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Old Jan 10, 2010, 05:54 PM
"Still wet behind the ears"
Southeast TEXAS "the armpit of hell"
Joined Dec 2009
39 Posts
Question
Spektrum DX6i vs DX7... WHICH TO BUY????

I'm needing some info on these TX's. I'm just getting into the hobby and looking to buy a new TX soon. I'm trying to avoid having a bunch of TX's laying around later on down the road. Plus I don't want to waste hard earned dinero on stuff I won't use.

So my question is which TX is better for a new Heli pilot? It's my understanding that in order to do 3D that I have to have at least a 6ch TX. Correct me if I'm wrong. And this in turn means a 6ch RX???

I have researched all the info at Spektrums web site and others trying to compare the two. But what I'm really looking for is some "hands on" advice.

At this point I'm not sure if I will advance to doing hard core 3D anytime soon. I know that the DX7 is faster in communicating with the RX and has more model memory. I don't see how I could ever need more than the 10 model memory offered with the 6... that many birds may result in a divorce lawyer!!!

Thanks for any info ya'll can give.


Kick
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 07:21 PM
59 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,001 Posts
1. Yes you absolutely need 6 channels in both Tx and Rx for CP helis (there are some 5 channel solutions but they are irrelevant in the longer term). We're not talking 3D here, just regular flying.

2. Either transmitter will do everything you need for the first year or two. You might seriously consider the DX6i as a starter transmitter and as your spare for when you get a DX7. We're not talking "a bunch of transmitters", just two.

3. The DX7 has more programming flexibility and is a more solid transmitter but is significantly more expensive. It's where you'll want to go eventually.

4. If you are really committed to high performance helicopters, you might consider the DX7se which is significantly faster. I don't think there's much difference between the regular DX7 and the DX6i, though both are quite fast. However, it will take some time before you can use the extra speed, so you may not want to make the significantly higher investment.

5. I consider the 20 model memory of the DX7 highly desirable. After you have acquired several helis and stored at least one copy of the programming for each as fall back you reach 10 quite quickly. Ten is plenty initially but doesn't give you much to spare.

Does that help?
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 07:43 PM
"Still wet behind the ears"
Southeast TEXAS "the armpit of hell"
Joined Dec 2009
39 Posts
Thanks 66.

That does help but leads to another Q about #5. "After you aquired several helis and stored at least one copy of the programming for each as a fallback...??? Are you saying that it is best to store the original factory settings for electronics as a "fall back" when I change settings and parameters; in case I make a mistake?

I know they say there is no such thing as a "stupid" question but I'm a NOOB here. So....

I'm also wondering if only the TX and RX have to be DSM2 compatible and I still can use any servo or ESC. Or do all these components need to match? Thanks.

Kick
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 07:54 PM
Will fly for food
Maryland
Joined Sep 2004
8,424 Posts
Only the Tx and Rx have to match.

If you think you MIGHT do a nitro heli, get a 7 channel Tx, as you will need it for the governor.

I suggest if you are serious about the hobby, get at least the DX7. Easier programming, more programming options, more model memories, just in general a higher end Tx. Remember, the Tx is the one constant between all your models, and the part that is in your hands every time you fly.

Also, most everyone at my club that got a DX6i, have moved to a DX7. And several with DX7s, have moved to X9303s.

I do not recommend a DX7SE to a beginner, as it does not have a functional trainer port fo buddy boxing or for using with a sim.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 09:25 PM
59 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,001 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by KicknHeli View Post
That does help but leads to another Q about #5. "After you aquired several helis and stored at least one copy of the programming for each as a fallback...??? Are you saying that it is best to store the original factory settings for electronics as a "fall back" when I change settings and parameters; in case I make a mistake?
What I'm saying is that you don't just use one memory per model. You set it up (one memory). Then you decide to experiment, but if you are wise you keep a copy of the earlier setup to go back to if necessary (two memories). And perhaps you have different setups for different kinds of flying (three or more memories). Lots of reasons why with half a dozen models you might use more than 10 memories.

