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50mhz radios

Old 03-17-2004, 11:58 PM
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urbnsol
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Default 50mhz radios

i tried to get into this hobby a few years ago and i was given a jr max 4ch am radio by a friend who didnt want it anymore.
i knew nothing about the tx at the time, but i am going to start flying soon and wanted to make sure the tx/rx was still ok to use so i called jr today to see about sending it in for a ckeckup and such.
i think its going to be fine, but we'lll see.
i am hoping to use this tx/rx for a trainer so i can delay some of the initial cash outlay, then get a new system for later planes.

i am the type that does a lot of research before i buy something and i had been looking at radios (mostly jr, as i know that name from the research i did a couple years ago) for basic cost and info to give me things to think about before i really start looking to buy.

so while i was talking to the tech on the phone today i asked about 50mhz radios because i didnt see any listings for them and figured it would be a special order type deal.
he said the only ones they had in 50mhz was the 10x and something else, i cant remember the model number, but anyway i said ok then went to look up those parts for info and BAM!!!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!!!!!

i am not looking to spend $1000 for a 10ch wizbang radio. while im sure it does lots of really cool stuff, thats not what i need.
so i guess i need to look at some different brands.

now for the question:
can anybody recommend something in the 4-6ch range for a reasonable (<$250) price.
dont anybody do lots of research, i can do that, just wanted to know if anybody knows of some right off hand, or better yet from personal experience.

thanks for the help.
Old 03-18-2004, 06:44 AM
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ZAGNUT
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

i'm assuming you're a ham, right? if yes and you enjoy playing around with DIY electronics then visit [link]http://www.mstar2k.com[/link] and you'll find Gordon Andersons very nice synthesized RF deck designed for 50-53 MHz radios. you'll also see his very advanced encoder board there. these can both be used to build a custom TX for under $250 if you're good at sourcing parts for cheap (junk?)

[link]http://www.jensenjetmodels.com[/link] also has kits for the microstar parts as well as any other parts needed for custom radios. they also can get you the FMA RF deck for 50 MHz.

dave
Old 03-18-2004, 07:49 AM
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Ed_Moorman
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

you can get any JR radio that uses the plug in RF modules on 50MHz. I fly the 8103. The promo version of it comes with digital servos for a good price, if it's still available. Used to be $379.

I fly JR and FMA receivers, although any FM receiver will work. PCM is peculiar to each brand. it is only in North America that some radios have a different shift from others on 72 MHz. On ham bands, everyone is the same. Futaba FM receivers work just fine.
Old 03-18-2004, 11:06 AM
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Don T. - NN4S
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

If you're just getting started in the hobby and haven't got any experience flying, I recommend that you buy a nice six channel radio on the public (72 MHz) frequencies instead of hunting down one in the ham bands. It's much easier to find since you'll be able to take what's in stock (& maybe even on sale); no worries about ordering a special RF deck & receiver (because swapping crystals between 72 & 50 MHz gear won't work) and you've got a much larger market of buyers should you decide that you don't enjoy the hobby.

I'm not trying to be negative about it; just looking at the numbers and trying to suggest what's going to be best for your resale value. You may be quite thrilled with RC flight and if so you'll probably upgrade to a fancier radio once you've got a better idea of what you want in one. Once again the decision to buy a standard 72 MHz radio will shine because you'll be able to sell it off easier to help finance your new one!

One more thought: you might want to keep it for the peak sunspot cycle years. I have been flying on 50 MHz since `92 and have seen major differences in the level of interference on the band during the cycles. I won't fly on six meters during the sunspot peak years because I prefer to keep my planes under my control! I have a few old SS radios that are current and on 72 MHz channels for use during those times (especially since the arrival of the 100w HF/VHF/UHF radios en masse here in the states). I've talked across the country on six meters with 1 watt when conditions were good & certainly don't wish to have my airplanes dancing around to the tune of someone else's voice! Although we have "protected" areas for RC by the bandplan, the fact is that not all people know or follow it (although they should!) and I'm not willing to risk my equipment (or liability) against it. When propagation is poor, no problem; I just monitor the frequency I'm flying on with my Kenwood F6A and get the plane down IMMEDIATELY if I hear something happening other than the normal signals coming from it. But I'm not going to go out & put a plane in the air on 50 MHz if I know there's good propagation afoot; that'd be like going out to fly knowing that there's a mean fellow with a 12 guage shotgun just waiting for you to get the plane in the air so he can use it for target practice!
Old 03-22-2004, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

Don, interesting note. I have been flying on 6 meters on both AM and FM with homebrew and commercial equipment since 1957 and I have never experienced any problems with increased interference due to the sun spot cycle.

Rich

AD9V
Old 03-22-2004, 11:56 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

I've been flying on 6 meteres since the late 50's and have never had any problems with sunspots or any other type of interferance. I've used the old Bonner, Heath Kits and now Futaba with no problems.
Old 03-22-2004, 06:49 PM
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modeltronics
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

I too fly on 6 meters without any problem. But if you want to hear something interesting, listen to the 6 meter frequencies we fly on durring the VHF contest weekend if propigation is good.

