Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Radio Controlled Lincoln

Engadget is reporting a Radio Controlled Lincoln Navigator with built in MP3 Player. Available from Toys R Us via Amazon, this 1:6 scale 'ride' has a 7 function radio control. Comes in Black and White. Sa-weet!
Engadget backlink.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Spread Spectrum Comes to RC

Spektrum RC Introduces a new radio system called Spektrum. Their top of the line DX6 transmitter features 10 model memory, dual rates, exponential and a host of other neat ideas. From their website:


In development for over four years, Paul Beard, a leading
engineer in the Spread Spectrum industry, designed Spektrum's
DSM 2.4GHz Spread Spectrum Technology. The DSM 2.4GHz
Spread Spectrum Technology utilizes Direct Sequencing
Spread Spectrum technology that has been optimized for
RC use. Unlike current narrow band 27 and 75MHz systems,
Direct Sequencing Spread Spectrum or DSSS generates
a wide signal on a single frequency, and information
is encoded with its own Globally Unique Identification
number (called GUID) such that the receiver only recognizes
the information from its specific transmitter. And with
over 4.2 billion available GUID codes, it is virtually
impossible for a receiver to be controlled by anything
other than its mating transmitter. Spektrum calls this
optimized form of modulation DSM-Digital Spectrum Modulation.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Servo Solutions

Servos are the electronic - mechanical devices that manipulate the control surfaces of your craft. They make the wheels turn on your car or truck and make the elevator/rudder/ailerons move on your airplane. Servos also control the throttle for acceleration.

One thing modelers need to be aware of when selecting a servo for a particular application is the the torque rating of the servo. Use a week servo and disaster may strike. Use a too highly rated servo and you are spending money that could be better used elsewhere AND you may be adding unnecessary weight.

For very precise applications, digital servos can be used. These expensive versions recenter themselves and rarely drift. These are ofter used in high performance craft.

Two of the best resources for servos are Fatlion's Servo Chart and Chuck Gadd's Servo Calculator. I use these often and now do not build a plane without first checking out to see if I'm using a strong enough servo for the application.
Tag: hobbies

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

RC Hobby Podcasts Coming

I am in the process of putting together a weekly RC Hobby podcast. I hope to include RC insiders and enthusiasts. Leave a comment if you have any ideas for interview subjects.
Tags: hobbies

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Industry News Tuesday 10/4/05

Well back this week with some more exciting industry news.

ExtremeFlight is now shipping their Yac 55SP-E in both Plane only and Brushless Combo.

The combo is $199 and has Extreme Flight Brushless BL-20 motor, 15 amp ESC, gearbox, prop, spinner, removable landing gear and hardware. Good deal!

RTL Fasteners is having a 10% off Fall Sale. Enter code RCG3 at checkout.

Hobbytron has an Orinthopter on sale with free shipping $159.95. Orinthopters are very cool and great educational tools.

RC Motorcycles are perhaps the fastest growing market segment in all of RC Modeling. Check out the 49cc X2 Ninja available at Earthscooters.com

Monday, October 03, 2005

R/C Resources on the Web

I have been collecting a list of R/C links to feed my daily addiction for all things Radio Controlled. So, like any good pusher, I thought I'd share some of the best ones here.

The best resource I have found is RC Groups. On R/C Groups you'll find all kinds of forums relating to everything from Cars, Boats, Airplanes etc. A very friendly place to get advice about just about anything.

Another great resource, especially for new and used gear is RC Universe. They are also a forum based service.

For sailplane enthusiasts, check out the great listings at Fatlion. All RC Modelers will appreciate their Servo Chart.

For All kinds of parts and materials check out Hobby Linc.
Here is a useful online Moto Calc program for you to test out your system before you buy.
EFlight 101 has some great articles on Covering your Planes.
R/C Car enthusiasts can find great info on RCCars.com.
R/C Boats, both powered and sail, can find info at RCBoat Modeler.

And if you want to purchase anything, simply head on over to Tower Hobbies - the grand daddy of online Hobby Sales.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kit, ARF, or RTF?

Builders prefer to build from a "kit." Others, like me, prefer to put together an ARF or Almost Ready to Fly plane. Still others like to open a box, charge the battery (or fill the tank) and start flying (RTF or Ready To Fly). Which is better? While you can be sure of the quality of anything you build yourself (good or bad) today's ARF's and RTF's are fantastic flying machines.

When looking at a RTF plane that includes everything from batteries to transmitter, you want to keep one thing in mind. These planes often have a transmitter thast is on ground frequency and some flying clubs do not allow these to be flown. Check with your club first to see what they allow. If you are only going to fly at your local park, a ground frequency transmitter will be fine.

The term 'Park Flyer' usually means the plane can be flown at a park or ball field and is battery. Large electric planes should be flown at a club field. Gas planes always need to be flown at an AMA sanctioned club field.

Gas RTF's almost always have a transmitter that is on air frequencies.

One RTF that I bought was a Multiplex Magister. I still have it and still fly it. It is an excellent trainer, it's electric, and comes with everything you need including a battery charger. Even though it's an RTF, there is still some assembly required.

Check out the Magister