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Obsolete the Pin Box!

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Old 10-08-2004, 05:49 PM
  #1  
BillS
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Default Obsolete the Pin Box!

Obsolete the Pin Box!

When are we going to start insisting that the radio manufacturers use old or current technology to do away with the antiquated and very dangerous Pin Box?

Is safety important? The Pin box is not safe. Everyone here should be able to list fifty reasons why the Pin Box is dangerous. Everyone in the hobby for even a short period of time has had a turn on. Disastrous crashes have two main causes, batteries and frequency conflict in that order.

A few of the technologies that might be used are:
1. Frame verification for good values i.e. a good frame.
2. Check summing the frame.
3. Check summing based on the transmitter’s serial number, or millisecond since turn power up.
4. Packet checking.
5. Spread Spectrum.
6. Splash Spectrum.
7. Redundant transmission.
8. The list goes on and on.

It is likely that many will adopt up the party line and describe why it cannot be done rather than investigate to determine how it might be accomplished. The Pin Box can be eliminated. The necessity for the Pin Box can be ELIMINATED.

Bill Stanley
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS

Obsolete the Pin Box!

When are we going to start insisting that the radio manufacturers use old or current technology to do away with the antiquated and very dangerous Pin Box?

Is safety important? The Pin box is not safe. Everyone here should be able to list fifty reasons why the Pin Box is dangerous. Everyone in the hobby for even a short period of time has had a turn on. Disastrous crashes have two main causes, batteries and frequency conflict in that order.

A few of the technologies that might be used are:
1. Frame verification for good values i.e. a good frame.
2. Check summing the frame.
3. Check summing based on the transmitter’s serial number, or millisecond since turn power up.
4. Packet checking.
5. Spread Spectrum.
6. Splash Spectrum.
7. Redundant transmission.
8. The list goes on and on.

It is likely that many will adopt up the party line and describe why it cannot be done rather than investigate to determine how it might be accomplished. The Pin Box can be eliminated. The necessity for the Pin Box can be ELIMINATED.

Bill Stanley
No party line from me, Bill. Good idea - do it.

Abel
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Old 10-08-2004, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS

When are we going to start insisting that the radio manufacturers use old or current technology to do away with the antiquated and very dangerous Pin Box?

<Snipped from context>
I guess it depends on who you mean when you say “we”.

If you mean the members of this forum, then there two known members who already have working SS units.

If you mean modelers, the answer may be when you convince all of them to stop purchasing the existing equipment. As long as the members buy, and vote their pocketbook, there is not much incentive for the major manufacturers to change much. Alternately, the answer may be when BPL reduces the usefulness of the current frequencies and the manufacturers see a larger than normal market.

On the other hand, if you mean the AMA, the AMA has no such power. Even an attempt to dictate to the manufacturer’s might have negative legal ramifications relative to liability, IRS status and the relationship with the manufacturers. The current by-laws simply provide no means to do so. Now… the AMA does have a frequency committee, which has as it members a number of manufactures. To give you some idea of the power embodied in the AMA, here is an example. The radio manufacturers made claims that the newer receivers were not subject to interference at two miles range. The AMA prepared to reduce the distance between clubs and flyers, asking the manufacturers to provide documentation. The documentation was not forthcoming in spite of the repeated attempts to secure it by the AMA. We still have a rule requiring 3 miles of separation.
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:30 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

The AMA has no power to change this? Then what about the last "Save the Frequencies" crusaide?

Seems they either do have control or their part in the last crusade was pure hog wash.

I vote for the hog wash.
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:50 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

Abel I did promise my wife of 40 plus years that I would not start any more businesses.

Thanks however for your comment and for ignoring the party line.

Bill
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:07 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

The pin Box is dangerous! Is AMA concerned with safety? Would AMA like to see insurance costs go down?

“We” means everyone. Anyone who might believe the AMA doesn’t have clout is naive. Wasn’t narrow band mandated? No one should mandate implementation details to a manufacturer. Everyone including AMA should demand greater safety. The AMA has a great opportunity to jawbone for greater safety and convenience for everyone.

It is great than 2 out of hundreds of thousands of units are SS. It is also pathetic.

Thanks but the AMA “Party Line” is unimpressive. Some might consider the party line to be irresponsibly uninterested in safety.

Bill Stanley
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:11 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

narrow band was an FCC req. that the ama got on board with as part of obtaining the use of the close spectrum we got now.

now ifn ya wana lobby the FCC to get spred spectrum, splash spectrum, or anything else mandated, well, frankly, yer in the wron forum at present.

the mfgrs will make what the law allows them to make, and the modelers will buy whatever the mfgrs present.
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:43 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS

The pin Box is dangerous! Is AMA concerned with safety? Would AMA like to see insurance costs go down?

