requires the addition of a power
supply to convert the AC line
voltage down to the 12V required
by the charger.
This is just one more cost and
complication for someone entering
the sport, so a unit that combines
the two at a lower cost makes
The unit I’m referring to is the
Turnigy Simplex from www.hobby
city.com. I got it for about $42
The charger is housed in a
small ABS plastic housing with an
attached AC lead (Figure 1). Also
included are a DC power lead (so
you can use it with your vehicle),
a set of battery-charging leads
fitted with a mini JST charging plug,
and an instruction leaflet (also
available online at www.hobby
The first thing to do is replace
the round two-pin AC power plug (I
think it’s suitable in France) with a
standard US plug. This is easy
enough; I got one at my local Home
Depot for around $5.
The plug fitted to the charger
leads is common on Antweight
batteries but I use the larger Deans
and XT60s on my Beetleweight, so I
also replaced the connector on the
leads with a male XT60.
The operator panel is clearly
marked and easy to use (Figure 2).
You can charge both LiPos and LiFe
cells, up to 4S packs. The balance
plug is the JST-XH type, so make
sure this is the same as your
batteries. With a max charge rate of
2A, it can charge most Ant or
Beetle packs in 0.5-1 hour.
The only problem I found with
the charger was that the case
made plugging the balance lead
in quite difficult. I fixed this by
trimming a small amount of
plastic off the top of the slot with
a craft knife.
The Turnigy Simplex provides a
nice, simple, and easy to use
charger suitable for anyone starting
up in Ant or Beetleweight combat
Product Review: Spektrum DX5e 2. 4 GHz Transmitter
The 2. 4 GHz spread spectrum transmitters and receivers have
transformed the R/C market.
Worries about other people using
the same frequency all but disappear
when you use one. I described one
of the cheap PC programmable
radios in an earlier issue of SERVO,
but the complexities involved in
setting it up may have put some
potential users off.
rc.com) kick-started the 2. 4 GHz
revolution a few years back, but
there have been a few hiccups
● by Pete Smith
along the way. The first radios (like
the DX6) used a protocol called
DSM but only one receiver — the
BR6000 — was available that would
correctly fail-safe for combat robots.
When they moved to the DSM2 and
now the DSMX, the BR6000
became unavailable. Unfortunately,
there are still fail-safe issues with
several of the new receivers.
The answer to the receiver
question are the new (and cheap)
receivers from Hobby King
( www.hobbyking.com). Their
R610 and R410 receivers both bind
FIGURE 1. The DX5e.
SERVO 05.2012 31