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DX6i;DX7s or DX8

#1
Hey guys!

Really wanna get into the whole 2.4Ghz radios, but can't decide which radio is the best for the flying i do??

I fly mostly glow powered models and some 3D! I'm trying to get away from glow it start with electric planes.

i need a well priced radio that can real push my planes!!


thanks
 

JoeyG

Senior Member
#2
I went with a DX8 and dont regret it, I fly electric, love the telemetry, weight, balance.. great product.

J.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#3
There's a whole lot more information I would need to make a recommendation. I fly with a DX8 and I love it. I wouldn't be happy with anything less because I am using the features it provides as well as all 8 channels. I have friends with the DX6i so I'm very familiar with it and the old DX7 but not the DX7s. I can tell you a few things about the DX7s based on my DX8 though. Here's a few things I need more info on.

What type of flying do you do? I know you said some 3D but are you doing indoor profile 3D or big gasser 3D?

How many channels do you use on your current models?

What types of models are you looking at for the future?

How many models do you fly with?

Do you scratch build models or stay more with ARF's and RTF's?

Here's a few quick things about the DX's that I've found.

The DX6i is a very very capable radio that my good friends fly with most of the same planes that I fly. My DX8 does everything the 6 and 7 do plus more. I spent the money to have the extra channels so I had a radio I could grow with. I'm not disappointed. There are lots of little things that the DX8 does like the DX6i and DX7s only have two position switches for rates, gyro, governor etc where the DX8 has three position switches. This is huge for me as it allows me to have three settings at my fingertips so It makes tuning a whole lot easier. For my super fragile 3D indoor planes I have everything set on my flight mode switch. I have a very tame setup for taking off and landing, my normal rates for most all flying I do and then I have it cranked up to max rates when I feel like pushing myself, all by flipping one switch. Now, the other two also have a flight mode I believe, but you only have two settings. This is not really a bad thing not to have, but a great thing if you have it. I wouldn't buy a radio based on this alone though.

Another thing that we found the other day when setting up throws on 3D planes is that I have the ability to adjust my max throws on each servo in each direction independently of each other. So, I can get into my radio and set the rudder throw to 130% to the right and 105% to the left to get the maximum throws. My friends DX6i can also adjust the travel, but each direction is linked so he has to set it up both at the lesser amount. I hope that makes sense the way I'm saying it. Again, it's not a huge deal if you don't have it but it's really nice to have. I can compensate electrically for things he has to adjust mechanically with no disavantages.

A huge benefit is the screen. The backlit screen is nice and all but that's not what I'm talking about. The bar graphs showing the position of all the servos is awesome. I'm not sure if the DX7s has it but the DX6i does not. It has the roller interface and basic screen but you have to do all your throttle and pitch curves, direction, travel, expo etc all by the numbers like a Futaba. The DX8 has graphs that show you pretty much everything. I was doing some complex (for me) mixing of 4 servos in a combined 4 aileron with flaps setup and i was able to do all of the programming right off the screen and get all the servos moving the way I want, adjust for direction, travel, and make sure I wasn't over driving any servos without ever having any of the pieces in hand. It also has graphs for pitch, throttle and expo that make it waaaaaay easier to understand. I use my radio to help explain the settings that my friend uses in his DX6i.

Does any of that make it worth it? It really depends. I'm sure there's a whole lot more that the more expensive radios can do, but my friend with the DX6i flies just as well as I do.....lthough we all agree that my radio is a lot more comfortable and the adjustable length sticks are great. My vote is that if you can afford it and you think there's a chance you are going to need more channels later on, I'd get the DX8. I use the extra channels on my complex foam models and my bigger nitros and helis. I use all the channels but if you don't, the features may not be worth the money.

One big feature is the model memory. The DX6i can only hold ten models and you don't have the option of using an SD card to save more. The DX7s has an SD card and a 20 model internal memory, the DX8 has an SD card and a 30 model internal memory. I already have fifteen models on mine, so there's no way a DX6i would work for me, and chances are I would use up the 20 on a 7s by next year.

