JR Propo R1 Racing Radio

Nov. 01, 2005 By Glenn R. Viveiros

If you're in the market for a Remote Control Radio System then prior to making a purchase, consider this one by JR.  Simply stated this system is the most feature packed racing radio money can buy.  The JR R-1 is,  for lack of a better word,  COMPLETE!  The JR R-1 does just about everything imaginable as far as radio functions and other neat things that have to do with R/C racing  (it won't make coffee or glue your tires though.  LOL). If you like to tinker and/or you prefer full adjustability and control over all aspects of your model radio functions, this is the radio for you.  There are more adjustments, bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at.  The JR R-1 has a built in lap timer and a few other interesting features that you wouldn't normally consider, but  will make cutting down your lap times easier and more fun.

To begin with, let me give you my  impressions upon viewing and holding the JR R-1.  It has a large (128x64) LCD screen with over 8000 points which makes for easier viewing and adjustability of the settings.  The steering wheel is chrome finished and has a foam grip which fits comfortably in your fingers.  The steering tension is also adjustable by means of a recessed screw placed just behind the idle up switch.  Just as the steering wheel, the controller handle fits comfortably in your hand as well.  When the batteries are installed, the unit is very well balanced (a tad heavy, but well balanced).  The JR R-1 is set up for right hand use and is not able to be converted to left hand use (meaning that you hold it with your left hand and steer with your right).  Although not adjustable, the trigger for throttle brake functions move smoothly and effortlessly. On the right side of the R-1 (holding the radio with the screen facing you) is the Key Pad.  It has 8 buttons arranged neatly in a circle with each button's functions clearly labeled by different colors, depending on what level of programming you are in.

To the left of the steering wheel is the on/off slide switch.  Just underneath the on/off switch is a flip down door which reveals the charging jack, DSC cord jack and the Display on/off switch (more on these later).  There are two L.E.D.S. located just above the on/off switch.

The one on the left, is Display, it confirms that the Display has power.

The second, on the right, is RF,  confirms that the radio is transmitting. 

MVC-095F.JPG (64612 bytes) View of what you find upon opening the box.  

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MVC-153S.JPG (50127 bytes) Paperwork and instructions that are included with the radio.

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MVC-101F.JPG (70732 bytes)Large and easy to read screen

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MVC-164S.JPG (54627 bytes) Comfy foam wrapped steering wheel

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MVC-158S.JPG (47905 bytes) Eight button keypad which has dual function as well as easy to read.   

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MVC-155S.JPG (49523 bytes) Power switch, L.E.D's, display switch, DSC plug and charging jack.

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The radio has five digital trims, with the three main ones located directly behind the steering wheel on the left, right and top.  The other two are found behind the display screen located on the handle grip of the radio.  They are easily accessible with the thumb of your left hand when holding the radio.  All five of these trims are capable of having the functions changed to any of the following seven functions:  Steering trim, steering duel rate, throttle trim, panic brake, channel 3, A.B.S swing and A.B.S. point.  The steering trim is factory set to the top switch above the wheel and the throttle trim is factory set to the left side switch.  They are labeled as such and I would recommend leaving these two set at those functions.  There are two silver rocker switches located behind the steering wheel on the left and right. One is DrMode (drive mode) which is on the left.  The other is IdleUp and is on the right.  Should you want to, these switches are capable of having the functions changed as well.  This is one of the truly remarkable features of the JR R-1 radio.  If the function on a certain switch differs on this radio than from the one you are/were using and/or you just do not like its location,  you can change it to whichever switch you are more comfortable with.   Behind the steering wheel and just above the two grip mounted trim levers is the Timer Button.  This is used for several different functions of the on board timer.  That's right, an on board timer, which has four different timing functions.  One being a lap timer, which will store your lap times for up to one hundred laps and can be recalled at any time until used again.  It will also calculate average lap time in addition to displaying your best lap.  It includes various alarm functions inside this mode which can help you to determine whether or not you are going faster on each lap.  Next there is the Up timer which acts like a normal stop watch.  Then the Down timer which is very useful for fueling stops and/or letting you know when the end of a race is approaching.  Finally is the integrated timer, which keeps track of how long the transmitter is turned on.  This is useful in determining the life of a certain set of batteries before needing to be recharged. Which in turn enables you to determine approximately how much time is left until it is necessary to recharge the batteries.

