So I received the Nano v2 remote from a reseller on ebay, and have another one coming in from @saul’s group buy. Here are my first impressions with the remote. As I ride in the coming weeks, I’ll update this thread with reliability.
Overview: The remote is designed fairly well and has a nice smooth matte finish on in an ergonomic housing. From pictures, I found the throttle seems a bit out of place, but after holding it in my hands, the position compliments the ergonomic features of the remote perfectly. The receiver comes with 3 sets of 3 pins for servo cables. The first set is labeled -, +, and some kind of square waveform icon that I guess is supposed to indicate pulsewidth. However, I found that this first set of pins does nothing besides power on the receiver as there is no PPM signal coming from the last pin. The second set of pins (labeled CH 2) is for the “expand module switch”. No idea how this works right now, but likewise to the first, it does not output any PPM signal, but will power on the receiver. The last set of pins (labeled CH 1) is for your PPM signal.
The remote itself has a couple switches and buttons, shown below. The remote connects fairly quickly and is turned on with the switch on the bottom. The button where the bind button used to be (might still be a bind button) is for the CH2 expand module switch, but I’m unsure as to how to use it right now. The switch behind the remote that used to be the expand module switch on the v1, is now a low/high speed mode which basically just cuts PPM signal by 30% in low speed mode (see pic). The reverse button is very easy to press (but not accidentally) with your middle/ring finger, but you have to hold it for a lengthy 3 seconds to activate. Currently, it just switches the throttle behavior to exactly opposite where down is accelerate and up is brake/reverse. This is probably more useful in “Current” or “Watt” mode, but not so much in “… no reverse with brake” modes.
Build Quality: From my experience so far, the build quality seems to be decently good, with a smooth finish on the exterior and a throttle with a bit of force (similar to nano v1). Throttle range is similar to the v1 as well, a bit short, but manageable. This time around there is no wire antenna for neither remote or receiver opting for PCB antennas instead. I don’t think this is a problem for esk8 as our range is fairly short anyway, and I don’t believe this was the source of the problems for the v1 remote. Only time will tell on its reliability. One problem I did have with its build quality is that the throttle is slightly crooked, but it certainly feels fine in the hand. I took this picture from the eBay listing, but mine looks exactly the same as well. It doesn’t seem to have any detrimental effect on usage, but doesn’t look great to the eye. The lanyard is also not reliable. The plastic post it’s hooked onto doesn’t extend far enough into the enclosure and can easily be pulled off. I recommend double looping it around the post as that seems to be pretty reliable.
Ergonomics Like I mentioned, the ergonomics for the remote are quite pleasant, and the finger loop + lanyard will keep the remote fairly secure in your hand. I’ve always liked thumb grips more as they offer more control in the hand and are less prone to accidental throttle when compared to trigger style controllers (I grew up playing video games where your thumb is used for precise movements so it makes sense that it’d be better for thumb style controls on esk8). You can also use your middle finger in the loop instead of your index for even more control. The other remotes I have to compare against are the benchwheel and nano-x controllers. The v2 definitely fits my hand better than the nano-x and comparably well against the benchwheel.
Reliability test UPDATED 6/28! After a couple weeks of riding with this remote, I think I can say that it’s definitely solid. I ride to work everyday and go through the busy (both in the number of people and radio wave sources) streets of San Francisco and have never had an issue with cut outs so far (knock on wood). For $40-50, it is a big pricier than the GT2B and ‘mini’ remotes, but the additional amount you pay for is definitely worth the similar reliability, compact size, and rechargeable lipo battery. I haven’t tested battery life but it can get me through 5+ days (8 miles/day) without a low battery warning. The reverse feature is a bit gimmicky and I don’t use it at all, along with the CH2 extension thing, but it’s nice to have the option to further incorporate additional board features using this remote. I also just realized that my remote was on 70% throttle the whole time (which works well!). Thought that was just Ackmaniacs watt mode. EDIT: nevermind i was on high speed, apparently the manual has it backwards. For me, down was high speed and up was low So in conclusion…
- Nice compact shape
- Ergnomic and comfortable in the hand
- Reliable (no cutouts so far)
- 2 speed/power modes
- CH2 extension button (not sure how to use this)
- Reverse function (haven’t found a use for it, basically swaps up/down on the throttle)
- Easy to read lights for charging, low battery, binding, and bound
- Tiny receiver
- Lanyard can easily come off
- Build quality could be better (misaligned throttle + battery came loose so I had to tape it to the PCB)
- Only 1 set of pins works for PPM signal (3 sets total, 1 for CH2 extesion, not sure what the top one is
- and lastly, easily the BIGGEST con to this remote is the auto-bind feature. Aside from possibly taking a long time to bind (anywhere from 1-10 seconds, usually faster though) it does not remember PPM positions across reboots of the remote. Once you turn it off and on you have to throttle all the way back and all the way forward after the remote binds in order for it to know min/max PPM. If you don’t do this, the SLIGHTEST change in PPM signal will give you either max acceleration or max braking. This nearly made me fly off my board the first couple times until I figured out what was wrong.
Final thoughts I can’t recommend this remote over the benchwheel for the biggest con listed above, but I can confidently say it’s my second favorite controller so far. There’s not much on the market for a reliable, slim controller that fits easily into your pocket.
As you can see the finger loop gives you great grip on the remote and the thumb rests in a natural position.
Use your middle finger in the loop for even better throttle control
With the nano-X, my thumb’s natural resting position is way in front of the actual throttle
To use the Nano-X, you’ll have to grip the remote a fair bit more forward where you don’t have your palm supporting it
Benchwheel remote for comparison. Great feeling with a light, yet accurate throttle. A light throttle makes it easy to precisely control the PPM signal, but is prone to accidental input from clothes, or other external factors