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Member postings for Allan Bowker

Here is a list of all the postings Allan Bowker has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Navigation LED Lights with Beacon & Strobe Effect (Arduino)
30/01/2016 15:13:09

I love a good nav light set but the budget sets are hard to make out in the day and the really good bright ones seem very expensive for what I would like to pay.

I've been on the lookout for a while now and stumbled upon others making their own with an Arduino programmable computer.

First of all you will need a little Arduino micro computer. These are easily available on eBay for around £3 including delivery. A search for 'Arduino Nano' will find plenty of them listed.

Top view


Bottom view


Another view of the bottom of the board with a pencil to show some scale.

Download/install the drivers and Arduino programming software for your PC and before you know it, you can plug this board into your computer via a USB cable and start downloading code to it.

The Arduino software is easy to use and is provided with many sample programs to try and experiment with.

Thread: Has anyone used AliExpress ?
20/01/2016 19:08:49

Thanks for the feedback Chris, good to know you have had a positive experience.

I think delivery to the UK will be around the same time of 20-30 days.

I signed up for an account a few weeks back and was logged in when I made my order. I couldn't see any PayPal option at checkout though and despite clicking on 'more payment methods', PayPal was not listed for me.

AliExpress Checkout


A search on their help page also states that they do not accept PayPal as a payment option (perhaps it's a UK thing?).


AliExpress PayPal

Edited By Allan Bowker on 20/01/2016 19:13:46

20/01/2016 17:24:11

AliExpress is the consumer focussed arm of the global B2B giant
The site is organised similar to eBay where different sellers list their items for sale, each having a feedback profile.

PayPal doesn't seem to be accepted, so credit card (not debit) would be my personal recommendation (for enhanced insurance).

I'm making an order, so will report back on my findings.

20/01/2016 15:39:32

Has anyone used AliExpress ?

They seem very similar to BangGood and when comparing the same FPV video transmitter/reveiver bundle, they are £40 cheaper than HobbyKing.

Just like BangGood, they offer free P&P, so there are more potential savings to be had.

I'm not expecting sterling customer service, however are they worth a go?

Thread: Banggood - Any Good
20/01/2016 15:31:57

I've been using for a few months now and have been very pleased.
Delivery from their Hong Kong warehouse is roughly 3 weeks.

I've come around to accepting that when buying from China, it's a gamble if you get good customer service or not when things go wrong. At least if you pay by PayPal or Credit Card, you do have some additional insurance cover.

Thread: E-flite UMX: Which is your favourite?
05/01/2016 12:59:34

For me the original E-Flite UMX Extra 300 3D is still my indoor favourite, despite it being easily prone to damage

(not so keen on the newer version with AS3X)

E-Flite UMX Extra 300 3D

Thread: Which kind of models can be flown at your site?
05/01/2016 12:37:27

Sorry, haven't been able to vote as there isn't an option that seems applicable to me.

I would have gone for the 'anything' option but jets or models over a typical 50cc size would not be suitable or sensible for our patch.

Thread: HobbyKing Gift Certificate Vouchers
05/01/2016 12:29:11

I read the same tip in the discussion thread for the vouchers Simon and I thought it would work for me too.

Unfortunately when you click through to buy points (login > orders > click on points > buy points), you cannot add a HobbyKing discount code at the checkout, only a PayPal code.

Unless there is a different method to buy points?

One post said to order items on 'back order', then cancel the order so that the payment will be credited to your points. Not sure if this would work or not.


Edited By Allan Bowker on 05/01/2016 12:31:54

05/01/2016 09:35:49

Whilst I think that gift ceritficate vouchers are a great item on the HobbyKing website, you have to be aware of some limitations if buying/receiving more than one.

Currently they are only available in $50 units (circa £33 at todays rate).

As stated on their site, if you buy more than one gift voucher per transaction, they will be grouped into a single code. So for example 4x vouchers = $200 and 1 code emailed to you within 24 hours.

Once received, you can then contact HobbyKing via their online chat to request that they split the 4 vouchers into separate codes (but only if you are the original purchaser).

If family or friends might gift you a number of codes to you in the future, please be aware of the following limitations.

  • You can only use one single code at checkout, multiple codes cannot currently be accepted.
  • Once codes have been split, HobbyKing will not merge multiple codes back into a single code.

