Hastings Electronics and Radio Club

A VERY interesting talk and demonstration was given by three members of the 1066 Model Flying Club (www.1066mfc.co.uk).

Their club was started in 1925 and is affiliated to the British Model Flying Association (www.bmfa.org). Although the Wright brothers were the pioneers of powered flight, they relied a great deal on attempts at flying by others as far back as 1893. The first model radio controlled boat was demonstrated back in 1917 and full-size aircraft, like the famous Hurricane, were developed using models.

Until five years ago, radio control models used one of 55 individual channels on 35 Mhz but most now use spread-spectrum in the 2.4Ghz industrial, scientific and medical band.

The use of frequency hopping to avoid interference was first devised by the famous actress Hedy Lamarr with George Antheil, a composer who used a similar system to synchronise multiple pianos. Her spread-spectrum frequency hopping system is the basis for modern bluetooth and wi-fi connections.

We were shown gliders, helicopters and electric powered models, whose small batteries are capable of delivering up to 30 Amps, as well as others powered by miniature combustion engines.

They demonstrated electric helicopters for indoor flying and showed a video of their flying field, taken from one of the model aircraft using a miniature camera no bigger than a car key fob. As well as giving members a go on their computer-based flight simulator, they showed the buddy system that enables them to teach beginners to fly model aircraft safely. It was a most impressive and enjoyable evening.

The next meeting is the Spring Auction of Used and Surplus Equipment, open to all visitors, on Saturday, April 20 at Holy Redeemer Church Hall, Upper Church Road, St Leonards. Doors open 1.30pm. The next event will be Saturday, May 4 involving a RSGB (www.rsgb.org.uk) Centenary Special Event Station, operating amateur radio transmitting equipment on both HF and VHF, all day from Taplin Centre.

They will be using aerials recently installed by kind permission of the directors of the centre. Visitors will be very welcome. The club also runs comprehensive courses of training to qualify for all three levels of the Amateur Radio Transmitting Licence. For more details, visit www.radioclubs.net/herc or for any more information contact Gordon on 01424 431909 or at g6hhherc@yahoo.co.uk.