EZ-XPORT Module Review

Now you can add the excitement of HobbyZone's X-Port modules to any radio system with the EZ-XPORT. Let the fun begin!

The white connector is for the X-Port connector from your airplane or the module itself.

Introduction

EZ-XPORT

Weight:3 grams
Length:24mm
Width:18mm
Height:16mm
Price:$35
Available From:John Cunningham

Are you looking for a little more excitement in your RC flying? Have you ever wanted to try air-to-air combat? Are you itching to drop some paratroopers from your airplane? Maybe you started out with a HobbyZone or Parkzone plane that was equipped with an X-port, and you wish you could have some X-port fun with your current planes. If you can say yes to any of these questions, you might need to pick up an EZ-XPORT module.

I have been having a ball flying my Super Cub LP (that I reviewed here) with the Aerial Drop Module. It has been so much fun having a dozen kids running around the field at a church picnic chasing parachutes and streamer bombs! Well, my Super Cub just got a radio system upgrade, and my biggest holdout on the conversion was the loss of the X-port. Needless to say, I was anxious to give the EZ-XPORT a try!

Background

So just who is responsible for this EZ-XPORT? John Cunningham, an RC pilot from the great state of Texas, found himself in the situation described above and decided to do something about it. John cut his teeth on the HobbyZone birds equipped with combat modules. When he moved up to bigger and better planes, he missed the thrill of the fight. An electrical engineer by trade, he decided to roll up his sleeves and design the EZ-XPORT module.

Product Details

The EZ-XPORT is a small, microcontroller-based product that will add HobbyZone's X-port capability to any standard aircraft radio system. It is very small (24mm x 18mm x 16mm) and weighs a mere 3 grams.

HobbyZone has three X-port modules available: the Aerial Drop Module, the Sonic Combat Module, and the Night Flight Module. Each unit is designed to easily attach to the HobbyZone airplanes by way of a metal bracket and then plug into the X-Port that is installed in the airplane. Of course, if you don't have a HobbyZone plane, the X-Port modules will interface directly with the EZ-XPORT.

To use the EZ-XPORT you will need:

  1. EZ-XPORT
  2. one unused channel on your receiver
  3. at least one standard servo extension
  4. any of the X-Port modules offered by HobbyZone

Installation

The EZ-XPORT is very simple to install in your airplane. A small piece of Velcro or double-sided tape is all you need. I used some Velcro and in just a few seconds had it fastened to the inside wall of my Super Cub.

There is an LED on the EZ-XPORT that tells you that the unit is functioning correctly. On power-up, the LED blinks rapidly. After the initial blinking, the LED blinks when the module is activated. This makes it easy to test your EZ-XPORT on the bench.

If the X-Port lead from the module isn't long enough to reach to the EZ-XPORT, you may need to purchase an X-Port Extension.

So how do you trigger the EZ-XPORT? Well, it is best to use a toggle switch on your transmitter like the GEAR or FLAP switch. Another option is to add a push-button switch to your transmitter. John has had good luck by adding a Normally-Closed push-button switch to his transmitter. He soldered it in parallel with the GEAR switch on his transmitter. He now has the familiar push-button fire switch that he had on his old HobbyZone transmitter. Be advised that adding such a switch would most likely void your transmitter's warranty, so proceed at your own risk.

There are basically two installation scenarios for the EZ-XPORT, and it depends on which X-Port module you will be using as to which installation you use.

Aerial Drop Module and Night Flight Module Details

A short servo extension was used to connect the CTR plug to a free channel on the receiver. I connected mine to the GEAR channel. The plug from the Cub's X-port was connected to the X-Port plug on the EZ-XPORT. Installation done!

Basic Install:

  • Disconnect the battery from the airplane.
  • Using one servo extension, connect the desired channel on your RX to the CTR connector on the EZ-XPORT.
  • Power up your plane, and begin paratrooper operations!

Sonic Combat Module Details

There are a couple of options with the Sonic Combat Module. If you connect the EZ-XPORT as described in the steps below, the unit will function exactly like it did on the stock HobbyZone aircraft: It will kill the throttle for 5 seconds when a hit is scored. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on what model you are flying. So, if you wish to bypass the throttle kill function, just ignore steps 3 and 4 below, and connect the EZ-XPORT just as you did for the Basic Install. Your Sonic Combat Module will still function and sound the hit alarm, but you will no longer jeopardize your model by not having the throttle when you need it. This is a very handy feature if you are flying big, expensive models!

OK, OK...so you're itching to try the Sonic Combat Module? Well, grab two short servo extensions and follow these steps:

Advanced Install:

  • Disconnect the battery from the airplane.
  • Using one servo extension, connect the desired channel on your RX to the CTR connector on the EZ-XPORT.
  • Using the other servo extension, connect the THROTTLE channel on your RX to the OUT connector on the EZ-XPORT.
  • Connect the speed controller's RX connection to the IN connection on the EZ-XPORT.
  • Plug the X-Port connector from the airplane or module into the X-Port connector on the EZ-XPORT.
  • Power up your plane, and go shoot down your buddy!