The SD card options also give you the ability to download setting from the Spektrum online community or share them with local pilots. I used the programming from an expert at the hobby shop to help understand how I needed to program my heli. I saved it in a slot next to mine and would use it as a reference point while learning to setup my gyro.

Looks like the DX7s also has the telemetry options which I think are cool. I'm going to put some sensors on my nitro heli for rpm and temp. The 8 is quite a bit more, the 7s is only a hundred more than the 6i. My vote is forget the 6i and go for at least the DX7s. I think the easier programming and extra model memory are worth the extra money, plus the comfort items. The 6i is a good radio, but for the extra 99 bucks you get a whole lot more radio.

There's my 200 cents.
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#4
I have the old DX7 and the newer DX8.
The new DX7s is more like the DX8.
I would assume that the DX7s will be a good choice for normal and 3D flying.
If you are thinking of detailed scale or advanced gliders i say DX8 or better the DX10/18
I ran short of memories on my DX7 but to be honest - i did not use some of the models frequently.

Lets hope that Spektrum (and other brands) looks a little at the new Multiplex and store the model specific settings in the receivers in the future and there will be no issues ever on selecting right model memory or get out of memories ;-)
 
#5
DX8 offers back lighted panel and three position switches. Some of the newer planes like the three position switches to use all their features, i.e. three position flaps for example. Also the DX8 has a vibe feature for warnings along with tone alert. Really like the vibe feature as my ears cannot hear the tone. Moved up from DX6i to the DX8, seems the DX8 is smoother.
 

Mike oxbig

15% nitro is my cologne
#6
Lots of good advice above. The only things I'd like to add is that if you plan on flying 3d with a nitro heli you need a gov and you'll want the 7th channel for that.

Another option you can look at is a used tx. I bought my JR 9303 used for less than the price of a dx7s.
 

JohnnyV

Junior Member
#7
Started off with the dx6i... My girls got me the dx7S for Christmas.
I wish now it had been the dx8 but have no problems doing everything I need with the 7.
 

Mainuh

Downeast flyer
#8
I bought a DX7s and wished from the 1st day I got it I had gone DX8. So I sold it to a friend and bought a DX8 from UltimateHobbies for $364.95 which was only $65 more than I had paid for the DX7s. For the backlit screen and TM1000 telemetry and several other goodies mentioned above, I am super happy with the DX8. The backlit screen alone was worth it to me. BTW, my DX8 was drop shipped direct from Horizon and arrived in about 6 days to ME from CA.

Also, having been away from the hobby and getting back into it 20 years later (all electric and was formerly all glo) I bought Chuck Bassani's book: "The ultimate guide to the Spektrum DX8" for about $20 and was money well spent for me. Can be ordered through RCHeli.com I believe.

Good luck with your decision.
 

fear4fun

Junior Member
#9
Hey all,

This is an interesting thread for me as well as I am new to the hobby, and looking at a new tx. Currently I am flying a heli with the tx that it came with and, have a plane with the transmitter it came with. My goal is to get into advanced FPV on quadcopters, keep flying planes and hopefully gliders as well.

I'm pretty certain I would be good with a Dx7s, but if I can get the 8 for not too much more, may convince myself to pay out the extra 50-75 now rather than take a hit selling a used 7 later. However, in the mean time does this mean that I have to use more expensive Rx's for anything cheap that I build? If I build a cheap 3 ch or 4 ch something-or-other for my son to fly, am I limited to what budget rx I can use?

I guess my concern is that having the 8 will cost me more in the mean time for doing other things than it will save me over its life? Does anyone follow what I'm asking here?
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#10
I have a DX8 and I use the 8 channel radio that came with it for one model, and I have a bunch of the 7 dollar Hobbyking Orange Rx's in the rest of my models. I fly nitro planes, nitro helis, electric planes and helis and 3D indoor stuff. So far I have no complaints about my DX8 and I am glad I went for it.
 