73

Pete
Old 03-23-2004, 08:14 AM
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Don T. - NN4S
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

Well guys, I'm glad to hear that you've been lucky with regard to your planes during the better propagation. I live in an area that's got a large ham population and many of them are very active on six meters. I wish I could say that I've never had any interference but I've lost two planes from it over the years. I was across the county from one of the signals that wiped me out (during a Field Day before I paid any attention to it's existence). I have flown on other contest weekends and have picked up glitches as well, but listening on the F6A helps me make the go-no go decision safely & effectively. The other loss was when the local 6M repeater became active after a LONG gestation period during it's assembly & prep work; I didn't expect that turkey to be operational yet and it became active with no warning. It's amazing what a 150w FM signal at 53.210 MHz will do to an AM rx that's tuned for a 500mw signal at 53.200 MHz; the front end gets swamped & the plane goes wild! [X(] Anyway, better safe than sorry, since I ended up losing one of my favorite planes on one of those instances (had been flying it for 10 years!).

I'm also active with VHF/UHF weak signal modes & contesting nowadays; may as well share those airwaves one way or another! I've worked from north AL into Seattle, WA with one watt on six and into Ecuador with seven watts (both contacts SSB) when the propagation was good and am not willing to take a chance on my planes becoming unguided missles; even if they only hit the ground and not someone or somthing of value, I'm still out a plane! I just wanted to offer up a couple of thoughts that might not have crossed urbnsol's mind when considering his options. If his local ham population is as large and active as mine, then he needs to keep this in mind. I wish I didn't have to worry over it; flying was more fun when I was naive and it didn't concern me!
Old 03-23-2004, 06:32 PM
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modeltronics
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

I have never had a problem flying on 6 so far. Maybe I'm just lucky. The way I understand it is there is a gentleman's agreement about leaving the area we fly on alone for us. But there would be nothing illegal about going to one of the 6 meter frequencies we fly on and calling CQ DX running 500 watts to a huge yagi. I know for a fact that I have heard all sorts of communication going on in this area during a VHF contest one year that the propagation was good. But then I have also heard a lot of strange things scanning between 72 and 73 mHz with an Icom VHF/UHF receiver.

I wonder what it would be like if we could fly on 220 or 450?

de
Pete
Old 03-24-2004, 09:09 AM
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Don T. - NN4S
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

ORIGINAL: modeltronics

The way I understand it is there is a gentleman's agreement about leaving the area we fly on alone for us. But there would be nothing illegal about going to one of the 6 meter frequencies we fly on and calling CQ DX running 500 watts to a huge yagi. I know for a fact that I have heard all sorts of communication going on in this area during a VHF contest one year that the propagation was good. But then I have also heard a lot of strange things scanning between 72 and 73 mHz with an Icom VHF/UHF receiver.

I wonder what it would be like if we could fly on 220 or 450?

de
Pete
Very true, it's supposed to be understood that the lower R/C frequencies are protected. The big problem is that mistakes happen and when propagation is good & folks are excited, they just keep tuning up the band until they find a clear spot & make use of it. Then there's the few folks that go looking for a "private" frequency to make use of; they never hear anyone talking in that R/C segment and never hear anything happening there. They don't know of anyone flying R/C anywhere nearby and so they tune to that section of the band and make it their personal playground. Maybe they're never on when you fly (they do all of their ragchewing at night) but that day when they decide to get on the air when you're flying you'll sure know about it! There's a reason that we're warned about the repeaters that share the high R/C frequency segment; you are at risk and are expected to take precautions to protect your interests against them. The plane I lost from repeater interference was most definitely my fault; I got too complacent with the fact that the repeater was taking forever to get working and quit watching out for possible interference from it. The other loss was a new ham playing with an unfamiliar radio tuned somewhere he shouldn't have been and putting out a 100w signal before someone noticed & corrected him. Too late for me; plane down! Could it happen again? Yes! Am I much more wary of it happening now than I was then? You bet! Back then I not only didn't worry about it, I didn't have any means of monitoring for the interference (which I didn't expect in the first place; protected spectrum, remember?) and figured there wasn't any likelihood of it since nobody I knew was flying on the "new" ham frequencies at the time. I went to the shared frequencies after that incident and haven't had a problem with folks transmitting too high in the band since then (although I have heard some folks on occasion doing as I mentioned earlier on evenings when scanning the band for activity).

My point was to make aware the possibility of interference that everyone seems to ignore (or just doesn't think of); not to suggest that it happens everywhere to everyone. I simply wanted to share my experience in hopes of preventing it happening to anyone else. I believe that my points are valid and that if even one plane has been saved, it was worth mentioning. I still mourn the loss of the first plane, as it was a great flying plane that made me look like a really good pilot!

73 & good flying to all!
Old 03-24-2004, 05:32 PM
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The PIPE
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Default GERMANY has 433/434 MHz radios...

