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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.


A DIY $8 Lithium Transmitter Battery (Part 2)


Although this is a pretty straight-forward project you will need some basic tools and parts. These include:

  • A 25-40W soldering iron
  • Some thin rosin-cored electrical solder
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire-cutters (sidecutters)
  • Some CA (superglue) adhesive
  • An 8.2K ohm resistor
  • A modelling knife
  • A magnifying glass

Assembling the Battery Pack

The batteries are shipped in pairs and come shrink-wrapped together. You'll need to split that clear plastic shrink-wrap (carefully) so that the two cells can be separated.

Turn one around so that it faces the other way. This will mean that the positive terminal of one cell will be opposite the negative terminal of the other.

Wick a little CA between the two cells to hold them together.

Now use a little fine sandpaper to clean the small positive terminal of each cell. This is important because we need to apply some solder to each end of the cell in preparation for attaching the wires.

Now use the soldering iron to melt a little solder onto each end of each cell. Be sure and do this as quickly as possible. It should take no longer than 2-3 seconds to perform this operation.

If you're unsure of soldering basics, hunt around the internet for some tutorial information and have a practice on some old batteries or dry-cells first.

When you've finished, both ends of the cells should look like this.

Now remove the existing 8-cell battery holder from the transmitter and, if you have batteries in it, remove one (or all) of the cells). Then cut the wires close to the battery holder so we can use that plug on our new pack.

Strip back some insulation from the wires and tin them with fresh solder before soldering them to the positive terminal of once cell and the negative of the other (make absolutely sure that you have black to negative and red to positive).

Now cut a short length of insulated wire and use it to connect the positive and negative together at the other end. We will now have wired the two cells in series.

If you have any doubts about what you're doing, please consult someone with a little electrical knowledge to help out.

Here is your finished lithium ion battery pack.

It will eventually go into the battery compartment on an angle, like this.

Next step: Testing the battery pack

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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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