2.4GHz radio use & installation help sheet by Mike Ridley

2.4GHz radio use & installation help sheet by Mike Ridley

As some of you will know I had my radio go to failsafe mode a couple of times last week. A low power range check appeared to be ok so I took the gear to Mike Ridley of Model Radio Workshop and he found that the receiver aerial had a break in the coax shielding where it exits the case. I had seen the insulation on the aerial had split but didn’t realise the coax shielding was damaged so I had simply put a piece of heatshrink tubing over the split. The damage reduced the range, hence the failsafe, but the low power range check had not shown the problem. Mike fitted a new aerial and it’s now all good again.

Mike is the official service agent for Multiplex and many other makes and his services are very good value, he is thoroughly recommended. He is based in Sholing, Southampton so it’s a quick and easy trip for most PAM members.

While I was there Mike gave me a sheet he has compiled that covers some of the common problems he comes across and which contains some useful tips. He’s given me permission to use it: 

2.4G Radio use and installation help sheet

With regards to problems with 2.4G radio, as 2.4G radiation is quite directional, aerial position at the transmitter and receiver is quite important.

In the case of the models with carbon or metal in the way or close by the aerials this will have an effect on the aerials and will reduce the overall range.

Even the wires to the servos will also affect the range, so having any of these items close to the aerials will narrow down the active part of the aerial receiving the signals from the transmitter.

With all carbon models the only thing you can do is to get the aerials outside of the model, it has been found that having the aerials some distance behind the wings is the best. Having the aerials in front of the leading edge of wings will tend to give lock out and failsafe operation as the fatter part of wings will hide the aerials with the model in given positions.

I suggest that once a model has its radio fully installed that you take the model to the edge of its range by using the power down setting on the transmitter and then at the edge of range position the model in different angles and attitudes and see if you can lose the radio link. If this is the case then look at the aerials positions within the model to see if they are being compromised in any way.

UBec use
When using UBec power supplies avoid mounting the UBec close to the receiver as this can cause direct interference. I suggest when you first install a UBec carry out a short range check with and without the UBec if you find a significant change in the range then have the UBec checked out or replaced. This problem can also apply to some speed controllers that are now also using UBec BEC circuit.

NiMH batteries
One of the other problem with today’s modern radios is the batteries, as we’ve been forced to use NiMH battery this makes the possibility of battery voltage collapse much more likely, as NiMH have a much higher internal impedance sudden high loading of the battery can make the voltage collapse causing the receiver micro-processors to reset. If you have a lot of servos in your model you should consider using Eneloop batteries as they have a much lower internal impedance and can cope with high loads.

Transmitter aerial position
I recommend that the aerial be put into the vertical position as the signal that is radiated from the aerial is polarized in vertical plane and is more likely to reach the receiver than in the horizontal plan. This also avoids the tip of the aerial pointing directly at the model which is where the radiation is at its weakest.

Third party add-ons
If you are using third party add-ons with your 2.4G radio be aware that some units may radiate interference that can get into your receiver, items like height limiters etc. Mounting such items on top of your receiver can lead to lock outs and failsafe operation, try to avoid mounting electronic items close to the receiver as even a CE marked thing may still upset the receiver.

2.4G with boats
Because boats are at ground level and in water the strength of the 2.4G signal is very weak across the water, so the aerial/aerials should always be mounted in the vertical where possible in a tube, fitting the aerials under the decking can lead to loss of control when the model banks especially as the aerial get closer to the water level.

Once again metal or carbon parts in the model will deflect the 2.4G radiation so avoid mounting the aerials close to these types of materials.

Range checking
Using the power down button on your transmitter to test the range does not tell the whole story. If we say that the power down output is 10 milliwatts if there is a problem with the R.F. module/board inside your transmitter then you could have just 10 milliwatts when in full power mode.

This effect has caught many people out, one of my customers after crashing a model then carried out a power down short range check on a second model and everything seemed fine, and ended up crashing another model.

I suggest if you get any signs of loss of control with a model, carry out a full range check or at least a test that is greater than the distance where you lost control of the model.

Common faults with 2.4G R.F. in transmitters are fractured aerial wire, damaged aerial, loose aerial, aerial connector not fully home, faulty R.F.I.C. in the R.F. module, all of the above are quite common in most makes.



Airbrush with compressor, and bench grinder for sale

As most of you will know our President Don Eades is sadly now having to be looked after in a care home. Most of his modelling stuff has already been sold but there are a few odds and ends left, the most valuable items being an airbrush set-up complete with compressor, and a bench grinder.
Is anyone interested in either of these?  If so please make an offer Mark Agate.

NO FLYING on Sunday 12th May – Field being using as a car park

Please note that next Sunday 12th May the field will be used for car parking for the Green Fair being held at the Sustainability Centre so no flying will be allowed.

Some of us will probably fly on Saturday instead, keep an eye on your emails.

