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No 50MHz support from Hitec

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Old 08-15-2003, 04:55 AM
  #1  
Volfy
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

I realize it probably doesn't make economic sense to support the tiny customer base for Hamband. And in the old days of Hitec being a David compared to the Futaba and JR Goliaths, the sales volume probably didn't justify the investment in R&D and logistics.

However, with the aquisition of Multiplex, Hitec is arguably one of the "Big 3" now. Along with that status should come the realization that Hitec is no longer simply serving the bottom feeders, who shop mostly on price point. Hitec should take on the responsibility of being a major player and support ALL their customers, however small the 50MHz niche might be.

With a Ham Technician ticket ever easier to obtain, that niche might just be a growing one also. Come on, Hitec. Whadda you say?
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Old 08-15-2003, 12:56 PM
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JohnBuckner
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Default "Bottom feeders"

Then why on earth are you sniffing around here with the rest of us "bottom feeders".


John
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:56 PM
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Crash_N_Burn
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

That's exactly why I just bought four JR 649's on 53MHz. JR is discontinuing 53 stuff and I hear 50MHz may follow suit soon.

Don't know Futaba's stand on the issue.

I think FMA still makes 50 & 53 MHz stuff, however.

Stock-up while you can.
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:47 PM
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MikeMayberry
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

I'll suggest it again at our next RnD meeting but I wouldn't hold my breath. The market is just too small to justify the investment costs and production time.

Unfortunately, we can't please all of the people all of the time!

Mike.
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:00 PM
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The PIPE
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Default Got an order for FMA gear for the "Ham side" of my MICROSTAR...

Dear Volfy and Fellow RCU'ers:

The PIPE Here again-and I've got an order in RIGHT NOW for an RFD1FM50 FM transmit deck, and TWO Quantum-8 negative FM shift "Ace style" 50 MHz receivers, to use with my new MicroStar computer SINGLE STICK radio I've almost got finished!

My thread at http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...053&forumid=70 is chronicling how my MicroStar is doing since I got it started way back in the autumn of 2000 as a MicroPro encodered radio, before THAT board "went sour" and Gordon Anderson stepped in with his GREAT new encoder!

I've got TWO MicroStar encoders now (just got the SECOND one in mid-July 2003) and the second single stick radio will be an ALL-scratchbuilt unit, using an older Ace RC FM Tx deck for Ch.40 (it's in my old Silver Seven "knobby" radio right now) and an FMA RFD1FM50 deck, for DUAL BAND usability, just like my first one already is set up to be.

Hopefully I'll get that "Ham side" order back from FMA, by the end of THIS month...just in time for some GREAT cooler weather autumn flyin' fun, up here in New England with all those colorful leaves...I am NOT a "summer person"!

And I ALSO have a total of THREE of those VERY valuable ProLine single stick radios to implant MicroStar encoders in as well...for a total of FIVE single stick rigs...THOSE are intended to be my "radios for a lifetime", as I should NEVER have to build another RC transmitter again with all FIVE of those MicroStars in my hangar.

Just canNOT beat "knobby radios" for ease of RC flyin' for my own needs...and FMA has the Ham gear needed for those of us with our Technician class tickets, and higher!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE! )
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:19 PM
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Default Ham Freq Radios

I hear you, Volfy. I have a couple of Hitech RCD receivers on 50MHz that I use with my JR 8103, but that's it. JR has them and I have several including a new 700. I did buy 4 of the FMA Quantums. These guys have great range and very light. In the 2 years I have had then, never one glitch.
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Old 08-16-2003, 05:40 AM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Mike, considering the difference between the 72mhz equipment and 50mhz equipment is the trimming caps and a few of the components why is it not really feasible? I mean the investment cost is not high by any means but because the market is smaller there isn't as much profit. Isn't part of defining what makes a good company a little bit of diversity in it's client base? I understand that in a more and more lean economy it makes more sense to stick with what sells but isn't that sort of narrowing your vision a bit when there is still profit to be made elsewhere? Not as much true, but profit is profit. I personally will be using 50mhz, and due to the extremely limited availability of good equipment that uses it I'm gonna end up hacking together my own. The profit margin might not be as high, but why would you turn away customers because upper management wants the most out of their dollars? It's kind of like a lollipop company not making red lollipops cause they're the least favorite flavor of lollipops. If you start building your company based on only blue lollipops what happens if that flavor becomes unpopular in the future? Granted nothing to that extreme would happen with 50-72 difference. But it's still being short sighted I think.
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:12 AM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Mike, I appreciate your help in this. But hmm... small market? Last count I have 8 Futaba R148DF, 2 R148DP and 2 R128DF - that's 12 receivers all 50MHz. And these won't be the last 12 RXs I buy either. It isn't just about RXs. I like the new Multiplex radios, but I won't even consider them precisely because of no 50MHz support. Instead, it's down to Futaba and JR. I will probably end up getting the much rumored Futaba 12ch TX as soon as it's available.

