JR XG14 14 CH DMSS Transmitter With JR X BUS Review

Come find out how this Sportsman priced transmitter offers a Pro class quality system and why serious pilots are making this their transmission system of choice whether they fly airplanes, helicopters or sailplanes.

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Introduction

JR XG14
JR XG14
Channels: 14
Band: 2.4GHz
Modulation: Dual Modulation DMSS
Included Receiver: RG731BX X-Bus
Battery: Li-Fe 6.4V 1400mAh 2S
Gimbals: Premium Professional Grade
Model Memory: 30-models internal
Programming: Airplane, helicopter, sailplane
Mixing: Standard and programmable mixing in all Flight types
Telemetry: Include with most receivers and available with others
Programming Method: Intuitive with roll selector & four push-button entry keys
Manufacturer: JR

| Available From: |< JR Americas

When the review of the JR XG14 14 channel transmitter was offered to me, I immediately said yes. I was very interested in JR's exclusive Dual Modulation Spectrum System (DMSS) protocol and wanted some hands on experience with it. The DMSS protocol is at the heart of their new, completely JR, line of XG transmitters. The XG14 is the fourth in the XG series of transmitters to become available here in the US. In this review I will give a basic brief explanation of the DMSS broadcasting protocol used in all of the XG transmitters. I will touch upon the features provided in the XG14 including discussing the new JR "X Bus" which is available for the first time with the XG14. (Programming updates will make it available for the earlier XG transmitters.) I have studied the JR X Bus and will provide an overview concerning the system. However, I am not testing it as that is not part of the scope of this review.

The XG14 has an impressive broadcast protocol and the new JR X Bus is intriguing. However, perhaps even more important to this reviewer is that it uses JR's established trademark programming system which I have used for years. Starting with my original JR 8103 (I once used 3 of them), JR XP9303, my JR X9303 and currently with my JR 11X. Having this programming system with which I am familiar was very important. If you already use a JR transmitter with the vertical roll selector and four push button entry keys you already know how to program most systems and functions in this transmitter. If this programming system is new to you I have seen it live up to its claims of being an intuitive user interface as friends and students have quickly learned and utilized the programing at the field even without the instruction manual.

Before leaving this introduction I want to share with you what this system is not. The XG transmitters are NOT COMPATIBLE with the previous JR and Spektrum DSM, DSM2 or DSMX receivers. I will discuss this more in the review but my new XG14 cannot control any of the receivers controlled by my JR X9303 and my 11X. In that regard these systems are not at all compatible. Now a more detailed look at the impressive XG14.

Kit Contents

Kit Contents

  • JR XG14 14CH DMSS Transmitter
  • Li-Fe 6.4V 1400mAh 2S battery pack installed in the transmitter
  • Integrated charging circuit in transmitter
  • 9V AC/DC adapter with Auto shutdown
  • 2 Allen wrenches, throttle spring, throttle stroke adjustment plate and transmitter screws
  • RG731BX X-Bus Receiver with binding plug
  • Instruction Manual

Items Author Supplied

  • 8 & 16 GB SD Cards (Only 1 is needed and it is optional)

JR Promoted Key Features

JR XG14 14CH DMSS Promoted Features

  • Large, backlit screen
  • 30-model internal memory
  • Airplane, helicopter and glider program options
  • Premium Grade gimbals with CNC machined aluminum bases
  • True, non shared 14 Channel access
  • SD card slot for data sharing, storage and updates (SD card not included)
  • Li-Fe 6.4V 1400mAh 2S transmitter battery pack
  • Integrated charging circuit
  • 9V AC/DC adapter supplied with automatic shutdown
  • Lightweight (820 g) transmitter design
  • Easily adapts to stick modes 1-4
  • Data entry via scroll bar and four push-button keys
  • Telemetry with receiver voltage sensor built in
  • Optional telemetry sensors available
  • Stick tension and spring adjustment
  • Dual trim options
  • Dual side slide-lever controls
  • Touch Select System for switch selection
  • New soft switch covers for improve feel and control
  • User-selected menu for frequently used functions
  • 8-channel failsafe
  • User-assigned switch functions
  • Programmable throttle cut
  • Two independent programmable timers

Reviewer's Statement

This review was performed with the author performing research and hands on testing in the field with this transmitter. Actual range tests and flight experimentation were performed in the field and programming for airplanes and sailplanes was done in the course of this review. However, as stated in the Introduction, the author has made no attempt to do sophisticated electronic testing or monitoring of the transmitter. This review was done with hands on testing of the transmitter but no laboratory testing.

JR's DMSS System of Broadcasting

The XG14 is the fourth transmitter sold here in the US that utilizes the DMSS broadcasting protocol. The first three transmitters were the XG6, the XG8 and the XG11. Thus the Dual Modulation Spectrum System (DMSS) has been in the field with actual operation with these three earlier transmitters that have been available this past year. The DMSS protocol is very different from and NOT compatible with the JR and Spectrum transmitters/receivers that use the DSM2 or DSMX broadcasting protocols. This transmitter cannot be used with those receivers or with the Horizon Hobby, Bind N Fly plane's receivers. Prior to this XG line of transmitters JR was using the DSM2 and the DSMX protocols under license from Spectrum/Horizon Hobby and these protocols can currently be found in the X9503, 11X and 12X.

JR's DMSS is a completely new and different 2.4GHz protocol. This new protocol is completely JRs and the XG series of transmitters and the RG line of receivers for them are their own separate and unique broadcasting system.

The DMSS broadcasting protocol utilizes a wider base signal than the other 2.4GHz systems currently on the market and combines aspects of Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) protocols. These offer the advantages of frequency hopping and high response. The JR DMSS protocol uses a wide signal greater than 3Mhz while most of the other systems use a narrower 1Mhz signal or less. The wider base signal allows for a much greater immunity from noise and interference yet allows for significantly faster data transfer.

The JR DMSS broadcast system allows for telemetry, two way communication, between the transmitter and the receiver and there are various sensors for data collection available that will be briefly mentioned later in this review. This telemetry information is transmitted through a separate RF stream and not through the primary channel stream so it does not reduce or share update rates with the control channels which is common among other companies telemetry systems. Receiver voltage telemetry is built in as standard in every DMSS receiver. The telemetry sensors to be used with the XG14 are made by JR. The sensors made by Spectrum and other companies are NOT compatible with the XG line of transmitters.

