Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Futaba 12FG

I've just received a Futaba 12FG, on loan for a forthcoming review in RC Model World[to see the full review, click here]

Also received were two BLS 352 servos. These have brushless motors and are very impressive units.

It's early days, but the 12FG looks very interesting (the lack of more emotive language is deliberate, simply because I have not had a chance to do more than play with it.)

Monday, 29 October 2007

Multiplex 4000: End of an Era

On Friday 28th October a message appeared on the Multiplex Yahoogroup that production of this landmark radio has finally come to an end, and the news was confirmed to me by Multiplex in Germany. A shortage of key componenents has led to this situation, and no doubt what remaining stocks are left will be held back for spares.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

The Good, the Good and the Ugly

During the last few months, I have been lucky enough to test three radios for Radio Control Model World - the Multiplex Cockpit SX, the Spektrum DX-7, and Futaba 6EX 2.4. Each quite different, but all significant in their own way.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Latency and all that

Latency, or how quickly a servo responds to a control input, is the latest marketing buzzword in R/C. It all seems to have started with claims in the Spektrum ads, and now everyone wants to know how their radio performs. It does have real relevence too - the latency of my Multiplex 4000 is visibly worse than other systems I've owned, to the point that you can easy see the delay on the bench.

For more info, take a look at these interesting links:

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Cool Tool for Club Management?

At the ISA, we use various free services on the Internet to enhance our little R/C community - a website, a Yahoogroup, various bits of free software, and an on-line photo gallery. However, one area where the Internet revolution has escaped us is the management of the club's membership records.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Graupner pins XPS to its 2.4 GHz mast

Graupner have announced that they are distributing XPS 2.4 GHz modules and receivers, including Graupner-branded units for Graupner systems:

Given Graupner's association with JR, it's interesting that they have shunned DSM-2 (as used in JR 2.4 sets), in favour of an alternative.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Recommended Reading for 2.4 GHz

Some useful links for anyone wanting to know a bit more about spread the spectrum technology as used in 2.4 GHz systems:

Whither Multiplex?

Multiplex are used to being at the cutting edge of technology, so it's disappointing that - at the time of writing - they have no 2.4 GHz systems planned for release (see RCMF thread).

With Futaba and Spektrum/JR mopping up the the 2.4G early adopters, Multiplex can only see their potential market diminish as the months pass. Multiplex's sister company Hitec is also late to market with a 2.4 GHz system.

Will Multiplex press on with their own 2.4GHz system? Will they buy in the necessary technology from another manufacturer? Or will they simply throw in the 2.4 GHz towel? Whatever the outcome, I hope they continue with the development of conventional PPM radios - replacements for the Evo and 4000 are long overdue.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Is Spread Spectrum good for you?

The success of the Spektrum DX-7 has taken 2.4 GHz firmly into the mainstream of R/C modelling. Yet while 2.4 GHz systems offer enticing advantages, there are some subtle compatibility issues to trap the unwary purchaser.