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Surface frequency radios for North America

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Surface frequency radios for North America

Postby roedj » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:18 pm

To All,

I just returned from the Toledo, Ohio Weak Signals Show which is a very large and popular R/C show in the USA. I made a point of asking all the manufacturers of radios who I could find about the future of 75MHz radios. Short answer is that there is no future. Because I am an Amateur Radio Operator (Ham) I asked about 50MHz. Some laughed. If there's no future for 75MHz you can imagine how much future there is for 50MHz. Answer is less than zero.

Manufacturers surveyed were Futaba, Airtronic, Hitec and JR who were for the most part US reps for these companies so the home office may have other plans but I doubt it.
Some of the representatives were sympathetic to our plight as model submariners but that's it. I realize that this is not new news but just thought I'd let you know what I found out.

Dan :cry:
"By doing just a little every day you can gradually let the task completely overcome you." - Wil Baden
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Re: Surface frequency radios for North America

Postby Boss subfixer » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:38 pm

So obviously they will stop making the radios in 75 MHz but what's going to happen if/when the FCC lets someone else use the frequency, like for cell phones or what ever. Are we going to be using our old radios illegally?
Don Evans
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Re: Surface frequency radios for North America

Postby petn7 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:55 pm

Boss subfixer wrote:So obviously they will stop making the radios in 75 MHz but what's going to happen if/when the FCC lets someone else use the frequency, like for cell phones or what ever. Are we going to be using our old radios illegally?


That was my concern.

I'm not too worried about 75 MHz no longer being manufactured, but rather that spectrum being delegated for some other purpose.

I can hear the FCC now, "Well, all those hobbyists have their 2.4 GHz frequencies, what do they need 27, 72, and 75 MHz for?"

I've been hoping that there will be certain frequencies (such as 50 MHz) that the FCC will allow for hobby use, but an amateur radio license or whatever will be needed.
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Re: Surface frequency radios for North America

Postby Sub culture » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:01 am

I can't see the older frequencies being wiped out. Here in the UK we use 27mhz and 40mhz for surface craft, with 35mhz reserved for aircraft.

2.4ghz has made big inroads, but it's worth pointing out that with the introduction of 40mhz over 20 years ago, 27mhz could have been snatched, but wasn't.

In the future, the main problem is going to be getting hold of a TX with a surface frequency other than 2.4ghz. My take on this is that it provides an opportunity for smaller companies to make conversions, or adapt sets.

This may well push up costs a bit. RX's will continue to be produced I think for sometime to come. Also don't forget about all that keenly price secondhand gear floating about on the market as folk scrabble to convert to 2.4ghz.
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Re: Surface frequency radios for North America

Postby chips » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:43 pm

I don't think that 27, 50, and 75 MHz will be going away soon. We are already sharing some of the currently authorized frequencies with Industrial, Scientific, and Medical users - and they are listed as the primary users, while we model drivers are secondary users. That's why all of the radio manuals have the fine print about the gear complying with FCC Subpart 15. There is a "which radio" discussion at rcgroups. I found Gill RC's second post in that discussion to be interesting - as it may cause problems for all those that have jumped on 2.4.

It was about 20 years ago that we got the additional frequencies that we now enjoy. I remeber in the late 70's and early 80' there being only 11 channels in 72 - 75 MHz; 5 (all on 72 MHz) were shared by surface and aircraft models; the remaining channels (only 1 on 75 MHz) were aircraft only. The Academy of Model Aeronautics took the lead and lobbied the FCC for increasing and splitting the frequencies. The result was that we ended up with 50 aircraft only frequencies in 72 MHz and 30 surface model frequencies in 75 MHz. I got my Ham radio license about 7 years ago, and operate 4 subs on 50 Mhz; my two other subs (and 25 targets) are on 75 MHz.

So what can we do?
1. Buy some new radios or receivers on 75 Mhz (and 50 MHz for Ham operators). This should let the manufacturers know we are still interested in those frequencies.
2. Write to the radio makers and ask when they plan they plan to make more radios available.
3. Write to the AMA and the FCC and let them know that we are still using those frequencies.
Bob Gesking
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