rx and never really missed it. However sods law applies - people who do buy/build into the tracker market seem to seldom need them when compared with those who haven't got 'em.

I do find the whole thing fascinating, and the endless discussions on fine tuning, different systems, installations etc are just another additive to my addiction to the technology of models.

The daft thing is this particular new item would have been perfect for my pal in his recent loss. He flew an electrified (Hacker geared outfit) Silent Dream from the club field. At around 1000ft according to his logger, the model was torn apart by violent turbulence and the wings fluttered back to him. The fuselage and tail went into a wheat field to the side and ahead of the flying field. The crop was closely planted, full height and still green - blanket, even coverage of a huge field. Crossed by tractor/spray tracks, it wasn't seen as a probem to retrieve the wreckage. The farmer allowed him full access to search but after an hour or so there was no sign of it. I went back with him the next day to help but after a further 2 hours there was still no sign of it. After about three weeks, another model went into the field - again, the new model could not be found, but of course the old one, my pal's 'Dream', was unearthed - literally. The second model's owner looked the next day and would you believe he found the prop blades from my pal's aircraft? Still hasn't got his own model back. If that's not a likely use for the newer tag and locator, nothing is. I can see it more use in that situation and more likely to be used. A case of horses for courses.

Good fun this model thing.
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Old Jul 27, 2006, 12:53 AM
NSWFFS
Richmond NSW Oz
Joined Apr 2005
706 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Oliver
Good fun this model thing.
Yeah but getting expensive if you want to compete (successfully)in the larger F1 classes. I bought the tracker because I couldn't afford to replace the F1A (A2) model I was given various pieces for and cobbled together. If it were stick and tissue I'd have copped the occasional loss begrudgingly.

I had a funny one a few weeks back (talking of finding other people's models). I was walking to retrieve other peoples models to allow rounds to be completed earlier in that days flying. Whilst walking the line I noticed something that should not have been where it was far to my left. Upon deviating I found an F1B that had gone OOS in a completely different direction two days prior in practice. We snuck it back (no easy task with a 2.5M wing) and plonked it on that fliers site whilst he wasn't about. You should have seen his face when he came back, it was priceless. (Percy Wright for the Aussies who may know him.)

In the recent state champs, a bug and Yagi finally determined that another modeller's F1C was lazily floating down the river. That retrieve sure messed with his head for a while. A trip home for the boat and he had it back unmolested though somewhat moist.

What a hobby, hiking, climbing, swimming and boating all in the one day.
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