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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.

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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.


NEWS: Fake Spektrum receivers on the market?


Dated: 23 May 2010

Fake Spektrum receivers

As if Spektrum didn't have enough problems with reports of "issues" plaguing some DSM-2 users at very popular events such as SEFF and Joe Nall, now it appears that the inevitable has happened...

Reports are surfacing from multiple sources that unauthorised (ie: counterfeit) copies of several popular Spektrum DSM2 receivers have started to trickle onto the market.

To the average RC user, the fact that these are not "genuine" Spektrum products may not be immediately obvious and sometimes the only way to tell is by close inspection of the circuit boards which, by some reports, show sub-standard soldering and components. Of course the other way to tell is by the prices being charged. The fake receivers tend to be significantly cheaper than the genuine product.

While most of these fake product do seem to work, anecdotal reports seem to indicate that many are short on range and there may be issues with reliability.

China's leading online RC retailer, Hobby King, has apparently been approached by a number of small vendors seeking to unload these unauthorized copies of Spektrum's products.

Anthony Hand from HK says "For the past 3 months, has been getting samples of these RX's from various suppliers and factories in Indonesia, Thailand and China."

Others have reported what suspect to be "copies" being sold on eBay, although there's no conclusive evidence that the low prices associated with these units aren't simply down to dealers wishing to clear old (and soon to be outdated) stock lines.

There can be little doubt that, should any major Chinese vendor start to sell these unauthorised copies in any volume, Horizon Hobby's lawyers will move swiftly to try and shut them down.

However, as we know from experience in other fields (such as pirate DVDs and CDs), where there's a demand and a supply, it's almost impossible to kill a trade in counterfeit products.

Have you come across any counterfeit or suspicious Spektrum products? If so, or if you just have something to say on the subject then please join others in the RCModelReviews forums to have your say.

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