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Product Lab - July 2006

Published: June 19, 2006
Nomadio Sensor: forefront of RC tech
VITAL STATS
Product: Sensor Premium RC Controller Kit
Maker: Nomadio
Stock No.: NOM-100
MSRP: $624

Product: Philadelphia-based Nomadio has raised a lot of eyebrows in the radio-control world in the last year with the introduction of its 2.4 GHz spread-spectrum Sensor radio. The unit incorporates many of the features found in the market's higher-end radios, with on-board telemetry and secure communications. In addition, the Sensor is software-based and can be upgraded automatically via the included software by plugging it into the USB port of a personal computer connected to the Internet. Settings and sounds can be changed on the computer, too.

A recent software update now allows the Sensor to control Spektrum transceivers in addition to its own.

The radio itself looks unlike anything else on the market right now, and that's by design. Nomadio considered ergonomics when styling the radio, leading to a variety of departures from the traditional pistol-type radios. While the Sensor shares the common pistol grip and trigger, the "head" is smaller and has an LCD display on top providing a user interface and telemetry information source. Also, the steering wheel is canted away from the body at a 45-degree angle, allowing a more natural wrist position.

People who bought the initial version of the radio got a three-channel unit; however, through software upgrades, Nomadio has effectively turned the radios into four-channel models. The company is constantly looking for ways to improve the radio and has one of the better support Web sites out there at http://support.nomadio.net. Users are encouraged to ask questions and give the company new ideas to be incorporated into future updates.

In the box is the radio, the V2 transceiver, a CD with the computer software, a USB cable, four AA Ni-Mh batteries with a charger, and a quick-start guide. Further instructions are located on the Nomadio support site and are available for download in .pdf format. Also included are temperature, RPM and power sensors, which need to be mounted on the vehicle.

Nomadio also offers the radio by itself with the software (NOM-101, $499), and extra transceivers alone (NOM-103, $109).

- Reviewed by Hal Miller

BOTTOM LINE
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Turn-on-and-go convenience
  • Frequent software upgrades


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    Schumacher Havoc a tough and agile truck
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Havoc stunt truck
    Maker: Schumacher Racing
    Scale: 1:8
    Stock No.: KO55
    MSRP: $450

    Product: One of Schumacher's latest offerings is the Havoc stunt truck, a 1:8 2WD nitro vehicle. Our sample came in RTR trim, which includes an A-Tech pistol-grip radio, glow plug warmer, tools and a pre-painted Atomic body. The truck has an anodized aluminum chassis, chrome-plated wheels with mini-pin tires, a .28 Thunder Tiger Pro engine with dual exhaust and E-start, and four long-travel oil-filled shocks. The truck also has an enclosed gearbox and an adjustable ball diff.

    - Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Easy to start and refuel
  • Athletic performance
  • Fun to jump


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    ParkZone's FW-190 an attractive, aerobatic aircraft
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Focke-Wulf 190 RTF
    Maker: ParkZone
    Stock No.: PKZ1600
    MSRP: $229.99
    Availability: Horizon Hobby

    Product: During World War II, Germany produced many fighters, but none was as feared by enemy fighter pilots as the Focke-Wulf 190. Dubbed the "Butcher Bird," the FW-190 not only looked mean, it also proved more than a match for the best Allied fighters, such as the P-51 Mustang. Following the release of its P-51, ParkZone completes the old rivalry with the introduction of the FW-190. These two new aircraft bring new possibilities of recreating old dogfights with the ParkZone sonic combat modules.

    - Reviewed by Jason McNally

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Distinctive looks
  • Easy assembly
  • Highly maneuverable


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    CEN Racing Nemesis: the truck that tackles all terrain
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Nemesis 7.7
    Maker: CEN Racing
    Scale: 1:8
    Stock No.: 9595
    MSRP: $990

    Product: CEN's Nemesis 7.7 is one of the newer contenders in the 1:8 monster truck class. Everything about this truck is big.

    It weighs 14 pounds, has a five-horsepower .46 big-block engine, eight shock absorbers and a big blue anodized aluminum chassis. The Nemesis is RTR and comes with Airtronics' MX3 radio, 144-ounce servos, a newly designed braking system, an aluminum transmission case with a six-gear diff and a two-speed transmission.

    - Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Large size
  • Power to spare
  • Finicky to start


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    Team Trinity's Clash provides mini-monster fun
    VITAL STATS
    Product:M Clash
    Maker: Team Trinity
    Scale: 1:20
    Stock No.: 90011
    MSRP: $199.99

    Product: Team Trinity has gotten into the popular ready-to-run (RTR) mini-monster R/C genre with its 1:20 Clash wheelie truck. The vehicle features 4WD, eight shock absorbers, ESC, working headlights, a full-size servo, a two-channel pistol-grip radio with dual-rate steering, a 300-sized motor and a five-cell rechargeable battery. The Clash also has a pre-painted body.

    - Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Fun to drive
  • Hop-ups available
  • Admirable performance


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    CMC makes Ferrari replica that looks real enough to drive
    VITAL STATS
    Product: 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta passo corto/SWB
    Maker: CMC
    Scale: 1:18
    Stock No.: M-054
    MSRP: $267

    Product: If you're a Tifosi (Ferrari enthusiast) and love the art and beauty of vintage Ferrari road cars but can't afford the roughly $1.5 million price tag for the 1:1 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB (short wheel base), then CMC has the perfect solution for you.

    The 1:18 CMC 250 SWB is a beautifully detailed replica of one of Ferrari's spectacular vintage cars.

    In total, Ferrari made 169 250 SWBs in a number of colors. However, this model is a wonderful representation of Ferrari's Fly Yellow (so named for the fact that in an open field on a warm, bright day, it literally attracts flies).

    This model's detail is a delight to behold. Having seen a number of real 250 SWBs throughout the years at shows and events and having a personal library and broad selection of Web addresses of references for the vintage Ferraris, I was eager to compare this model to representative samples of the 1:1 prototype. CMC came through like a true champion.

    - Reviewed by Gary Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Superbly detailed
  • Wonderful craftsmaship
  • Classic Ferrari looks


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    Carrera's Super Grand Tourisme set offers 1:24 racing
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Super Grand Tourisme set
    Maker: Carrera
    Scale: 1:24
    Stock No.: 20106
    MSRP: $299.95

    Product: Carrera's new 1:24 ExclusiV line slot track, the Super Grand Tourisme set, comes with a Chevrolet Corvette C6R Sebring 2005 and a Ferrari 575 GTC, Barron Connor Racing Le Mans 2004.

    The track is 21.65 feet long and takes up a 10-foot by 5.22-foot area when constructed. Two of Carrera's thumb-style controls and a transformer power the set. Shoulders, track supporters and guardrails are also included.

    - Reviewed by Jim Faber

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Offers racing challenge
  • Change of pace for 1:32 racers
  • Sturdy construction


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    Artin track allows for four lanes of fury and fun
    VITAL STATS
    Product: American Thunder slot-car set
    Maker: Artin
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: 54032
    MSRP: $179

    Product: Racing slot cars with two people is fun, and Artin believes the more the merrier. Its latest track, the four-lane American Thunder oval, allows four people to race simultaneously. The track consists of four controllers, a power pack, 18.4 feet of track, four stock cars with decal sheets and corner walls, all for $179.

    - Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Easy to use
  • Fun for four
  • Durable, matched cars


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