› KO Propo EX-RR

Pre­mium con­trol for pre­cise, pro-grade per­for­mance

RC Car Action - - CONTENTS -

Ask even ca­sual RC fans to name an all-time great racer, and you can bet they’ve heard of Masami Hirosaka. He’s a 14-time IFMAR World Champion with ti­tles for 2WD and 4WD electric off-road and 1/12 and 1/10 on-road, and drives faster with toes than most of us can with our fin­gers. Masami’s skills are leg­endary, but equip­ment counts too, and he’s been a KO Propo guy since the be­gin­ning. While never as widely dis­trib­uted in the US as big names like Futaba, Airtron­ics (Sanwa), and later Spek­trum, KO has al­ways been a sought-af­ter pre­mium brand. And with much bet­ter dis­tri­bu­tion to­day (my tester came from Ab­so­lute­hob­byz.com), it’s eas­ier than ever to get your hands on a KO.

For this re­view, I’ve got the top of the line EX-RR. This pro-grade pis­tol is highly con­fig­urable thanks to KO’S K.I.Y. (Kus­tomize It Your­self) sys­tem, and it’s got all the soft­ware ad­justa­bil­ity you’d ex­pect of a pro­fes­sional ra­dio sys­tem.

SETUP

The EX-RR has three ma­jor com­po­nents: the “grip unit,” the “wheel unit,” and the “master unit.” The wheel unit ar­rives unin­stalled, and sim­ply plugs into the master unit. The wheel is at­tached to a drop-down adapter, which can be re­moved if you pre­fer a stan­dard con­fig­u­ra­tion. The grip/master/wheel units are se­cured by latches, so no tools are needed to re­move and in­stall them. KO of­fers a left-hand grip unit, multi-po­si­tion wheel unit, Kyosho-mini-z-spe­cific master unit, and a va­ri­ety of wheels, rub­ber grip in­serts, and trig­gers—they aren’t kid­ding when they say you can “kus­tomize” it your­self. Out of the box, you can ad­just the EX-RR’S LCD screen an­gle, wheel and trig­ger ten­sion, trig­ger fore/aft po­si­tion, and the an­gle of the brake hoop.

Bind­ing the trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver went off with­out a hitch, and I used the in­cluded RX Mode Se­lec­tor to con­firm the EX-RR was in “nor­mal” mode. Bonus for Kyosho Mini-z rac­ers: the EXRR can be bound to Mini-z MHS mod­els.

PRO­GRAM­MING

The EX-RR is ex­tremely easy to use when set­ting up essentials like steer­ing and throt­tle end­points and servo di­rec­tion, which I nav­i­gated to and ad­justed with­out con­sult­ing the man­ual. For deeper-level func­tions, such as Throt­tle Push, Throt­tle Auto-start, and the mixes for the third and fourth chan­nels, you’ll likely need to dig into the man­ual—which doesn’t of­fer much info. The best bet is to plug in a pair of ser­vos, ex­per­i­ment with the set­tings, and watch what hap­pens. If all you’re do­ing is set­ting up a car or truck with con­ven­tional steer­ing (and you’ve got some com­puter ra­dio ex­pe­ri­ence), you’ll have no trou­ble.

THE VERDICT

In case you didn’t al­ready get where this was head­ing, the EX-RR is a se­ri­ous piece of com­pe­ti­tion-grade equip­ment. As such, it com­mands a pre­mium price—ex­pect to spend about $460 to put one in your pit bag. For the money, you’re get­ting a top-qual­ity ra­dio sys­tem that of­fers world-class pre­ci­sion and im­pres­sive flex­i­bil­ity for com­fort and con­trol. But if you’re hoping for a lot of flash in the soft­ware and dis­play depart­ment, pre­pare to be un­der­whelmed. KO is strictly busi­ness here, and the sim­ple LCD dis­play as­sumes you’re more into watch­ing your car on the track than the screen on your ra­dio. It does ev­ery­thing a dis­play needs to do, just with­out touch ca­pa­bil­ity or high-res color graph­ics. How much that mat­ters is up to you, but it sure won’t keep you off the podium. —Peter Vieira

94 Above: If you pre­fer a “stan­dard” wheel po­si­tion, the fac­to­ryin­stalled drop-down unit can be re­moved.

Left: KO has long been known for dis­tinc­tive styling, and noth­ing else looks like the KO EX-RR.

Be­low: Even wheel travel is ad­justable, via a pair of screw stops be­hind the wheel. Trick.

In keep­ing with KO’S K.I.Y. (Kus­tomize It Your­self) sys­tem, the EX-RR sep­a­rates into three com­po­nents: grip unit, master unit, and wheel unit.

KO of­fers the EX-RR with a “long an­tenna” (shown) or “short an­tenna” KR415FHD re­ceiver. The RX Mode Se­lec­tor unit lets you switch the re­ceiver from “nor­mal” to High-speed Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tem mode. When used with KO Propo HCS ser­vos, you get faster servo re­sponse time. In­di­vid­ual chan­nels can be switched to HCS mode, in case your setup in­cludes both stan­dard and HCS ser­vos.

Lots of ad­just­ment here. The dis­tance from the trig­ger to the grip (A), brake hoop po­si­tion (B), and trig­ger ten­sion (C) are all eas­ily set.

With a bit of dis­as­sem­bly, the screen can be repo­si­tioned so it’s per­pen­dic­u­lar to the ra­dio body, rather than par­al­lel.

Four AAA bat­ter­ies load into the han­dle like a pis­tol mag­a­zine.

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