The important points to note are: The JR DMSS broadcast system is now here in the US and is exclusive to the XG series of transmitters and their RG series of receivers. Using 2.4GHz RF protocol it offers a secure and reliable RF link that combines DSSS and FHSS capabilities into a wide band transmission system. This DMSS exclusive combination results in not only high-speed response, but also high resistance to RF interference for what JR claims is: "Unmatched Reliability." This protocol system provides less radio interference and better control with all servos involved in controlling the same function getting their command signal at the same time. This can be very important to pilots with giant planes with multiple servos controlling a surface. Four servos for controlling the ailerons would be one example.

Custom Labels Included

Custom switch labels are included with the transmitter to be installed in the top center sections of the transmitter to identify the switches at the top front on both left and right sides of the transmitter. Pick the labels that reflect your major type of flying whether it is airplane, helicopter or sailplane. Install the appropriate stickers for that type of flying and you have just customized your transmitter. By using the custom stickers it helps make switch selection easily identifiable at a glance in what is your most popular type of flying.

XG Compatible Receivers

The jramerias.com website confused me temporarily as it listed only four receivers to use with the XG14 and all had seven or more channels. With further investigation I learned that at the time of this review those are the receivers that will be included in combination with the XG14 at some point, but that as I write this review only the 7 channel receiver that I received with my transmitter is available in America with the XG 14. The XG will work with all of the RG receivers. I have listed the receivers that are currently available.

DMSS Compatible Receivers

  • RG411B: 4CH for parkflyers
  • RG411BL: 4CH for parkflyers
  • RG611B: 6CH for parkflyers
  • RG631B: 6CH full range receiver
  • RG831B: 8CH full range receiver
  • RG1131B: 11CH full range receiver
  • RG731BX X-Bus: 7CH X-Bus receiver
  • RG1131BPU Powerbus: 11CH

From the above list of receivers it is plain that there is a wide array of receivers available at different prices and sizes to fit our aircraft needs. There are also satellite receiver/telemetry transmitters available for those receivers that do not come with a satellite.

Binding

When I first received the transmitter I looked it over carefully and didn't see a binding button. It wasn't until I read the instruction manual that I learned how to bind receivers to this transmitter. I started with the supplied RG731BX X-Bus receiver by installed the binding plug into it. With the transmitter I selected the Systems section in the transmitter. I used the dial to highlight the Bind&Range option and selected it by pushing down on the selector dial. The next screen to come up was the Bind screen. At this point I powered up the receiver. With Bind selected I pressed down on the control dial. Instantly the process was completed and the screen showed "Success" and the binding plug could be removed from the receiver.

Reportedly the small RG receivers for park flyers do not need a binding plug to bind to the transmitter. This was not verified by me as I used only the 7-channel transmitter during this review.

The JR X-BUS

Two of the receivers listed above are designed to used with the JR X-Bus. They are the seven channel RG731BX X-Bus 7CH receiver which I have and the RG1131BPU Powerbus 11CH receiver. In my research for this review I came across a video put out by JR to explain their new X-BUS system. I found it very helpful and I have posted it below. I believe this video will save me at least 10,000 words and explains the X-BUS system better than I can so I recommend it for your viewing pleasure and edification.

JR Propo XBus Video (9 min 4 sec)

Recapping the video I learned that the X-BUS system is capable of connection of up to four servos per channel via the X-BUS serial connector. This allows for connection of up to 56 servos (4 x 14ch) using the special JR Bus servo harness (Available separately). If using conventional (non X Bus) servos a harness converter is also available. This system is for use in large planes where multiple servos are needed to properly control the ailerons, elevator, rudder etc. I currently have no planes that require the use of the X-Bus system so I will be doing no hands on review of this aspect of this system. I do know my system has this capability if I ever do decide to Go Big.

I realize that this little introduction to the JR X BUS might have created some questions. However, after viewing the video I understand the JR X Bus in concept and the basics of the system. Unfortunately, I have no hands on practical experience with the X Bus and no testing of it. No X Bus hubs were supplied for this review and so we will go no further in discussing it. All I can say is that I am intrigued about this system.

First Impressions of the XG14

Its appearance is very similar to the XG8 but somewhat surprisingly smaller than the XG11. Its style was originally seen in the JR 11X. Picking up the transmitter I was struck with how light it felt compared to my JR 11X. It is smaller than my 11X and the new Li-Fe 6.4V battery pack is significantly lighter than the battery pack in my 11X yet it is a 1400mAh pack. The transmitter has a built in integrated charging circuit and a 9V AC/DC adapter with auto shut down that came with the transmitter. All I had to do to charge up the transmitter was plug the adapter into the wall and plug the adapter's connector into the transmitter charging jack in its side. I was surprised by how quickly the charger in the transmitter turned off (purple light went out) and it turned out an hour of flight time required only a half hour of charging.

The transmitter fits great in my hands and the gimbals were very smooth to operate. I fly with my thumb on top of the sticks and I have never felt gimbals that operate any smoother than these. They advertise the gimbals as being the same as those in their Top of the Line 12X. I have felt and flown with the 12X but have never owned one. I can say the XG14 still felt great in my hands after a day of flying and for me that is what I want. Their promotional material states: "Our new CNC machined premium aluminum gimbal base provides the ultimate in precision feel, with no flexing during quick and full stick extremes as found with standard plastic gimbals. JR's new premium gimbals with CNC base will truly have you 'feeling the difference'." I can verify that I found no flexing of the gimbals in my testing of the transmitter. There are several adjustments that can be made to the sticks such as stick length, tension on the stick and limiting the throttle's range of movement. I made no changes as I liked everything the way it came.

When focusing on the gimbals at the start of this review it was obvious that they felt very good. As obvious as the good feel was at first, it soon became second nature to me. I was barely conscious of it by the end of the review. When some friends would ask to feel the transmitter for themselves I would be reminded how good they felt. But there is something else that is different about the gimbals and I want you to test yourself. Examine the pictures below and see what you notice that is different about the control sticks and the switches. Take a minute and look closely at these pictures before you resume reading.