“We” means everyone. Anyone who might believe the AMA doesn’t have clout is naive. Wasn’t narrow band mandated? No one should mandate implementation details to a manufacturer. Everyone including AMA should demand greater safety. The AMA has a great opportunity to jawbone for greater safety and convenience for everyone.

It is great than 2 out of hundreds of thousands of units are SS. It is also pathetic.

Thanks but the AMA “Party Line” is unimpressive. Some might consider the party line to be irresponsibly uninterested in safety.

Bill Stanley

You have no plan, no soulution, not even a complaint. If the truth be known, I don't doubt that you know what the AMA is, what it is supposed to be, or how it works. The AMA is not standing in the way of anything you propose. You do not seem to have an inkling as to what types of claims add to the insurance costs of the AMA. The fact that there are two members of this particular forum developoing SS says absolutely nothing about the AMA, or the actual number of producers existing that I may have no idea of.

I am just another AMA member. No special relationship. If you have something to propose, why not propose it. Or... is the simple fact: you don't know what you are doing, either in relation to the AMA, Radio Manufactures, or the technologies?
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:58 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

You sound like 75% of the AMA membership that seems to believe the AMA is an insurance company that lobbies the Federal government on the side. The fact is that it is neither. It is ILLEGAL for the AMA to lobby under the terms of it's IRS 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit, educational status. If you have some grand plan to change that... fine.
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

mongo,

Did you mean to say that the AMA did not lobby the FCC for narrow band and that the FCC came up with the idea on it’s own? I’m very curious.

Bill
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:52 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

the ama agreed to the narrow band scheme in order to obtain the use of the freq we now have. they might have even possibly sugested it. but under no circumstances did they, the ama, lobby for that, or anything else. if evver caught lobbying, the ama will loose it's 501c status, and its non profit status.
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

JR is right, the AMA has been very receptive to work with spread spectrum. My partner and I have been working on a system for a year now and we demo'd it to the AMA last year. We have dozens of successful flights on 2.4 GHz, 16 channel with full bidirectional capability.

THere are a couple of start up companies working on it, as well as a couple of modelers. THe only commercial system I am aware of has now been derated to surface use only, no surprise to me as his unit uses a very simple antenna system that I did not ever think would work in a plane. The other commercial system coming on the market is also a surface system.



We do not have any commercial aspirations at this time, mainly to be able to use RCUniverse freely (!)

THis is a tough technical problem, and I do not talk too much about why it is tough because that would give away the solutions! And who wants to invest this much time and money to make something when the Chinese will just rip it off, and modelers will buy it for 5 bucks cheaper (screw the inventor)
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:44 AM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

BillS

The FCC does ask for input in its rulemaking process. The AMA can, and does have an attorney to interface with the FCC. The input is given to the FCC. That is not lobbying. The input relative to BPL is such an example, as was the narrowband allocation.

The AMA can suggest the membership write to the FCC, as individuals, with input as individuals, but not as representatives of the AMA.

All that being said, I suspect most members of this forum would be among the first in line to purchase a spread spectrum radio. From the information we have seen here, SS is legal on some frequency ranges now. No additional permission from the FCC is necessary. In one case, the FCC wrote a letter to the developer of a SS system, that was made available to the AMA stating such.

All that is necessary is the input of a lot of money to develop and mass market the systems.
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:48 AM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

NOT an insurance company? NOT controlling the hobby? NOT lobbying?

What????
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Old 10-09-2004, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS
Everyone here should be able to list fifty reasons why the Pin Box is dangerous.
I'm not sure if I should feel insulted or not, but would someone please tell me what a "pin box" is?
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:34 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: Mike in DC

ORIGINAL: BillS
Everyone here should be able to list fifty reasons why the Pin Box is dangerous.
I'm not sure if I should feel insulted or not, but would someone please tell me what a "pin box" is?

Mike-
At many clubs frequency control is implemented via clothespins or similar marked with each of the channel numbers allowed at that site, often all of the allocated 72 MHz channels and in the ham bands where R/C is allowed as well. Before turning your transmitter on, you take the pin with your channel number from the box and clip it to the antenna, your cap, etc. Then you 'own' that channel until you return the pin to the box. Obviously, if the pin for your channel is not in the box, someone else currently owns the channel, and you keep your radio off.
It's simple and certainly not the only way, nor the most secure way to prevent conflicts and accidental shootdowns. A transmitter impound is better assurance against such incidents for example, but somebody has to man the impound and keep track of who is using what channel. Anyway, your club must do it differently.

Abel
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

Mike,

The Pin Box refers to the frequency pins that club members must have in their possession while the radio is ON. Most people new to modeling or maybe not in a club the concept might be unfamiliar. The radios can and do interfere with each other creating a safety hazard. The interference can exist up to three miles away.

Are you a club member?

If the explanation is incomplete please ask another question. It is a good question. Thanks for asking.

Bill
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:04 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

mr matt,

You and your partner are to be applauded for your pioneering efforts.

More later.

