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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: Bushnell's budget radar speed gun


Bushnell Speedster II radar in action

I didn't have great expectations when I ordered the Bushnell Speedster Series 2 radar speed gun.

With most decent speed guns costing many hundreds of dollars, it only stands to reason that an $80 version is going to offer much lower levels of performance. But would it be good enough to reliably measure the speed of RC model airplanes?

Like many RC model fliers, I'd already bought one of those cheap HotWheels radar guns and found it absolutely useless for RC model aircraft use. Even when flying within a few feet of the HotWheels gun it failed to produce a reading.

It Arrives

Bushnell radar My radar gun arrived within a few short days of being ordered and was, safely ensconced a cheap plastic blister pack, which was not unexpected, given the budget-price.

I was very pleasantly surprised however, when after a bit of work with my modelling knife, I finally got to hold the gun in my hand. It's not the cheesy, flimsy plastic molding I expected. The gun actually feels very substantial and has a slightly rubberized grip. I really hadn't expected this kind of build-quality on an $80 radar gun.

The instructions are provided on a single sheet of paper and in writing so small I had to break out a magnifying glass to make sense of them (yeah, I'm getting old).

Another little bonus is the nylon carry-bag that is provided, so as to protect your Speedster when toting out to the flying field.

Testing around home

After stuffing a couple of brand-new C-size alkaline cells into the handle, I went outside to see if I could clock a few passing vehicles -- and I could

The range was "adequate" but somewhat less than the 1,300 feet claimed by Bushnell for this speed-gun.

The speed of a passing cyclist was able to be read until he was about 70 yards away, I'd hoped for better that this, since a cyclist and his bike are a lot bigger target than your average flying model.

Operation is very simple -- you just press a button on the display panel to turn it on then point at something and pull the trigger. So long as you keep the trigger held down the speed is displayed in realtime. When you release the trigger only the highest speed recorded during that trigger-down period is displayed.

The display can be toggled between kilometers per hour and miles per hour by pressing the display-pannel button while the trigger is pulled. Very simple, very effective.

So this thing obviously works and is pretty idiot-proof, but how good is it at clocking small fast moving objects with a relatively low radar profile -- yeah, we're talking about model airplanes!

Part 2: Speed gun versus model airplane

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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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