Almost a year ago, I started reading about this “reliable, cheap and high performance” regulator, the Dualsky VR-8L, including the scientific, but not so scientific measurement test done on archeli by ozace. So how is it possible that in today’s world, something can be cheap, new and yet good, I wondered. From my limited experience in life, things can only come in a combination of two out of the three above mentioned “options”. Reliable with good performance, cheap and reliable..etc…but never cheap, reliable and yet of high performance. And the verdict is out after a year of torture and abuse.

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DualSky? What is it? From China? Does it even deserve a place on my rx tray? I asked these questions too. I was worried about its long term reliability. In fact, I was so paranoid that I had to test the regulator in my buggy first and unforunately, during the monsoon season.

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Glad to say, it survived the oil, moisture and shocks. It didn’t appear to cause any form of glitch or interference even for my non-pcm TX/RX system on my buggy. I thought since it was rugged enough for a buggy, it should be too for my heli…but of course, if you don’t trust the dualsky label, you can always go for the Flight power OEM version, at 2-3x the price.

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Some key features of this regulator…

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-5v to 6v adjustable output via a little knob/screw at the side-note, its 5-6v not 5v or 6v. The voltage is adjusted by turning the little screw, I secure it by adding a small piece of tape. Unforunately, this unit is a single voltage output, which means you will need a step down for the rudder if you want to run 6v.

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-Large heatsink-weighs a hefty 64g with all the wires and the switch.

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-Dual input and Output leads-No more 3amp limit of a single servo connector. I am almost certain they copied this from somewhere…was it fromeco arizona?? In any case, the JR connectors fit the Flight power evo-rx ones perfectly. I know many are against using these connectors, but with dual connectors, you are looking at a continous 6amp, which should be more than sufficient.  Do note that the unit in the photo is an older unit without the sticker label for each wire/connector. The new ones(like the FP unit and the one weighted above) will come with the labels.

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-Wires come secured and gooped.  The wires are properly gooped which should resist some cracks and fatigue of wire joints due to the vibes we have.

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-Failsafe Switch-A little loose I feel, you can choose not to use it though. How this failsafe switch works is that when it is in the “open circuit” position, the regulator will allow the current to pass through. Like most regulators with such a system, it still does draw a small amount of current even with the switch in off position, so remember to unplug your lipo after the weekends.

-3LED to tell you status of your LIPO pack

-CHEAP @ 20USD

The SPECS…A picture paints a thousand words…

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This regulator is a linear design, therefore, it is only capable of its rated 50W output when the output is 6v and input is in the 7.2-7.4v region. It is actually designed to dissipate 10W of heat, which means that at 5v output with a 2s lipo input, the VR-8L is probably only capable of 5amp continous ouput. Not a lot, but still more than what the other regulators in the market can realistically do. According to the test done by ozace, at an continous output of 5.5amp @6v, the temperature rise above the ambient was just 15degree C after 2mins. That is better than all the other regulators in the same test, including the arizona, align 6amp, duralite 6v, WR hercules and emcotec dspi.

While todays electronic are not quite power saving, they don’t really consume as much as we think, at least not at 5-6v input. While many servos are rated to draw 2-3amp when stalled, in real world usage, we will never see those continous draw. Why? Because assuming that your electronics are drawing just a “mere” 6amp, you will empty a 2100mah lipo in just 2x 9mins flight. Are you draining your rx pack that fast?
Nonetheless, its the peak draw that is the concern here, which brings us to the flight test. I have had 150+flights on one unit and almost 40 on the other, one in a 50 and one in a 90, both running digitals. So far, I have not been able to get any glitch or battery failsafe symptoms.

Conclusion

Like what Ozace has concluded, this is a cheap ripper unit. There is also a 5amp version, which I personally don’t recommend for a fully decked heli because it does not come with the dual rx output and the heatsink is significantly smaller. It would have been great if Dualsky had included a vibration damping system like the cat spline on the fromeco arizona. It has worked reliably for me, even after crashed and user errors. One thing I like about these is that there is no cut off voltage. What that means is that even with a 4.8v nicd pack, it still allows the full 4.8v to pass through, which means that you can still plug your old nicd packs in for bench settings if your lipo is still charging. The JR connectors used on these and the flightpower evo-rx packs fit perfectly and are still tight even after a year of weekend flying.
In all honesty, I would still buy this regulator even at twice its current price.
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