Bill
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:20 PM
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Mike in DC
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS
Are you a club member?
I am. Thanks. I thought I had heard of every possible frequency control system (from reading RCU), but I had not heard about using a box to hold the pins. The clubs I belong to all use the put-your-card-in-the-slot method.
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS

mongo,

Did you mean to say that the AMA did not lobby the FCC for narrow band and that the FCC came up with the idea on it’s own? I’m very curious.

Bill
Whatever Mongo meant to say is Mongo's business however I mean to say that "...the AMA did not lobby the FCC for narrow band and that the FCC came up with the idea on it’s own?"

Bob Aberle, Chairman of the Frequency Committee at the time, had been in negotiations with FCC for a long time. Due to the many frequency requests for technology waiting to come into the market place FCC simply had to reduce the old outmoded wide band frequency allocations. Remember these negotiations were in place in the late '70s and very early '80s.
The current model radio people were not yet swamped by the soon-to-come RC Car cash-cow, and staying in business was a chore. Futaba, MRC, and the soon-to-come JR were now the players vice Kraft, Pro-Line and Logitrol.
The radio people were very much against narrow band and 50 frequencies.
Basically FCC said 50 narrow band channels or nothing. AMA was being held in the proverbial crotch strong-hold. FCC won, and so did AMA and the modelers. Actually the RC industry had little problem in complying with the new requirements.
For information on the technique used to secure the final release of the freqs. to AMA's use refer to the minutes of the Nov. 1981 AMA EC meeting.
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:24 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

"release of the freqs. to AMA's use" So only the AMA can use these frequencies. Well throw me in jail!
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:58 AM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

Hossfly,

At a personal level semantics are unimportant and “been in negotiations with FCC” is an OK phrase. Safety is the subject. The lawyers can worry about semantics.

However SoCal is correct, there is a remarkable amount of language conflict. “"release of the freqs. to AMA's use"

The Pin Box is unsafe, antiquated and ridiculous considering today’s technology. Everyone should be demanding safer use of the technology especially AMA. The AMA should be “been in negotiations with FCC” for safer use of today’s technology. The Pin Box as a very basic concept is downright dangerous. Safety is far too dependent on knowledge and people. It doesn’t have to be that way.

It is scary to consider my last Kraft radio given away to a neighbor hood kid three years ago could have ended up within three miles of J_R’s flying site. Well it is not nearly as scary for me as it should be for J_R. Wouldn’t be surprising to find a Kraft servo in a throttle position in one of my airplanes either. The Kraft radio was retired in an operational state many years ago only because it became dangerous to fly. Also scary is the disposition and final resting place of the other fifteen or so retired transmitters sitting on the shelf. Before dispensing advice consider the tens of thousands of others in similar circumstances that are not now in the hobby. Many of those have found ebay and don’t have a clue about what is transpiring in modeling today.

Based on your AMA number you know that Phil Kraft would not have tolerated today’s Pin Box.

Yesterday during an interesting and intense programming discussion a knowledgeable old timer was handed a radio for problem solution. Immediately he started solving the programming problem. Very soon someone fetched the pin. Safety was compromised by the most knowledgeable of our group. A multi thousand-dollar airplane might have been lost. Worse someone could have been seriously hurt.

Bill
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:18 PM
  #23  
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

SORRY BILL:

BUT IN MY LIFE EXPERIENCE, THE ACCIDENTAL SHOOTDOWNS ARE NOT HAPPENING AT ALL.

last one i remember seeing was in 83 or 84. and i do attend a lot of events with upwards of 50 participants as well as sometimes flying fer a weekend at clubs around the country.

haven't been at any site that has any problem with "rogue" tx inside their "3 mile" limit either.

as to yer other "major" cause of "disasterous" crashes, batterys. i have never witnessed a battery failure crash.
edited to add, at least since NiCads came into popular use.

so i find yer basic premis to be WAY OFF BASE.

oh yeah, i been doing the r/c thing since 63.
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Old 10-10-2004, 06:13 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

ORIGINAL: BillS

The Pin Box is unsafe, antiquated and ridiculous considering today’s technology. Everyone should be demanding safer use of the technology especially AMA. The AMA should be “been in negotiations with FCC” for safer use of today’s technology. The Pin Box as a very basic concept is downright dangerous. Safety is far too dependent on knowledge and people. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Okay, let's for a moment agree that everyone should be "demanding...." Why aren't you? Your suggestions to R/C radio industry reps (e.g., your posts in the Ask JR forum on RCU) don't look very demanding to me. Have you done any more than that?

Abel
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Old 10-10-2004, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: Obsolete the Pin Box!

Yeah, I gotta agree with post #23. I'd have to say that pilot error is tops on the list for disastrous crashes followed closely by lack of preventive maintenance (which could also be classified as pilot error). Next in line would probably be battery failure (which could in some instances also fall under lack of PM). FWIW these are my observations at the field where I fly.
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