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2.4G Spektrum Radios Spektrum 2.4 Gigahertz Radios and Technology


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Old 05-28-2020, 06:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DX6i woes and replacement advice?

TLDR:
I am considering either a DX6 G3, or DX8 G2. Are six channels really enough? Are these two radios decent enough quality?
I don't plan on ever flying scale or messing with retracts etc, and as long as I can easily setup/use panic recovery modes then I'd be happy. I've seen openTx etc, but I don't think I could find the time to really mess around with all that so something simple like a Spektrum would be attractive.


#rant: - sorry need to get this off my chest..
It's just sod's law ain't it - got my Nano S2 rebuilt, modded and serviced and better than ever. Get to the park and as soon as it connected to my DX6i, the swash kept tilting back rendering it unflyable.

Long story short, the elevator pot is knackered. Even after carefully cleaning several times with isopropyl alcohol, the problem keeps returning and just cannot get the elevator channel to centre anymore.
I'm just f**king glad this never happened while I was spooling up/taking off with my Blade 400 - that thing backflipping towards me would really have spoilt my day.

I have read that many people have had luck with HH doing cheap or even free repairs on the DX6i, but most of those stories seem years old and in the US. My DX6i is DSM2, second hand and I live in the UK.

But to be honest, even if I could get it fixed, I'd never trust one again with anything larger than my Nano or the sim.

It's made me consider jacking it all in. Before this, I was considering maybe selling the B400 (it's well upgraded, in perfect condition and flies beautifully) and maybe getting a Blade 150s or just buying the 150s as well.
But, my other half is starting to get pissed off with my new 'obsession' and a new radio I'd be happy with won't be cheap. Further, as I'm in the EU any new radio won't work with my DSM2 Blade 400 if I did decide to keep it.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a hard time recommending a six-channel radio because I don't think it's enough. You need five channels just to control a CP heli, so a transmitter with six has only one more channel for variable gyro gain or flight mode selection for a stabilization system. Traditionally the radio people have made their entry-level units a six-channel system, but as the on-board technology increases on the aircraft, I hate to see people run into issues with a lack of channels sooner rather than later. I don't think a six-channel radio is the long-term investment it once was.

I'd say the quality is fine on those two transmitters. I haven't seen any unusual complaints there. They're very similar as you can tell by looking at them; the general design is the same. The DX9 is the last one that resembles the previous generation of Spektrum transmitters.

If you haven't seen this yet, here's a chart that compares all of the transmitters in a lot of detail.
http://www.spektrumrc.com/Content/Me...Comparison.pdf

Two things that stick out at me about the DX8 G2 are that it comes with the rechargeable battery (not included with DX6 G3) and having eight channels adds the knob input. I've found that knob handy many times for testing adjustments and finding the correct value to set other things at. So those two things combined with having more than six channels would make the DX8 worth it to me.

For your B400, could you also switch out the receiver with a very simple one so that you can get DSMX? I know, more money, but maybe you can go as basic as the AR620?
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Appreciate the input there flight, and that link is a great source of info.

I hear what you're saying, if money wasn't much of a consideration I'd likely buy a new DX9. Currently, I can't see myself buying of flying much more than a couple of BNFs from Blade - the financial jump to other kit helis such as Align helis etc. is just too steep for me at the moment and I'd rather tighten up my piloting skills before investing in more expensive machines (I've about 200 flights logged in total).

Bearing that in mind, would I really need 8 channels? I figure if a new DX6 would serve me well enough for a couple of years with Blade BNFs (with all flight modes/features working), I figure I could always sell it and upgrade to more channels further down the road should I choose to buy a decent kit heli.
The forward programming would still allow me to tune any FBL and gyro settings would it not?

Reading up on the DX8 and the rechargeable battery, since it's essentially an afterthought (like there's no way to tell when charging is complete - and it takes 24 hours to charge!) I'm not really that fussed by it. I've got some nice 2400mah Energiser AA cells which charge within an hour and always give me enough juice for the limited flying I do in a day (10 flights or so maximum usually). Easily and cheaply replaced too.

The price difference between the DX6 and 8 here is significant (£180~$220 vs. £280~$350 respectively) and the difference is ~half a Blade 150s or 230s

I have seen a supposedly lightly used DX8g2 going for about £160 at present (probably hit over £200~$245 by the time it's done) which I'm considering bidding on, but after my DX6i experience I'm a bit loathe to go second hand again.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Go 8 channels or higher if you have the funds. You won't regret it. Used is a gamble but I guess I've always come out on the good end of things. My DX9 was bought used here on HF from a member in Texas who went Jeti, VControl, or something.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeDad View Post
Go 8 channels or higher if you have the funds. You won't regret it. Used is a gamble but I guess I've always come out on the good end of things. My DX9 was bought used here on HF from a member in Texas who went Jeti, VControl, or something.
Well, I have truly been bitten by the bug, so I'll have to see if I can be creative with my accounting 🙂

Any idea what options would I have for a DSMX receiver for my B400 if I decide to keep it? Would they be fairly cheap?

