Best RC Magazine?

Hi All,
My subscription to Model Airplane News is up for renewal, and I was thinking about changing to another magazine instead. Any suggestions?
When I originally subscribed to MAN a couple of years ago, I was just getting back into the hobby after 13 years of being out. What attracted me was the great color photography and what, at the time, were interesting articles. Now the photography still seems great, but the articles seem to me a little lacking. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jay Bickford AKA "Treker in Minnesota"
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I to have found MAN to be lacking lately, they seem to be going the same direction that RCM has went, "Glossy advertisement catalog". You might want to try RC Report magazine, you should be able to pick up a copy at your LHS to see if you like it. I haven't looked through one in awhile but I seem to remember that the articles were not near as biased as the big 2. The mag used to be on flat news print so it didn't have the flash of RCM or MAN. The website for RC Report is at: http://www.rcreport.ws If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find a link to their subscription page.
Tom Wales AMA 435536
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I like RC Report. Good mag and good price.
John VB

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You can argue that one of the magazines may be "better" than another, but I look at it more from the standpoint of what my interests are and how well the articles in whatever mag address those interests. My personal favorite at the moment is RCReport but magazines aren't that expensive for a single issue so I'd suggest you go to one of the larger hobby shops in your area that sells all of the R/C magazines and buy a single issue of each of them. Once you page through them, you'll find out for yourself which one is more interesting to you better than any of us can suggest, and that's where you'll want to send your subscription money.
MJC

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A new publication is on the shelf right now. Premier issue, October 2003, of Fly RC is out. It has great coverage of a variety of topics. There is an in-depth tech discussion on tuning a two-stroke for optimum performance that is better than anything I remember seeing in ANY other RC mag. The kit reviews range from beginner to TOC 3D stuff. A unique feature in these reviews is a description of who the kit is intended for - beginner, intermediate, etc.
It's reasonably priced and a 6-issue annual subscription is $9.95 right now. That's tough to beat even if you don't do anything but line the bird cage with it.
--
Charlie Funk
Just Cruisin' Plus
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I've been subscribing to MAN, Flying Models, R/C Report, and, of course, the AMA rag. I just dropped MAN, since the only thing it has going for it IMHO is Dave Gierke, and he's not a regular columnist. His reports on the under $100.00 .40s a while back, and his more recent report on .60s is real world, useful information. Next time he does an article, I'll just buy it at a newsstand.
R/C Report is a down-home, folksy publication that may annoy the "all business" types, but, being a native Southerner, I like it, and they don't seem to be "owned" by Great Planes, Sig, and Hobbico, as the slick rags are.
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I see the replies and I do note everyone's comments. MAN is trying to keep up with good content and I encourage you all to email the magazine snipped-for-privacy@airage.com with suggestions and comments to help us improve. Really I do! :^) we on a regular basis, evaluate comments and emails to the editors to see what we can improve. I and other editors also monitor (Ominous word) several of the forums to see what the opinions of readers is. Specifically we are trying to improve content of reviews and features as well as look for contributors who can offer DIY (How To articles) another important element is constantly offering Beginner Information to help new comers. many older readers will find this material of little or no use because we will talk about basics.
Features like Dave Gierke's engine round ups are examples of what we want to continue to offer our readers, but as you can imagine, those kind of articles take time to develop. And remember, contributors like Dave are not on office staff. They do this for fun and supplement their own personal incomes... Editors can't write everything because we edit for a living and the articles we write are usually on our own time or done in-house supplementing our other daily work loads. No excuses, just an honest effort to try and give you guys what we can and keep it of value.
If you have a good suggestion on how to improve content. email me and we can consider it! Loved to hear from you.
GY

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I'd say RC report is the best of the lot. I still like RCM.
MAN is trash. They are trying too hard and dumbing it down too much to slick looking "sound bites". Their plans are overpriced. And of course, their reviews are 99.9% positive. Their negatives in the reviews are little things like "balsa too hard", or "landing gear too soft". The usual excuse (as is most magazines other than RC report) as to why they don't print negative reviews is that when they find a defect, they tell the manufacturer to give him a chance to correct it. IOW, don't bite the advertisers hand. They just don't get it.
There is also RC excellence, but I don't recommend it either. It likes to tout the fact that they are the official publication of several SIGs, which is a bad thing cause the magazine is nothing more than a big quarterly event report.
I know garry will disagree (about MAN), but then he's the editor, so he's biased. That magazine needs to follow the recommendations of the readers, not just "monitor" groups, or take suggestions they won't follow.
John
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Gerry
I hope your subscriptions are going up. I am one of the older modelers that looked to MAN for something other than what it now offers. As a result, I let my subscription lapse. The last thing I want to see is another ARF review. There are plenty of newcomers that may need what you are now offering, so I hope from a business point of view that you have made the right decision.
JR

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Hi JR, Subscriptions for MAN are doing OK. I don't have exact numbers but with regard to ARFs, yes, they are very popular these days. Far more ARFs are sold than are kits, though as good kits come out, we try to get them in the mag. As you can imagine, it takes upwards of a year for some contributors to build a wood kit and take photos along the way. Being that the ARFs are what fuel the industry now, that's what you see in the mags. I for one like to build kits and even scratch build now and then, but for most sport models, if it weren't for the ARFs I'd not have many plans to fly. 12 year old daughter and 50 hour per week job really cuts into the shop time. But I appreciate your comments. MAN is trying to maintain a balance between beginner and hardcore veteran modeler content so we do have our work cut out for us. A good way to affect the industry is to contact the big companies and tell them you don't like ARFs and want more kits. Enough people tell 'em that and it does make a difference. For now, sales figures guide the companies down the quick build path. Good or bad??? hard to tell. I wonder what the AMA new comer numbers are? Cheers, GY

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Get Bill Northrup back to head the RC section!

