I'd like some feedback

I've just launched my new website at http://www.rcmodelreviews.com and would appreciate some feedback.
If anyone reading this has any ideas, critiques or just comments then
please feel free to fire-away.
Thanks
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I liked the site, and actually read most of the reviews and things you've published. This is certainly the kind of site we need, since you are right on target about the accuracy of most reviews in almost all of our currently available magazines here in the States. (RC Reports being an exception). I don't know, but assume you have many of the same products available in New Zealand that are available here. But it will be interesting to see the differences as reflected in your content/comments within the next six to eight weeks. I think the differences aren't all that many or that great, so I look forward to learning something as I did in this first look.
I've been wondering about those SK engines, so the comments are timely. I also liked the comments on batteries and servos.
Seems to me that you have a good start. I'll probably donate if I like what I see in my return visits in the next several weeks. And I did bookmark the site which is a good sign.
Good luck, Harlan
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Hey, this site is just too good!!
I've spent over an hour browsing it, when I should have been doing my chores
Well done
Trefor

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Hi 'Aardvark', I like the presentation, but more, I like the idea of having a 'Which Magazine' for RC aeromodellers.
I have put a link on the 'useful links' page of my web site www.cheshirefalcons.co.uk, ( is that OK?) why not join a few web rings ( including ours-see index page) to increase your hit rate. It deserves more publicity. Strength to your elbow Colin.

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Thanks for the comments guys!
I'm planning on posting 2-3 new reviews and articles a week to keep the content fresh. The only limiting factor right now is the amount of money I've got to spend on stuff worth reviewing.
What I tend to do is buy something, test/review it, and then sell it on a local auction website to fund the purchase of something else for review.
It's not too hard to get my money back on the good stuff but since I call a spade a spade and am deadly-honest when selling by auction, it can be a little harder to recover anything on the stuff that turns out to be rubbish.
Right now the ads look as if they might cover the hosting costs and I'm hoping a few donations will fund the purchase of new products for review and offset the losses made by selling the bad stuff (usually for a big loss).
What I'd like to know is just what kind of stuff people want to see reviewed.
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Personally, I'm all electric so I'd prefer electric power system reviews. I don't have the option of flying glow or gas. I'd rather see kit reviews, and I'm more interested in scale than aerobatic, be it kits or ARFs. Of course that's just me...
Nice site! Keep up the unbiased reviws...
PCPhill

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Yep, I'm aware there's a huge electric-power community out there and I'll be getting more heavily into that shortly.
One product I'm keen to review are the new LiFePO4 packs that come in LiPo form-factors.
These would seem to be the best of all worlds (the light-weight and convenient shape of a LiPo) plus the ability to fast-charge (4C), deep discharge without damage, and elimination of fire-danger that the LiFePO4 technology offers).
Coming up (soon as the weather clears around here) is a review of the Katana EP ARF/RTF electric 3D profile plane which will see the opening of the electrics section on the site.
Thanks for the feedback guys.
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I hope you don't go too heavy on the electrics. I just prefer the sound and smell of an engine.
Harlan
wrote:

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No, balance is everything :-)
I've got some good engine reviews lined up including TT46Pro, the new TT75FS, SK50, DL50, Saito 82 & 100, SuperTigre 90, ASP/Magnum 52 and (for old time's sake) the HPVT21 which is still available from Mecoa, as well as whatever else I might be able to get my hands on.
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The jury is still out on the LiFe batteries. Seems they don't actually DELIVER the power when put into a heavy demand mode, unlike Lipos. The early hoopla is fading for these cells. They are too big, too heavy, have less voltage, and don't deliver. My advice, don't bother.
wrote:

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Are you talking about the LiFePO4 cells in LiPo form-factor or the more traditional cylindrical cells with A123 technology?
I've been using the A123 and LiFePO4 cells (cylindrical) extensively for the past six months and been exceptionally pleased with the results -- albeit only as receiver packs and not for electric-power.
I can get a whole day's flying (around 10-12 ten-minute flights) from a single charge on the 1350mAH cells in my 40-sized 3D profile planes and I get at least 7-8 flights from my gas-powered 30% Extra (with 9 digital servos) out of the 2300mAH cells.
It's well known that the Chinese grossly over-rate many of their cells -- the 1350mAH LiFePO4s I bought only cycle to about 1100-1200mAH but I'm happy as a pig in swill for the time being.
From an electric-power perspective, I'd be happy to give up a little capacity and power/weight ratio over LiPos in return for the increased safety, relative immunity to over-discharge and the 5-10 times greater lifetime.
I'd be keen to know where you've heard bad things about the LiFePO4 technology though -- I'm always learning!
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I'm talking about the cylindrical style ala A123. They are fine for onboard battery packs since the amp draw is really low. But they won't deliver the amps as fast or hard as needed for electric motor power. For a small airplane that uses only a 3S 11.V lipo normally, then 4 LiFe's are OK, but still not great. Where have you seen the Lithium Ion Iron batteries in a prismatic form factor (ala Lipos)? I would be interested in checking them out.
wrote:

