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How to Get into Hobby RC: Testing WISE Stabilization

In our continuing overview of artificial stabilization systems for RC, I wanted to test one of the newest systems on the market. WISE is a stabilization system recently released by Hobbico. Although the WISE module is a discrete unit, it is currently only available imbedded with Flyzone's flagship trainer, the Sensei FS.

WISE (no, it's not an acronym) is meant to be a training aid for pilots learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft (as opposed to rotary-wing helicopters & multi-rotors). Like other stabilization systems, it uses accelerometers and gyros to sense what the model is doing. Using this data, the system can bring a wayward model back to level flight. It also damps overly-exuberant control inputs from the pilot to avoid getting the model into a bad attitude in the first place.

The WISE module is factory-installed to a tray in the fuselage of the Sensei FS. It is connected between the radio receiver and flight control servos.

The Sensei FS

Flyzone's Sensei is a popular trainer model that has been around for a few years. With a 58" wingspan, it is a sizable airplane with Cessna-like looks. Other than the addition of the WISE system, little else seems to have changed in the new FS (Flight Stabilization) version. The airframe is made of molded foam components and it features a brushless power system.

The Sensei FS can be purchased as a Receiver-Ready (Rx-R) or Ready-to-Fly (RTF) kit. Both versions are mostly factory-built with servos installed for each control surface and the motor/ESC and WISE module already in place. The primary difference is that the Rx-R model allows you to install a 6+-channel radio system of your choice. Going RTF gets you a Tactic TTX610 radio system with a TR624 receiver. The RTF also adds a 3S-2100mAh LiPo battery and a simple AC/DC charger. Hobbico provided an RTF kit for this review.

Before getting to the specifics of the WISE system, let's talk a little about the Sensei FS. The quality of the kit is very consistent with others wearing the Flyzone badge. The foam parts are cleanly molded and the components fit together well. Assembly is a nuts-and-bolts operation, so no glue is required.

Tested In-Depth: Samsung Galaxy S6 Smartphone

Samsung's new Galaxy S6 smartphone is a bit controversial, with its familiar design to the flagship's omission of a removable battery and microSD card slot. But its brilliant screen and camera make it very compelling. We sit down to run through all the important things about this phone and compare it to the iPhone 6. Here's why the Galaxy S6 is the best phone Norm has ever tested.

Google Play App Roundup: AppChat, Wire Defuser, and Battledots

Your phone or tablet might be cool, but it could be a lot cooler with the right apps. So what? Spend like mad until you find the apps that suit your needs? Nah, just read the weekly Google Play App Roundup here on Tested. We strive to bring you the best new, and newly updated apps on Android. Just click the app name to head to the Play Store.

This week you can chat about apps with other people, defuse bombs, and battle dots.

AppChat

You've probably got at least a few apps installed on your phone, and so do a lot of other people. If only there was an easy way to connect with people who use the same apps. Hey, that's a thing now that AppChat is available. This app is still very new and basic, but you can get it from Google Play and instantly start chatting up people who use the same apps as you.

AppChat basically hosts a live chat room for each app and game it detects on users' devices. You can open AppChat to browse your installed apps and the associated chat rooms. The app lists how many registered users have each one installed, and how many new messages have been posted since the last time you looked.

You can also access the chat room for an app by dragging up from the bottom right corner of the screen in any app. This displays a shortcut button to jump right into the AppChat room for that app or game. Edge gestures tend to be somewhat wonky on Android, but this one doesn't seem to get in the way too much.

So maybe you're wondering why you'd want this. Let's say you've got a calendar app on your phone that you're quite fond of. There's an update, and something seems broken. Rather than digging blindly through Google results to see if it's something others are seeing, you can just ask in the chat room. You could also chat about features you might not know about or get tips in a game.

AppChat is light on features right now, but you can mention users, delete your own messages, and share links/screenshots. AppChat will actually detect which app a screenshot was taken in and offer to share it to the right room, which is neat. The account system is a little too rudimentary right now. Once you set a username, you can't uninstall the app and then use the same name again later. There's really no account system -- you pick a name, and if it's used (even by you in a previous install), that's it. The app also doesn't offer any control over notifications. You can either disable them at the system level, or see notifications every time there are new posts in a chatroom you've been active in.

This app is completely free, and I feel like it's got real potential. You should check it out and see what wisdom you can gleen from your fellow app users. And yes, there's an AppChat room. It's so meta.

Hands-On with DJI's Phantom 3 Quadcopters

We take the new DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional quadcopters out for some test flights! Eric Cheng of DJI joins us to discuss how these new quads differ from previous models in terms of their flight capability and cameras, bringing in features previously introduced in the Inspire 1. We then put these quadcopters up in the air to test the new stabilization systems and 4K video!

Microsoft Hololens Hands-On Impressions

After getting a 90-minute demo with Microsoft's Hololens, Will sits down with Norm to discuss his impressions of the hardware and the state of Microsoft's augmented reality device. We talk about how Hololens works, the image quality, user interaction experience, and why it's a different technical challenge than virtual reality.