PMB-NZ and PMB Electronics and RCBeacon are all us, and currently lead to this site.
This is what we do
Electronic embedded hardware and code development for small to medium sized control and interface applications. Also production of small to medium batches of units of in-house and some customers products. Also some evaluation, repair and service of electronic and control equipment – but this is low priority as it is often more work than you’d think and low return when there are bigger jobs waiting.
We do some development for customers and some for in-house products. Several years back we made general purpose control boards that sold quite well. Times change and we haven’t updated these designs, and will not as there are now many lower cost options such as Arduino and cheap single board Linux computers.
Repair and Service includes computer equipment, power supplies, some displays, industrial control equipment etc. We have repaired industrial machines, fire alarms, engine management, pool controls, communications, professional audio equipment, security equipment….and other assorted gadgets and systems.
We don’t service consumer electronics such as TVs, DVD or CD players. These are more trouble than they are worth. Parts are too difficult to get and it’s generally cheaper and quicker to get a new one.
Since about 2010 we have been designing, manufacturing and selling electronics for RC models including model aircraft and drones, as in-house products.
Some years back we also supplied a limited range of electronic components to hobbyists, schools etc. There are some standard parts we use in-house that are also useful to hobbyists and it’s more cost effective to buy larger quantities. The demand from hobbyists for components has been declining for years to almost nothing now, so it is not worth maintaining electronic component listings on the web site.
We used to source all parts through local component distributors. But now we are buying some items directly from Asia; China, Hong Kong etc. This is mostly because the local distributors are carrying less stock and have longer lead-times. Their prices are often not significantly higher than good parts direct from Asia. We were also caught out, having to redesign several products due to some critical parts being no longer available through local distributors. Designing around parts that can easily be second-sourced from Asia provides a backup without paying ridiculous prices or excessively long lead-times.
Phone and General Contact: – Please use the Contact Form or Email for general contact
NOTE: – We often work nights and when busy we generally don’t answer the phone and seldom to blocked caller ID numbers – Too many telemarketers, real estate agents and cons.
Pickup and Delivery Address:
1A Beth Street (down the back)
1A Beth Street
About This Web Site
rcbeacon.com is our main site. We have several other domains, including our original pmb.co.nz that are associated with rcbeacon. It started off as an experimental update to the original pmb.co.nz , it started with www2.rcbeacon.com, but evolved past pmb.co.nz and has now replaced it as the active site. Parts of the old pmb.co.nz are still available here for reference.
This site started off as a WordPress experiment, to have a new look and a way to better support the products. Being based on WordPress and plugins it is a lot easier to actively support than was the original pmb.co.nz site which was created back in the late 1990s (from memory) and consisted of fixed web pages that were difficult to maintain.
The experiment started with a Linux server and WordPress install, located here on site. We are lucky to have a good cable internet connection. Advert spam has been a problem and lead to us closing off user registrations/login and most comment options for a while. It’s a shame that a few pests can ruin it for others. Registrations and logins will be reviewed as spam varies.
As at May-2015 it was running a Linux server on a dual core AMD 3+GHz CPU, 8GB ram and a SSD. This will probably change due to ongoing tinkering. I am often making changes to reduce power consumption and generally tidy up.
Mid 2015 I changed the WordPress theme when I changed the shopping cart. The original cart was quite capable but far too time consuming to set up and manage for a good look. The new cart did not work properly with the original theme, so I changed the theme to one that did support the cart. The new theme is simpler and more responsive, although it took a couple of weeks of work to get everything sorted out.
Later in 2015 I changed to a PC that uses less power (90 watts down to 40 watts) for a slightly better performance. It now runs from the main 24 volt solar/battery system with mains power at night.
Site performance is always important. Some of the speed impression is due to your PC and browser. I am a fan of Firefox, due to the security and control options and have used it for many years. For a while there it seemed to be becoming bloated and sluggish, and I was looking out for an alternative. No, I don’t like Chrome. I think Google are getting into everything now and I don’t trust them. I didn’t find an alternative to Firefox, but I think it has since improved. WordPress can become slow due to plugins and I don;t like using plugins to change the way the theme appears – I think this leads to longer term maintenance and security issues. I don’t like just throwing more horsepower at it, but rather keeping plugins to a minimum, for background features that are relatively important. The current plugins add a few features and enhance security.
Using Paypal through the web site, we don’t store any credit card or high security information on the server. Security is still very important to avoid the time and trouble caused by attacks and introduced problems. It is important to keep all aspects up to date. So far it has all been very reliable.
We were accepting card details via an encrypted form and processing through a BNZ merchant account. BNZ ended this more manual service in February-2021 so I have added a Stripe payment gateway for accepting credit card payments directly at checkout. The payment transaction is handled by Stripe and we do not see or store card details. We have a number of business customers who order via email and pay using credit cards but not Paypal. The plan is to continue with the email ordering and allow customers to pay via a checkout on the web site.