Buying Model Flying Radio Transmitters

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Hi All,

Recently it has come to my attention that some radio control transmitters that are being sold on EBay are illegal for use in the EU, including the UK. So I thought that a quick guide to this vital equipment was in order.

In the UK, Radio control models use primarily 27MHz, 35MHz, 40MHz and 2.4GHz, Of these, 40MHz is reserved for SURFACE Models only - cars, boats, etc. 27 MHz is all purpose, and is often supplied in the all-inclusive sets, with model, transmitter, batteries etc. There are a limited number of sub-frequencies, called channels, (not to be confused with the number of functions the transmitter can use) As such, 27MHz is not really desireable for the serious flier as sets are often limited in range and capabilities, and with so many High Street Toy shops selling remote control models, the chances of a kiddies toy car causing interference are greatly enhanced!

At the time of writing, early May 08, 2.4GHz is still having the legalities ironed out, although thousands of sets have been sold already! But legal action is being taken at present to render them illegal!

At present, 35MHz is the main choice of model fliers. But the power output of some sets made for other markets is greater than the limit for the EU of 100 mW erp. If the full specifications are not listed, ask the seller directly. For the full details of the legal requirements, check the OFCOM and BMFA websites

It is also a legal requirement for a CE mark to be displayed on the Transmitter. Without this, use of the transmitter is illegal, and would invalidate any Insurance cover.

I would advise that whenever you are looking at a new transmitter with a view to purchase, always buy a recognised brand, check that the frequency is legal for use in the UK, check that it has EU approval, and whenever possible buy from a UK based seller. If a UK shop is selling it, they are responsible for importing them and have to ensure they are legal! But if you buy a set from overseas, YOU are the importer!

The same applies with used sets. Only buy from UK sellers, then you have every chance that it is legal. Check it has the CE mark, and is of a reputable brand. Ak the seller, if in doubt.

Hope this Helps,


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