By the way, we're not talking "factory settings" in most cases. Learning to do the initial setup and keep things adjusted is one of the main skills you have to develop to be a successful helicopter assembler and pilot.

And Pinecone is right about 7 channels for an engine-powered helicopter.

Much depends on how sure you are about your commitment to helis. You could, for example, get a Blade 400 as your initial machine. It comes with a DX6i that would also be adequate to fly, say, a TRex 450 as your second heli. By the time you have mastered basic skills with these machines, a year has gone by and you'll be looking to move on. By that time you'd have a better idea of what you need from a transmitter in the longer run and the DX6i would be your back up. This is just one possible scenario.

Learning to fly a helicopter takes lots of practice. It's much harder than fixed wing. Which is why it's so fascinating.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 09:27 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
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Another opinion: The DX6i is an excellent starting point if on a tight budget and will do all you need for learning electric helis (and even nitros without one of either governor or remote gyro gain). However, I think you will appreciate the DX7 soon enough that it is my recommendation.

There are a myriad of parameters that you can tweak for a model. It is useful when you want to experiment with changes to copy the current model settings to a backup memory so that you can easily restore them. Otherwise you might lose track of the changes you made and find it hard to get back to your standard starting point.

IMO the price difference is small compared to the total you will spend getting into helis:
DX6i Tx-only = $125
DX7 (Heli) Tx-only = $199

If you can afford it get the DX7 (I agree with Pinecone, don't get the DX7se, the negatives outweigh the positives for most pilots).
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 11:09 PM
Where is the lift?
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USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined Nov 2005
6,319 Posts
After owning a DX-6 and a DX-7 plus playing around some with the DX-6i I would very much recommend skipping the DX-6i and going straight to the DX-7. I fly Heli, acro and glider. My preferred version is the "heli" version so I have easier access to the flight mode (3) position switch. Only buy the DX-6i if it will allow you to fly sooner than if you had to wait to buy the DX-7 instead. Just my opinion.

Charlie
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 07:42 AM
59 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,001 Posts
There's a remarkable degree of unanimity here, which boils down to: If you're pretty sure about this helicopter thing (which seems to be the case from your initial post) and you can afford the DX7, go for it. On the other hand, the DX6i will do what you need for quite a while if you're not so sure or money is tight.

One thing I can tell you is that the difference in price of the radios will turn out to be a relatively small factor compared to what you spend on new helis and parts to fix them!
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 07:54 PM
Will fly for food
Maryland
Joined Sep 2004
8,424 Posts
One thing I suggest to people is to buy the best Tx you can afford. Even if it means waiting longer to put the complete setup together.

Buying a beter Tx up front means you won't have to upgrade as soon. The higher end Txes have more programming options, and due to better screens and graphics are easier to program.

I fly an X9303, and have setup a bunch of helis on it. I currently have - Gaui Hurricane 200, Blade CP (coverted to 2.4), Trex 450, Quick of Japan EP8v2 EX, Gaui Hurricane 550, JR Vibe 50 (nitro), Pantera 50 (nitro) and Bergen Intrepid Gasser.

I have also helped/setup various club member's helis with DX6i and DX7 Txes. The X9303 is the easiest to program, followed by the DX7, followed by the DX6i. ANd it not just familiarity, but things like moving around the menu, switching tasks within a menu, and how easy it is to see what you are doing.

And lastly, if you are serious about helis, head over to HeliFreak (www.helifreak.com). Great place and lots of help.

And don't forget you don't have to buy new. I bought my first JR used. I may be selling my X9303 Heli version to move to an X9503 (running out of memory slots and the backlight is sweet ).

Oh, if you go to the X9303, you can safe model setups on your computer.
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Last edited by Pinecone; Jan 11, 2010 at 08:00 PM.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 10:04 PM
"Still wet behind the ears"
Southeast TEXAS "the armpit of hell"
Joined Dec 2009
39 Posts
Hey guys I can't express how much I appreciate all this! After reading everyone's advice I realize that the 7 is worth the little extra. This is what I was needing... some good 'ol hands on experience! Thanks everyone for the advice and your time!
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