The overall feel of the transmitter was very favorable and went beyond just the feel of the gimbals.

The most striking difference is the covering on the switches. It is what everyone I tested in person noticed first. The covering is nice and gives a better grip and feel than the smooth switches on my other transmitters. But look at the pictures again if that is all you noticed.

The angle at which the sticks and switches are mounted is very different! In all my other transmitters the sticks when in the middle position would be sticking straight out. That is not the case with the XG14 and there is something different about the position of the switches as well. The overall feel of the transmitter is very favorable and that goes well beyond just the feel of the gimbals. The transmitter has been ergonomically designed to fit the pilots hand. The position of the sticks and switches were arranged with the pilot's natural hand position in mind. I have average size hands and the XG14 fits my hands perfectly. Part of that is due to the back of the transmitter which makes it easy to grip with either hand. I now only notice these small when I stop and think about it but I benefit from the improvements in design every time I use the transmitter. It quickly becomes second nature and not something I think about. It is something I enjoy without being consciously aware of it after initially noticing the difference. Somewhat like my car: I don't often think about how nice it rides until I am riding in a less comfortable car. Switch and stick positions, texture on the switches, shape of the transmitter and the fit of it in my hand and most of all how light it feels all reflect the results of the ergonomic planning that went into the XG14. All my friends who have held this transmitter have commented about or confirmed how good it feels in their hands as well.

Since these impressions are personal I STRONGLY recommend that when you have a chance at your favorite hobby store you ask to see the XG14. Examine and feel it for yourself. You decide!

Below are pictures of my JR 11X and the XG14 side by side.

My List

If you like to tweak your aircraft's programming frequently then the "My List" function can be helpful and time saving. It allows you to pick the items you adjust the most on your aircraft and make your own short list of those items to adjust. Instead of pulling up all the items by going to Info you can go to the My List that you create for yourself and just scroll through those items you selected and adjust your programming from there.

30 Model Memory, SD Card Slot and JR Programming Updates

Going into the model memory I found the advertised 30 memory slots and in the course of this review I have used five of them. I programmed a full house sailplane using the Glider Model Type. I also programmed it for my Corsair with electric folding wings from Banana Hobby using Airplane Model Type. I programmed it for two different electric sailplanes using Airplane Model type and programmed it for one of those electric sailplanes using Glider Model Type. I will discuss the electric sailplane programming in more detail latter in this review. For now I just want to say that being familiar with JR's programming I found programming for my sailplane to be just as easy as with my X9303 which has been my main sailplane transmitter. Some of the default switches were different but I could change them as desired. For those of you not familiar with JRs programming you may need to spend some time with the manual and reference material I list below but I sincerely believe it will quickly become second nature to you as it really is a sensible and intuitive programming method.

If more than 30 model memory is necessary the programming for additional planes can be entered into the transmitter in one of the 30 model memory slots and then stored on an SD memory card utilizing the memory card slot inside the transmitter. In actuality this allows for potentially hundreds of aircraft to be programmed and stored. To do this I only needed to open one of the thirty active model memory slots in the transmitter, program for an aircraft, store the information to the SD card and repeat. I can bring previously programmed and saved programming up from the SD memory card into any available slot of the active 30 model memory.

No SD card was included with the transmitter. Compatible SD cards are 16GB or less in size and should be formatted in FAT format. The SD card is installed into the transmitter via the battery compartment. The first step was obtaining a proper SD card for the transmitter. The manual advises that among the SD cards available, "Some types cannot be used." No additional clarification was supplied on what cards will or won't work except to advise that the JR-SDM2G SD card can be used and is sold separately. I think they should have given positive guidance about which cards will work with the transmitter! I went to JR Americas and Horizon Hobby's Internet website and in an admittedly quick search I could not find the recommended SD Card or any information about the SD card requirements for the XG14.

I had available two 8GB SD cards and one 16GB card that were not being used that can be used with my cameras and the transmitter. The cards were all different but were fast enough to be used with my camera gear and worked with my transmitter.

To install the SD card I removed the cover over the battery compartment. With the transmitter turned off, I slowly inserted the card until I heared it click in place. The manual shows the proper orientation of the card with the angled front corner on the right side of the card. To remove the card I just pushed it in further and it partially popped out and then I pulled it out the rest of the way.

As briefly mentioned above the SD Card can be used to store model setups and allows an almost infinite number of setups to be stored using multiple cards as needed. One card will store all the models I own. Use of computers and the SD Card allows me to share my programing with others using the XG14. The SD card will also allow the installation of future programming upgrades and updates at home without the need or bother of sending my transmitter in for the upgrade or needing to connect the transmitter to my computer directly.

The Backlit Screen, Model Names and Model Selection

Turning on the transmitter the screen lights up and it stays lit up as long as programming is taking place. Stop for between 30 seconds and a minute and the light goes while the transmitter stays on and operating. Move the dial and the light comes back on. I programmed in names for the models I used in this review. I got 8 characters per model. In Model Selection I selected the model I wanted to fly. I can have up to 30 aircraft stored in the transmitter's available memory.

Telemetry

The XG14 offers JR's DMSS dual stream, bi-directional telemetry communication system. The XG14 transmits all telemetry information through a separate RF stream, and not through the primary channel system stream. This way telemetry does not reduce or share update rates with the critical control channels which is the common way telemetry is sent with other 2.4GHz systems.

Receiver voltage telemetry is built in standard to every DMSS receiver. Add on sensors from JR give real time feedback of information from your model. The information received depends on the additional sensors installed. Up to six sensors can be added beyond the built in receiver voltage sensor. Currently available sensors include: optical and magnetically obtained RPM information, temperature sensors, additional voltage sensors and altimeter readings. Some receivers come with a Telemetry antenna and other receivers can have an antenna added that is sold separately. As stated above the RG receivers only work with telemetry sensors made by JR. Sensors made by Spectrum and other companies are not designed to use with this system. I accepted that claim at face value. I did not try to use or adapt any sensors I have for other systems in this review. The currently available sensors and some of the available antennas are pictured below.

The Telemetry sensor connection employs a bus system that does not require a relay box, allowing relay extensions and additions to be easily carried out. The bus connector allows up to six additional sensors to be connected to the system by plugging them into the bus in parallel. The information transmitted from the aircraft is monitored from the transmitter. In addition, alarms with unique sounds alert the user to the situation on board the aircraft without even looking at the screen.

