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Jan 20, 2005, 07:14 AM
Official Overcomplicator
GroundBound's Avatar

If the JR 9303 is the dream, then what's the next best (affordable) thing?

Need your help and advice here, guys. Please give it up for a newbie. I'm getting into planes and would like advice on a radio.

I went to the local shop the other day and took a look at a few different radios. The feel, switch actuation, etc. of the JR radios really made me feel that they are the way to go. Now the dilemma...

The 9303 is my ideal radio. The programmability is great, it's got enough channels, and would probably last long enough until I handed it off to my kids or graduated to 1:1 scale. But the darn thing is expensive.

Can I justify the cost by saying I'll keep it for 5+ years, or is there a really good programmable radio out there for around $200 that would serve as an intermediate step?

What have you guys learned in your experience?

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Jan 20, 2005, 10:51 AM
Stress Be Gone
GBR2's Avatar
You could go with the JR8103. The Optic 6 might also be a good choice. Really depends on what you are looking for in features. Also as you said you are a newbie, do you really want to do RC as a long term hobby or is it something that is interesting but something you will do on and off? If the former, then buying the 9303 would probably be a good thing, if the latter than a far less expensive radio might fill your needs for now better. Only you really know what you want.
Jan 21, 2005, 05:28 PM
Official Overcomplicator
GroundBound's Avatar

More Clarification...

Sorry for the sketchy information. Let me fill in the blanks a little.

Yes, I am in this for the long haul. I have a dream, and that dream involves large scale planes with retracts, flaps, multiple engines, etc...

In the short term I will need things like V-tail mixing, flaperons, etc. on a 4 or 5 channel system. By short term I mean this spring.

If I am so quickly running very near the ceiling on a 6-channel radio, does it make sense to spend the money on a 9-channel right away or should I take advantage of the current 6-channel value and wait for the "trickle down" of today's and tomorrow's Windows-based programmable systems into the 9-channel range?

UPDATE: I have recently found the JR 6102 PCM/FM system packaged with an ultralight 6-channel FM receiver (R610UL) and four S241 servos for $240 at Horizon Hobby. How can I pass this up?

Jan 21, 2005, 10:40 PM
Registered User
Peter Khor's Avatar
Except for the lack of a built-in count down timer, I'm sure you'll be more than please with the 6102; I got one to replace a 662, and fwiw I've ended using it much more than my 8103 ... planning to u/g my 8103 to 9303 sometime this year.
Jan 21, 2005, 11:32 PM
Registered User
I have both a 6102 and 8103. I like them both and for the money the 6102 is hard to beat. Like Peter said it doesn't have a count down timer. If you don't mind that, it's a great radio. I use the 8103 on my full house glider since it has better programming for airlerons, flaps, butterfly etc.
Jan 22, 2005, 12:32 AM
Full disclosure, not sponsored
Just got the 6102 and I love it. Cant beat it and my thinking was it will be a long time before I need more radio and by then there will be something even better and probably not much more expensive. My 1st computer radio cost $260.00 forever ago and was nothing compared to the 6102.
Jan 22, 2005, 06:46 PM
RCAPA #005
MGBGTRacer's Avatar
You could always go with a used 338 or one of the other older 8 or 9 channel radios.
Jan 25, 2005, 08:57 AM
Official Overcomplicator
GroundBound's Avatar
Thanks for all your input, guys!

I ordered my brand spankin' new JR xp6102 packaged with a 610UL FM Ultra Light receiver and four S241 subMicro servos for a mere $240. The perfect electric setup, I think...

Jan 25, 2005, 09:48 AM
RCAPA #005
MGBGTRacer's Avatar
wow- not bad at all. Those servos alone would have been $125 at LHS/retail prices. Where did you get it from?
Jan 25, 2005, 11:45 AM
My other TX is a P4000.
Joedy's Avatar
Consider this, by the time you purchase one radio and then grow out of it and purchase your next one, you could have merely purchased the 9303 from the start and won't have to re-learn a whole new system later on.

Ironically, you will end up saving money in the long run and end up enjoying all the capabilities of top end radio from the beginning

I fly MPX. What I spent over the years upgrading to a Profi 4000 from one radio to the next... I could have three of them by now.

But brand aside, the concept applies to any radio manufacturer that you decide to go with.

Jan 25, 2005, 12:17 PM
RCAPA #005
MGBGTRacer's Avatar
That's true- I lucked out and got a good used JR that would have been $900 new, but I got it for $250. I don't think I'll ever outgrow it- lucked out and found a second one used that is the backup/buddybox unit. Total cost is still half what a new one would cost and I think 9 channels oughtta do.
Jan 25, 2005, 12:55 PM
Registered User
Peter Khor's Avatar
fwiw the 6102 lite version (with 4x 241 servo and 610 RX) is MSRP @ $240, usually free shipping from some online vendors.

My only compaint wrt to say, selling all my radios to get a EVO/Profi ... what if the radio needs to be serviced? Is that your ONLY radio? Had someone sell off all his radios to get a top end one, only to have to send it in for 2 weeks ... 2 weeks with no backup radio!.

The nice thing about starting with something that has a good set of features (eg, 6102) and affordable, is that when you do outgrow the 10 model memory and/or need more programming, I'd recomend that you keep the 6102 around both as a spare, buddy box, etc (or one that you can keep in the car sometimes without worrying about the impact if it is stolen). fwiw if you can program the 6102, you can easily program the 8103, 9303, 10X - the menu structure and adjustments are very similar.
Jan 26, 2005, 04:38 PM
Official Overcomplicator
GroundBound's Avatar

I found the price in an advertisement for Horizon Hobbies in RCFlyer Magazine. I took the ad down to my local hobby shop and they matched the price for me. I ordered it Monday evening and it should be in by the end of the week.

I figured that if I got a radio I wanted it to be from someone local just in case I ran into warranty issues, etc... Nice to have a face to stand behind the product.

Last edited by GroundBound; Jan 26, 2005 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Crappy Grammar!
Jan 26, 2005, 05:32 PM
RCAPA #005
MGBGTRacer's Avatar
I prefer to deal with the locals too- sometimes I order online because I start to feel guilty always haggling for a deal from the locals to match the online prices.
I don't think I'll outgrow my JR 338 (347 for backup- same tx but 1 less channel and less model memory). I wouldn't mind getting a 6102 just for the park flyers and use the other two for the larger planes.
Jan 27, 2005, 12:53 PM
Master of the figure 9
Old Man's Avatar
Originally Posted by MGBGTRacer
I prefer to deal with the locals too- sometimes I order online because I start to feel guilty always haggling for a deal from the locals to match the online prices. I don't think I'll outgrow my JR 338 (347 for backup- same tx but 1 less channel and less model memory). I wouldn't mind getting a 6102 just for the park flyers and use the other two for the larger planes.
I agree with supporting your LHS if they can get what you want. I was looking for the JR9303 and the LHS which carried it, only carried the standard servo edition and would not order the Transmitter/receiver edition. I ended up ordering my radio from Perry at Perry was great through out the transaction and gave me a great deal on a couple of berg receivers as well.

P.S. the 9303 was worth every penny.

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