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I totally agree with your review re the MG995 digital servos, absolute cr*p...The metal gears are very roughly made...how did they get past quality control?
Regarding the LED voltage checkers, don't agree, I've seen more planes crashed due to battery failure using this device than anything else. The trouble is the static voltage may be OK, but as soon as a load is put on the voltage drops, especially if there is a dud cell...
The only way these are of any use is if you "stir the sticks" when checking...,unfortunately most pilots don't know this!!
The best battery checkers are the voltmeters with a load to simulate servos operating..Hite multimate etc..
Regards
Trefor

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You're right Trevor... I should have noted that the readings are only valid when the servos are in motion. I'll update the review to reflect this caveat.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 20:51:21 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Feedback ?
Okey, doke.
Your "review" of the duplicate Futaba FASST GUIDs, vis a vis Hobbico's handling of the issue. is way off base.
If you're going to slam a manufacturer, or in this case, importer, at least get your facts right before inserting foot in mouth.
FYI Hobbico IS the Futaba importer for the US, and their "handling" of the issue was at least as timely as any other importer/distributor.
The same information was available on the US AMA web site, but I don't 'spose you looked at that one, being down under and all . . .
Hobbico didn't do ANYTHING WRONG, and their publication of the warning, and subsequent warranty correction of the problem for those so affected, were as always with Hobbico and its subsidiaries, first rate.
The information about the problem was posted on the US Futaba web site, which is FYI hosted >by Hobbico<.
Half-baked opiniion back by lack of knowledge hardly constitutes a "review".
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------------
I have two of the possibly afflicated 2.4 GHz 6-channel FASST systems. Flying alone, I haven't noticed a problem, obviously.
I have bad astigmatism close up and it makes reading a length technical piece extremely difficult. Can anyone explain in as few words as possible exactly what the problem is and is there a remedy? TIA
Ed Cregger
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| I have bad astigmatism close up and it makes reading a length technical | piece extremely difficult. Can anyone explain in as few words as possible | exactly what the problem is and is there a remedy? TIA
Each FASST system has a unique GUID (sort of like a serial number.)
The RX binds to a specific GUID so it will listen to that TX and only that TX.
However, if you turn the TX on and then off at just the right time, it's GUID will then be reset to zero. So your RX's will not work anymore, but then you'll probably re-bind them and it'll work again just fine.
HOWEVER, if somebody else shows up at the field with the same issue, you'll both be transmitting on GUID 0, and so it's just like you're both on the same channel under 72 MHz -- there's likely to be a crash.
You can test your gear at the LHS (they've been given testers), and the fix is to send it in.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us Somebody help me, I'm being spontaneous!

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Thanks, Doug. Much better.
Ed Cregger
Somebody help me, I'm being

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Ed:
Check into the radios sections of rcgroups and rcuniverse and read-up on the situation. Despite what Fred said about aardvark's review of the situation, I think aardvark had it just about correct. Futaba didn't handle this situation very well. In fact, I'm not sure they ever even acknowledged the problem except through their distributor, and, IMHO, didn't really take ownership. On the other hand, I'm not sure how these things are normally handled/acknowledged. It would seem to me that Futaba's advertising claim "Spread spectrum done right" doesn't quite reflect the reality .... or didn't, anyway. At this point, the production or quality assurance slip-up seems to have been resolved, but I don't believe Futaba has directly commented on it to those of us in the hobby. They have apparently chosen to comment through their distributors. The distributors have chose to handle it in somewhat different ways. The European distributor seems to have been more proactive than was the US/Canadian/Mexican distributor.
Also there appears to have been two issues. One dealing with radios that were shipped with no code and, therefore, the planes in which they were installed were capable of being controlled by a other transmitters. The other was the situation referred to by Doug; i.e., if you turned the radio on and off rapidly, a few of them were reported to have had their GUID reset to 0, and the same problem would occur.
This gets somewhat convoluted if you were following it over the last couple of months. I guess my feeling was that Futaba and their distributor here in the US were trying to keep the problem hushed, while the European distributor met the issue head on. I suspect the reason for the way both distributors handled it had to do with differences in the legal systems on their respective areas.
In any case, the issue seems to have been or is being resolved. You would be wise to take your radio to a LHS and have it checked out just to be sure all is well.
Harlan
Somebody help me, I'm being

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There is a new problem now, and I have personally experienced it with 2 students under my instruction
The rx goes into into failsafe mode while flying, and the engine either idles or deadstick. Apparently, if the 4.8 nicad pack in the aircraft goes below the failsafe level while under load, the rx thinks it has lost battery power and closes the throttle, There is a gadget for sale on ebay to overcome this, it seems to be, basically, a big capacitor (condensor)
Another method, of course, is use 6v rx batt.
Trefor

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