All of the products reviewed here have been bought with my own money and nobody pays me for the time I spend writing these articles.
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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 V3 module/receivers
IT SHOULDN'T WORK AS WELL AS IT DOES
Dated: 22 Apr 2010
When I tested the original FlyDream module-based 2.4GHz system I was quite impressed but also found a few problems.
The system swamped at close range and servo movement wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. What's more, I noticed that the servos would sometimes be driven to the extremes of travel during boot-up.
However, despite these issues, I flew the FD system a number of times and never had any issues while in the air.
It was with great interest and expectation that I looked forward to reviewing the latest version of this product to see how much it had been improved.
There's little external difference between the new and old receivers, except that they now carry a "VThumb" logo -- whatever that means.
The Futaba/Hitec transmitter module now has a different back which I think is a backwards step. Whereas the old module had the antenna exiting vertically from a platform on the back of the case, it now exits directly out the back. This means that (as with the Assan) the antenna now carries much of the transmitter's weight if it's placed face-up on the ground or hard surface. Even worse, if you stand your transmitter up and it falls over, the antenna will get a jolly good whack, as it'll be the bit that hits the ground first.
I really wish they'd kept the little plastic platform and simply provided the ability to mount the SMA connector on the top or bottom of it so that it suited either Hitec or Futaba with ease.
I had available 8, 6 and 4-channel receivers but unfortunately, the 8-channel one didn't seem to work and wouldn't bind. I thought perhaps this was because it was a V2 unit but it carried the "VThumb" logo so I would have expected it to work with the new module, perhaps it doesn't.
There's very little physical or electrical difference between the 6 and 8 channel receivers, which leaves me wondering why they bothered with the 6. In fact, the 6-channel unit has only one row of servo connectors less than the 8 because it offers a dedicated battery connection.
The 4-channel receiver is one of the smallest and lightest I've seen -- just the think for foamies! In fact, it's smaller than some postage stamps and only a little thicker than a credit-card. The bulkiest part are the servo connectors.
The 6 and 8 channel receivers have two antennas -- but do not offer antenna diversity, more on this subject shortly.
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
Useful information on what's inside your servos and how they work.
Important facts you should know about the oils that are used in our model engine fuels.
How well do five different 2.4GHz systems stack up when hit by interference? The answers are here, with more to come.
Yes it does work on model airplanes but there are some limitations involved with this bargain-basement radar speed gun.
These are possibly the world's worst servos, find out exactly why you should avoid these boat-anchors at any cost.
It's cheap but can it really stack up against other glow engines in the .90 market? Find out in this review.
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?
Does all this 2.4GHz stuff have your head spinning?
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!
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.
The Chinese are now churning out a huge number of very reasonably priced no-name servos. But are they any good?
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?