The good the bad and the ugly... - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:46 AM   #1
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The good the bad and the ugly...

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Ok lets have it... lets talk about whats good, whats no good and what you flyers think is the best.

I have seen many posts asking about the quality of certain products and items like batteries, ESC, motrs what i'd like to hear is what you think is the best value, not the best, but the best value. price for performance.
I'd also like to hear about where the best deals can be found online.

Lets keep it to what we have used and have experiance with.

Batteries: Who makes the cheapest? what is the best? what is the differance. Ie. why can there be such a differance is the price of one pack to the next? is that price relative to the quality? what is the best value?

ESC. its not uncommon to see similar spec'd esc vary in price by two or three times... sure, there are many different ESC with many different features, but which ones are the best value? cheap but good.

Motors. again it is hard to tell what makes a good motor. materials, qualtity, design... In a serch to power a 40 size electric I have seen motors for $45 and others or up to $150- whats the big differance? is the $150 motor really that much better? could I just buy two o the cheaper ones and have a spare? what motors is the best value?

ARF. Ok. from PA to EF to GWS. what is the best value? from nitro planes to Hyperion. who is making the best quality ARFs for the best price. Again we can see major differances here, some are obious, and others are implied...I am not looking for cheap, I want to hear about good, and inexpensive....

Ok, I realize this is a huge topic, and bring to play some large topics that would require their own thread, so lets see where this goes: lets hear about the best deals and bargains you have seen!
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:12 AM   #2
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Wow, I guess it depends on what you are looking for: as a freeflighter, good ol' cheap brushed motors are fine for what I do, as are off-the-shelf nicads.

I have a couple of GWS kits, and a fistful of brushed motors for r/c, but I can't get up much enthusiasm for them; for small models, my diesels are better, and just as quiet. I built a Stinson trimotor for electric, but as time goes by, it may end up with 3 PAW55s in it...

I guess my lack of enthusiasm has to do with a very limited knowledge and understanding of electronics. If it doesn't plug & fly, it is of no value to me. Consequently, I have a few flying toys around, ready to donate their innards to one project or another, now that they are equipped with lipos and other hitech stuff...
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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I don't know much about electrics, but I'd like to make a comment on "value" electronics.

A couple of years ago I ordered some parts from which has since become This was a power system for a foamy, including a brushless motor, ESC, and a 3S lipo. The total for the above came out around $25 if memory serves correctly, and I ordered a lot of cheap stuff to go along with the order. This was a long shot cheaper than just the battery would cost from a local retailer. The website ships from Hong Kong.

I don't know anything about how efficient these things are, how the power-to-weight adds up or anything, all I know is that they came, they worked, and they still work. I crashed the foamy and put the parts into a small balsa bipe, and they still work fantastically.

The only problem is that I also ordered a receiver (was only about $12), which seems to work fine, but the ESC would not work with it. A servo responds properly on the throttle channel, but when I plugged the ESC into it, it would give beeps indicating that there was no signal.

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Old 03-28-2008, 12:50 PM   #4
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Best Value

That's a big subject since what is a 'value' to one person will be trashed by the next.

That said, I second Benjhind in his assessment of Hobby City. I ordered some servos and accessories from them just to see what they looked like and they work every bit as well as the Futaba and Hitec servos I currently use. In particular, I ordered metal geared servos that would have run me about $50 each at the LOS for about $6 a piece. And, they work perfect.

Shipping is reasonably priced and pretty quick as well.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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Hobby city

Ok, that didn't take too long. I came across this site a few days ago, after I was complaining about the cost of powering up my extra 260 40e. I found a "900w" Turnigy motor and 80 amp esc for more than half the price of the manufacturers motor alone.... Hard to belive.

The motor and esc together are only $85!!!!!

So, if they work, and are of decent quality, then why pay more?

Also, a post mentioned Zippy batteries. I have never used them (I have a few on order now) but have been using other off shore batteries for a few months. I found the performance to be acceptable, but have a hard time judging because I have never owned a premium battery. Is there that much difference?? lets say that one battery sells for $85, the similar spec'd premium battery from a known manufacturer (or reseller?) goes for over $200... that is a big diff, and I have a hard time understanding how the premium battery can be twice as good.....

Resellers. well, as I look at the pictures on line, and examine the gear that I already have at home, I often find some interesting details.

The su-31 10e at hobby city looks very very similar to my Hyperion.....

The 18 amp Ultrafly ESC I bought for an indoor bipe ($15) has "Castle Creations" clearly marked on the leads....

The small Turnigy motors look very similar to the Hyperion motor I have at home....

Brands and advertising are powerful forces. It is not far fetched to think that "manufacturers" often buy OEM parts and perhaps products to reliable as their own.

"no name" products may sometimes be products made by, or in the same factory, as "premium" brands.

Now I am sure this is not news to many of you, and I would be really interested in finding the pure gold in this market.

Hobby city, definitely on the "A" list
Zippy (Korean) batteries
Turnigy Motors : good, bad or ugly?
Nitro planes?
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:27 PM   #6
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Re: The good the bad and the ugly...

