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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.


Are nitro supplies drying up?



5 June 2008
For some time now there have been rumors circulating within the model industry and hobby of a looming shortage of nitromethane, a key ingredient of the fuels used in our glowplug engines.

Today I heard that Morgans have temporarily suspended the manufacture and sale of their 30% heli-fuel due to a shortage of this power-boosting component.

Other "fuel industry insiders" have told me that they also are having trouble organising advance orders for nitro and that the price looks set to skyrocket.

Even if supplies aren't under threat the price surely is, since it is a product linked to oil and natural gas and therefore slave to the world-record oil prices that have rocketed from as little as US$50 a barrel not so long ago to recent highs of over $130 a barrel.

It's also rumored that one or more of the very few plants in the world that produce the stuff will be decommissioned so as to reduce air pollution in China around the time of the Olympic games later this year. Another problem is the fact that demand for nitromethane is growing at a rapid pace from other sectors of industry where it is used as a cleaner and solvent for many purposes.

Many auto-racing competition websites are also carrying this news, such as this bulletin from Torco Racing Fuels.

If this is true, you can expect to see the price of model fuel increase by a significant amount over the coming months, with supplies of high-nitro fuels possibly even drying up altogether as manufacturers perfer to stretch their meager supplies as far as they can.

If worst comes to worst, the model market could echo the auto market and we may see people replacing nitro-hungry engines such as YS 4-srokes with other types that are happier on low-nitro fuels.

In a coming article, I'll look at just what effect nitro ratios have on engine performance and what can be done to compensate (at least in part) if you have to switch to a lower-nitro blend.

I'll also look at just how good some of the smaller, cheaper gas engines are when compared to their glow-equivalents. Experience has proven that there are some really bad gas engines coming out of China right now but there are also some real gems.

Don't get caught with a lemon, bookmark and check back for important information about what to buy and what not to buy in the gas-engine market.

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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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