All of the products reviewed here have been bought with my own money and nobody pays me for the time I spend writing these articles.
If you find any of this stuff useful and/or would like to see RCModelReviews continue to publish material like this then please consider making a small donation towards the operation of the site.
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.
2.4GHz RC News
WHAT'S HAPPENING ON 2.4GHZ?
Updated: 10 July 2009
Here are the latest product and supplier events in the 2.4GHz RC marketplace.
HobbyKing/City stocks HK 2.4GHz modules
After the rather unsuccessful debut of their own Turnigy FHSS modules and receivers (actually rebranded Corona units), HobbyCity has now started stocking the FlySky transmitter modules and matching receivers.
With receiver and transmitter module available for under $14 each, this makes for the cheapest 2.4GHz RF combo on the market right now.
New 2.4GHz sightings out of China
It looks as if even more 2.4GHz radio makes and models are starting to appear out of China.
HiModel is now stocking the N-8C radio, an 8-channel 2.4GHz system for just $108 -- but don't get too excited. The radio has only six model-memories and what appears to be very minimal mixing for fixed-wing fliers. It also seems to be yet another converted 72MHz radio, as can be witnessed by the many references to PCM and a manual that seems to give little space to the 2.4GHz version.
A six-channel version is also available
The KingMax 2.4 radio has also appeared on the Net. Yet again however, this appears to be a rehashed PCM set, with references being made to PCM1024. It looks nice and has a big LCD display but isn't all that cheap at $180. If there's enough interest from RCModelReview readers I may purchase one and put it through its paces.
From the same retailer is this 6-channel set. Not a lot of useful information on that page and right now the FlySky 6-channel system seems to have captured this part of the market.
If you've spied something in the 2.4GHz radio market worthy of a closer look, drop me a line.
HobbyKing/City launches Turnigy 9X (updated)
After a long wait, Hobby King (aka: Hobby City) has started shipping its rebranded FlySky 9X radio, the Turnigy 9X.
Although initially sold without RF module (for under $70), a matching FHSS transmitter module plus 4, 6 and 8-channel receivers are now also listed.
In a rather strange move, HK seem to have opted for a rebranded version of the Corona 2.4GHz module and receivers, rather than sticking with the FlySky version.
However, HK has announced that it will also be stocking the FlySky 2.4GHz module to provide backwards compatibility with the HK 4-channel 2.4GHz radio already reviewed on this site.
My review transmitter module and receivers have shipped from HK and should be here next week. I'll give them some close scrutiny and pass the results on to RCModelReviews readers ASAP.
I'll also be publishing a "hack" that will allow the transmitter to run on a 2S LiPo (yes, that's a TWO-cell LiPo) rather than an 8 AA-cell pack.
Fly-Dream 2.4GHz Module/receiver
Right now I'm awaiting the delivery of a Fly-Dream 2.4GHz RC module and receiver for testing.
Although this looks suspiciously like a rebadged Corona system, I'm assured that it's not -- only close inspection will tell for sure but RCModelReviews readers will soon find out.
XPS Finally Safe to Fly
It's been several months now since XPS launched its full-time hopping update as Version 3 of its system and it appears that this has made a huge difference to the reliability of an otherwise problematic package.
Whereas there were regular complaints of XPS-equipped systems falling from the sky for no apparent reason, such complaints are now almost non-existant. It would have been nice if XPS simply acknowledged the "doesn't hop" problem and fixed it way-back instead of denying everything. The results now speak for themselves and conclusively prove that its lack of frequency agility was indeed a very real weakness -- despite the company's denials and claims that this writer was merely a self-appointed expert who knew nothing.
If you found this information useful then please consider making a small donation towards the operation of this website.
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?