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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...

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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.


Review: WFly 2.4GHz module and receivers


Dated: 9 March 2010

There are now a lot of 2.4GHz RC modules and receivers coming out of China. Most of these work well enough and some, like the WFly work very well.

Traditionally, there have been two basic approaches to providing resistance to interference on the 2.4GHz band.

The first, is to use full-time frequency hopping so that the entire (or almost the entire) band is used.

The second, is to select just a few parts of the band, so as to provide some kind of redundancy and backup, should interference raise its ugly head. Examples of these "redundant" systems are Spektrum's DSM2 which uses two channels, the Corona and FlyDream DSSS systems which use three channels -- and now the WFly 2.4GHz system, which uses four independent parts of the band.

First Look

I received a Futaba-compatible transmitter module and two receivers -- the smaller unit having just a single antenna and the 9-channel one having dual antennas.

The plastic of both the module and receivers is good. Quality moldings made from a tough plastic that is both tough and lightweight.

The only real problem I noticed was that the WFly transmitter module has to be fitted to a Hitec transmitter upside-down. When fitted this way, the antenna projects downwards and, even when folded, makes it difficult to lay the transmitter down with the module in place. Fortunately this shouldn't affect the transmission.

Hopefully WFly will take note of my suggestion elsewhere in this review as to how they can make the module more compatible with Hitec radios and perhaps they'll even consider making one for radios that use the JR-module (such as the FlySky/iMax/Turnigy 9X).

Available Receivers

Both the 6 and 9-channel receivers are well made and surprisingly lightweight.

WFly 2.4GHz RC receivers

Inside they show good PC board design and surprisingly few components.

Inside the 9-channel WFly receiver Inside the 9-channel WFly receiver

While many other systems come with two antennas, this is the only system I've tested which has true receiver diversity in a single unit. While FASST, FrSky and a number of other systems bost antenna diversity, the WFly 9-channel receiver has two full receivers and antennas in the one box which should, in theory offer some benefits.

Both the 6 and 9-channel receivers also come with sleeved dipole antennas (the same as the Hitec AFHSS receivers, on which they're euphemistically called BODAs - Boosted OmniDirectional Antennas). In the case of the WFly, these little lumps at the end of the antenna cable are lighter than the Hitec versions, which is good.

Do you really need these "lumps" at the end of the cable?

Well, in theory, they will provide a slightly better performance than the more commonplace plain wire whip at the end of a screened cable. In practice however, it's questionable as to whether the effect will be all that noticeable.

The 9-channel receiver is an end-pin type with two antennas and the 6-channel is top-pin type with a single antenna.

Design and construction quality of both receivers looks very good.

Page 2 (Getting Technical)

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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.

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