Telemetry Test

I don't have sensors yet for the telemetry but the system is designed with a built in reading of the receiver power. This was tested and a picture below shows the reading on the transmitter's screen of the voltage of my ROCVTAIL electric sailplane at the receiver. The telemetry reading remained available during my maximum range test with the Radian as well from a mile plus away. The only real question I had about the telemetry system is what information do I want from my planes and that will differ by plane.

Automatic Safety Recognition System

It is necessary to select the proper model in the transmitter to get the receiver in the desired aircraft to respond. If I want to fly my Corsair for example it is necessary to have selected model 1 on my transmitter which is where the Corsair programming can be found and is the channel that was selected when I was binding the receiver to the transmitter. JR calls this their "Automatic Safety System."

The New 1400mAh Transmitter Battery Pack

The XG14 utilizes a new 6.4V Lithium Ferrite battery 2F1400 (Li-Fe 1400mAh battery pack). This is a new generation long life battery that is very light and it's use contributes significantly to a large reduction in the transmitter's weight. The charging control circuit is built directly into the transmitter. A 9V AC/DC converter is included to convert the the electricity from the wall to the 9Vs the transmitter needs. I found a fully charged battery will operate the transmitter for 6 hours and a few minutes and it takes 3 hours to recharge after that. I found an hours use required a half hour of charging.

The lighter weight of this battery and the transmitter is a noticeable ergonomic improvement I can't help but notice every time I pick up this transmitter.

Dual Rate & Exponential

Dual rates can be set independently for ailerons, rudder and elevator. Low rates cause the control surfaces to move less than high rates when so programmed. Each of these control surface has it's own control switch to select between low and high rates. The rates must be programmed into the transmitter but is very easy to do. But it doesn't stop there as each Flight mode can have the dual rates individually programmed.

Exponential is a curve adjusting function that changes the servo movement in response to stick action. This is used most commonly to make the initial stick movements to cause a reduced movement in the control surfaces while larger stick movement still get the full control surface movement. This helps make us smoother pilots as our initial stick movements can be programmed to cause less response. As with dual rates the exponential can be programmed differently for each flight mode.

Servo Speed Function

The speed of the servos can be adjusted through programming on all channels and in both directions. If you want to alter the speed a servo works at you can do that with programming. The two I adjust are slowing down the deployment of the flaps in my scale airplanes and slowing down the raising and lowering of the landing gear in some of my planes. I really enjoy the visual appearance of these changes in watching my planes as The flaps slowly lower and the gear goes either up or down in a more realistic fashion. This feature adds a lot to my enjoyment of watching certain planes in operation.

Trainer Function AKA Buddy Box

I haven't had a chance to test this function during the course of this review but in reading the manual there was nothing very special about it. It requires a cable connection between the two transmitters so it is not wireless. Instead of using the current language of Teacher and Student it refers to the transmitters the old fashion way of Master and Slave. The good news is that a variety of transmitters can be used with the XG14 and they don't have to be high end but they do have to have a PPM mode. As always the controls used in both transmitters have to be set up in an identical fashion. This is fully discussed on page 77 of the instruction manual.

Trim Adjustments: A bit mind blowing

There are multiple new ways to adjust the trims and these are perhaps most utilized by the helicopter experts in setting up their 3D helicopters. 1) An auto-display function allows digital trim operation to be preferentially displayed on the screen. 2) A trim input function can allocate trim levers to change numerical values of various functions during flight. For example this can be used with program mix values you want to adjust. 3) When inputting numerical values and simultaneously pressing the function key allows the value to be changed at a ten times faster speed. 4) The throttle curve, pitch curve, and curve mixing use a multiple point adjusting method, and you can activate an optional exponential curve function that further smooths the curves. 5) Six systems of multi-function program mixing are available. 6) A new function synchronizes the operation of servos on multiple flight control surfaces in real time. This completely eliminates the time lag where fast control inputs are required.

Some of the Additional Servo Function Controls Available

As an advanced computerized transmitter there are a number of functions available. These are explained and discussed in the Instruction manual and rather then discuss them here in detail I direct you to manual which can be view online or printed from the Internet by clicking on this link: JR XG14 Manual

There are a number of Functions specifically for Helicopters that are explained in the manual. They include: Throttle Curve, Pitch Curve, Tail Curve, Throttle Hold, Gyro Sensivity, Governor, Swash Mixing, Throttle Trim, Throttle Mixing and Flight Mode Delay. These functions are covered on pages 27-38.

Here in brief are some servo function controls commonly used by me in setting up an aircraft with my transmitter. They are also explained in more detail in the manual.

Servo Function Controls

  • Travel Adjustment: Reduce or expand the servo movement in either direction as needed.
  • Limit Adjustment: With multiple channel mixing movement may be too large such as with Elevons, this allows the movement to be limited.
  • Sub Trim: After I mechanically set up my control linkage as neutral as possible sub trim allows fine adjustment to the middle/neutral position.
  • Reverse Switch: Allows the servo to operate in the opposite direction.
  • Flap System: Flaps can be used in three stages using a 3-position switch, delay is also possible.
  • Snap Roll: Allows for programming for a snap roll left or right, up or down. Available in each flight mode where it can be set differently.

Recommended Antenna Position

For the strongest signal to be broadcast to your plane you want the side of the transmitter facing your plane and not the tip of the transmitter as we sometimes see new pilots trying to do. JR recommends the transmitter antenna to be in the position showed at the start of this section and tilt the transmitter slightly as necessary to have the side of the antenna facing our aircraft. I share this knowledge with newer pilots so if they have range problems they know to hold their transmitter so the side of the Antenna is facing their aircraft and not the tip of the antenna. I experienced no range problems at all with the XG-14 during the course of this review. Knowing the correct position for the antenna helps that when flying at some extreme distances as I sometimes due with my larger full house thermal sailplanes.