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Ah, the good old days when there were no ARFs and everyone had top build what they flew... :^) They had to earn the right to fly RC! GY

keep
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Let's see if I can help you out here.
1. Hire Gordo as Editor 2. Hire Dick Pettit and Pat McCurry. 3. Get Frankie T to do a column 4. Steal Jerry Festa back from RCM, 5. Put FS stuff in for free 6. Do away with about 60% of your adds. Wallah, you got it babe!
Gerry Yarrish wrote:

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Jay,
Guess it all depends on what you want. For my money RC Report is the best. Its not as pretty but as we all know, no one looks at the pictures in magazines. Sorry couldn't resist. Seems to me RCR is the only magazine that will tell you in a review if there were problems.
Personally when my subscriptions to RCM and MAN run out I'm done with both. I've subscribed to RC Scale Internation for a couple years now and its a good one in my book too.
Chris
Jay Bickford wrote:

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The brand new Fly R/C mag is the best I have seen! They will send you a free issue to see if you like it. When mine came, I spent hours reading every article and immediately subscribed. It was great! It comes out 6 times a year and is only $9.95.
Check it out here: http://flyrcmag.com /
P.S. I don't work for 'em!!

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On Fri, 12 Sep 2003 02:46:49 GMT, Jay Bickford

Depends on your perspective of the hobby and what interests you this decade.
RC Report is IMHO arguably the best of the lot, U.S.-wise, of model aviation mags. Not much nonsense in that mag, other than the obliviously-intentional nonsense. Pretty savvy publisher, don'tcha think, who can pick a future AMA Hall Of Famer to replace Pete Waters when Pete headed for The Bikini State ?
Atta boy, Gordon !
I also favor Scale R/C International, Radio Control Model World, and Radio Control Models and Electronics (RCM&E). All from across the pond, and thereby a bit more pricey than U.S. magazines. You can snag a subscription to any or all online at http://www.modelflying.co.uk/pages/index.cgi and http://www.traplet.co.uk
The scale articles in SRCI, and the tech articles in RCM&E and RCMW are first rate stuff. Mind you, that lot writes English, so you may need to find a copy of BabelFish.
Having spewed all that, there is another approach to building a decent reference library . . . if you're so inclined.
Learn how to "Google" and go find threads of interest from past posts in this news group.
A goodly number of the lunatic denizens herein actually seem to know what they're talking about, and a great many of those technical threads are worth preserving. Many of the online suppliers and resources may have withered, but the "tech talks" in this news group are worth reading. Learning the 'best way' is worth doing, even if you have to work around a particular supplier having disappeared from the landscape.
If three different people have responded that doing something a particular way is a bad idea, odds are better than even that one of them is right. Equally true, when three different people say one particular way to do something is the best way, maybe pay attention.
As always, any thread which generates more than three levels of responses, or is still accumulating responses after a week, has inevitably devolved into pissing contests or at best an AMA-bashing party, so beware deeply-threaded subjects.
It may take some time, but it's well worth doing. I've got four three-ring binders of tech jabber stashed in the building shop. Some of those tech notes came from the sadly-gone RIME model and aviation conferences, which predated this news group by at least a decade. I've also got three more binders jammed with magazine articles.
The other thing to do is go find the model airplane groups in Yahoo.
Some of the groups are impressive to say the least. The GSWarbirds list is headed by a gent who, while he doesn't exactly say so, seems to spend his income-earning hours building UAVs from Unobtanium and carbon fiber, to be used by no-sense-of-humor guys from the five-sided office building.
If he thinks it's a bad idea, it is.
Ditto for the GSAL (Giant Scale Aerobatics List), and a few others.
A great many of the 'groups' in Yahoo Groups are one-person 'lookit what I did' things, so Caveat Emptor.
You may want to prowl a bit 'til you find a niche that suits you.
One word of advice on Yahoo Groups/Lists - it it's not moderated, don't bother. If the owner/moderator is a regular contributor, it might a place 'where you can spit on the rug and call the cat a bastard', in Mr. Robinson's parlance. Cheers, Fred McClellan the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
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Fred, I subscribe to one of the BritMags also. Even though several of their "new product" review columns are just press releases, as are MAN's and most everyone elses, they do have more overall content than advertising. Heck, a couple of them even supply a REAL, full-sized plan in each issue!
Speaking of plans, do any of you know who bought the late Bill Effinger's plans? Someone told me it was some outfit in Texas called Orbit Electronics, and gave me their number, but I've never gotten anyone to answer the phone there. I've since tossed the number out.
Geoff Sanders
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Hi All,
Thanks for all the replies. I went to the LHS and bought a copy of RC Report, and even though the pictures are not as pretty as in MAN, the written content looks pretty interesting.
Also, thanks to Gerry for his response about what MAN is up to. I can surely appreciate that most of the market is now in ARF's, and that they are trying to appeal to a pretty broad audience with their magazine. My personal feeling is that the magazine is not bad, it just is not what I am looking for at the moment.
Thanks again for all the input.
Regards,
Jay
On Fri, 12 Sep 2003 02:46:49 GMT, Jay Bickford

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