And when it comes time to buy other RC gear like servos and such, those companies that appreciate my business, however small it might be, get my first consideration. Call it lost leader, or what you wish, it's smart business to show that your company caters to ALL RCers, not just to those from whom you make the most bucks.

I suppose I will continue to give Futaba my business, but I really like Hitec gear as well. The R&D cost is next to none, since Hitec had 50MHz and simply discontinued the line. So all the cost is in the logistics, and it can't be all that much.
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Old 08-18-2003, 02:50 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Sorry guys... I can't sit here and debate this issue with you all.

Like I said... I will bring it up at our next RnD meeting in Sept.

Mike.
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:23 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

I personally use 50MHz for my rc aircraft, and i love it, their's fewer people on it and at my club i have much less glitches on it i CANNOT see Futaba justifying dropping their 50MHz modules and receivers... I mean how much does it cost to make a few 50MHz like they have been doing since God knows when.
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Old 08-18-2003, 07:05 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Mike, sorry if I sounded like I was arguing. Just trying to stress the point.

FWIW, in one of the RC clubs I belong to, there are at least 10 guys with Ham frequency previledges out of a total of around 200 members. It's not a huge percentage, but it's not exactly insignificant. If you take away all the newbies and family membership, that percentage is likely to be higher still.

It's like the support for TX mode other than the all too popular Mode 2. I am sure Hitec would not want to discontinue support for Mode 1 TX, correct? If so, then surely there must be more considerations taken than just profit, yes?
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Old 08-18-2003, 07:12 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

All your points are well taken.
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Old 08-19-2003, 05:21 AM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Oh, almost forgot to say a big thanks for all that replied in support of the HAM frequencies. It's nice to know that I am not alone.

THANKS!!

Sometimes I feel like I'm just asking for trouble. As if it's not bad enough that I'm a leftie flying Mode 3, I had to get me a Ham ticket and suffer with limited 50MHz selection. Ed and I are probably the only leftie RC Hamsters around.

Ahh... what da heck, even with all the empty stares and indifferences, it's nice to be the few.
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:06 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Hi all,

I'm just dropping my 2 cents worth. I've been a 50mhz flyer since the late 80's. Main reason being that when I go to big events, like the IMAA Rally of Giants, it would take all day long to get 1, maybe two flights in, waiting for the freq pin. At the same time I'm watching the guys on 50 and 53mhz walk up, take their pin, and fly like it was a normal day at the field.

So I'm hoping that support for 50mhz remains, since this is all I prefer to fly with. As a side note, I also prefer to fly Mode one. It's what I learned on in the 70's, and I like it better than Mode 2.

Thanx for reading.

-Chuck
KA9YDV
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Old 08-20-2003, 03:43 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Mike, perhaps you should print off this thread and present it at your Sept. meeting.

As the 72MHz band keeps filling up, the 50MHz band may see more growth.

Myself, I'm just getting into the hobby. I'm already a ham and I have a Hitec Focus 4 (came with a set). Now I'm looking to get a fancy rig and it seems that Hitec has eliminated itself from my choices; It looks like my dollars will go to fund their competitors' R&D.

One thing that I would really like to see is a 50MHz feather receiver or equivalent micro receiver (which would fit on a Hornet), perhaps even more channels (preferably 6 for CCPM + gyro gain).

Also, one question for the vets here. Do JR and Futaba play together? i.e. can I use a tx from one and rx from another (same offset, etc?)

Tnx, 73

Kevin, KC0DEQ
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Old 08-20-2003, 04:23 PM
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Default Shift

Originally posted by redfenix


Also, one question for the vets here. Do JR and Futaba play together? i.e. can I use a tx from one and rx from another (same offset, etc?)

