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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.
Review: FlyDream 2.4GHz module and receiver
MORE FREQUENCY HOPPING FROM CHINA
Update: 14 August 2009
As with FlySky, it seems that FlyDream has fallen foul of the two biggest issues affecting Chinese-made RC products: poor dealer support and inadequate quality control.
Based on the units I reviewed, I originally considered the FlyDream 2.4GHz system to be a worthy candidate for anyone contemplating a module-based upgrade to 2.4GHz flying. It now seems that (as was the case with the iMax/FlySky/Turnigy/Eurgle 9X), I am having to add the caveat that you really need to be aware there's a gamble involved in purchasing this equipment.
It appears that some FlyDream dealers are selling FD products without consideration of the version numbers involved and that the different versions are not compatible.
My contact with FlyDream has fallen strangely silent, failing to answer any of my emails.
So, for the time-being, although the FlyDream 2.4GHz system works quite well (and will be even better when the promised changes are implemented) I advise people to purchase with caution.
I also repeat my claim that when Chinese manufacturers finally get their act together in respect ot QC and establishing a decent network of reliable resellers, then they will become a potent force in the market -- but only then.
A new entrant in the 2.4GHz module/receiver marketplace is an offering from FlyDream of China.
Claimed to be a continuously hopping system (FHSS), the product is available for use with a range of JR or Futaba radios that have plug-in RF modules -- promising to make the switch from FM/PCM to 2.4GHz quick and easy.
The system is very low cost but offers full-range operation, although it's not quite the FHSS system you might expect.
Is FlyDream a real option or just another Chinese manufacturer who's "dreaming"?
The module and receiver can be purchased as a combo pair and arrive in a nice box with a magnetic catch and a vacuum formed tray inside, into which the module, receiver and transmitter antenna all slot quite neatly.
A set of printed instructions are included which, although brief, are perfectly adequate.
The receiver and module appear well-made and the Futaba version under test certainly seems to fit the 9C transmitter very nicely. Not too tight, not too loose. The securing clips seat nicely, giving a reassuring click that ensures the module won't fall out or move when in use.
The 2.4GHz antenna fits snugly behind the 9C carrying handle meaning the transmitter can still be laid down without placing strain on the antenna itself.
Unfortunately the module isn't nearly as convenient for users of Hitec radios, mainly because it must be inserted upside down and that leave sthe antenna poking out the bottom. Although this won't affect operation, it does make it awkward to put the radio down once the module and its antenna are in place.
Other manufacturers (such as Corona) have opted to place the antenna connector on the back of their Futabal modules and this allows it to be rotated 180 degrees when those modules are used in a Hitec radio. The FlyDream module the perfect configuration for Futaba radios, not so good for Hitecs.
The receiver is very small and light for an eight-channel unit. It is thinner and lighter than even the V1 Corona receivers.
Two antennas are fitted with the active portion at the end of a long lead of coaxial cable. This makes the receivers suitable for carbon-fibre gliders and gives plenty of flexibility in positioning.
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.
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?
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
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