Transmitter Range

JR has a program in the transmitter for conducting a range test and it starts by going to the main menu; "System" and selecting "Bind&Range to get to the range check. The transmitter reduces power and the LED will blink on the transmitter to indicate that it is in the lower power setting. I tested the functions from about 90 feet and everything was good to go. I used my Radian electric sailplane for the range check and next tested the transmitter at full power with the help of a friend at Kingdon Air Park in Lodi, CA. With the Radian approximately six feet above the ground I tested throttle, rudder and elevator from a half mile down the taxi way as a friend held the plane. Everything was good. I did a twilight flight and tested our eyesight and control remained good even when the plane was a speck in the sky. The final test was at night before the moon came up and I had complete control of my LED illuminated Radian electric sailplane a mile up in the sky. It passed my actual range test as I can't see the Radian at the distance she was at in the daytime, only with her LEDs can I see her at that distance at night.

Assignable Switches (Beginners Use with Caution!)

In the past I have seen pilots do some of the strangest assignments of control functions, just because they could. Then at the field they ask: "What is wrong with my transmitter?" I am a strong believer in leaving things alone if they aren't broken. I say this because I don't want to change things just for the sake of changing things. And never change something one way in one plane and three different ways in three other planes just because you can. If assigning a function to a given switch makes sense to you in one plane it should hopefully make sense to do it that way in all of your planes. I am a great believer in consistency and uniformity when it comes to programming. Now getting down from my soap box...

The XG14 has a number of functions that can be assigned to different switches and some even to the throttle stick. Properly used by the experienced pilot this can be a really nice feature. (I even use it with my timers.) To use it go to the System List and highlight the "Device Sel" menu item and select it. On the next screen highlight the function you want to move. I highlighted the Aux 2 function. Next select it by pushing down on the roller. The switch can be selected by highlighting the desired switch with the roller and selecting it. I selected the elevator dual rate switch and selected it, Aux 2 was thereby moved to the elevator dual rate switch by doing that. When used for the right reason with planning and forethought this can be a great feature and of real assistance to the pilot in setting up an aircraft. Additionally, it is easy to reassign to the original switches if that is desired. But if not done with thought and planning it can be a road to disaster. When I use it I make a note of what I have done in my record book and a card with the function that stays with the plane.

Computerized Mixes

All three Flight types have computerized mixes available. For example for airplanes there are the standard mixes of: Aileron to Rudder, Aileron-To-Flap Mix, Elevator to Flap Mix, Rudder to Aileron/Elevator Mix and six more that can be custom programmed to meet the needs of the most creative of pilots. To assist with supervising and watching these functions there is even a Mix-Monitor Screen. This provides a convenient way to determine which mix functions are activated.

Three Timers

The JR XG14 has three timers. One timer is an integrated timer with each model and two timers are independent, are extremely flexible, and easy to use. They are individually programmable, can be used to count down "Down Timer" or as stop watches "Up Timer." With two of my electric sailplanes I have tested the timers for this review using one as a "Down Timer" starting at the 10 minute mark (It comes programmed for ten minutes.) and one as a stop watch.

The integrated timer records individually for each model. Per the instruction manual when it reaches 100 hours it returns to zero. This timer is designed to be used as a reference for maintenance for each aircraft. This timer can be reset through programming when desired. I liken it to the device in my car that tells me when it is time to change the oil in the car. That device runs off the odometer and I can reset it when ever I want but it is best to reset after changing the oil. The integrated timer is a helpful reminder of how much the aircraft has been on and if I have items I want to check periodically it can help keep track of aircraft use.

The other two timers initially come inhibited and have to be activated to work. The Down Timer comes programmed for a ten minute count down. An alert signal sounds when 1 minute is left and every ten seconds thereafter. At ten seconds it sounds every second. This is very helpful when trying to fly a sailplane a precise period of time and landing at an exact time point. The timer can be programmed for up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds maximum for count down. When the timer reaches zero it starts counting up for what is essentially going over time.

The stop watch or up timer can time up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds. It gives an audible signal every minute it is operating. Function can be allocated to different switches to start and stop the function for the timer in either timing mode.

To achieve the more advanced levels in the League of Silent Flight some long duration flights are required including a four hour at the slope for level IV and an 8 hour for level V. The integrated timer can be reset and used to time these longer flights if so desired by the pilot.

I like that the two timers appear on a special timer screen (above) or on the aircraft's main display screen (below) if the timing is of that great an importance to the pilot.

Stick Position Switch (Timing with the Throttle Stick)

I know that some people would like to use the throttle stick to start and stop their timer. This is helpful with electric planes and electric sailplanes to track the amount of battery operation via the throttle run time. This can be very help when flying an electric powered plane at the slope on a weak wind day when throttle has to be applied at times to keep the plane in the air. Did I use five minutes of run time or six minutes of run time? Do I feel lucky? Using the Stick Position Switch we can program to turn functions on/off to any stick position. It can control "Virtual Switches" and can be used to turn mixes on and off or in this case a timer. There are two virtual stick position Switches available for programming.

To test this out I went to the System list with one of my electric sailplanes in the Airplane Mode Type and selected Stick Position Switch. There I programmed SPSO to be on with the throttle half way on or more and off below half throttle by selecting the "SYM:Off" option. But the Stick Position Switch instructions didn't explain how to link to a virtual switch for the timer. I went back to the main screen and clicked on timer one. In timer one I clicked on start and got a screen with a number of options. The first option was SPSO which I selected. I went back to the previous screen and went to the stop switch and clicked on it. I was back in the selection screen and I again clicked on SPSO to be the stop switch. I repeated the process for the second timer. My timers were now controlled by the throttle stick for that plane. They go on at half throttle and off below half throttle.

I returned to the main screen for the electric sailplane and moved the throttle up more than half way. Both stop watches started as soon as the stick was half way up. Both stopped when I lowered it below half way. The timers were set to my throttle stick and I was a happy pilot.

Programming the XG14 for a Basic Plane

I found the manual described how to program each function and each item on the system list. While there was no step by step programming process I had no difficulty programming the controls for a basic plane. I used my Corsair from Banana Hobby and I was able to plug in the throttle, ailerons, elevator, rudder and flaps into channels 1-6. I programmed in dual rate and exponential for the ailerons, elevator and rudder. The gear worked fine and required no programming. I programmed the flaps for three positions after briefly checking the manual. The folding wings used channel 7 and worked with a flick of a switch. I powered the LEDs from the battery connector. That was all pretty straight forward and was quickly done with only a couple minutes of double checking on the flaps.