#11
So the brand of the receiver doesn't matter? I know this sounds like a ridiculous question, but I'm on this learning journey by myself with the help of the online community! :)

If this is the case, why spend the 299 on the DX7s with AR8000 when you can save the $50, get the Tx only and spend only a little to get a different brand Rx? Would this be the wiser thing to do?
 
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Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#12
No ridiculous questions here.

The brand does matter to a point. You can't mix Airtronics or Futaba with Spektrum. What really matters is the compatible signal. The Spektrum radios use DSM2 and DSMX signal technology. The Orange Rx are DSM2 compatible, but not DSMX. This means that if you have a DSMX radio, it will still work with the DSM2 Rx but in the DSM2 mode. This can be important if you are flying with a lot of other people It's worth doing some research into the matter. So far I've had fantastic luck with the Orange Rx's but if I build an expensive plane or heli, it's going to get a Spektrum Rx, not a knockoff. Mostly because I want to be able to use DSMX and there are a lot of features in the Spektrum Rx's that the Orange Rx don't have.

If you are planning to fly foam models, you can get the DX7s TX only, get some 7 dollar Orange Rx's and fly for a whole lot less money. I have a friend doing this exact same thing.

For only 50 bucks difference, I'd get the AR8000. It's got 8 channels and all the telemetry options that the Orange Rx do not. The 9 channel Orange Rx is still 30 bucks plus shipping, so for 50 you're getting a better RX name brand with Horizon customer support. Save it for a big expensive model, or just use the features, it's not a bad deal.
 
#13
Awesome information. This is exact info that I needed.

You have helped me immensely! My end game is to get into a quadcopter plus DSLr setup which I will not want to skimp on. I'll elect to grab some good spektrum stuff now for things I'm building later.
 

nibnobsam

I like big leccy planes
Mentor
#14
I started off with a dx6i then when I ran out of models moved onto a Futaba 9C with a spektrum module. The 9C is far easier to use than the spektrum transmitters, and a lot cheaper than a dx8. I also mainly use orange receivers now as they seem quite a lot more reliable than the standard receivers!
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#15
So the brand of the receiver doesn't matter? I know this sounds like a ridiculous question, but I'm on this learning journey by myself with the help of the online community! :)

If this is the case, why spend the 299 on the DX7s with AR8000 when you can save the $50, get the Tx only and spend only a little to get a different brand Rx? Would this be the wiser thing to do?
You will get a lot more with the telemetry and an AR8000/TM1000. The "pirates" don't come with telemetry yet as i know.
I am also using pirates for my smaller/cheaper models but i should not use them in more delicate models.
You will also get "extra receivers" when you buy your TX today.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#16
One problem with the module systems is that they also don't allow telemetry and correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the modules support DSMX.
 
#17
The SPEKTRUM BRAND really matters to you ? Whats the matter with Futaba super 8FG, Hitec Aurora 9 or the Airtronics SD-10 ???

Check those transmitters too, Im a big fan of the FUTABA 8FG and i think they are at a big discount at Tower Hobbies, around 360 dollars. ( you need the cupon, just sign for their newsletter to receive it ! )
 
#18
The SPEKTRUM BRAND really matters to you ? Whats the matter with Futaba super 8FG, Hitec Aurora 9 or the Airtronics SD-10 ???
The main reason would be that where I am my local shops carry Spektrum's and most other hobbyists around here are on Spektrum as well. I would take the convenience of parts and knowledgable help over saving few bucks.
 

oagh

Senior Member
#19
In my part of the world ,SPEKTRUM BRAND is what most of use .a few have JR and i have sean a few Aurora 9 " Nice"
FUTABA use to here but they are all gone for the most part .or where i fly at :confused:
But SPEKTRUM is right in bellevue wa , 30 min from me , and most of the shops here , have Spektrum's stuff.
So I use SPEKTRUM for my rc needs , its good ., i do like the Aurora 9 too .