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HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Old 03-29-2004, 07:23 AM
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staraero
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Default HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Take a look at what Model Avionics has comming now! Look at the lower right hand corner of their web page. A Spread Spectrum Radio System.

http://www.modelavionics.com/

This will change everything. And it is about time. Hold on and don't buy any of those expensive radio systems just yet. This is going to be the ticket.

Staraero1
Old 03-29-2004, 10:13 AM
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staraero
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

It looks like this thing will work with some of the existing transmitters. Only a new reciever will be required, if I am reading there web site correctly.

Staraero
Old 03-29-2004, 10:22 AM
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LesUyeda
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

I wouldn't hold my breath. The people that worked on developing the original military versions say that operation was almost impossible unless EVERYTHING was perfect. It has not taken hold there.

Les
Old 03-29-2004, 10:55 AM
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ZAGNUT
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

ORIGINAL: LesUyeda

I wouldn't hold my breath. The people that worked on developing the original military versions say that operation was almost impossible unless EVERYTHING was perfect. It has not taken hold there.

Les

couple of members, including MrMatt have been flying with similar systems so i'm guessing that it does work.

looks like a simple RF module that's plugged into a standard radio. should sell good


dave
Old 03-29-2004, 11:48 AM
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SMALLFLY-
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

2.4 ghz systems arent necessarily known for long range, but they go thru walls nicely, not necessarilly a prerequisite for RC air systems. Wait and see
Old 03-29-2004, 03:08 PM
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CrashBurn69
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

I just hope the signal is not as staticy as my 2.4 telephone lol.
Old 03-29-2004, 03:54 PM
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smokingcrater
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

The people that worked on developing the original military versions say that operation was almost impossible unless EVERYTHING was perfect.
spread spectrum is well developed and tested now. some of the early problems were related to getting a rx capable of handling the switching frequencies needed. once processors went up in speed sufficiently that no longer was a problem. (spread spectrum rx/tx chips are about $20 now!!)

2.4 ghz wouldn't be great for this system though, might as well do the SS on our existing channels... (I've been posting about this for months!! a major manufacturer should pick up and adopt it... completely interference free flying and no more channels!)
Old 03-29-2004, 04:01 PM
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mr_matt
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

All I can say is it is fairly easy to get something that "works", very hard to get something that works VERY well.
Old 03-29-2004, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

I've been involved with electronics most of my life. I started when I was 9 or 10. I'm now 53 and it is my full time occupation. Nothing in electronics is guaranteed. Murphy's law was inspired by the first computational machines, others may call them computers but they were more like big , fast calculating machines.

I use 3 spread frequency radio modems at work to control 7 automated lifting transports. These modems are top of the line and cost about $3,000 each. They are not fool proof. Spread frequency is not a panacea and it is not 100%.

Perhaps spread frequency systems will be better than what we have now. I do know I really want to see what happens when 5 people fire up their spread frequency transmitters that are all using the same set of frequencies, the only thing being spread is the order they are being used and see what happens. I'll set it out!

John
Old 03-29-2004, 09:41 PM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

I think I just scramble metaphors - Bugs and Murphy's law. Ah well - time for my bed. The other problem that occurs to me is that when the signal does get hit, it needs time to drop the missing frame or two so its bandwidth / speed needs to be greater say 1.25 times faster than what it is now. How does this translate to maximum number of channels capable of being used simultaneously? Is it going to lower it from the present practical maximum of 10?

John
Old 03-29-2004, 10:29 PM
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mr_matt
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Our system transmits many times the amount of data needed in order to assure control. (much higher than your 1.25x figure, but you have the right idea)

We are settling on 16 channels, plus telemetry data back from the plane.

