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Buyer Beware! FAKE Spektrum Receivers Will Crash Your Planes!!

CustomRCMods

Well-known member
#1
I'm sure many of you who have been around the hobby know the dangers of purchasing the fake Spektrum AR6210s lurking around on eBay, Amazon, and Banggood, so this post is mainly for the unknowledgeable beginners who could purchase a knock off by mistake.

I recently purchased a few of these RXes, knowing they were fakes, looking to test them to see how bad they actually are. To get right to the point, they are garbage. I've experienced over 5 brown out crashes resulting in the totaling of my aircraft upon impact, If you have been following the "what did you crash today" thread you probably have seen my posts. Anyway I finally made a video comparing the Genuine product to the Knock off:


There are many "tells" that you have a fake item on your hands, or are about to buy one:

1. You are buying new (especially if no packaging is shown): The AR6210 is a model that was discontinued many years ago. Very rarely will you come across a brand new unit for sale, let alone a seller offering many of them. If you see them being sold with original product images, and the seller isn't a verified HH vendor, you are extremely likely to receive a knock-off. Also, note that the genuine products are made in China, but many of the fakes trace back to Taiwan.

2. Item is incomplete: If the unit doesn't come with a satellite system, that is a tell tale sign it is fake. The AR6210 is a satellite integrated system, so it should come with a satellite module and the proper wiring. The RX unit itself should have short 1.5in antennas. PLEASE NOTE MOST ALL KNOCK OFFS DO COME WITH SATELLITES.

3. The price is enticingly low: This is probably the reason you are shopping for these RXes in the first place, but just remember that Spektrum Products are notoriously very expensive compared to other brands, so if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

4. The unit only has DSM2 Compatibility: There isn't anything inherently wrong with DSM2, just remember the AR6210 is a full DSMX Compatible RX, so you are probably getting a real-looking case with junk internals.

5. There is improper labeling on the unit itself: Usually the top label is a little bit smaller font (see video thumbnail), but that is hard to tell if you don't have the genuine model right next to it. Most fakes also have an incorrect HH ID #, which is HH108, when it should be HH207. Also the fakes I bought have no FCC ID Engraving or US Patent # Stickers.

6. THE SCREWS: This is the EASIEST way to know you are receiving a fake AR6210. The genuine products come with 1mm hex screws holding the housing together, but all fakes I have seen have phillips head screws.

Here's what to do to ensure you get a genuine Spektrum AR6210 for a good price:

1. Buy Used: Obviously all of these discontinued models will be found on the used market (Limited available per seller, amateur product pictures, condition description).

2. Ask for Additional Pictures: Especially of the screws, as that is your easiest sign to tell if its real or fake.

Anyway, thats it for me. Post any comments down below, and ask questions if you have them!

Hope this helps!
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#4
I'm sure many of you who have been around the hobby know the dangers of purchasing the fake Spektrum AR6210s lurking around on eBay, Amazon, and Banggood, so this post is mainly for the unknowledgeable beginners who could purchase a knock off by mistake.

I recently purchased a few of these RXes, knowing they were fakes, looking to test them to see how bad they actually are. To get right to the point, they are garbage. I've experienced over 5 brown out crashes resulting in the totaling of my aircraft upon impact, If you have been following the "what did you crash today" thread you probably have seen my posts. Anyway I finally made a video comparing the Genuine product to the Knock off:


There are many "tells" that you have a fake item on your hands, or are about to buy one:

1. You are buying new (especially if no packaging is shown): The AR6210 is a model that was discontinued many years ago. Very rarely will you come across a brand new unit for sale, let alone a seller offering many of them. If you see them being sold with original product images, and the seller isn't a verified HH vendor, you are extremely likely to receive a knock-off. Also, note that the genuine products are made in China, but many of the fakes trace back to Taiwan.

2. Item is incomplete: If the unit doesn't come with a satellite system, that is a tell tale sign it is fake. The AR6210 is a satellite integrated system, so it should come with a satellite module and the proper wiring. The RX unit itself should have short 1.5in antennas. PLEASE NOTE MOST ALL KNOCK OFFS DO COME WITH SATELLITES.