Tnx, 73

Kevin, KC0DEQ
Kevin, the answer is no. HT & Futaba seem to use the same "shift", and are compatible either way. Airtronics, JR and Multiplex also seem to be able to use each others recievers, since they use the same "shift". But those of different "shift" (I believe that's positive or negative signal magnitude) are not compatible.

I notice some territoriality in several areas of RC, and the Hams are one of the areas. The only confirmed shootdown I've seen, a crash caused by another pilot turning on a transmitter of the same frequency, was between a pair of Hams on 50 MHz, by the way.

Areas where I notice people with strong opinions (Us vs. THEM!) are in brand choice (engines, radios, kits), ARF vs BIY (The build it yourself-ers seem to be quite self-important) and Electric vs Glow flyers (I see some on each side that are quite vocal.) The Hams and the SPAD folks seem to go on and on about their virtues, while there seems to be little interest in debate from the other sides (non Ham, non SPAD.) Another observation I've made is that the most vocal find lots of fault in the other side, while ignoring their own. Promotion of their own side seems to be neglected, by comparison.

I see the market at work here, little else. Nobody buys Packards any more, although everyone agrees they were quite good. Packard just chose not to meet the demands of the market. Will the market next test HiTec, or the Ham interest? I don't have an answer for that one, but I'll watch.

Good luck,
Dave Olson
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Old 08-20-2003, 05:26 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Dave,

Thanks for the info. I thought I heard from somewhere that all 6m RC transmissions needed to be on negative offset. I knew that 72MHz JR was positive offset, but I was hoping that the JR 6m modules would use negative.

Another interesting find: The Berg micro-recievers have a 50MHz version and interestingly enough, it says it works on all tx brands. While the corresponding 72MHz micro-rx has 2 versions (one for Fut/Hi, and one for JR/Air). I'd be really interested to get to the bottom of this.

About the reflections on hams being boastful or abrasive, I would ask that you not judge everyone by the one ham who shot down the other. For the most part, hams are considerate and watchful to make sure they don't produce interference. While I can't speak specifically for ham rc'ers, I can speak for many on FM, SSB, and CW communications and I have found 95% of them to be very courteous. Perhaps this is the double-edged sword of making it easier to pass the exams--picking up the ones who are less eager to do things right.

73,

Kevin, KC0DEQ
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Old 08-20-2003, 06:49 PM
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Default HAMs

One thing I have noticed about some HAMs is they are very quick to tell you about how easy the test is to pass today as compared to their day...seems like one of the first things they all say to me the field.

I studied about 3 days and went for the Technician and passed General , and almost passed Extra without studying for them.

Now I guess I'll take the 5WPM code test and the Extra during the next test cycle just so I can shut those guys up at the field :-)
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Old 08-20-2003, 07:25 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

Congratulations Matt! Way to go!

I think the reason you hear long-term hams saying that today's tests are easier than yesteryear's is because it is true.

They didn't give us the answers in a "question pool" like they do now. You had to know it and work it out on paper and hand in your scratch paper with your test. And it better all match.

Additionally, you were in a cold, dark, musty FCC field office and didn't dare say a word to anyone or you'd be dismissed. The code test was around a big oak table with all the applicants copying code off a Baudot tape-fed audio oscillator. After the receive test all copy was graded and the failures were dismissed from the room. Then it was time for each individual to send code to be copied by the FCC Engineer-in-Charge. If he didn't like your "fist" out you went.

So, as you can see, it was somewhat more difficult back then. However we didn't have many things that we have now: transistor circuits; satellite tracking, etc, so maybe we really got off easy? LOL

Anyway, good luck with the EXTRA test and the code, might as well have it all, yes?

N7DKK
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Old 08-20-2003, 07:40 PM
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Default Ok, I'll Bite

I was a little disappointed that they removed code from the test. I worked hard at the code so I can get this license, and now you can almost walk right in and get one off the shelf.

I can't say that I expirenced the dark FCC rooms etc, and my testing was a little easier than that. I took my test in 1987 and I did have access to every question in the test pool, and I studied each of them. If I answered a question wrong to myself, I would go into the book and understand why, then kept studying. I only needed to receive 5WPM, although I could have sent if I needed.