Programming for Helicopters

As I have admitted in past reviews that while I fly helicopters I don't know much about programming them. I can fill in the programming information supplied by a manufacturer but I don't do too much more than that. Fortunately, that has served me well enough thus far. In preparing this review I had had some e-mail communications with helicopter flying friends including a friend in Japan who flies a lot of R/C helicopters. He has used an XG transmitter for programming and flying helicopters belonging to friends and he says it has been very well received in the helicopter community. The link between helicopter and pilot is excellent and the response time is excellent. He had nothing negative to say about the XG transmitters for use in flying helicopters and that includes advanced 3D helicopter flying. From what I have heard from him and other friends is that the use of the XG transmitters is probably catching on quickest in the helicopter communities and that is now taking place to some extent here in the US as well. This is not surprising because JR does make some very nice RC helicopters and is well known in the helicopter community.

For those of you who are serious helicopter pilots I recommend you look at the manual on the Internet and check out the feel of the transmitter at your local hobby store. In talking and e-mailing with others I heard nothing negative about the XG line of transmitters for use with helicopters. My friends that fly large helicopters have interest in the X-Bus but no hands on experience with it yet. I have not had time to do any hands on testing with a helicopter during this review.

Programming Flight Modes for Full House Sailplanes

The ability to easily program my full house sailplanes is what first lead me to buy a JR 8303, then a JR XP9303 followed by an X9303 which has been my primary sailplane transmitter. Programming the Flight Modes can be done basically the same way with the XG14 as with my X9303.

Programming a full house sailplane can be a bit complicated. The receiver channels are slightly different when using Glider Mode Type. Channel 1 is no longer throttle it is instead left aileron and channel 2 is right aileron For full house sailplanes I like to use five Flight Modes. A flight mode represents a sailplane set-up and can include a number of specific items that I will cover below.

I returned to my JR programming bible by Mr. Sherman Knight who wrote an article on programming the 9303. His article is still available today at Horizon Hobby and can be found by clicking here: JR Team Member Sherman Knight's article I highly recommend this article as an assist to using JR programming. I also found the sailplane manual for the 9303 transmitter to be very helpful in programming despite the differences in the transmitters. A number of basic programming points are still similar for the older manual to be helpful. The 9303 sailplane manual can be found at: 9303 Sailplane Manual Building upon the information from the Manual, Joe Wurts has an article with his recommendations for modifying their recommended sailplane setup and Joe is recognized as one of the world's best RC sailplane pilots. His article can be found here: Joe Wurts Article. I believe those resources to be very helpful.

I looked for discussion of Flight Modes for sailplanes in the XG14 Instruction Manual and I found the basic information for gliders on page 20 of the manual. The Flight Modes are not activated by default. With the transmitter set in Glider Mode Type I went to "Device Select." By selecting Speed it became possible to access Cruise and Thermal flight modes as well. By next selecting Launch I was able to access all five flight modes I have used in the past. They actually have eight choices with the additions of Dist, Zoom and Free but I must save those for another discussion.

In each flight mode the following list of functions can be individually set or modified:

Listed Programmable Functions

  • Dual Rate & Exponential
  • Servo Speed
  • Differential
  • Throttle Curve
  • Pitch Curve
  • Tail Curve
  • Gyro Sensitivity
  • Governor
  • Mixing Functions
  • and more

I am primarily interested in: Dual Rate & Exponential, Mixing Function and "more." The more includes camber settings for the ailerons and flaps. So the flight mode options I want were all there.

I used the XG14's Flap and Auxiliary 2 switches to change to and through the five different flight modes. Launch is the first flight mode I use and it has several degrees of down in my flaps and ailerons. In Cruise Mode I have neutral trailing edges for normal thermal searching flight. In Speed Mode I have 2-3 degrees of reflex in the flaps and ailerons. This causes my sailplane to drop a bit more quickly than in Cruise Mode but it lets the sailplane fly faster and is used to get out of sink or to fly over to a spotted thermal. My Thermal setting has a bit more down flap then my launch position but I have my ailerons neutral. I use it to have a slightly slower flight for trying to core a small thermal and to help get more lift from my wing as well. My fifth and final position is the Landing position and I use a combination of down flaps and up ailerons (Crow) so that both serve as brakes. I also have a little down elevator mixed in for some sailplanes as otherwise those sailplanes may balloon up a little. Final adjustment is a matter of trial and error at the field with flight testing. The instruction manual does a good job of taking us through Camber Adjustment so I won't go into detail here. Thanks to this programming flexibility with the flipping of one or two switches I can have any of my five Flight Modes and the different wing shapes through movement of the sailplanes trailing edges.

Electric Sailplanes Basic and Full House

With older transmitters it was best to use the Airplane Mode Type or the equivalent to that and have limited set ups for the wing of the electric sailplane with three positions for the flaps. That can easily be done with the XG14 and I used Airplane Mode with both my Radian sailplane (Only throttle rudder and elevator) and my RocHobby V-Tail and it did a good job of controlling both. However, the XG14 has a Motor System function that allows me to use the Glider Mode Type and still control an electric motor.

Warning! When using a switch to run the motor it is much easier to activate the motor by accident and if that happens the pilot must be aware what switch needs to be switched to turn the motor off.

To control the motor of my RocHobby V-tail in Glider Mode Type, I plugged the ESC into channel 5 on the receiver, the Gear channel. Instead of using the supplied Y-harness I used two 12" aileron extensions to connect the left and right ailerons (Marked with different color electrical tape for proper connecting at the field.) to receiver channels 1 & 2 respectively. The speed controller must have linear transition to activate this function (mine does). Those were the only changes required at the plane, the rest involved programming with the transmitter.

