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Old Jul 29, 2011, 07:37 AM
Joe W is offline
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launch low, fly high
New Zealand, Hawke's Bay, Havelock North
Joined Dec 2004
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Mini-Review
JR XG-8 Radio

Since I've not seen this radio show up on the radar for F3K, thought I would provide my viewpoint on it now that I have used it for a few months. The XG-8 is an 8 channel radio that uses JR 2.4 SS in the acronym of DMSS. This is a frequency hopping spread spectrum, if I understand it correctly. The radio uses a 2 cell LiFe battery which provides around 3 to 4 hours operating time.

For F3K, I love the light weight, my scale has it at 774 grams. Also, the grip is the best I've ever held for an F3K radio due to the recessed back, see the attached pics.

As for the mixing/programming, it has virtually everything that the 11X has, with a programming structure that seems exactly the same (I ended up transferring my Supra 11X program to the XG-8 in about 15 minutes via stepping thru the same menus and manually transferring the numbers).

The telemetry is kinda cool. Nice to see the receiver voltage on the screen. Now I can just check the voltage between flights rather than only relying on the time since last charge. I also have a low voltage alarm set for some planes so I get a reminder when the rx battery is nearing its end of charge. Looking forward to getting the altitude telemetry module in a week or so, will be fun to compare altitude estimates with measurement in real-time.

I used the radio recently in Sweden to good effect for F3K planes, and in Australia for F3J planes. After a bit of field testing, followed by several competitions using the radio, I have satisfied myself that the link performance was reliable at the limit of my visual capabilities. So far, I have used the XG-8 for thermal duration (F3J stuff) and for F3K. I am likely to slowly transfer all of my planes to the radio, I like it that much.

All the above is on the list of the "good". On the list for "improve" is the increased power draw of the receiver. I am using the 8 ch receiver at present as it has the best range capability, but it appears to use quite a bit of electrical power and my battery endurance has been cut down by almost a factor of two for F3K (not much of an issue on bigger aircraft). Curiously, my one single cell LiPo DLG doesn't appear to have as much endurance reduction. I may end up going to all single cell Lipo for DLG as it seems to work just fine for me.... I am hoping that there will be full range four and six channel receivers out by the end of the year.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 07:54 AM
The_Builder is offline
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Hey was that a Thermal ????
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That is one cool TX, it reminds me of the old school Cylon.

Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

Paul
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 08:32 AM
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Thanks Joe. Being a fan of Jr stuff this really rubs in the fact that we will not be able to get it here in the States. It probably would have been my next radio.

Thanks for making me drool over something else we cannot have .. I guess I'll have to stick with my XP9303 and FrSky module for now.....

Enjoy it!!!

Frank
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 09:02 AM
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F3K
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Thanks Joe
can you make a few foto XG-8 and 11X nearby?
thx!
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 09:26 AM
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launch low, fly high
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg(ox) View Post
Thanks Joe
can you make a few foto XG-8 and 11X nearby?
thx!
Comparison foto attached. Curiously, my other XG-8 is about 15 g lighter... maybe it needs charging.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 09:27 AM
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The increase battery draw is likely because of the telemetry.

The receiver is drawing power to transmit the telemetry signal back.

If i understand the manual correctly, the satellite supplied with the 8 channel receiver is the telemetry sender. I think it can be removed and the the RX will be the same as a Futaba FASST with 2 wire antenna. It should reduce your battery usage that way.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 09:38 AM
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I am surprised none of the companies offering telemetry has a way to turn off the telemetry.

Maybe one wants it available but not use it all the time......

Frank
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Paul Pappas AMA 42520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomPC View Post
If i understand the manual correctly, the satellite supplied with the 8 channel receiver is the telemetry sender. I think it can be removed and the the RX will be the same as a Futaba FASST with 2 wire antenna. It should reduce your battery usage that way.
Thatís exactly what Iíve done; I have no need for the telemetry features for now. Just like the Futaba or Airtronics RXís with 2 wire antennas.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Seems like doing something like the Picolario did, where one could assign a switch to turn telemetry on/off...

Gerald
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 10:28 AM
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I may be wrong but I don't think turning off telemetry will reduce rx power consumption as my understanding is spread spectrum systems maintain a 2-way link between tx and rx at all times.
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Last edited by GoFaster; Jul 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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I have a question for all those in the States, if Horizon was to import this radio but put the Spektrum stuff in it, would you concider it?

I know I was really hopeful to see DMSS here adn the remaining complement of Jr radios coming as well. I am not loving the fact that Jr has been reduced to , what is it now, 3 radios - X9503, 11x and 12X.

Not a great way to maintain a company. As a new pilot, you have no introduction to an inexpensive Jr and you do not cultivate the desire to stay with them and possibly move up to a beeter radio and relinqish the basic one as a buddy box to train others.

really disappointing the way things are going for Jr here in the US......

Frank
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 11:30 AM
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I would consider it. To me their is no option from JR for DLG's. DSM2 has proven unreliable, DSMX and DMSS are unproven but better on paper than DSM2.

The X9503 and greater series radios are $$$, and bulky. For a new Tx, IMO there are only three options, the Airtronics SD-10G, Futaba 8FG and Hitec Aurora 9.

The Futaba 8FG is, imo, the best option for DLG fliers as it is light weight, feature rich, and there is a reliable clone Rx that fits in DLG's that fits in my budget. The JR XG-8 looks like competitive solution to the 8FG, although the whole telemetry power consumption issue is problematic.

-Sam
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
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I find it funny that you say the 9503 is bulky. I thought it felt thinner and easier to grab than both the SD-10G and Aurora 9. I think the 9503 is physically thinner on the grip as well. For me the SD-10G was way too fat to hold well and when I did a spin test at the WRAM show, I almost gave the lady at the booth a heart attack. I felt I couldn't reach the levels and stick as easily as with my 9303 and the bar beneath the sticks hurt the fat pad of my thumb.

to each their own...
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 12:27 PM
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avalible

When might it be avalible in the U.S. That looks like it has some great promise for DLG.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Joe,

That's a pretty cool looking radio. Any idea what the cost is in USD for TX only? I take it the thing is not DSM compatable though? What is the size of the receivers you are using in DLGs?

Ryan
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