RCU Review: JR XP6102


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    Contributed by: Erick Royer | Published: January 2004 | Views: 32336 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
    Review by: Erick Royer



    JR has done it again - creating the world's first 6 channel radio system with many features found in the industries top of the line models.  At first the thought of owning a 6 channel radio system left me feeling like I would be limiting myself, much like a diet, where I would have to give up all the features that I like, such as programmable mixing, 5 point throttle and pitch curves in heli mode, PCM fail safe setting, and fully digital trims.   As I started to browse the manual and look though some of the programming screens, I thought for sure there was some mistake - there were no features missing that I long for.
     
    The first thing that jumps out at you with on the 6102 is the large 1550 element dot matrix control screen.  The clutter-free display displays the information your need in a clear manner, thus making programming and setup a breeze.  Graphs provided on the servo monitor and helicopter pitch and throttle curve screens rival those that are only available on the high-end radio systems.  This level of detail makes it much easier to setup your model and can dramatically help avoid the "dual rate and expo" setup problems.
     
    On either side of the screen are the programming and navigation buttons.  JR could not have made programming this radio any easier.  The buttons are layed out so they are easy to reach and labeled to illustrate their specific functions.  No more "what does this button mean now" concerns - the 6102 is just plain simple to program.
     
    One of the more impressive features of the 6102 is the fact that it allows you 10 model memory.   This is a first in the arena of the 6 channel radios currently available on the market.   You can control your entire hanger with one simple transmitter.    Each model features 8 character model naming letting you program real names thus avoiding possible mis-selection. 
     
    The 6102's setup mode offers many standard programming features that make setting up your new model an enjoyable experience.   Servo reversing is available on all 6 channels and is easily changed with the use of the graphical interface.   Sub trim and travel adjust take the guess work out of setting up your servos in your model.  No more adjusting splines, servo arm lengths, and hole positions to achieve the desired servo movement.  In heli mode the 6102 features selectable swashplate mixing to accommodate standard and the newer CCPM swashplate designs.   Preprogrammed mixed for aircraft include, Flaperon wing selection, Elevon selection, and V-tail selection.    The 6102 has a built in trainer function that allows the use of a buddy box for instructing new pilots.  Other pre-programmed mixes include elevator-to-flap mixing, aileron-to-rudder mixing, and flap system control.
     
    There is an awful lot of radio in the 6102 for the price.  Lets take a look at the complete list of all the features and advanced features that this new radio has to offer.

    Many features found in radios that cost 4 times as much
    Digital Trims
    4 Programmable Mixes
    Ability to move switch functions
    Comfortable feel
    SPCM compatible with Failsafe
    Only Mix #4 allows trim adjustments to work with both channels.
     


     

    System Features:

    6 channels - Perfect for most helicopter and airplane applications.

    10-model memory - An unheard of feature on most high end radios let alone a 6 channel.

    1,550 element dot matrix display - Clutter-free display allows you to focus on the information you need.

    Airplane/heli programming - You can use one radio to control any model in your hangar.

    8-character model naming - Allows you to program real names to easily recall your models

    FM or SPCM modulations - Use the inexpensive R700 FM receiver or take advantage of the failsafe features with a R770S PCM receiver.

    Selectable switch locations - Move the rate and mode controls around to where they are most comfortable for your flying style.

    Trainer and pilot link systems -  The Pilot Link function allows the buddy box system to use the trims, mixes and programming settings from the Master transmitter to function for the Slave transmitter, saving very valuable setup time at the field to compare and program individual files.

    Sub-trim adjustment - Offers precise centering and positioning for setting up your model.

    Travel adjustment - Program the end points on your servos to prevent binding or increase control deflection, as with 3D models.

    Servo reversing - Reverse any servo on all 6 channels

    Dual rate/expo for aileron, elevon and rudder - Program multiple flight conditions for your control surfaces.

    Direct Servo Control system (DSC) - Setup your aircraft without turning the transmitter's power on.

    Digital trims - Precise control of control surface trims with an audible beep for easy adjustment while in flight

    Adjustable sticks - Adjust stick length and tension

    Throttle cut system - With the flip of a switch you can program your throttle servo to fully close the carb on your engine.

    Failsafe system (for PCM only) - For safer operation, you can program the servos to move to a specific point in the event of signal loss to the receiver.

    Servo travel screen - View a graphical display that will indicate the servos positions and travel volumes.

    Model copy - Easily copy one model to the next.

    Lithium Battery - The "lithium" battery in the transmitter is a long term storage battery to protect the memory. Designed to last up to 5 years so that if the Ni-Cd battery is removed or completely discharged the 10 model memories will not be effected.

    Receiver Battery - 1100 mAh 4.8 volt Ni-Cd

    Charger - 50 mAh output wall charger for TX and RX

    Airplane Program Features:
    • Flaperon, elevon and V-tail mixing
    • Flap system with elevator mix
    • Elevator-to-flap mixing
    • Aileron-to-rudder mixing
    • 4 programmable mixes
    Helicopter Program Features:
    • 5-point throttle and pitch curves
    • Normal and stunt curves
    • CCPM swashplate mix-90, 120, 180



    The term "advanced features" is not one that you usually hear when someone is talking about a 6 channel radio.  While it is more common to find 6 channel radios with digital displays, it is not common to find one that offers so many advanced features and is so easy to program. 

    ASSIGNABLE SWITCH POSITIONS  

    One of the most useful features that he 6102 offers, in my opinion, is the ability to assign switch positions and assign multiple functions to a single switch.   Most 4-6 channel radios force you to use the dual rate, landing gear, and flap functions form the factory assigned locations.  I like to put all my rates on one switch, especially when I am flying a 3D aircraft.  The last thing I want to have to worry about is flipping 2-3 switches when I am entering or exiting a maneuver.   The 6102 allows you not only to put all functions on one switch, but it allows you to chose the switch that is most comfortable for your flying style.