The Motor System function is used to switch off the motor (hold) by using the gear switch (default) or by selecting various flight mode positions. By using the Delay function it is possible to smoothly run the motor from low rpm to higher rpm in a linear transition. The instructions say to activate this function it is necessary to set the "Gear" channel or the channel being used as "Moto" under the System List. Unfortunately, they didn't say how that was done. By exploring for a minute or two I discovered under the Device Select Option that by going to Gear and selecting it I had three options: INH, ACT or Motor (intuitive programming at work). By selecting Motor I continued this programming option. With that selection made I could now get into the Motor System Option which had previous been "INH." Inside the Motor system I set the hold postion for +15% and I set the delays for 1 second in each direction. When I had the transmitter and the plane both properly powered up the three position gear switch was off in the bottom position, slow speed in the middle position and full throttle in the top position. I could fully program my RocHobby V-Tail sailplane with its flaps, two servo ailerons, V-tail with a motor sailplane. SWEET!

More?

There is always more that could be tested and discussed but I believe I have covered the points I wanted to cover and I have used up all available space.

Is This For a Beginner?

The system is designed to meet the needs of the advanced sport flyer to expert pilot. That said there is no reason why a beginner can't start with the JR XG14 and just use a few of the features initially as they learn to fly. While I doubt that many beginners start with higher end equipment I do know a few helicopter pilots that jumped in with higher end equipment in the past and I wouldn't be surprised if some go that route with the XG14.

Flight Photo Gallery

Conclusion

The XG14 is ergonomically designed with a light, well balanced feel. The sticks and switches are positioned at angles toward my hands making them easy to use and located to make the switches and sliders easy to find so I don't have to look for my controls while flying my aircraft. The SD card capability allows me to share my programs with others as well as to save them in my computer and have the programming for an almost unlimited number of models available in the transmitter while up to 30 models at a time are available on the transmitter's internal memory. I will be able to upgrade the XG14's software at home using my computer and the SD card when/if upgrades are made. Lots of goodies both new and continued from earlier JR transmitters as discussed above in this review. Everyone who has handled my transmitter has enjoyed the feel of it in their hands. Most important, I love the feel of the transmitter.

I appreciate the DMSS protocols, the transmission method and separate telemetry transmission system as explained by JR. From my limited field testing it works very well and has proven to me it is definitely a full range transmitter. I look forward to seeing the future development of the X Bus system with new servos designed specifically for use in the X Bus system.

I enjoy simply holding the XG14 when I am flying. The transmitter fits comfortably in my hands and can be firmly grasped with either hand. I can fly all I want for one day (up to 6 hours) on one charge (3 hours maximum) with this transmitter. For my needs and purposes this transmitter may have more bells and whistles than I will ever need. Yet at the price I don't feel they are making anyone pay for these additional X-Bus features. It is almost as if they included it as a bonus that may or may not be needed. Sophisticated software for powerful yet easy programming that gives excellent control of planes, sailplanes, quadcopters and helicopters and with 14 individual channels of control. Very nice!

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • JR's tried and true programming system
  • Great feeling gimbals
  • Ergonomically designed transmitter with slanted sticks and control switches for easier operation
  • Wideband DMSS transmission protocols
  • 30 Model internal memory/ virtually unlimited model memory with use of memory card
  • Dual stream bi-directional telemetry communication system through a separate RF stream
  • Built-in telemetry of the power to the receiver with the included 7 channel receiver
  • Assortment of additional telemetry sensors available.
  • Bus system allows use of existing servos with special harness
  • Bus system will be able to use special servos designed for the system with a custom harness
  • Field tested as a full range transmission system
  • Programming basics included for planes, helicopters and sailplanes

Minuses

  • Does not work with prior JR receivers with DMS2 and DSMX transmission protocols
  • No SD card included nor information about card requirements given other than 16GB is largest one that can be used
  • Manual Function Pictures pages 13 and 14 are for a Mode 1 transmitter and we use Mode 2 in North America.
  • No step by step programming instructions included for setting up aircraft
Last edited by Michael Heer; Jan 06, 2014 at 09:04 PM..
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Jan 09, 2014, 07:27 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
It looks like a nice system. Can you tell me what the switch layout is like? For instance, I fly DLGs and I'd like a momentary switch on the top left hand side for launch. Why? Because generally you hold this switch just long enough to allow for rotation of the plane right after release.
Jan 09, 2014, 10:30 PM
Keith Thomas
keithtsr's Avatar
Excellent review Michael.

The one thing that took some getting use to for me on the 11X was the size. Don't get me wrong it took like 5 minute to fall in love with it but the XG 14 is one super nice looking radio.

Thanks for you work here!
Jan 11, 2014, 07:34 AM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
To Mr Wiz:
You can program in multiple flight modes and some switch selection is possible. Have Launch and Cruise mode and switch between them with a flick of the switch. I am away from home so I don't have the manually with me but you can check it out on line and see the available switches you can use for your flight mode selection. I listed the items you can individually select/adjust for each flight mode. Changing camber by adjusting the flaps and ailerons being the one I focus on most in my flight mode setups. Mike H
Jan 11, 2014, 08:07 AM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
For DLG flying, having the launch mode on a momentary switch prevents that mode from ever unintentionally being active. I imagine, I could replace one of the toggles with a momentary switch. I just don't understand why more radios don't come with one. DLG pilots can't be the only ones that need a switch like that.
Jan 12, 2014, 07:35 PM
Registered User
It looks like a great transmitter. As the owner of a 9303 (upgraded to 2.4) and a 9503 this should be my next transmitter. But without Spektrum compatibility I have to buy something else because I'm not willing to buy new Rx for all my planes and helis. JR needs to license DSM2/DSMX otherwise they will loose most of their previous customers.
Jan 12, 2014, 08:02 PM
Keith Thomas
keithtsr's Avatar
It would not surprise me that JR would loose some of their customer base over the DSM issue. I do think that most will eventually move to the new protocol just to stay with JR. I'm one of them.

JR could help. I don't know what JR is using for their business plan but as a business man I would implement what I call a loss leader. Drop the price on the low end receivers and make it easier for people to replace DSM with DMSS.