In addition to the many wonderful features of the JR R-1, it includes an audible alarm notifying you when the battery power drops below nine volts.  Accompanying the audible alarm is a visual indicator,  BATT, which will appear on the display screen.

MVC-159S.JPG (39142 bytes) Two grip mounted digital trim switches, in center of picture.

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MVC-162S.JPG (50869 bytes) Left side digital trim switch and silver rocker switch below it.

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MVC-161S.JPG (55586 bytes) Right side digital trim switch and silver rocker switch below it.

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MVC-154S.JPG (30542 bytes) Thumb activated timer switch just above the grip trim switches.

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Now to get back to the items on the left side of the radio located below the power switch.  One is the Display Switch, turning this switch on enables you to change the functions or review any of the displays without actually turning on the radio and transmitting.  This allows you to work on your radio without affecting other drivers that may be using the same frequency as you.  Next you have the DSC jack, DSC stands for Direct Servo Control.  If you have the optional DSC cord you can attach it from there to your JR brand receiver.  This allows the user to set up or test all the servo settings on a model without turning the radio on.  Again, allowing you to work on the complete functions of your model without affecting others that may be using the same frequency.  The last jack is the charging jack for the radio.  If you have rechargeable batteries or a rechargeable battery pack installed you can charge them while still in the radio by use of this jack.  Take precaution and ensure that the radio is off and the jack is center pin negative before using this method.

This radio system was tested on a Mugen MBX4XR 1/8 scale racing buggy and JR servos were used.  The throttle brake servo is an analog Z550 that produces 62 oz/in of torque at 6.0 volts and a transit speed of .17 seconds for 60 degrees of rotation.  On the steering side I chose a digital Z8450 Ultra speed servo.  It produces 98 oz/in of torque at 6.0 volts with a transit speed of .08 seconds for 60 degrees of rotation.  Now that the servos are in, it was time for some quick laps at the local track.  I used JR's Quick Start guide on page two of the instruction manual to do the initial setup on the car so I could run it before the sun went down.  Once I had the servo reverse functions set for the car and then the travel adjust (also know as endpoints) set I ran some quick laps.  JR did take into consideration the new racer when they built this radio.  In case you are a novice racer and do not need some of the advanced features the radio has, there are two modes of operation for the radio. Those being "Beginner" and "Expert".  Starting out on Beginner mode is a much less intimidating mode for the novice racer that might not yet understand or require the expert features. This mode also makes it much easier to program.  However, once you've gotten some experience under your belt, the expert features are just a few button presses away. 

MVC-204S.JPG (52508 bytes) The Z550 and Z8450 servos

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MVC-209S.JPG (29614 bytes) R200 receiver with crystal.

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MVC-206S.JPG (54527 bytes) R200 Receiver above servo so you can see how small it is

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MVC-211S.JPG (38222 bytes) Servo's installed into Mugen Radio tray and ready for use.

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Let me lay out all the features that the radio has available.  I will do my best to explain them as to how I understand them.  Below are the General Programming Features:

Beeping Confirmation- a beep is heard each time you press a button so that you know changes were made.

Two-Speed Scrolling- every key except the clear key has two speeds at which it will scroll through its selection, holding the button down for 3 seconds will switch it from low to high speed. 

Display Contrast Adjustment- the contrast of the display can be adjusted for different lighting conditions so you can see it better.

Digital Trims- the trim functions are all digital and positions are automatically stored in memory when you switch from one model to the next.

Battery Alarm- as already stated above a beeping alarm and the BATT symbol in the display when you go below 9.0 volts.  Also many of the programming functions will be disabled at low voltage.

Warning Alarm- should either the Drive Mode or the Idle Up switch be in a different position than when you last turned the radio off, it will beep and the display will tell you which one or possibly both are moved and will turn off when you put them back in their original position. 

Back-Up error- There is a 5 year lithium battery inside the radio to retain your model memories even if your normal batteries go dead.  If  "1 BACK UP ERROR" appears in the display screen this means that the battery needs to be replaced and/or the radio needs repair.  To retain warranty, this is something that requires you to return it to the service center to have done.

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