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.
2012, The Year Ahead at RCModelReviews
YES, IT'S A FULL-TIME JOB NOW!
Dated: 1 January 2012
Welcome to 2012 and I'd like to start off by making the announcement that, as of today, the RCModelReviews website and YouTube channel now represent a full-time job for me -- for better or for worse!
Although it's not a financial proposition at this stage (mainly because I've opted to place my independence ahead of the revenues that could be had by adding huge amounts of advertising and sponsorship), I will be treating this enterprise as my primary employment. I'm hoping that it's a case of "if I spend enough effort, the rewards will follow".
I do have a couple of other part-time jobs that will hopefully keep my wife and I afloat while I figure out how to earn a living from this -- while staying at arm's length from the influence of advertisers and their pressure to "say nice things" about their products.
Essential to this will likely be the kind donations that readers and viewers make via the donation button on these webpages. If you feel that you've gained some value from my efforts then I simply encourage you to gift a small sum to help cover the costs and keep a roof over my head -- but there is no obligation and you won't receive any special privilege or service for doing so.
Right now I'm about to totally strip out my workshop and re-organize it with a view to providing a more productive environment for testing, reviewing and writing about the many and varied products I'll be casting a critical eye over this year. The result of this should be a much more regular stream of articles and videos which will provide even more depth and detail so as to allow you, the consumer, to make better and more informed choices.
Along with that workshop renovation, the website will also be getting a makeover. When I first kicked off RCModelReviews I wasn't too sure if it was going to be successful or even worth the effort so this site was strung together on a fairly ad-hoc basis. Well now it seems I really need to get serious about it and the result will be a far more integrated, interactive website with better features, comprehensive indexing and simpler navigation.
People often send me emails of thanks and ask how they can help -- aside from the obvious donations I've just mentioned. Well there are other ways you can assist, if you feel inclined to do so...
Firstly, tell others about RCModelReviews, both this website and the YouTube channel. Some of my revenues will come from the ads you see here and on the vids so the more eyes that those ads get, the more pennies flow into the review coffers. However, I ask that you don't click on those ads unless you really are interested in the products or services being promoted there -- to do otherwise would be cheating those advertisers and that is entirely unfair.
Secondly, if you are buying a product and an RCModelReviews review has been instrumental in that purchase, please tell the seller. If companies realize that customers are paying attention to these reviews and basing purchasing decisions on them then it will be easier for me to get my hands on new products to test.
Thirdly, if you're thinking of buying a product but it hasn't been reviewed here, why not suggest to the seller or the manufacturer that they send a unit in for review. That way everyone can see if it is a quality product and what value it represents. Such a move could allow you to make a more informed purchase, and (assuming the product is good), allow the manufacturer to get some informal promotion. Of course if they don't want to have the product reviewed then that's okay too -- but one must ask the question "why not?"
Finally I'd like to thank all those who have been an unending source of support and encouragement over the past couple of years. Last year was pretty crap and I'm hoping 2012 will be better. One of the things that cemented my decision to make this a full-time job was the fact that it will allow me to spend more time with my wife -- who would also like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts in the wake of her debilitating accident. The doctors tell us she's unlikely to show any further improvement from her brain injury so we're pretty much on our own in coping with the effects of that now but it's sure been nice to have so many people show genuine concern. It would have been great if she could have been my camera operator or proof-read my writing but she's no longer up to that kind of role.
Look out 2012, here we come!
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.
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?
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
Useful information on what's inside your servos and how they work.
Important facts you should know about the oils that are used in our model engine fuels.
How well do five different 2.4GHz systems stack up when hit by interference? The answers are here, with more to come.
Yes it does work on model airplanes but there are some limitations involved with this bargain-basement radar speed gun.
These are possibly the world's worst servos, find out exactly why you should avoid these boat-anchors at any cost.
It's cheap but can it really stack up against other glow engines in the .90 market? Find out in this review.
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?
Does all this 2.4GHz stuff have your head spinning?
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!
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.
The Chinese are now churning out a huge number of very reasonably priced no-name servos. But are they any good?
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?