Originally Posted by highflyer
Batteries: Who makes the cheapest? what is the best? what is the differance.
ESC. cheap but good.
Motors. what motors is the best value?
ARF . . .
Here goes - One general overriding factor in any choice I make :"Cheap no Good & Good no Cheap"

Best value choices:
Batteries: NeuEnergy.

Motors: Inrunners: Neu Motors. Outrunners: Rimfire or EFlite

ARF: See my my overriding factor above & read a build thread.
Phelan RC Flying Club - Manotick ON
Rideau Valley Modellers - Kemptville ON
Jeti DS-16
Lovin Giant Scale & trying Jets ...
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:04 PM   #7
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Cheap is cheap, inexpensive and decent is what I am looking for.

This business seems to be a lot about hype. Brands have to charge more to cover their advertising and staffing. LHS have insurance, rent, staff....

Smaller, more efficeint companies that deal directly online, in countries with much lower cost of operation can offer ligitimate products for a fraction of the price.

They can also cheat, lie and generally cash in on the hype....

What I am trying to find is the genuine bargains that are out there.

Sure, PA makes an outstanding product, many of us will never know, as we simply cannot afford the admission.

I am also sure that e-flight, Great planes, EF, and so on have similar quality, but are they bargains??

I am looking for companies that represent quality, and a good price. someone who has a limited brand awareness, but is offering a fantastic product for a reasonable price, no hype, no bs, no huge margins to cover advertising and sales staff....

do these manufactures exist? are there true bargains to be had? Is it worth the expense to dispense with this and just pay the extrodinary prices for "proven" gear that simply enjoys a fat ad buget and retail support?
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:49 PM   #8
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What we all have to remember is the true value of that nebulous word "Quality". The true meaning of the word as embraced by many companies, as espoused by the "Quality Management College" (It exists, I spent a week in their classroom) is Conformance to Requirements. If a product or service meets the requirements of the end user, it can be described as a quality product or service.

As I like to tell people, a Mack truck is not a quality vehicle to send your daughter to the prom in. Neither is a Cadillac limo a quality vehicle if you have a lot of pigs to move. It all depends on the usage to be ascribed.

I would love to use Snap-On tools in my job, but going from site to site, I frequently lose them, so for me a simple Mastercraft set from Canadian Tire makes more sense, I'll lose it before I use it up.

Likewise these things from Hobby City; I just bought a bunch of their little servos for $3.49 a pop. Not precise, probably won't last as long as say a $15 or $20 unit, but one thing I know for certain is they will outlast the plane I put them in!!

If you're competing internationally at world levels, then you will insist on much better product than I need for my simple sport needs.

Like the field box battery I had to replace: my original was from the company where I buy UPS batteries and cost me nearly $70.00. Top quality! The darned thing died in less than four years. I replaced it with a $12.95 unit from Sayal. If it lasts 2 years it will still be a saving over another $70.00 unit, and it meets my requirements.
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:42 PM   #9
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I like most of the hobby city stuff I've bought. I ended up with a dud motor once but other then that, all I fly pretty well is small electrics and their stuff works great. I have fistfuls of the hxt 9gr and 5gr servos.

Now the E-flite motors I have also has Made in China right on the label, and cost that much more then one of the turnigy motors. Also I like my thunder power batts, but the hobbycity branded 620mah lipo I have rocks. It's one of my favorite batteries to use.

My opinion overall hobby city is a great place to pick things up cheap. Compared to the more expensive things I have Hacker, Eflite etc. It's works a bit better overall then the cheaper stuff. The only major difference I can see is motor efficiency and throttle curve. And overall it's its not far off from the more expensive products.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #10
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Just back from Toledo: Looked up two power systems before leaving I needed 150 and 250 Watt. Used Hobby City Turnigy motors and ESC plus Hex or Zippy batteries as my price baseline. At Toledo noted one interesting thing, lots of product that looked exactly like Hobby City stuff except for label stuck on outside. One reseller even had the programming cards ESC and motors still in the packaging Hobby City uses.
All priced higher than Hobby City Min around 20% higher lots @ 80% or more. I think the Hype factor is huge in RC electric even Thunder Power had a series of batteries that puffed @ less than the stated max Amps.
There are lots of resellers jumping on the electric bandwagon, most of these are not producing the product they sell.
I agree that for the regular sport flyer the retail price of a Hacker or AXI is way more than you need to spend to get a far quality product that will give good reliable long service.
I now own 4 power systems from Hobby City and 8 different LiPo's all have at least one full season of flying and lots of cycles. ( I get out around 4 days per week) one of my first 1000 Mah loong Max sags under load when pushed, it still will deliver around 85 Watts @10.8 volts so is happy puttering around doing lazy loops and rolls and is not puffed,
Am I happy with the value of my low cost systems? Yes
Do I believe more dollars will buy more power? Yes
Do I believe I would notice the difference between a high cost brand name system and my current set ups? No in flight but Yes in my wallet!
I say this all the time, It's your money and you have to be happy with the product so spend what you want. My take on things is the stuff out there works and works well
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