Ready for ACTion!

COLIN BISHOP updates us on this well known electronics manufacturer

Many readers who run r/c scale boats will be familiar with the name of ACTion R/C Electronics and their range of specialist modelling electronic products. Founded in 1994 by Craig Talbot, ACTion quickly built up a reputation for quality gear at reasonable prices with excellent backup and after sales service. Initially specialising in sound effects, the ACTion range expanded to include speed controllers and other miscellaneous items. Sadly Craig had to retire from his business early in 2007 due to ill health and is now no longer with us, a great loss to the modelling community. However, the ACTion banner was gathered up by his friend Dave Milbourn together with wife Liz who have taken the business to new heights.

Dave is no stranger to modelling, having been associated with the model trade for many years, dating back to designing the original Precedent Huntsman and subsequent aircraft kits from 1972. In recent years he has been closely involved with development work on the very successful Model Slipway range of boat kits. Knowing exactly what model boaters wanted, he was the ideal person to spot the market opportunities for specialist electronics gear building on the original product lines established by Craig. In addition to an extended range of speed controllers and sound/lighting effects, ACTion now offer a variety of very useful items which greatly increase the possibilities for working features in your model. These range from latching and non-latching switchers to the ingenious P96 Servo Morph which allows adjustment of both servo travel and speed. By coupling these units together you have the means of rotating gun turrets, operating cranes, lowering and raising lifeboats and many other possibilities limited only by your imagination.

When it comes to wiring your model, many modellers are in need of a little guidance on how to go about things and ACTion can help out in two ways.

Firstly, on their excellent website you can find wiring diagrams for over 40 typical boat power and wiring setups, plus one for each of the current popular Model Slipway kits. These incorporate the appropriate ACTion products for the model and frequently give motor recommendations as well and if your particular boat doesnt quite fit any of the example setups, Dave will be delighted to give you specific free advice and supply the necessary components. You will also find useful articles on selecting, installing and setting up your equipment.

Secondly, recognising that in a twin or multi screw boat, the wiring together of two speed controllers, motors, batteries, mixer and radio is a recipe for creating a rats nest, ACTion have cleverly put together integrated components which simplify and tidy up things enormously. The P94 Dual ESC/Mixer Multi Controller has two speed controllers and an integrated mixer built into one box and can be used in four different modes to control twin screws, bow and stern thrusters and provide tank steering functions. It comes in two versions to suit the power requirements of your model. Another very useful little gadget is the P92 Power Distribution Board which takes the power from the main battery and provides five fused outputs for your speed controllers/motors and other working features plus a separate regulated 5v supply for your receiver and servos. Much of the electronic wizardry in ACTion products stems from the fertile brain of Dr. Tim Fawcett who provides close development assistance to the product range. Most electronic items in the ACTion catalogue can also be supplied in kit form saving 15% on the ready built price. In addition to their own products, ACTion stock a selection of complementary items and useful bits and pieces such as motors, servos, mini-receivers, speakers, smoke-generators, switches, miniature bulbs and other handy bits and bobs.

Dave and Liz pride themselves on the quality and speed of their service and in ensuring that customers get exactly what they need for their models. I think their customers would agree that they do exactly that, and have in every way held true to the standards that Craig Talbot set for the company back in 1994.

ACTion are a mail order company only, but Dave and Liz attend a number of shows up and down the country where you can check out, buy, or order the whole product range. Dates and venues are given on their website or drop them a line. ACTion can be contacted at ACTion R/C Electronics, 19 Carisbrooke Drive, Nottingham. NG3 5DS United Kingdom, or email them at: Full details of the product lines and lots of other useful information is available on their website:, or see their regular advertisements in this magazine.

(The wiring diagrams are extremely useful and connecting various units into a system can often be a problem for modellers of all skill levels, so these really do make it easy for us Editor)