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Author Topic: Range checking  (Read 85 times)

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Offline Deerslayer

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Range checking
« on: June 13, 2019, 11:45:42 AM »
Recently, I have had a number of opportunities to help new flyers. The current environment is rich with victims to prey upon when there is a shortage of official Instructors!  ;D

I have observed that these folks have been well conditioned to do Range Checks prior to each daily flight. Our club has good Instructors!

What I have also observed is how they do Range Checks. Just to clarify, here is the best practice, based upon the advice of real experts, such as Andy Kunz, the team leader of Spektrum's development group.

1. If you can, get someone to hold your aircraft, at waist height. Or, set it down on a bench and SECURE IT. Make sure that your Throttle Lock is on, if it is electric. Now, since you are going to be testing your system, think about what could happen if, somehow, your test were to fail and result in the motor starting. That is one of two very good reasons for having a helper hold the model. Proper Range Checks with a glow or electric are normally done with the model restrained and the engine running.

2. Walk out about 30 paces. Face your aircraft and begin the Range Check.

3. Don't just wiggle sticks around! Perform deliberate movements, eg., full Left Rudder, and hold it. Observe that your control surface moves IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and that there is no shaking of any of the control surfaces. Good, so far! But, we are not through just yet.

4. The second reason for having a helper is to have them change the orientation of the model - both in a flat circle and holding it vertically. After all, we are usually trying to talk to the thing while it is somewhere above us. The worst situation for connectivity is likely to be with the transmitter pointing directly at the model while the model is pointing directly at the transmitter, especially if there is a motor, battery pack, etc. now between the two. One of you should call out which control and direction you are trying.

This may sound like a bit of a hassle but it is not. It takes no more time, really, to do it properly than just doing a "sort of" Range Check.

Not everyone is aware of the following. Radio waves in the 2.4 GHz are severely attenuated by water. The human body is mostly water. So,it is not a good idea to have someone  in the direct line between you and whatever you are maneuvering on the ground, or flying. The next time you do a Range Check, prove this to yourself - turn completely away from your model and see if you lose range. (Make sure that it is restrained, preferably with someone holding it.)

Disclaimer: "Do as I say, not as I do" is an old expression. If asked, I will refuse to answer as to how often I do Range Checks. It is great to see new flyers being taught good procedures and techniques and emerging from our instructional program as competent, safe pilots!

« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 04:54:14 PM by Deerslayer »
My purpose in Life is to serve as a Warning to others