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Your Reviewer

My Credentials
So who's doing this reviewing then?

Well I've been building and flying or driving radio controlled models for over 40 years and during that time I like to think I've built up a reasonable amount of knowledge.

I'm also a qualified electronics engineer who has worked in radio frequency, analog, digital systems and software for more than three decades. In fact I designed and built my first RC set back in 1969.

For the past nine years I've also been involved in the design and manufacture of some rather sophisticated engine technology and UAV flight control systems.

So, chances are I've been there, done that and have a huge pile of tee shirts to prove it.

Right now I'm heavily into 3D flying and enjoy all aspects of the RC hobby. I may be old but I don't feel it.

In the Pipeline

Here's just a little bit of what's to come on this site...

RC explained: Demystifying terms such as PCM, PPM dual conversion, single conversion, full-range etc., this feature will explain it all.

Cheap Chinese Engines: Just how good are those cheap Chinese glow and gas engines that sell for half the price of their "brand-name" equivalent? I put several to the test.

Build your own radio gear?: Back in the old days, building your own RC gear was not uncommon and now the arrival of 2.4GHz has made it practical again.


Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) Batteries


Nicads have been around for a very long time and were the only option for many RC applications for decades. These days however, they have largely been replaced by more advanced technologies. However, there are still places where nicad batteries can hold their own.

Nicad Pro's:

  • low internal resistance (high-currents)
  • low self-discharge
  • less affected by low temperatures than some
Nicad Con's:
  • heavier/bulkier than other battery technologies
  • suffer from memory/voltage-depression
  • environmentally unfriendly

A word about memory

One of the biggest problems that affects nicad batteries is something often referred to as "memory".

This is more accurately refered to as voltage-depression and occurs when a battery is repeatedly charged but only partially discharged. Over time, the battery appears to lose capacity to the point that only a small percentage of its rated energy storage is still useable.

The only way to recove the lost storage is by cycling the battery through a series of deeper discharge and recharge operations until its capacity is restored.

If you don't have a charger that will allow you to perform these capacit-restoring charge/discharge cycles then avoid recharging your nicads when they're only partially discharged -- or allow your batteries to discharge until they're nearly flat at least once every dozen charges.

When to use

Nicads continue to be used for both transmitter and receiver packs although with the advances in other battery technologies and growing environmental concerns, most manufacturers are now providing more modern options.

Despite the development of hi-capacity and hi-current lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries, some electric fliers still prefer to use Nicads as a power source on extremely fast models where weight is less of an issue than the ability to safely deliver extremely high currents.

Howver, it is pretty hard to recommend Nicad batteries for general use these days. As you'll find out as you read on, new technologies have largely left Nicads in the dust.

Next: Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH)
Plus: Lithium Polymer batteries (LiPo)
Plus: Lithium Iron Phosphate and A123 (LiFePO4)

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The Blog

Updated: 20 Sep 2012
Here's a blog that will keep you informed just what's going on behind the scenes at RC Model Reviews and also tells you a little more about myself.

How compatible are 2.4GHz RC systems?

23 Mar 2010
How come there's no compatibility between different brands of transmitters and receivers? Why can't you use a cheap Chinese receiver with your Futaba FASST radio?

How to get a product reviewed here

4 Mar 2010
Since this has become a very frequently asked question, I've posted this simple guide to getting your product, or a product you're thinking of buying reviewed here at RCModelReviews

How servos work

Useful information on what's inside your servos and how they work.

The Good Oil

Important facts you should know about the oils that are used in our model engine fuels.

Heads-Up: 2.4GHz RC systems tested

How well do five different 2.4GHz systems stack up when hit by interference? The answers are here, with more to come.

Review: Bushnell's $80 Speed Gun

Yes it does work on model airplanes but there are some limitations involved with this bargain-basement radar speed gun.

Review: TowerPro MG995 servo

These are possibly the world's worst servos, find out exactly why you should avoid these boat-anchors at any cost.

Review: SK90


It's cheap but can it really stack up against other glow engines in the .90 market? Find out in this review.

Review: iMax 9X 2.4GHz radio

How does this cheap 9-channel 2.4GHz radio system perform when compared to big-name systems that can cost two or three times as much? Have the Chinese finally developed a real contender with the iMax 9X?

2.4GHz Explained

Does all this 2.4GHz stuff have your head spinning? 2.4GHz

I've done my best to demystify the whole subject so if you feel like a bit of learning, this is the stuff for you!

Fix That Engine!

How can you tell when your engine needs new bearings? Who has the best prices and service on replacements? Just how do you change them? Get all that information and watch a great video tutorial anyone can follow.

Chinese Servos - How do they stack up?


The Chinese are now churning out a huge number of very reasonably priced no-name servos. But are they any good?

Baffled by batteries?

Batteries Nicad, NiMH, Li-Ion, LiPoly, LiFePO4, A123... the range of different battery types has never been greater. So how do they differ and what type should you be using?

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