I earned my license for two reason, autopatch, and RC planes. Now with cell phones today, I don't need that, however I enjoy flying 50mhz because I know I never have to wait for a pin. If I ever go to another big event, that still would be the case.

I'm reading on another post about the FMA receivers and how good they are. They support 50mhz, and I'm leaning towards that direction. If the industry decides to eliminate 50mhz support, then I guess there will be a mad dash for equipment on 50mhz. I'll be one of them.

Thanx for the floor.

-Chuck
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Old 08-20-2003, 08:14 PM
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Default LOL!

Well, I guess it is the same as me....I always say to the new turbine pilots..."when I was a boy we had to fly ducted fans"...blah blah...

But I understand!

Like I said on another thread, if we stop Broadband on Power Line (BPL) it will be because of HAMs not RCers
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Old 08-20-2003, 08:53 PM
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Default For Hams, ALL THREE of the Asian radio makes DO use the same positive FM shift!

Dear Fellow RCU'ers:

The PIPE Here yet AGAIN-and these days, Futaba, JR AND Sanwa DO all use the same POSITIVE polarity shift in their FM receivers on 50 MHz Ham frequencies...the only radios that HAVE been made, since FM started getting "popular", in a NEGATIVE FM shift format on the Ham bands were some pre-1990 Futaba 50 MHz radios, and the entire Ace RC lineup.

I'm sticking to the older Ace RC negative shift receiver's polarity convention in ordering MY FMA Quantum-8 receivers...the RFD1FM RF decks are ALL shipped that way anyway, for 50 MHz operation.

If you DO want negative shift FM receivers from FMA to use with older Futaba or Ace RC transimtters, an "-ACE" suffix gets added to the FMA part number for the Quantum-6 and Quantum-8 receivers to let FMA know the buyer wants a negative FM shift receiver on 50 MHz!

I've been a Ham since 1978, and HAD to take the 5 WPM code test...WOW, was that NERVEWRACKING ...back then (did it for a Novice class license, just to get my "foot-in-the-door" for Ham test elements, towards the Tech license of that time)...and I also had to have passed the Novice AND the General class WRITTEN tests to get a Technician class license at all in 1978.

With the "testing element credits" I've already got, I checked with the ARRL, and I found out that if I provide evidence (to a Ham radio club that's doing ham license exams) of my license being from that long-ago period that I could, for only a "nominal FILING fee" of something like $10, get a GENERAL class license upgrade from the FCC with NO additional testing required! The ARRL has been of some help here, as they've sent me a Ham callsign book page listing from 1987, with my name and callsign listed as a Technician class Ham...and I've still got a scanned copy of my Tech class license that was good from 1988 through to 1998... so, before the end of THIS year, I may well be a General class Ham, with NO studying or additional testing required!

Just have to find a local Ham club "just south of Boston" this autumn that's doing what's called a "VE", for "volunteer examination", session in getting people tested for their Ham licenses, and present the evidence and make out the paperwork (and pay any required filing fees)...and presto, I'm upgraded to General class Ham status!

Something to "look forward" to this autumn...as well as all the NICE flying weather up here in New England!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!
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Old 08-20-2003, 10:47 PM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

So I can use a Futaba RX with JR TX and vice versa? Am I hearing that right? (as long as I stick in the 50MHz band, of course.)

You know, in MY day, I had to pass a 13 WPM code test to get my General class license. I was pretty proud of that at the time. However, you've got me on years. I wasn't a ham in 1978, in fact, I was just born in 1978!

73,

Kevin, KC0DEQ
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Old 08-21-2003, 03:57 AM
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Default No 50MHz support from Hitec

I hope JR and Futaba stop making 50 MHz systems. Also the last thing we need is Hitec making 50 MHz equipment. If the Tech license is so easy to get and all the equipment is available, what is the point to fly on 6 meters. I will wait forever for my pin!!!

I have a ton of Futaba 149 RX and JR 945 RX on 50 MHz. I'm set, HA! HA!

I hope your not on my Freq Matt

WB6JET
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Old 08-21-2003, 04:58 AM
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Default No Sweat

I have a synth module on 6 meters, I can always be on your frequency!

How the hell have you got time to post on RCUniverse....get back in the test cell where you belong!!
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