Dear Modeltronics:

The PIPE Here yet again...and though I'm STRICTLY a US frequency flier, on 50 and 72 MHz, those GERMAN frequencies on 433 and 434 MHz...which DO fall under the US Technician Ham license legal frequencies...MIGHT be "tempting" to try, IF one could get their hands on some German UHF RC gear!

At http://www.bmfa.org/JRCUC/internat.html just click on the text for "Germany" in that left hand side menu at that page, and you'll see the Germans have some THIRTY-FOUR frequencies available on their 433.125 to 434.725 MHz band, at a "wider-than-US 72 MHz" spacing of 50 kHz between each frequency!

The BIG problem with this idea, though, is that NO "official" setting-aside of these frequencies exists, that I'm aware of, in North America in either the USA OR Canada for "exclusive" use of them by RCers, such as exists with the 50.8-51 MHz band's ten channels at 20 kHz spacing numbered 00 to 09.

THAT area of the UHF bandwidth MAY have been tried by the AMA for RC operations some time ago, as I DO remember seeing an experimental UHF transmitter being tried out by the AMA (in their Model Aviation magazine) in the very late 1970s or very early 1980s to see if THAT section of the 420-440 MHz UHF Ham band might be practical for use in North America.

But, at least the Germans HAVE had it available over THERE...IF 50 MHz becomes "in too much demand" for six meter repeaters in the future, at least there COULD be a ready alternative waiting for us Hams way up in the UHF spectrum...thanks to the RCers from Germany!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!
Old 03-24-2004, 06:14 PM
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staggerwing
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Default RE: GERMANY has 433/434 MHz radios...

Citizenship made 465 mhz gear in the 50's early 60's. I had a single channel set. Worked good as long as you remembered to point the yagi antenna at the plane. Went through batteries pretty quick.
Old 03-24-2004, 07:44 PM
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modeltronics
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Default RE: 50mhz radios

Hi Pipe
Some years ago I attended the Sandown show in the U.K. It is like our version of the Toledo show in a way. At the show I remember looking at some UHF gear that was made in the U.K. If I remember right it fell in our 70cM Ham Band.

I know someplace in one of the ARRL publications I read that R/C is one of the few one way transmitions allowed on the Ham Bands. Are we just limited to 6 meters or can we try flying on any Ham Band?

73 DE

Pete
Old 03-25-2004, 05:06 PM
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The PIPE
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Default It's that "setting-aside thing"...

Dear ModelTronics:

The PIPE Here yet again, and it's the "setting-aside" of the 50.800 to 51.000 MHz band by the "Ham community at large" that DOES make it possible for Ham RCers like US to be able to use those "numbered-00-to-09" channels in the FIRST place!

As far as I can determine, it SHOULD be OK for us to use ANY frequency that we Hams are licensed to use, to fly our RC planes with...but where the (non-Ham) German RC modelers HAVE had those 433 and 434 MHz frequencies set aside for THEM, it IS safe for THEM to use it. We US and Canadian Hams just don't have THOSE thirty-four frequencies the Germans have "set-aside" for RC usage ONLY as yet, that's all!

The ONLY main restrictions on Ham use of the RC frequencies are MOSTLY summed up in Part 97.215 of the Amateur Radio Service rules, viewable at http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/reg...s/news/part97/ (scroll down AT that page to view Part 97.215)...and of course, NOT to forget, there's ALWAYS the "Ain't I a Stinker" rule the FCC has had on the books since about 1980, about BUDDY BOX usage on the Ham bands, that does NOT allow the "Primary Control Operator" rule of ham radio to be used for ONE way communications to allow a NON-Ham to use a buddy box with a licensed Ham......that's one of the MAIN reasons I've got a number of the 72 MHz FMA made FM RF transmitter frequency modules...the "RFD1FM" unit, now available from Jensen Jet Models at http://www.jensenjetmodels.com/ (FMA discontinued them early in November 2003), in ANY "knobby" single stick radio I'll have in usage, so I can switch my MicroStar "knobby" radios over to 72 MHz to allow a non-Ham to TRY "knobby box" flying, via a buddy box, if they would like to!

So, IF you use the 433/434 German made RC radios here in the USA "for now", THOSE frequencies MIGHT be best used for GROUND operated models ONLY...as I'm planning to do with my two old Ace RC 53 Mhz AM RF boards and four Silver Seven AM receivers, possibly for use in LAND YACHTS [ice boats with wheels instead of skating blades] when it's too WINDY to fly RC planes! If someday, though, the 50.8-51.0 MHz frequencies get "gobbled up" by six meter Ham repeaters as the 53 MHz segment of the six meter band has been, perhaps the AMA MIGHT help Ham RCers GET the "set-aside" usage of those thirty-four German UHF RC frequencies on 433 and 434 MHz...and where Multiplex (a GERMAN RC firm up until JUST recently) MAY have been making gear for usage on those bands, perhaps a nicely worded letter to Mike Mayberry at Hitec (the firm that DID buy out Multiplex) COULD get you some Multiplex 433/434 MHz UHF RC gear to try out over here! But IF you get your hands on some, JUST try it for GROUND models for now, until that "set-aside" can happen!

Hope this helped, even if only a little bit!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!

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