This is a differnet system that the one pointed out here, his system is meant for cars and boats I believe.
Old 03-30-2004, 10:39 AM
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Waco Driver
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

I notice that R/F modules will be available for Futaba & Hitec transmitters. Unless Futaba & Hitec seek F.C.C. approval, which I very much doubt, will not these modules be illegal in the eyes of the F.C.C. and AMA similar to the use of the Hitec Spectra module in Futaba 8U series T/X's???
Old 03-30-2004, 11:50 AM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Waco Driver,
Do you have a link to what you are talking about?

"I notice that R/F modules will be available for Futaba & Hitec transmitters. Unless Futaba & Hitec seek F.C.C. approval, which I very much doubt, will not these modules be illegal in the eyes of the F.C.C. and AMA similar to the use of the Hitec Spectra module in Futaba 8U series T/X's??? "


Thanks,
John
Old 03-30-2004, 12:01 PM
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strato911
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

ORIGINAL: JNorton
Waco Driver,
Do you have a link to what you are talking about?

Thanks,
John
On the website listed earlier... http://www.modelavionics.com/WiFLi/default.asp
Old 03-30-2004, 02:00 PM
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Phil Cole
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

ORIGINAL: Waco Driver

I notice that R/F modules will be available for Futaba & Hitec transmitters. Unless Futaba & Hitec seek F.C.C. approval, which I very much doubt, will not these modules be illegal in the eyes of the F.C.C. and AMA similar to the use of the Hitec Spectra module in Futaba 8U series T/X's???
The is nothing to stop Model Avionics getting approval for their modules while installed in any transmitter. Unlike normal RC modules on 72 MHz, 36 MHz, etc. the Model Avionics modules don't depend on the antenna or modulation waveforms from the main transmitter to comply with the regulations.

It's a similar situation to WiFi cards. The WiFi manufacturers don't have to get FCC approval via the laptop manufacturers.

The reason Spectras are not approved for use in Futaba transmitters is that the RF performance still depends on the antenna and modulation waveform in the main transmitter. Model Avionics have mounted the antenna on the module, and they digitize the the modulation signal before transmitting it. There is nothing Futaba or Hitec can do to stop the Model Avionics module from working within spec. without messing up there own modules.

Edit: Fix a typo which had the wrong meaning.
Old 03-30-2004, 04:51 PM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

strato911,
Thanks for the link. All I got was a picture? With your link I see what everybody is talking about.

Phil Cole,
I believe what your saying is that Model Avionics must get FCC approval. Because their product takes the place of Futaba or Hitec transmission modules no FCC approval is required from Futaba or Hitec because technically they are no longer transmitters only controlling shell. Correct?

I guess the only point I was trying to make in the above posts is the same thing Mr Matt said. "All I can say is it is fairly easy to get something that "works", very hard to get something that works VERY well." Just be careful you don't get sucked in by all the hype.

I stopped being an early adapter of new technologies when a superior BetaMax got creamed in the market place by an inferior VHS system. I know I'm an old fart.

John
Old 03-30-2004, 06:22 PM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Before I get in trouble for bashing this product, let me be clear that I think it will work fine in a car or boat or other surface application. I have my doubts about an aircraft, as I have been involved testing systems like this in aircraft.

And as I said before, the FCC is not the problem with this. Phil hit it on the head. The spectral purity of the normal 72 MHz module is affected by the transmitter itself. I would guess this little new module is a miniature computer that digitizes the servo data stream, packetizes it in some way and then sends it out.
Old 04-02-2004, 11:21 PM
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Bob_Wilcox
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

A few people have seen Matt and I fly that old looking Kraft radio at the Sepulveda Basin. Then you notice the antenna(s) in the plane and transmitter look different. That was our MK1 system on 2.4 Ghz after many trials, a successful unit. So far we never crashed one yet. Maybe I should not say that

The 2.4 Ghz has quite a few antennas and a unique switching system that always selects the best receiving antenna. Also the antennas are fairly low gain with the best radiating pattern possible. If you think you can fly with one antenna on your helicopter and one on the transmitter, don't fly it near me!!! Our system has 24dbm of power with a 4 dBi of antenna gain keeping us well under the 3.98 EIRP rating for the FCC point to multipoint rules. We can send (many times) 16 -10 bit channels; get back a packet from the plane, select the best antenna and hop (FHSS) to the next channel in less than 18ms. That is every bit as good as any 9 ch PCM on 72 Mhz.