I recently fell fowl to these limitations during Christmas when I received 3 codes, which means that I will need to make 3 orders, all with their own postage costs (vouchers do not cover postage).

Despite a negative customer experience, it was still nice to receive the vouchers wink

Thread: Malta
29/12/2015 18:05:09

Have a great time Ken, don't forget to post up some photo's.

Thread: Christmas wishes
17/12/2015 16:26:08

Happy Christmas to everyone on the Forum.
May all your presents have wings (or rotors!)

Many happy landings for 2016


Thread: General hobby
20/11/2015 11:30:57

Glad to read that you are happy with your purchase Masher yeslaugh

Having read the many reviews for General Hobby on RC Groups Forum, I have come to the following conclusions:

  • General hobby have a good choice of models for sale at great prices.
  • They are good at box shifting. If the sale, delivery and contents are right, then all is good.
  • Communication from them is not the best and very poor by telephone.
  • You have a 50/50 chance of a positive outcome.
  • If you do have any issue with your purchase, good luck. Hopefully your credit card company will have already insured you against this.
20/11/2015 10:25:20

PayPal have just given me my money back (excluding return postage and import duties), so I'm about £30 down.

So after nearly 3 months, I'm back to square one

frown Not a positive experience for me with this supplier.

Thread: RCMC Online
22/10/2015 08:59:27

Thanks for the update Frank thumbs up

Thread: 200 SR X Tail rotor orientation
20/10/2015 12:39:09

No problem Robert wink

I couldn't agree more on the poor design and documentation though, my son fell fowl to this design oversight very early on. Thankfully he noticed the poor flight performance and hot tail motor quickly, so no damage done.

I have to forgive Horizon Hobby, however as their customer service is usually very good and I guess this is just down to their high product output.

'Must try harder' will appear on their report card for this laugh

Thread: TJD Models anyone else have issues with these people
19/10/2015 12:01:59

I have only ever received good service from TJD Models, I would use them again.

Some model shops are not as net savvy as others and technical hiccups do occur to the best of them.
I always find that a phone call can rectify issues quicker than by email.

Thread: 200 SR X Tail rotor orientation
19/10/2015 10:48:36

Robert, if you look at the tail rotor closely, the sufaces have a slightly different finish on each side.
It's not easy to spot but MaxG's helpful link above contains this useful picture:

Blade SRX 200 Tail Rotor Orientation

15/10/2015 16:06:03

The way I remember which way round it goes is that there is a smooth side to the 3 blade prop and that side faces outwards away from the motor.

Getting it the wrong way round can make the brushless motor on the tail rotor run very hot too!

Thread: General hobby
14/10/2015 18:01:33

Can't say I can personally recommend them, you have been lucky Masher. My customer experience has not been a good one and has been ongoing for 11 weeks!

Summary of $115 cowl and canopy order:

27/08/2015 - Order placed online and payment made via PayPal

02/09/2015 - Notified via email that a shipping label had been created (but not shipped).

24/09/2015 - Chased my order via website form and telephone answer machine (number of website), no reply received so called a different number found on my PayPal receipt. Man on phone said it was despatched on 21st (dubious claim as no tracking info update).

01/10/2015 - Filed a PayPal dispute for refund as tracking info still not updated and no delivery.

06/10/2015 - Email received from General Hobby informing me that my items had now been despatched. New tracking info received via email also.

12/10/2015 - Import VAT paid to HMRC via Parcel Force (£19.25)

14/10/2015 - Package received. Wrong items, damaged and cowl was the wrong colour also!

14/10/2015 - Request sent to General Hobby to replace or refund via PayPal

To add insult to injury the canopy is cracked in 3 places, which they have tried to fix before despatch with cyano! Obviously this then misted over, which they then tried to sand off (or use wire wool) which left scratch marks. In another area they have tried to repaint, badly!. So bad is the damage and cowboy repairs, it was noticed before the canopy came out of the box.

I was expecting trouble with this order as reviews of General Hobby on other forums are mostly poor but I gave them a chance. I'm glad at least that Masher got what he wanted with no hassle.

So now I wait for the suppliers response before escalation to PayPal for a possible refund.

Thread: Ken's passed 7000!
09/10/2015 10:28:06

7000 posts! Wow! Congratulations Ken.

I heard somebody say that you "were past it now"? wink


Always good to read your posts, makes the place feel like home.

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