3. The price is enticingly low: This is probably the reason you are shopping for these RXes in the first place, but just remember that Spektrum Products are notoriously very expensive compared to other brands, so if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

4. The unit only has DSM2 Compatibility: There isn't anything inherently wrong with DSM2, just remember the AR6210 is a full DSMX Compatible RX, so you are probably getting a real-looking case with junk internals.

5. There is improper labeling on the unit itself: Usually the top label is a little bit smaller font (see video thumbnail), but that is hard to tell if you don't have the genuine model right next to it. Most fakes also have an incorrect HH ID #, which is HH108, when it should be HH207. Also the fakes I bought have no FCC ID Engraving or US Patent # Stickers.

6. THE SCREWS: This is the EASIEST way to know you are receiving a fake AR6210. The genuine products come with 1mm hex screws holding the housing together, but all fakes I have seen have phillips head screws.

Here's what to do to ensure you get a genuine Spektrum AR6210 for a good price:

1. Buy Used: Obviously all of these discontinued models will be found on the used market (Limited available per seller, amateur product pictures, condition description).

2. Ask for Additional Pictures: Especially of the screws, as that is your easiest sign to tell if its real or fake.

Anyway, thats it for me. Post any comments down below, and ask questions if you have them!

Hope this helps!
I've used a lot of them and never have had a problem. I've found them reliable. Just as with all receivers, keep the antennas and satellite away from the ESC and you'll be fine. Just never use OrangeRX lol
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#7
Yeah that’s what Im using at the moment in the rest of my fleet. barely any issues. I do fly next to a cell tower so that doesn’t help :).
Ditto, to a point...I have had an issue flying by a high voltage power line at a field up in Northern California, but it wasn't just me - everyone at the field who got too close experienced signal issues, regardless of what transmitter/RX they had, and they have signs warning about it so you don't lose any aircraft. :)

With regards to the fakes - yep, probably right, we'll probably see an increase for a while. But keep an eye out - if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
 

CustomRCMods

Well-known member
#8
Ditto, to a point...I have had an issue flying by a high voltage power line at a field up in Northern California, but it wasn't just me - everyone at the field who got too close experienced signal issues, regardless of what transmitter/RX they had, and they have signs warning about it so you don't lose any aircraft. :)

With regards to the fakes - yep, probably right, we'll probably see an increase for a while. But keep an eye out - if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Do you have any recommendations for flying near these hazards? As you can see on my channel I have had plenty of issues with it with a lot of my planes, primarily with these cheapo fake RXes, but the occasional brown outs have happened with all my planes pretty much, and Its frustrating...
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#9
Nice job defining the differences in real Spektrum receivers and fakes I did not know about the screws.

Being Spektrum is one of the top selling radios is why you see so many copies out there and why I believe Spektrum gets a bad rap many times., along with many newbies looking for the cheapest receivers they can fined. It is no fault of there own as most do not know better.

There are some good copies out there such as mentioned Lemon, the new Orange Gen 2 receivers have been working great at our feild, the early ones were iffy at best.
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#10
Nice job defining the differences in real Spektrum receivers and fakes I did not know about the screws.

Being Spektrum is one of the top selling radios is why you see so many copies out there and why I believe Spektrum gets a bad rap many times., along with many newbies looking for the cheapest receivers they can fined. It is no fault of there own as most do not know better.

There are some good copies out there such as mentioned Lemon, the new Orange Gen 2 receivers have been working great at our feild, the early ones were iffy at best.
My Gen 2 Oranges still have lots of weird brown outs
 

CustomRCMods

Well-known member
#12
Nice job defining the differences in real Spektrum receivers and fakes I did not know about the screws.

Being Spektrum is one of the top selling radios is why you see so many copies out there and why I believe Spektrum gets a bad rap many times., along with many newbies looking for the cheapest receivers they can fined. It is no fault of there own as most do not know better.

