First Radio Dilemma


New member
Hello, I recently bought my first airborne RC toy a Dromida Verso. I've been having quite a bit of fun with it. I also somewhat recently discovered Flite Test and decided I wanted to try building and flying some planes.

At this point I have no radio or receiver. I noticed there is a starter bundle in the store that includes a Spektrum DXe or a graupner mz-10 as well as the foam and parts etc. There is also a transmitter bundle that includes a Spektrum DX6.

My question is, what would the DX6 give me that the DXe wouldn't? I'm trying to keep costs down as this is my first transmitter. If I don't have as much interest in flying RC stuff as I think I will, I don't want to have spent more money than I needed to. I've gravitated towards Spektrum as there seems to be wide support for them and it sounds like they are fairly easy to use for a new pilot.

I've looked at specs between the two and I see a bunch of differences but as a newbie I don't know what is important and useful to have vs features that I likely wouldn't use for a long time.


Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
There are two things that survive nearly every crash -- your radio and your battery charger. If you're going to "Invest" in anything in this hobby, it's better to put your money in those two thing than anywhere else -- If it won't last you for long, it's probably better to spend more now for what you might move to.

The DXe is a beginner level radio and if you stick with this hobby, you will replace it fairly soon. It's limited in the number of mixes it can perform which will limit you to only certain kinds of airframes, and even then what you can do in the radio to make the plane fly easier will be strongly limited. It also only has a single model memory -- you can bind many planes to it, but each plane's trim and setup will need to be reset every time you use it. Also, you will need the programming cable to get anything beyond the most basic settings (why they didn't build this into the radio instead of an external cable astounds me).

It will be fine for your first plane, It'll probably be fine for your next two or three, assuming you only have one plane in an airworthy condition at a time . . . but it's limitations will grow on you QUICKLY.

The Dx6 is a far more versatile radio, and while it might be limited what it can do in some of the most advanced airframes, you will not grow out of it quickly. Probably the strongest argument for it is the extensive model memory -- as you add more planes into your hangar, you create a new model memory for each one. Before you fly, you select the plane you want and then all the settings for that plane will be reloaded as if the radio had never been setup for anything else.

Will you outgrow the DXe? Yes, and quickly. Will you outgrow the DX6? There's a fair chance of that, but it probably won't be for a few years. There are far better radios than these, and some aren't that much more expensive, but the DX6 is probably the better bang-for-buck for where you are right now.
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Posted a thousand or more times
The biggest difference between the DXe and the DX6 is how you program it.

Basically the DXe can only hold one model at a time and if you want a different configuration for a different plane you have to download it from you smart phone or PC to the DXe. The Smart Phone app only really allows you to manage models and change a few things like servo direction. The PC programming app gives you a much more comprehensive model editor. The DXe is primarily intended for BNF type airplanes that you would buy from horizon. It's not that convenient for making adjustment at the flying field.

The DX6 has a large model memory and models can be edited directly on the radio. It is much more convenient if you build you own planes and need to make adjustments at the field....which you will.

The only advantage the DXe has over the DX6 apart from price is that it can utilize up to 9 channels for some BNF type models where the DX6 is limited to 6 channels but generally the DX6 is a much better choice. 6 channels is enough for most beginner builds.

The other way to go is to buy used. If you like Spektrum then the DX6i can be found for around $80. It's a bit bare bones feature wise. With only two free mixes you cannot program a proper differential thrust for example and it only has a 9 model memory if I remember correctly. New it sells for $130 but I believe Spektrum are going to replace it soon and I don't think its worth paying full price for. You stil have to buy receivers.

If you are not set on Spektrum but are building your own and you want a cheap radio to start then the FlySky i6 is a very good value. Receivers are cheap and it has all the features you really need to start building your own. It's on sale a Banggood today in the US for $41

Normally it's around $50 to $55. It comes with a receiver. The iA6B Receiver is the better one to get. The iA6 is more park flyer. The i6 is cheap so quality is a bit variable and the case design is a bit toy like but it works well and has a good feature set. You can get some spare parts on Banggood if necessary.

The main disadvantage of the i6 is that you cannot fly Spektrum BNF planes with it. You can only fly pre-built planes that allow you to change out the Receiver. And if it breaks you either throw it away or try to fix it yourself but it's only $50 with a
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New member
I had looked at buying a used transmitter. The DX6i was one that I had considered and had seen on kijiji around where I live. Unfortunately right now there are none available at a reasonable price.

I didn't realize that the 6i wouldn't do proper differential thrust. My plan at the moment was to start by building an explorer or tiny trainer (not sure which is better as a beginner plane), and then after a while build a sea duck. I have fond memories of Tale Spin and would love to try flying the sea duck at my cottage next summer. As I understand it the sea duck requires differential thrust to work well especially on water.

You guys are speedy. Thanks for the quick responses :)


Posted a thousand or more times
I'm not sure the DXe will do differential thrust either. You might be able to set it up in the PC programmer. I really do not recommend the DXe unless you are heavily into buying Horizon BNFs. It works for that. But it's just not the right TX if you want to build your own.

You can set up differential thrust on the i6. It has 3 free mixes. A weakness of the i6 mixing is that there is no enable/disable switch for mixes but mostly that's not an issue. I did a short write up on setting up diff thrust on the i6...


Junior Member
Actually you can get the DX6i new for about 100$ but i would take a DX6 or the new DX6e just because u never know. Maybe you end up like me and buy a DX8 just because u got hooked by RC flying. I would buy a new model just because if you really dont get into the hobby, you can sell them with less loss instead of buying something u cant get rid of.

Sorry for my bad english, but as always "Holm- und Rippenbruch!"


BTW, you do not need mixes to implement differential thrust. You can use a V-Tail mixer in the plane to create the mix instead of doing it in the radio. The V-Tail mixer combines the rudder and elevator mix to create the mixes for the two V-Tail servos. If, instead of using elevator, you provide throttle, you will effectively get differential thrust. Doing a Google search for "v-tail mixer differential thrust", I found this video which seems to show it working (I have not tried it). I recommend re-calibrating the ESCs through the V-Tail mixer to correct for any change in range induced by the V-Tail mixer.

Doing this should allow you to use a less expensive radio (like the DX6) until you are ready to move to something more advanced (like the Taranis though do not get an OpenTX radio like the Taranis for your first radio - OpenTX is not for beginners).