Support

If you would like to read more about the specific installation details and find answers to some commonly asked questions about the EZ-XPORT, you can download the EZ-XPORT User Manual from the link below.

Downloads

Performance

So how well does the EZ-XPORT perform? Well, if the laughter and smiles from my three-year-old son are any indication, it worked perfectly!

Flight testing of my EZ-XPORT was performed with the Aerial Drop Module and the little paratrooper that came with it. I powered up the Cub and attached the drop module. I placed the gear switch on my Spektrum DX7 transmitter to the "1" position and loaded up the paratrooper. The module held him in place just like it used to on the old HobbyZone radio setup. Time to go!

I took off and climbed up about 100 feet for the first drop. Tyler issued the drop command by yelling "GO!", and I flipped the switch. Jumper away! Little boy running and laughing. This was repeated at least 10 times until (much to Tyler's disappointment) the Cub's flight battery started to weaken. Chalk one up for the EZ-XPORT...success!

Conclusion

The EZ-XPORT is sure to add a lot of excitement and variety to your flying. With its ease of installation and small size, you'll wonder why you waited so long to try one. The EZ-XPORT's flawless operation with my Aerial Drop Module made me a believer. It restored the full X-Port capability that I was missing. Mission accomplished!

If you would like to purchase an EZ-XPORT for yourself, contact John Cunningham by email. Retail price is $35 plus $5 shipping.

Thanks

A big thank you goes out to John Cunningham for providing the EZ-XPORT for use in this review.

Last edited by dee-grose; Oct 24, 2013 at 12:33 AM..
Thread Tools
Sep 09, 2009, 04:53 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Neat review, Andy! I might have to pick up one of these for my E-Starter. That's one thing I miss from my Super Cub days. A couple of parts here and there, and I should be in business.
Sep 09, 2009, 05:22 PM
Flying low is expensive.
pdiddyg40's Avatar
great review! sounds like a cool thing to have around.
Sep 09, 2009, 06:51 PM
just go FLY !!
brn-grose's Avatar
cool review Andy. I know our boys have fun running to catch the parachutes.
Sep 10, 2009, 01:04 AM
Wishing I was at Torrey Pines
dee-grose's Avatar
Thread OP
I'm glad you all liked the review. The EZ-XPORT is a great little device.

OH! One thing I forgot to point out in the review...

When you go dropping parachutes or streamer bombs, remember you must continue to fly the airplane! Trust me, it is easy to get distracted by the excitement and laughter down below, but you don't want to crash your plane, do you?

Andy
Sep 10, 2009, 07:47 AM
Member 120mph Club
ATIS's Avatar
Andy, dont forget to drop them UP wind... or you will spend the afternoon looking for them!! (please dont ask how I know this...LOL)
Sep 10, 2009, 06:53 PM
Why yes, I am an R/C addict!
flyrcehelis's Avatar
looks cool. I'll have to pick one of these up.
Sep 10, 2009, 07:34 PM
Wishing I was at Torrey Pines
dee-grose's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATIS
Andy, dont forget to drop them UP wind... or you will spend the afternoon looking for them!! (please dont ask how I know this...LOL)
Yep...winds aloft should be a major consideration in your pre-flight planning!

Andy
(who's also been there, done that!)
Sep 10, 2009, 08:16 PM
Fully Sending It
Xpress..'s Avatar
Cool

Might be looking at the night flight modulefor future models..
Sep 11, 2009, 12:34 PM
Up up and away!
Unlimited Vert's Avatar
I'm going to have to get a few of these for my GWS WWII planes!
Last edited by Unlimited Vert; Sep 11, 2009 at 12:39 PM.
Sep 11, 2009, 01:32 PM
Registered User
The_Fuzz's Avatar
$35 sounds a bit steep for $1 worth of plastic and circuits. I'd think they would be better off pricing this cheap to drive sales of the x-port modules.

EDIT:

Jeez, it'd help if I read the whole thing, didn't realize someone else made it. I retract my cheap-o comment!
Last edited by The_Fuzz; Sep 11, 2009 at 01:46 PM.
Sep 11, 2009, 02:26 PM
Registered User
johnpcunningham's Avatar
Fuzz,

My hope is that I can work out some type of agreement with Horizon to pick it up as a product and have them go turn-key with the design. I'm sure their volume buys would help to drive the price down and all of us can go do what we love to do - fly combat and shoot each other down.

JC
Sep 11, 2009, 03:26 PM
"Because I was pǝʇɹǝʌuı"
bighead93's Avatar
So how do I buy one?
Sep 11, 2009, 03:30 PM
Wishing I was at Torrey Pines
dee-grose's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighead93
So how do I buy one?
You read the last line of the review...tells ya how right there!

Seriously though, email John at the link provided and he'll hook you up.

Andy
Sep 13, 2009, 09:11 PM
magic bill
wjkrysak's Avatar
Andy,
Good review. Well done. The bomb drop looks like good fun. Will have to contact John for purchase. Take care. cheaha bill


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