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Mar 04, 2018, 11:34 AM
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Upgrade 8103 or buy new?


Hey all, I'm considering getting back into this hobby after a 20+ year hiatus. I'm currently researching transmitters, a hell of a lot has changed huh??

I'm trying to decide if I should get a module for my 8103 or just buy a new transmitter. I like the idea of using gear I already have, but I also like the idea of being able to use things like opentx. I want to ease into this and will be starting from scratch as far as planes go, so model count is currently zero. I can't see this number getting over 4 or 5 for the next several years. Will be flying planes exclusively to start with, possibly getting into quads down the road.

What do you guys think? Been looking at the QX7 which would cost me roughly twice the price of an XJT. This is assuming my JR needs nothing, which it surely will, right?
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Mar 04, 2018, 06:23 PM
Registered User
You will need new NiMH batteries for your 8103. Then you could use the FrSky module and any of the FrSky receivers.

or

Just buy a Taranis or better and enjoy all the new features. Aloft Hobbies in CA is a very reputable supplier for FrSky products.
Mar 04, 2018, 06:50 PM
Registered User
That's the direction I'm leaning Hugh, thanks for the reply.

The question is, QX7S or X9D+?
Mar 04, 2018, 07:06 PM
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sbstnp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whomhead
That's the direction I'm leaning Hugh, thanks for the reply.

The question is, QX7S or X9D+?
You should try and hold each one and see how they feel in your hands.
Mar 05, 2018, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbstnp
You should try and hold each one and see how they feel in your hands.
Not an option at my LHS, unfortunately.
Mar 05, 2018, 04:37 PM
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sbstnp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whomhead
Not an option at my LHS, unfortunately.
Then look at it this way, if you fly thumbs, then get the X9D. If you pinch then it doesn't really matter.
Mar 05, 2018, 05:58 PM
KC
KC
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Quote:
The question is, QX7S or X9D+?
If you have to ask, I’d go with the QX7s. I don’t think you’ll miss the sliders on the X9D+. But then again, I don’t think you could go wrong with either.
Mar 05, 2018, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC
If you have to ask, Iíd go with the QX7s. I donít think youíll miss the sliders on the X9D+. But then again, I donít think you could go wrong with either.
I think you're probably right KC. I'd be surprised if I ever really need more than 5-6 channels.
Mar 05, 2018, 06:16 PM
KC
KC
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Both Tx are 16 ch radios and up to 32 ch with an external module. It’s just that with the X7S, you won’t be able to control any of those channels with sliders.
Mar 05, 2018, 06:36 PM
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Atomic Skull's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whomhead
Hey all, I'm considering getting back into this hobby after a 20+ year hiatus. I'm currently researching transmitters, a hell of a lot has changed huh??

I'm trying to decide if I should get a module for my 8103 or just buy a new transmitter. I like the idea of using gear I already have, but I also like the idea of being able to use things like opentx. I want to ease into this and will be starting from scratch as far as planes go, so model count is currently zero. I can't see this number getting over 4 or 5 for the next several years. Will be flying planes exclusively to start with, possibly getting into quads down the road.

What do you guys think? Been looking at the QX7 which would cost me roughly twice the price of an XJT. This is assuming my JR needs nothing, which it surely will, right?
If you are used to the feel of the XP8103 then the QX7 will be a step down. The 8103 was a top shelf radio in it's day and the build quality reflects that. The QX7 is an entry level radio and the build quality also reflects that (though it is much better than other similarly priced radios)

FYI a Hobbyking 3S LiFe transmitter pack will work fine in the XP8103. I used one for a long time before I moved the XJT module over to an XP9303. Just keep in mind that the JR charge jack is center negative and the battery plug inside the radio is also reversed from usual (make ABSOLUTELY SURE you have the polarity right or it can fry the radio). You can easily pop the crimp terminals out of the housing and switch them around.

If you decide later to get a FrSky radio then the XJT and the FrSky receivers can be used with it (the XJT will expand FrSky radios to 32 channels)
Last edited by Atomic Skull; Mar 05, 2018 at 06:44 PM.
Mar 05, 2018, 06:47 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Skull
If you are used to the feel of the XP8103 then the QX7 will be a step down. The 8103 was a top shelf radio in it's day and the build quality reflects that. The QX7 is an entry level radio and the build quality also reflects that (though it is much better than other similarly priced radios)

FYI a Hobbyking 3S LiFe transmitter pack will work fine in the XP8103. I used one for a long time before I moved the XJT module over to an XP9303. Just keep in mind that the JR charge jack is center negative and the battery plug inside the radio is also reversed from usual (make ABSOLUTELY SURE you have the polarity right or it can fry the radio). You can easily pop the crimp terminals out of the housing and switch them around.

If you decide later to get a FrSky radio then the XJT and the FrSky receivers can be used with it (the XJT will expand FrSky radios to 32 channels)
Thanks for the reply bud, very good info there.

I'm leaning back towards using the 8103 and an Frsky module. What about the lithium battery I'm reading about that will likely need replaced?
Mar 06, 2018, 05:59 PM
KC
KC
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Quote:
I'm leaning back towards using the 8103 and an Frsky module.
Analysis paralysis perhaps?

I try to keep things simple. With tech, I always trade up. Or you tend to be stuck with old tech tending to fall too far behind.
Mar 06, 2018, 06:03 PM
AKA 8178 - MIke Dailey
Jet_Flyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whomhead
Thanks for the reply bud, very good info there.

I'm leaning back towards using the 8103 and an Frsky module. What about the lithium battery I'm reading about that will likely need replaced?
FrSky discontinued the freestanding $46. control and display for the module. The FrSky module is pretty useless and waste of money without a FrSky transmitter that provides the control interface and telemetry.

Mike
Last edited by Jet_Flyer; Mar 06, 2018 at 06:12 PM.
Mar 06, 2018, 10:51 PM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whomhead
Thanks for the reply bud, very good info there.

I'm leaning back towards using the 8103 and an Frsky module. What about the lithium battery I'm reading about that will likely need replaced?
It uses a soldered coin battery to retain the system RAM which has a lifespan of about 10-20 years. There is an indicator that will come on if this battery is getting low.

The problem with replacing it is that if you remove it then the radio settings are lost, this includes calibration so you have to get into the service menu to recalibrate everything (and the service menu is very, very obtuse and not designed for end users). So you must maintain the power while you solder the new battery in. My XP8103 is from 1995 and the low battery warning has still not come on though.
Mar 06, 2018, 10:56 PM
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Atomic Skull's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet_Flyer
FrSky discontinued the freestanding $46. control and display for the module. The FrSky module is pretty useless and waste of money without a FrSky transmitter that provides the control interface and telemetry.

Mike
Disagree with that, the XJT is a great option to update an old FM transmitter to 2.4ghz. Not everyone cares about telemetry. I certainly don't, I fly large helicopters so it's of minimal usefulness to me.


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