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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.


Review: Assan V2 2.4GHz DSSS module and receiver


This review is a little unusual insomuch as the module and receiver used was kindly lent to me by a reader -- thus I was not able to perform some of the (more intrusive) inspections and tests that I might otherwise have done.

The JR-compatible Assan V2 2.4GHz transmitter module and small 4-channel receiver both came packaged in clear plastic -- somewhat less fancy than some of the other Chinese-made products but perfectly adequate for the job.

The module plastic is good and fits very nicely into my JR 9XII (9303) transmitter without sticking or feeling loose. One thing I did notice was that the small connector into which the transmitter's pins insert appeared to be displaced to one side and a little small for the hole. This appeared to cause no problems though.

The receiver comes with a binding plug that must be used in order to pair-up the transmitter module with the receiver. An interesting twist with the Assan system is that there is no "bind" button on the transmitter module itself. The bind mode is entered by moving the stick associated with channel 2 from end to end as soon as the transmitter is powered up.

The Transmitter Module

Until it is bound, the transmitter module makes some loud beeps but once the binding process is complete it falls silent. No problems at all were encountered with the binding process and it didn't seem to be sensitive to the spacing between transmitter and receiver.

Aside from the previously mentioned displacment of the transmitter connector on the module there was one other area of concern...

Whereas Corona and FlySky have produced special plastic moldings that allow the module's antenna to poke up between the handle and the plastic of the transmitter case, The Assan module has its antenna mounted on the back of the module, leaving the antenna more exposed to damage.

In fact, if you lay the transmitter down with the module installed, the antenna itself will act as a resting point and be subject to stress. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the connector for the antenna is mounted directly on the circuit-board and not on the back of the plastic module itself.

This means that a sharp knock -- such as the transmitter tipping backwards onto a hard surface, could easily damage the circuitry inside the module itself. That is not good.

Perhaps as a method of mitigating this risk, Assan does offer a remote antenna that can be fitted in place of your radio's existing telescopic antenna and which connects by way of a lead and connector which plugs into the rear of the module. This is nice -- but it's an extra cost and does result in a vulnerable lead that can be easily snagged and damaged itself.

Personally, I'd like to see Assan switching to a different shape module that follows a similar layout to the Corona and FlySky modules.

Part 2: The Receivers


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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

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Review: iMax 9X 2.4GHz radio

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Chinese Servos - How do they stack up?


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