Custom, hand-built electronic circuits designed to improve and enhance the fun and thrill of radio-controlled models.
Servo Reversers and Spektrum
I have recently been contacted by several customers regarding the compatibility of our Servo Reversers with Spektrum receivers. After talking with these customers individually, I decided that it might be good to address the issue here, to answer some who may be wondering, but who have not yet reached out to us.
It appears that some modelers have experienced problems when using certain reversers (not ours) with Spektrum radios, and I understand that a spokesperson from Horizon has suggested in various RC forums that reversers of any kind should not be used with Spektrum receivers, as they create some type of interference that can disrupt the receiver's operations, even though they are operating on the 2.4GHz band, which is supposed to be much less susceptible to EMI or RFI interference.
I'm not sure which reversers have actually been causing problems, but I do know that we have been providing servo reversers for several years now to users of every brand and type of radio system out there, and we have received absolutely ZERO reports of problems or incompatibility with any brand of radio, including Spektrum.
Electronically, there are several ways that the PWM signal used to control a servo can be produced, and it is very possible that some reversers being made overseas use a design that is faulty, and that indeed creates interference. Our reversers, as well as most of the other circuits we make, like Navigation Lights, Servo Speed Reducers, Servo Testers, etc., all use a microcontroller to create the PWM signal, and they do not produce any interference of any kind. There are thousands of our devices in use in models around the world, including reversers, and we've never received a complaint about a single one being non-compatible.
Our reversers "read" the signal from the receiver, do some math on it to switch it from one side of the channel's center to the other, and then send it back out to the servo, all done in a few microseconds! They can be safely used in Spektrum systems. -David
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During the "off season", when there aren't many swap meets we can attend, I'm going to be using this space to keep our customers updated on new products and other items of interest. Once the swap meets get going again, it will revert back to publishing our swap meet schedule.
News from the Bench
We've had a number of requests recently for a set of Formation Lights to be used on various WWII Warbirds. Formation Lights were flat lights mounted on the bottoms of wings or on the side of a vertical stab to indicate to the other aircraft, without the need to break radio silence, the flight leader's desired formation. Previously, we provided the control circuit and the 5mm LEDs to model these lights, but we recently found some 5mm LEDs that come pre-installed into neat-looking chrome holders with flat tops that look exactly like the real thing.
The WarBird Formation Lights are designed to allow you to control the LEDs from the transmitter; each LED can be tuned on/off in order sequentially, and the LEDs can be connected to the control board in any order. Click on the picture above for more information.
New Robart Gear Door Sequencers
We're proud to announce a new collaboration with one of the most respected and well-known companies in the RC world, Robart Manufacturing Co. A few weeks ago, we began producing two new Gear Door Sequencers that are specifically designed to work with Robart's line of air and electric retract controllers, giving modelers the ability to create an adjustable delay between the movement of the gear and the movement of the gear doors.
These two controllers were tested by Robart's own test pilots, and they suggested that we make a couple of minor adjustments to the timing to make them more compatible with Robart's retract motors. They are now available, both the air and the electric versions, on Robart's website. Check them out using the link below.
We hope to meet you on the road...
Two New ARF Light Controllers are Now Available!
We've received a number of requests over the last year or so from customers looking to upgrade the LED light controllers that come with ARFs made by companies like Seagull and Multiplex, as well as by several other manufacturers. Many of the current crop of ARFs are coming with 5mm LEDs pre-installed in various locations, but the controllers included with these models are rather "simple", all of the lights are on all the time (including the landing lights), and there's no control of them from the transmitter. Our new controllers will solve that problem easily.
Our new ARF Light Controllers allow you to replace the OEM controller, using the same connectors, and provide you with full control of your lights from the transmitter. The lights can all be turned on/off from the radio, and the landing lights can be switched on/off separately from all of the other navigation lights. In addition, we give you the option of making either the white light in the tail, or the red (left) wingtip light, or both, a double blink strobe!
The ARF Light Controllers are available in two versions, Version 1.0 is designed to replace OEM controllers that power the LEDs directly from the receiver. These LEDs in these models are usually marked with a voltage rating of 3.0 to 6.0 volts, Version 2.0 is designed for OEM controllers that are powered by a separate, external battery. The LEDs in these models are usually rated for 12 volts, and may be marked for use with a 3S battery.
The pre-installed LEDs are plugged into the connections along the bottom edge of the board, and these are marked to indicate the function and color of each LED. The 3 connections marked "Navigation" are for the Green, Red, and White LEDs in the wingtip and tail, and these outputs are solid "on". The connections marked "Strobe" are for the white LED in the tail, and/or the Red LED in the left wingtip, and provide a quick, double-blink output for either or both. The connections marked "Landing" are for the white landing lights, and they can be switched on/off separately from the other lights.
Give us a call if you have any questions, we'll be happy to help you decide if one of these new sets will work with your model!