    FM and SPCM MODULATIONS

    The 6102 offers both FM and SPCM modulations which allow you to take advantage of the failsafe features found in PCM mode, or you can use inexpensive FM receivers.  I personally like to use PCM mode on all my gasoline aircraft as there is more chance that RF noise from the planes ignition system can cause noise and pose a danger while flying.   I rely on the failsafe settings to minimize the danger of having an accident as a result of interference.   Up until now, I would have to rely on a 10X or 8103 transmitter that cost twice to 4 times as much to get this feature.

    MULTIPLE PROGRAMMABLE MIXES (4 for airplanes and 2 for helicopters)

    The 6102 offers 4 programmable mixes for airplanes and 2 for helicopters that you can use for any number of different purposes.   This function allows mixing of one channel to any other channel and the mix can be set to remain on at all times or be activated by a switch of your choosing.  Programmable mixes 1-3 are designed so only the master channel is effected by the trim adjustments, while mix 4 features "Trim include" which will allow the trim adjustment to effect both channels.   These mixes have many different uses, such as: mixing out pitch or roll coupling when in knife-edge flight, adding down elevator when you apply flaps to keep the aircraft from ballooning, mixing two channels for throttle in the event you have a twin engine aircraft, as well as many other possible solutions.  The fact that this radio is so versatile in that respect puts it in a class much higher than your standard 6 channel radio systems.

    SERVO TRAVEL SCREEN

    The servo travel screen is another feature that is even hard to find in high end radio systems.  This useful function allows you to verify the stick movements of the transmitter.  It is also useful to test out and verify any mix functions that are assigned without the need to turn on the aircraft.   This is a very useful and time saving feature on the 6102.

    5 POINT PITCH AND THROTTLE CURVES, 2 FLIGHT MODES, AND THROTTLE HOLD FOR HELICOPTERS

    The 6102 also has an impressive set of advanced functions for the helicopter pilot including 2 separate sets of 5 point pitch and throttle curves with graphical plotting commonly referred to as flight modes.   While many high end helicopter radios offer 3 flight modes (normal, aerobatic,  and autorotation), many pilots only rely on normal and aerobatic modes, making the 6102 a perfect heli radio for 90% of the pilots in the hobby.   The ability to adjust 5 points on both throttle and pitch really allows you to fine tune your helicopter for optimum performance.   The throttle hold function is a third flight mode that is operated from a different switch which will reduce the throttle to a preset setting just above idle to allow the ability to perform autorotations. 

    THROTTLE CUT FUNCTION

    The 6102 also offers a throttle cut function which is almost never seen in a 6 channel radio system.  This feature allows you to program the throttle servo to close the carburetor all the way with the flip of a switch to safely kill the engine after your flight.  This is definitely safer than trying to pinch a fuel line or block the exhaust.



    Channels 6
    Modulation FM - PCM(s)
    RF Module 72 MHz
    Memory 10-Model
    Weight 18.6 oz.
    Battery 9.6V 600mAh
    Encoder 6 Channel computer system
    Output Power 750 mW
    Current Drain 200 mA
    Output Pulse 1000-2000 (1500 neutral)
    Power Source 1.2V Ni-Cd (9.6v) 600 mAh
    Sub Trim Yes
    Trim Memory Yes
    Endpoint Adjustment Yes
    Exponential Yes
    Dual Rates Yes





    Whether you choose the Airplane or Helicopter version of the 6102, each system comes with NES-537 standard servos (5 with heli and 4 with airplane). 

    NES-537 Features

    • Wide-spaced ball bearing support for smooth precise control movements
    • A zero dead band amplifier to ensure accurate neutral centering
    • A 3-pole ferrite cored motor
    • Indirect drive feedback potentiometer that gives additional protection from vibration.


    NES-537 Specifications
    Torque 43 ounce inch @ 4.8 volt
    Speed .25 sec 60deg @ 4.8 volt
    Weight 1.58 oz
    Size 1.52 x .73 x 1.32
    Motor 3-pole ferrite
    Gears Plastic
    BB Single




    The 6102 is available with the R700 7 channel FM receiver or with the R770 PCM receiver.  The R770 is a high performance PCM single-conversion receiver.  A narrow band ceramic filter for high signal selectivity assists in rejecting cross modulations from other common radio frequencies, such as RC transmitters or local paging systems.  The receiver features Direct Servo Control (DSC) to control the servos without radio frequency output.  Both the R700 and R770 feature slim cases that will easily fit into most applications.

     

    RS700 Specifications
    Model Number R700 R770
    Type FM PCM
    Channels 7 7
    Weight 1.5 oz. 1.5 oz.
    Type FM-ABC&W / Micro FM-ABC&W / Micro
    Frequency 72MHz 72MHz
    Sensitivity 5 uS minimum 5 uS minimum
    Selectivity 8 KHz 5dB 8 KHz 5dB
    Receiver Antenna 39" 39"
    Power Supply 4.8 - 6.0V DC 4.8 - 6.0V DC



    JR's new 6103 radio system offers BIG BOY features at an entry level price.  With advanced features such as PCM modulation, assignable switch positions, and multiple programmable mixes, I can not find one application in my hangar that this radio can not satisfy.  Whether you are into helicopters or airplanes, choosing the new 6102 will have you resting easy at night knowing this is a radio that you might never outgrow.



    Distributed by:


    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone (800)338-4639
    http://www.horizonhobby.com

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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