There are some good copies out there such as mentioned Lemon, the new Orange Gen 2 receivers have been working great at our feild, the early ones were iffy at best.
Thank you, as before mentioned I was one of those people that tried to put my faith in knock offs, solely for the pricepoint, but it failed miserably, and I definitely think that lots of brown outs right off the bat is something that could deter beginners from continuing in this hobby. I have tried both ORX and lemon, and I currently swear by the lemon systems, and I run an exterior-mounted satellite at 90 degrees just to be safe. Ive had a few small issues with every rx i have tried due to the fact that there is a cell tower on top of the water tower at my field, so If I stay to the opposite end of the park Im fine 99% of the time.

Its crazy how many knock off AR6210s there are all over the interwebs, and arguably every single one being sold "new" is fake, obviously as the AR6210 was discontinued in favor of the antennaless AR620 quite some time ago. With a little know-how and taking time to understand the points mentioned above, you will be able to easily spot the fakes from the genuine RXes. Happy Flying!
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#13
We had one guy that used to hang at the feild never joined but was into nothing but quads would constantly bad mouth Spektrum after enough questions of why. He had lost his quad on top of a Cell tower flying circles around the dish. Now any time he gets a chance you know what happens, he switched to FrSky and said he has not any problems so I asked him if he tried the same thing with FrSky and of course the answer was no. Ask him why not and he will just walk away then keep bugging him why not....come on lets see what happens lets prove your point. Just plain A-s fun.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#14
We had one guy that used to hang at the feild never joined but was into nothing but quads would constantly bad mouth Spektrum after enough questions of why. He had lost his quad on top of a Cell tower flying circles around the dish. Now any time he gets a chance you know what happens, he switched to FrSky and said he has not any problems so I asked him if he tried the same thing with FrSky and of course the answer was no. Ask him why not and he will just walk away then keep bugging him why not....come on lets see what happens lets prove your point. Just plain A-s fun.
There are people like that attached to each brand of radio. Here we have a Spektrum Nazi who puts down every other brand of radio at every opportunity. As for your request for proof, well he is not interested in any evidence but sticks to his own opinions blindly.

Recently I had one of my students approach the "Nazi" to test fly the student's model. Well the Nazi flew to the extreme boundaries of the field, (I suspect to prove some range inadequacy theory for the brand of the radio the student was using). All went well and the flight was sweet as.

Later the Nazi tried to fly one of his planes to the boundary, (as he had done with the student's plane), and he managed to loose control and crash into powerlines! There were quite a few persons, (at the field), that had problems trying to restrain the laughter, (myself included).

A radio system is a device we use to communicate with the plane. There are a number of different manufacturers and many propitiatory on air protocols. Sadly NO radio system is perfect and the on air protocols are still being improved over time. By locking yourself into a single brand can cause you to be stuck with something that will become out of date very quickly. As a longtime WiFi engineer I lived through it all from the NCR days through to the modern WiFI era.

When I first started into RC I was often told to buy Futaba as it would last a lifetime and every other brand was inferior. Now it seems that we have replaced the Futaba generation with a Spektrum generation. As for my preference, well they don't make the radio yet as all offerings are really quite poor considering what is actually required and the current technology. While I wait for the technology and manufacturers to catch up with the actual requirements I use cheap radios that are reliable in their substandard operation. I will spend big if required for a proper radio system and until then I consider the radios I use, (regardless of the brand), as being substandard and only temporary.

Every Wireless Networking equipment manufacturer claimed that their equipment and on air protocol was superior right up until they were all made obsolete the moment WiFi was released. The same will apply to RC equipment eventually, (maybe after I am gone unfortunately).

Many complain about substandard, (non-OEM), receivers and transmitters that they purchase on price and the vague idea that the protocol is superior. They actually pay a premium for an old design transmitter then buy cheap receivers, (often not fully compliant or even fully compatible). If you buy cheap and then buy the OEM recommended receivers, the operation of the system is assured and warranted!

One day the manufacturers might realise the benefits of the WiFI chipsets in both performance and cost. On that day the RC radio systems will take a leap in performance and reliability not seen since the days that Spark Gap transmitters were abandoned for good. On that day all of our existing radio systems will be obsolete and remote ID, telemetry, stabilisation, and even autonomous operation will be included in each and every radio system and all will use the same protocol!

Just my ramblings and dream!

Have fun!