Having owned just about every brand of radio since 1970 it's JR or bust for me. So I'll pay the price for JR quality no matter what it is, your planes will thank you.lol
Jan 12, 2014, 08:21 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by malcolmm
It looks like a great transmitter. As the owner of a 9303 (upgraded to 2.4) and a 9503 this should be my next transmitter. But without Spektrum compatibility I have to buy something else because I'm not willing to buy new Rx for all my planes and helis. JR needs to license DSM2/DSMX otherwise they will loose most of their previous customers.
They can't and won't since spektrum and jr broke their contract. It is my understanding that spektrum broke the contract when they started making servos and radios with more than 6 channels. JR made a bad business decision teaming with spektrum and in return got used by spektrum to build their own empire in RC gear. That is why JR now uses DMSS and is going a different direction. JR lost the majority of the market to the company that they helped get off the ground. That is one reason I do not buy spektrum gear any more. It was wrong of spektrum to stab JR in the back. That is why it is nice to see JR back in the game.
Last edited by airwild; Jan 12, 2014 at 11:09 PM.
Jan 12, 2014, 09:47 PM
jean-claude Terrettaz
bidule's Avatar
I totally agree with this review. Own one XG 14 for 2 month now and I love the feel .
It's my Aerofly flight simulator transmitter and my Electra glider. + this new JR XG14 is so light will be perfect for those long ALES competition!
I will use the Xbus system for my jets.
Jan 13, 2014, 04:58 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by airwild
They can't and won't since spektrum and jr broke their contract. It is my understanding that spektrum broke the contract when they started making servos and radios with more than 6 channels. JR made a bad business decision teaming with spektrum and in return got used by spektrum to build their own empire in RC gear. That is why JR now uses DMSS and is going a different direction. JR lost the majority of the market to the company that they helped get off the ground. That is one reason I do not buy spektrum gear any more. It was wrong of spektrum to stab JR in the back. That is why it is nice to see JR back in the game.
JR certainly made a poor business decision teaming up with Spektrum. Every such properly written agreement would specify each partners responsibilities under the contract. If Spektrum really did break the written contract then JR should sue them. More likely Spektrum outsmarted JR and suggested they had no plans to develop Tx over 6 channels, but didn't put it in the agreement.

I would love to buy the XG14 but even if I was willing to buy all new receivers I don't think I would. The LHS where I bought my 9303 and 9503 told me they haven't sold a single JR tx with the new 2.4 protocol. This is a fair sized hobby shop, and the owner said not a single customer asked about the new JRs. I'm not willing to buy what no one else is buying locally, even when I know the product is great, which it is in the case of the XG series.
Jan 13, 2014, 08:50 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
I switched from JR to Airtronics a few years back and nobody locally was flying Airtronics at the time. These days, there are several of us and I didn't suffer in the slightest in the beginning. I'm not saying your logic is wrong. We all have our rationalizations for our decisions. I'm just saying that what the LHS sells isn't necessarily a reason to discount the stuff they don't sell.
Jan 15, 2014, 08:22 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz
It looks like a nice system. Can you tell me what the switch layout is like? For instance, I fly DLGs and I'd like a momentary switch on the top left hand side for launch. Why? Because generally you hold this switch just long enough to allow for rotation of the plane right after release.
I'm not 100% sure on the XG14, but on my 9503 and my DX18 I was able to program the "Trainer Switch" to work with various functions. I've used the momentary switch for bomb drop on a couple of planes and for launch mode (extra up elevator) on several of my hand launch planes.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Jan 15, 2014, 08:40 AM
jean-claude Terrettaz
bidule's Avatar
Quote:
'm not 100% sure on the XG14, but on my 9503 and my DX18 I was able to program the "Trainer Switch" to work with various functions. I've used the momentary switch for bomb drop on a couple of planes and for launch mode (extra up elevator) on several of my hand launch planes.

McD
Yes, off course you can program this TRAINER switch . For me me is the on/off for motor for my F5J Electra
This radio is very addictive ...
Jan 18, 2014, 10:41 AM
Registered User
tulz43's Avatar
Can someone explain how you get 14 channels from just xbus? I'm confused on how you would do it.
Jan 22, 2014, 06:49 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by tulz43
Can someone explain how you get 14 channels from just xbus? I'm confused on how you would do it.
Option 1 (Available today)

RG731BX Receiver
XB1-HB5 - Requires Power OR,
XB1-HB6 - Get Power from Receiver
XB1-CV4 - Harness 4-port (You need 2 or 3)

You connect each harness (XB1-CV4) to the hub (XB1-HB5/6). You then connect the hub to the receiver. Easy so far.
Now the tricky part. If we use 3 harnesses then we have a total of 12 connectors. With the receiver we now have a total of 19 connection points.

4-port harness
Default for each harness is 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 for each connector. The first number represents the channel, the second number is the sub ID. So for example, if you have 2 aileron servos and 2 flap servos on one wing, you would change each connector to say 2.1, 2.2, 6.1, 6.2. This can be done directly from the XG-14 transmitter or a JR programming board.

I have a jet with the following configuration:

RG731BX Receiver (Powered by LiFe 1450 mAh)
Channel 1 - vacant
Channel 2 - To Gyro for Ailerons - From Gyro Y to each aileron.
Channel 3 - vacant
Channel 4 - To Gyro for Rudder - From Gyro to Rudder
Channel 5 - vacant
Channel 6 - vacant
Channel 7 - vacant

So, as you can see, not using much on the base receiver.

Harness 1
Connector 1 - 6.1 (Left Flap)
Connector 2 - 6.2 (Right Flap)
Connector 3 - 3.1 (Left Elevator)
Connector 4 - 3.2 (Right Elevator)

Harness 2
Connector 1 - 1.1 (Throttle)
Connector 2 - 5.1 (Gear)
Connector 3 - 9.1 (Aux for Brakes)
Connector 4 - vacant

Harness 3
Connector 1 - 10.1 (Aux Gyro Sensor for Ailerons)
Connector 2 - 11.1 (Aux Gyro Sensor for Rudder)
Connector 3 - 12.1 (Aux for Nose Steering)
Connector 4 - vacant

So, in total I'm using 12 channels, however I have 2 connectors free that could be used for 2 more channels.

Option 2 (Coming)

JR have just released a Zero/Infinite Channel Receiver

http://www.jramericas.com/233963/JRPR03429/

Using this receiver it would look like:

INFINITY XBUS DEDICATED DMSS RECEIVER
XB1-HB5 or HB1-HB6
XB1-CV4 Harness (4 would give you 16 connections)

Nothing plugs into the base receiver, everything is connected and configured through the xBus harness.

Go to https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...1921242&page=8

For further explanation and pictures.

Thanks,

John
Team JR


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