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Frequency Display

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Old 05-15-2003, 12:48 PM
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scawein
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I have come up with a simple frequency display board that uses LED's to display what channel(s) is/are flying. You plug in the appropriate card for your channel and the display reads out your channel (digits are 6 inches tall). Positive control comes from 'trading' your AMA card (or club card) for the frequency card, just like we do for the clothespin now.

Unlike clothespins, the display can be seen from anywhere on a typical flying field and would seem to offer a higher degree of safety than the traditional method of frequency control at flying clubs. Displays can be portable or permanently mounted on your clubhouse.

I was hoping to get feedback as to whether something like this would be used or wanted. It would cost around $200.00 for a 4 station display. It runs on the same 12v batteries we use for our engine starters (12v/5aH).
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Old 05-15-2003, 01:31 PM
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scawein,

It sounds like a pretty cool product, and you may ask for feedback here in the Q&A forum, but you may not sell them here. For that, you may go to the New Product Announcement Forum, or the For Sale Forum. Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2003, 02:02 PM
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scawein
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Thanks for the input. I listed this is that forum also, mostly looking for interest before I start the ball rolling.

Thanks again
Scott
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Old 05-15-2003, 02:29 PM
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Sounds like a great product. Now if you can just link the cards with the ability to power up the transmiter, you would really have a huge leap in safety and control.
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Old 05-15-2003, 03:04 PM
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scawein
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Thanks. Whoa...getting the transmitter manufacturers to make a change would be tough. This kind of feedback makes me want to make a few samples and give it a try.

The unit is designed so that the stations are marked, so I know who is flying what and at which station. One position of the display could be marked (HP) for hot pits, so it can even handle that.

Thanks again,
Scott
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Old 05-15-2003, 07:56 PM
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I'm envisioning some kind of pin or key that must be inserted in the transmitter before the power will come on to the RF portion of the radio. Obviously, the frequency of the transmitter must match the frequency of the pin/key pulled. Maybe it's like a two step system. The power switch allows you to program your radio but you cannot broadcast until the pin/key is inserted.

I've been thinking of this for some time but don't have the electrical knowledge to actually do it.
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Old 05-15-2003, 08:40 PM
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It would be easy to disable the power to the radio completely, but it would take a modifciation to all existing radios. Granted the mod would be easy physically, but probably not mentally. People are a little apprenhensive to let you cut into their radios.

I was trying to make a first run attempt at this and I think it would see resistance if it was too different from the existing way.
My idea of the card was to try to replicate the clothespin, I think later versions by smarter folks than me will ultimately lead to more sophisticated units being built.

This is hopefully friendly enough that a lot of people would consider trying it. Considering I want to change an established way of doing something, thats often enough task on it's own. I also wanted to keep it as cheap as possible. Of course, I think it should be madatory at all fields.

I already bought some old traffic lights to use as the display if somebody wants to try a permanent installation. Traffic lights seem like a natural to me since we all know them as information signs anyway, plus they are weatherproof.

I really appreciate your input on this.

Scott
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Old 05-15-2003, 08:59 PM
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Scott,

Yep, you are right that changing the status quo is difficult. You are off to a great start. Do you have any photos of an isntalled system?

To me, the whole frequency control thing is the biggest possibility for an out of control plane &/or crash. It just takes one careless individual to ruin your day.


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Old 05-16-2003, 01:20 PM
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>I'm envisioning some kind of pin or key that must be inserted in the transmitter before the power...

It's called common sense. You don't turn on til you own the pin. Adding an additional switch or circuit to the TX adds another failure point.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:12 PM
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Bill,

I agree but you know what they say about common sense.... "it's not so common"
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Old 05-16-2003, 03:05 PM
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I think it is more of a "creature of habit" function. Clothespins have been being used for a long time. Seems the easiest way to move to a new routine would be to offer the same tactile portion of the system.

You go the impound area, you place your AMA card into the slot that holds the frequency card. Take the frequency card

Insert the frequency card into the display for the station you will be using. Go Fly

I would also reccommend that we all use the frequency flags that came with our radio. Everybody knows what they look like and can easily have added confirmation as to which channel is operating.

A pin or something would have to make use of the insides of the flyers radio. As I said above, people don't usually want you to cut up there radio. A simple key arrangement could be set up to accomplish this, but it make a radio, without add changes) un-useable at other fields that did not have the same system.

Lots and lots of ideas, but which one will allow success. This was an idea I had based on safety, so I will certainly welcome any input to better it for that purpose.

Thanks for the dialog
Scott
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Old 05-16-2003, 04:32 PM
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how about........
the club supplys the tranny crystal... to activate your tranny and turn on the display you REMOVE the crystal and insert in your tranny.
but.. it will work, till someone drives off with it, breaks the crystal and causes someone else to crash next flight, or a newbie turns up with his crystal.

but... what about adding a frequency checker to your display to show any frequency problems, took me about 3 seconds to work out what you had and how to make one very cheap, so you need to add sommit else, a frequency checker is the perfect add on
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Old 05-16-2003, 06:57 PM
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scawein
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yes those are all good ideas, but I still think people are going to hesitant to allow us to mess with their radios in any way. Maybe after they get used to some new way of doing the same thing, they would be amenable to newer things.

The sky is the limit here. My goal, and why I am so willing to discuss it openly, is that I have very cheap Taiwan connections, so I can get the parts very cheap and produce something that somebody wants. Ultimately, I would go so far as to say I would probably post the schematic and let people make them for themselves if they want.

I just like the idea enough, that I want to see some form of it in action at the local fields.

THanks for the suggestions
Scott
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Old 05-17-2003, 02:22 AM
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Scawein,
Hmmm....Let's see....so the D-spec calls for a tightly controlled system to allow Tx activation based upon first authorization and then followed by subsequent validation by an independent system. Great idea!!!

I do systems that achieve that goal....in the Grand Cherokee,
Dodge durango....LH...NS..GS...JA...JX Blah Blah Blah. As for the Cadillac XLR and corvette, substitute the "Tx" in the statement above for "vehicle entry and engine start" and you will see how what I work on almost everyday parallels your concept. And yes, there is a way to achieve the goals of your idea without modifing transmitters.

For specifics, Just PM me

Mark
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