A few years ago, I switched my entire fleet of RC vehicles over from geriatric AM radio gear to awesome new 2.4GHz. After many hours of careful research, I selected Nomadio as my new radio system of choice. It was expensive to retrofit the better part of a dozen vehicles, but I figured the expense was worth it. I love my Nomadio React radio for its ingenuity, flexibility, ease of use, and ruggedness. It’s not the prettiest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on and it eats batteries like candy but hey, nothing’s perfect. More than anything, I love the two-way data uplink that Nomadio offers. I can monitor the receiver pack voltage, vehicle speed, engine/motor temperature and more, all from the drivers’ stand. Viewing that kind of critical data in real time is a quantum leap from the RC days of old. Without a doubt, Nomadio is a game changer.
Or rather, they were.
You see, shortly after spending many hundreds of dollars buying the React handheld, a pile of transceivers, and tons of sensors, Nomadio decided to pull the plug on their line of RC products. Fan-bleeping-tastic. I’m not upset with Nomadio; it was a business decision they needed to make and I respect that. It did, however, leave us loyalists in a bit of a lurch with no real options for the future. Existing Nomadio inventories at hobby shops and online retailers dried up quickly, so if you want a new transceiver you’ll need to scour eBay or hope someone at your local track has one for sale – not likely in either case. Supply of reliable, used transceivers is becoming scarce these days, which means that you now need to pay a lot more for a lot less. When I need a transceiver for a new vehicle, I have to play eBay roulette and hope I get lucky. If not, I instead have to play musical chairs with my electronics and cannibalize an existing ride. Not especially convenient.
If I had known all this ahead of time, would I have made a different decision? Yes, definitely. Despite this, I am happy with the way things worked out. I do still like my Nomadio setup very much, and I’ll be sad when one day it completely quits working. You shouldn’t be afraid to buy products from secondary and smaller manufacturers, despite the risk that they might be nonexistent at some point. Of course it’s never a bad idea to support the “big boys” of the industry (e.g., Traxxas, Futaba, etc.), but remember that some of the very best products and ideas come from places that you’d least expect. Just make sure you have an eBay account handy for buying spares.