I could be wrong, but I think this is the first successful system that has made many flights without loss of control. I say that because I have heard of several systems but they all show one antenna. I don't believe it when I see one antenna. I can turn my computer that I am typing on 90 degrees and lose my WiFi connection, no matter how much redundant data is sent. This WiFi connection also has the advantage of lots of stuff around the house creating multi-path that actually helps get the signal to the computer.

MKII is here.
This is our 900 Mhz test system. It is essentially the same as our 2.4 Ghz system but has over 27dBi of output. 900 Mhz also will transmit much further, 2.4 times less absorption than 2.4 Ghz. I included some pics! Kinda looks like a Proline in Royal Systems blue.

I guess the highlight for Matt and I was at the AMA Executive Council meeting when Dr. Sandy Franks stood up and told Dave Brown he got a look at the future when he was visiting Sepulveda Basin watching us fly this unit. When we made a presentation at the AMA Frequency Committee, funny how Airtronics, JR and Futaba shows up for the first time in years. Not sure what Matt and I are going to do with these systems. Maybe someone with lots of money will want to invest.







Ya! Ya! I fly helicopters mode1,

BTW, I talked to Paul Beard and he told me he was targeting surface vehicles with his WiFli system. Smart guy, probably 100 times the market and less liability then planes.
Old 04-03-2004, 06:25 AM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Way cool. Nothing like seeing the hardware and a description, vaporware it's not. Hope you guys can successfully market it and make some money.

John
Old 04-03-2004, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

ORIGINAL: smallfly-RCU

...... but they go thru walls nicely, not necessarilly a prerequisite for RC air systems...

It is a "prerequisite" for me if you know the way I fly......inside that lone patch of trees, behind the far side of the hill, and around back of the farmers house.
Old 04-03-2004, 09:22 PM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

What does the airborne antenna look like?
Old 04-04-2004, 01:53 AM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

WOW I was afraid I was posting too much information!

Your security clearance is revoked!
Old 04-04-2004, 02:33 AM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

Bob & Matt,

Very interesting setup and work that you have done. I can certainly share your thoughts on the technical side of it. 2.4 GHz would have many problems for aircraft that would need to be overcome. Antenna diversity certainly is a must.

I've been involved with a few discussions on taking radios this way for UAV's as it poses many opportunities over 72MHz. Undoubtedly, the time will come for our radios to move in this direction. Probably 5+ years out.

Michael
Old 04-04-2004, 10:02 AM
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Bob_Wilcox
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

No pictures of the receiver or antennas! Looks like I am already trouble with a security breach as it is.

Micheal:
5 years out (or more) is probably right. The complications in the plane are very difficult. Depending on the modeler to properly layout the antennas in his plane is also a leap of faith.

This system started with a proposal that I was working on for SAAB during 2000. They wanted an R/C system for control of one of their drone trainers. However, with the availability of great autonomous flying systems, there was no need for a system like this. We did wind up selling SAAB engines and built the airframes. Also, with VHF bands available to the military, I saw little reason to continue development. It was Matt's idea with the cost of our Jets that we desperately needed an alternative to our current radios. A jet pilot already has experience in making complicated installations and could afford a more (maybe very) expensive system. This is also why I did not go with just a module to plug into an existing R/C system. We also need more channels and the average jet pilot would never tolerate too much system latency. Making a transmitter with all the bells and whistles of our current radios is an astronomical task. Yes, at least 5 years!
Old 04-04-2004, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: HERE COMES THE FUTURE IN RC RADIOS

First you loose your clearance, now you blow the schedule!

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