In the spring of 2003 the club made a major modification to the method of frequency control at the field. Prior to the change, mishaps caused by frequency conflicts were occurring quite frequently. The instant the new system went into effect; those types of mishaps just about completely disappeared and remained that way for the past decade.
A little history for members that were not around in those days or those that forgot; frequency control was done by a method known as add-a-pin. With this system a modeler added a pin to a numbered board at the corresponding channel he/she is flying on, to indicate that it is being used. If you fly at the field during the winter months you have seen this system because that is what is used while the standard frequency board/ impound is stored away for the winter.
When the current frequency control system went into effect nobody could envision the changes to come just a few years down the road with the introduction of the 2.4 GHz spectrum into our hobby. As most know, this frequency totally eliminates the possibility of cross interference with your fellow modeler. Hence no need for frequency control of these systems.
The adoption of 2.4 in the aeromodeling community has been extremely swift. In just a few short years it has become the rule instead of the exception. Many clubs have even adopted a 2.4 only policy and if I have my facts right all classes of the Nats in Muncie, starting this year, will be 2.4 only.
The HCH’s policy has been and remains that 2.4 is NOT exempt from frequency control. This was done to keep continuity and hopefully eliminate the possibility of problems developing in the control of 72 MHz . For the record: Those flying on 2.4 are required to pull a pin labeled 2.4 and insert their membership card (AMA card for guest) into the corresponding slot.
I believe the club is quickly approaching the day where the number of 72 MHz users will be low enough to safely go back to using the add-a-pin system full time, in doing so retiring the current frequency board and exempting 2.4 from frequency control. However we need to know where 2.4 GHz vs. 72 MHz use stands before any rule changes can be even suggested.
Even though the club secretary / treasurer keeps track of what frequencies members are using I’m sure it’s been a long time since many of you have up dated your frequencies with him. Below is an informal poll to get an idea of where frequency use stands. This poll was set to close after one month but I decided to let it run indefinitely. Results along with any input received will be covered in a later article.
Feel free to add your thoughts or questions on this subject at “leave a comment” below the poll.