Changes to Club Meetings – Official & Social meetings explained in detail

At the AGM on 24th January it was agreed to change the way we hold meetings due to the drop off in numbers of members attending.

Meetings will still be held fortnightly but they will be Official and Social meetings alternately. The next meeting on 7th Feb will be a Social meeting, the following one, on 21st Feb, will be an Official meeting. The dates of each are on the Meetings page of the website: http://www.petersfieldaeromodellers.co.uk/meetings/

So what is the difference?

Official meetings be be exactly as we are used to, at Buriton Village Hall and will include formal business, minutes etc followed by a talk, presentation, quiz, discussion etc.

Social meetings will have no formal business or minutes and the venue will vary. During the winter months the venue will be in a pub, initially the Seven Stars in Stroud GU32 3PG. This might change to a different pub later in which case members will be emailed in advance and a notice put on the website. During the summer months the venue will be the flying field for evening flying, quiet models only, no EDF or I/C. Obviously flying will be weather dependant and it might mean that at short notice flying is curtailed or cancelled. In that case we might adjourn to the Rising Sun in Clanfield PO8 0RN. Again, members will be kept informed via email as early as possible.

There is now a PAM Flying Group on WhatsApp. This is a much easier way than email to keep in contact and, if you haven’t already done so, I would urge you to download WhatsApp to your mobile phone and join the group (ask Andy to add you once you have the app). It’s totally free to download and use.

Curry Night – Sunday 27th Jan NOW CANCELLED

Steve Hastings is organising a curry night for PAM members, family and friends, the more the merrier.

The provisional date is Sunday the 27th January from 7pm onward and the venue will be the Gandhi Tandoori Indian Restaurant, Hollow Lane Hayling Island PO11 9EY.

The cost will be just £15 per person.

There will be a buffet consisting of:

  • Poppadoms and Pickles
  • Chicken Tikka
  • Lamb Shish
  • Onion Bhaji
  • Vegetable Samosa
  • 3 Curries, 2 Meat and 1 Vegetarian
  • Rice
  • 2 Sides

There will even be entertainment, Steve’s wife Jen will be singing songs by the Carpenters, Doris Day, Elton John, Elvis, Adele, The Eagles, and many others.

Steve says he’s eaten at the Gandhi many times and the food is always delicious. There is plenty of free parking directly opposite the restaurant.

Steve needs to get an idea of numbers sooner rather than later, so he can confirm the date and details with the restaurant. If you’d like to come along please let him know as soon as possible, preferably by email.


Skittles reminder – Sat 29th Sept Barley Mow Walderton

Andy Palmer has arranged another skittles evening at the Barley Mow Walderton on Saturday 29th September. We aim to start bowling at 7pm.

Cost will be £11 per head, which includes skittles and a buffet typically consisting of: Vegetarian Quiche, Sliced Turkey & Ham, Sausage Rolls, Potato Salad, Pesto Pasta (Gluten Free), Chunky Chips, Ciabatta & Butter, Olives & Hummus, Marinated Chicken Drumsticks, Garden salad.

It’s just a fun social evening, no serious skittles competitions, and a raffle with non-modelling prizes. There are plenty of places available so feel free to invite family and friends, the more the merrier. Please contact Andy if you’re interested.

GDPR Privacy Notice added to Membership page

In order to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) the club has appointed John Wheeley as Data Protection Compliance Manager. John has produced a Privacy Notice for the club which has been sent electronically to all members.  It has also been added to the Membership page of this website, to see the Notice simply go the the Membership page or click HERE

NO FLYING Sunday 13th May – Field being used as car park

The South Downs Green Fair 2018 will be held at the Sustainability Centre on 13th May.

As with previous years our field will be used as a car park so there will be NO FLYING.  At a recent club meeting we discussed the possibility of flying to maybe attract some new members. Unfortunately, because of the previous negative attitudes of the parking marshalls and drivers it was decided it wasn’t possible to ensure flying could be conducted safely so there will be NO FLYING.

Club meetings start 8.30pm – British Summer Time

Now the clocks have gone forward an hour the start time of the meetings will be pushed back to 8.30pm (previously 8pm). This will give the more capable fliers time to fly suitable models at Buriton before the club meetings begin.  The meeting start time will revert to 8pm when the clocks go back again in October.

Petition for Portsmouth Naval Gliding Club – Please sign

Portsmouth Naval Gliding Club has been based at Daedalus Airfield at Lee 0n the Solent for almost 70 years but it’s continued use is now under threat because of the actions of Fareham Borough Council as they try to commercialise the airfield. The club is open to civilians as well as naval personnel.

In the past PAM has had quite close ties to PNGC and on a couple of occasions members have visited the airfield for a tour of the facilities and pleasure flights. They have a good website with loads of information, to see it CLICK HERE

There is a petition to keep the Club at the airfield and you can find it HERE  Please sign it you’d like to see gliding continue at Daedalus.