I'd hate to have to sell her due to sentimentality (I know I wouldn't get much either), but if I'm to stay in the hobby I just might have to!
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beserkr View Post
Any idea what options would I have for a DSMX receiver for my B400 if I decide to keep it? Would they be fairly cheap?
Any old six channel RX would work being flybar. I guess being where you are the newer European Spektrum TX models are not backwards compatible with DSM2 because of regulations. Perhaps if you get a used one you can get a North American version.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Exactly right, EU regs to avoid contested spectrum. Annoying, but makes sense I guess.

I'm guessing whether I get a DX6 or 8, it'll be a big step up in terms of quality from the old 6i?
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Their are other options like the Devo and Jumper radios. They come with multi-protocol modules that will let you connect with most anything. Off course programming is harder as you would need to learn Deviation or OpenTx. I know people are liking the new T16 models a couple manufacturers are making with the nice color LCD screen. I have a Jumper T8SG Plus V2 that is my backup radio. Wish now though I'd have waited for the T16. I do have an old DX6i that came with my Hirobo Shuttle. It's the only model I fly with it.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would like to add one complaint i have about DX8G2 (don't know if DX6 G3 has same problem or not) ... there is no indication that it is charging and it doesn't always charge when you plug it in for some reason. I am thinking of getting a DX9 because I've had it up to here with that nonsense For some reason when they made the DX8G2 they didn't think it important that something light up to indicate that a charge is happening. DX9, the Spektrum logo on the front lights up during a charge.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've looked at those and they certainly look like a good alternative, though I can see them being a huge time sink. With my other half already getting cranky about the time I already spent with this hobby, a plug and play solution may be less painful!

Before I pull the trigger on anything I'll do a bit more research and see how easy it could be for me to pick up one of the open source brands...
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddle View Post
... there is no indication that it is charging and it doesn't always charge when you plug it in for some reason.
The DX6 G3 would have the same mis-feature. You can always add the rechargeable battery pack to the DX6 G3; it's included with the DX8 G2. It feels like kind of an afterthought, as that battery pack pops in where the AA batteries go. It's not integrated with the radio, so no indication of charging on the front like the DX9 or older models.
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I really do like my DX9. The charge light and a couple other things made me go for that over the DX8 when I decided my DX6 G3 wasn't enough. I only got $100 out of that and it was like brand new. It got me going though.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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And the DX9 has vibe alert in addition to voice which I prefer for some features. Its not always easy to hear audible alerts in every situation but you can't miss the vibe. There is even a little "bump" haptic alert you can set when passing through mid collective which can be useful when learning new moves where getting the feel for mid stick/zero pitch is crucial to the move
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeDad View Post
I really do like my DX9. The charge light and a couple other things made me go for that over the DX8 when I decided my DX6 G3 wasn't enough. I only got $100 out of that and it was like brand new. It got me going though.
What finally made you decide the DX6 wasn't enough?

I'd love a DX9, but the price is just too steep for me at the moment. Especially as I'd like to pick up another heli this season (probably the 150s or 230s).
The charge light and vibe would be nice, but I can live without I think.

I have to say I don't understand some of HH's decisions, tacking on the afterthought lipo to the DX8 (why not even a charge light on the charger?), the blue canopy on the Nano, green canopy on the 150s etc!
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you ever want to do rescue on an FBL along with say bank switching and any kind of telemetry you really need those extra channels.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I just had to look up what bank switching was... It does sound pretty useful I have to admit.

I don't suppose you know if Spektrum Panic (rescue?) Is supported by the DX6? I know I couldnt get it work on the 6i with my Nano.
I'll do some more research in to OpenTx over the weekend, and try to decide what the bloody hell I want to do going forward.

What radio?
Sell or keep the B400?
Just fly the Nano this year and build up skill? Or buy another micro - 150s? 230s? Wildcard OMP M2?

Update OT....
I took apart the 6i again earlier this evening, gave the elevator pot a very aggressive clean (well, as aggressive as you can get with a Q tip) and teased out the feeler contacts a touch more to provide a more positive contact. It worked, got through ten packs and managed to cut a little grass for the first time with the Nano 🙂

That said, the rudder pot seems to have gone a bit rogue now, pulling to the left! I managed to workaround it using some sub trim, but that's poor form and it's obvious that this TX's days are numbered. Certainly won't trust it with the B400 again.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Just seen a used DX9 come up for sale, literally a few minutes ago.

Not the black edition (SPM9910), this is SPM9900.

According to the Spektrum data sheet they're both the same, just different colours?
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beserkr View Post
Just seen a used DX9 come up for sale, literally a few minutes ago.

Not the black edition (SPM9910), this is SPM9900.

According to the Spektrum data sheet they're both the same, just different colours?
That is correct. The early DX9s were a gunmetal silver color, and then they released the black edition later on shortly before they decided to make all of the new radios black. Functionality is exactly the same. It just means itís one of the earlier models is all, but mine is also one of the first release models and they all run the same current firmware with the same functionality
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Oooh. I'll be keeping a close eye on this one. Messaged the seller to see if they'd accept a buy it now price. I'll see what they come back with.

Could be quite serendipitous..!
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beserkr View Post
Oooh. I'll be keeping a close eye on this one. Messaged the seller to see if they'd accept a buy it now price. I'll see what they come back with.

Could be quite serendipitous..!
Good for you. Mine is also the earlier one and not the Black Edition. Like mentioned the only difference is the case. It love the way it feels in my hands. Hope you get it.
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