Those of us who have tried to start a gas engine have occasionally found ourselves wearing out our arm in a futile attempt to bring it to life. It happens. Seeing this problem, the people at J&L Power Products have come up with a unique solution to keep our gasoline engines primed and ready to start. This little gizmo is the Quikfire and it performs three very useful functions.
Its red or blue anodized aluminum housing holds roughly 1/4 ounce of fuel. By holding this fuel in reserve, it acts a quick primer to cut starting time to just a few flips. It also serves to smooth the fuel demand and irregular fuel surges encountered during extreme flight routines.
The end of the Quikfire unscrews revealing a replaceable fuel filter. If needed, these filters are available at many automotive parts stores. The Quikfire eliminates the need for additional fuel line connections because of its built-in T-fittings.
The Quikfire is approximately 2 inches long, 7/8 inches in diameter and weighs a mere 18 grams. Mounting it to the firewall is a snap using the included strap and mounting screw. It retails for $24.95 which is a small price to pay to have your engine roar to life on the first few flips!
J&L Power Products Inc.: 388 Belvedere East, Colgate WI 53017; Tel. (262) 628-3506; website: www.jlproducts.net
PROTECT YOUR TRANSMITTER
Although a transmitter case isn’t as exciting as the shiny, new radio housed inside, the peace of mind it provides is worth the price of admission. The ProTek RC Universal Radio Case uses a unique approach by offering replaceable, high-density foam inserts that allow it to accommodate a variety of transmitters on the market for both air and surface use. Supported brands include Airtronics, Spektrum, KO Propo, Futaba, and JR!
The case features a tough aluminum shell with reinforced corners, locking latches, and the previously mentioned foam-lined interior, all in an effort to withstand the potential punishment and abuse that occurs during transportation.
Because the Spektrum DX9 reviewed in this issue didn’t include a case, it was a good opportunity to try the ProTek case. We chose the proper insert from the 18 currently available when we ordered the case.
There was no need to cut or break away foam for a secure fit. Six precut storage areas are handy for storing the charger, neck strap, extra receiver, etc. Another nice feature is that the transmitter actually sets on foam padding, not the bottom of the case, so it is padded on all sides.
The ProTek RC Universal Radio Case sells for $49.99 and each insert is an additional $14.99. This is a good investment for those looking for a quality case that can accommodate their current radio, and likely any future ones.
A Main Hobbies: 424 Otterson Dr., Ste. 160, Chico CA 95928; Tel.: (800) 705-2215; website: www.amainhobbies.com
Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam
Terry Dunn helped us with the review of the Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam Quadcopter from Hobbico. Here is what he had to say:
The biggest and most obvious thing that differentiates the 1SQ V-Cam from the standard 1SQ is stated in the name. The V-Cam features a remotely operated camera that is capable of taking still photos or videos. The files are saved to a 2 GB micro SD card, which is included along with a USB card reader.
Another new feature is the addition of LEDs on each corner of the airframe. With white lights in front and red in the rear, visual orientation is much improved during low-light flight operations. Anything that aids orientation on multirotors is always a plus. As with the original 1SQ, Heli-Max also provides a single-cell 250 mAh LiPo battery, a USB charger, and a full set of spare propellers.
From a weight standpoint, the V-Cam model is 6.5 grams more than the original model’s flying weight. That’s amazing when you consider that the increase represents an actual video camera; however, that paltry increase represents a 19% weight gain.
This little quadcopter has attitude stabilization that does much of the hard work. Get the model a few feet off the ground into some clean air. I’ve handed the transmitter to RC rookies and they were able to get the hang of basic flying within a few minutes. They bounced it off the walls and ceiling a few times, but my house and the V-Cam were none the worse for wear.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve also dished out my own abuse to the 1SQ. I’ve flown it into trees and pranged it off the curb multiple times. A particularly rough hit might break a propeller, but I consider them to be sacrificial parts. The V-Cam just keeps on flying.
If you have a reasonable-size field, you can fly the 1SQ V-Cam with relative impunity. The little quadcopter is so lightweight that even a freefall to the sod is unlikely to cause damage. I’ve flown the V-Cam in double-digit winds. It handles the breeze admirably; you only have to make sure that gusts don’t carry it away!
Although the V-Cam’s touted specifications classify its camera as “high-definition,” don’t expect cinema-quality footage. The camera’s small lens needs plenty of light, but not too much. I get the best results when shooting indoors with all of the lights turned on.
Smooth flying also equates to better video and clearer photos, so be gentle on the sticks. The camera lens can be tilted for different perspectives. Play around with it and discover your inner cinematographer.
Shooting video and photos outside is slightly more challenging. I’ve found that mornings with gentle winds and soft light are best. Bright midday sun can overwhelm the camera and too much wind will produce shaky video. The camera’s focal length seems to be approximately 3 feet, so distant objects can be fuzzy.
Don’t let deter you! It is still fun to fire up the camera outside and see what develops.
The V-Cam model is slightly heavier than the standard 1SQ, but the pendulum effect of the underslung camera makes for a more stable platform. The tradeoff is that it is not quite as nimble, although you may have a hard time believing that when you push the flip button!
The biggest effect of the weight increase is flight time. I average 5-6 minutes per charge with the V-Cam, which is roughly 2 minutes less than what I get on my standard 1SQ.
The original 1SQ is a fun little machine. Adding a micro camera to it amplifies the fun factor another notch. Even if you’ve never owned a quadcopter before, the 1SQ V-Cam will ease you into this new genre of flying.