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Horizon Hobby Spektrum DX7s Review

The DX7s operates at regular speed or high speed at 11ms, has DSM2 and DSMX technology, 20 model memory slots and an SD card for unlimited model memory availability and software update, telemetry, and an optional Lipo battery. Plus much much more! Come take a good look at the Spektrum DX7s.

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Introduction



Model Memory:20
Additional Memory:Virtually unlimited with SD cards
Total channels:7
Weight:1.8 lbs
Band:2,400-2,483 GHz
Modulation:DSM2 and DSMX
Resolution:2048
Spectral capacity:100 plus systems simultaneously in DSMX
Receiver:Spektrum AR8000
Wall charger:12V power supply with International clips Included
Range:Full range
Manufacturer:Spektrum
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$299.99

My first look at the DX7s showed a strong physical resemblance to the Spektrum DX8 with the buttons and roller in the same position around the LCD monitor. The relationship doesn't end with the appearance: the DX7s navigation and programming systems are similar to the DX8 and both use a version of Spektrum's Airware software. This software allows for programming the control functions for the aircraft as well as the functions to be monitored with the telemetry and the optional telemetry related components available for purchase separately. The DX7s has the software to handle telemetry. The Spektrum AR8000 software will work with telemetry, but the other sensors and telemetry related equipment need to be purchased separately.

Its layout is pretty conventional with all sticks, trim tabs and switches located where I would expect to find them and easy to reach. The bind button is on top of the transmitter instead of the back making it easy to reach and use comfortably when binding a receiver. The transmitter is comfortable in my hands, and feels like it belongs. There is a nice use of material on the back and side for a good steady grip on the transmitter. The programming is slightly different from my old DX7, but a quick look at the manual and the entry changes noted the programming was intuitive as promised. It is easy to program, and all the control I need for most of my planes (full house sailplanes and planes with more than 8 servos excluded). The dual rates and expo work as expected with nothing really new to report there. There were no glitches or problems during the testing of the transmitter, and thus no problems to discuss. I wasn't really able to test the telemetry system as there are additional components I need to purchase. I am interested in having telemetry working for voltage readings on a couple of my slope planes for my 8 hour slope flight. RPM for some of my electrics would be helpful for future reviews. Those items will be purchased this year along with a TM 1,000 full range telemetry module and a couple other sensors. A quick check of the software in the DX7s made the telemetry programming look very easy to use. It has 20 model memory and with the included SD card it really has unlimited model memory and the ability to update Airware software from my home computer if needed.

I flew my Radian to a pinpoint in the sky and had complete control of it with the DX7s so it passed both basic range tests on the ground and a practical test in the air. I used the DX7s in my review of the Beechcraft Staggerwing, and it has handled this five channel plane very well. The only negative I have experienced is that the monitor is not backlit, but neither was my old DX7, which didn't offer nearly as much technology. I like the DSMX technology and the greater assurance of control it supplies in a noisy GHz environment. I am slowly updating my receivers to DSMX models even though I have had no problems with my DSM2 receivers. I like having the high speed 11ms frame speed available and have tested it but admittedly can't see a difference with my style of flying between that and 22ms standard frame speed. I don't know if I need faster thumbs, eyes or maybe both. There are lots of great Spektrum features from the past that are carried forward into this transmitter, and I like the Model Match especially. I like the multiple chemistry charging capability and plan to upgrade to the 4,000mAh LiPo transmitter battery later this year for use at the slope. It's nice to be able to charge the pack right in the transmitter with the supplied charger whether using NiMH or LiPo packs.

It's high speed at 11ms, has DSM2 and DSMX technology, an SD card for unlimited model memory and software update, telemetry, and an optional Lipo battery. It has worked flawlessly for me to date. The DX7s is a nice step up from my now discontinued DX7. It is an excellent transmitter, and with the Spektrum AR8000 receiver it is a very nice package.

Kit Contents

Included Items

  • Spektrum DX7s Transmitter
  • 2000mAh 4.8V NiMH Transmitter battery pack
  • 128MB SD Card
  • Wall charger, 12 Volt power Supply (with 4 clips)
  • Spektrum AR8000 8-Channel DSMX high speed Receiver
  • Male/female bind plug
  • Hex wrench
  • DX7s neck strap
  • DX7s decal sheet
  • Instruction Manual









Key Promoted Features

  • 20 model memory
  • Built in Telemetry
  • Extensive Airplane and Helicopter Programming
  • Throttle-Activated Timer Setting
  • AR8000 High Speed 8-channel receiver
  • LiPo battery compatibility
  • 8 Wing types
  • 5 Tail Types
  • 3-Position Flaps with delay and elevator compensation
  • Dual rates and exponential
  • Differential
  • 5-Point throttle, pitch and tail curves
  • 6 swash plate types
  • 6 programmable mixes
  • Control Position Warnings
  • Audio and Vibe alarm settings
  • Large 126 x 64 LCD screen
  • Mode selection (Modes 1,2,3 & 4)
  • Language Selection (English, Italian, French, Spanish or German)
  • 4.8V 2,000mAh NiMH transmitter battery
  • High-speed 11ms frame rate with 2048 resolution
  • 128MB SD card (included)

General Accessories Available Separately

  • Aluminum deluxe transmitter case
  • Trainer cord
  • Spektrum Flight Log
  • 4000mAh LiPo 2-cell transmitter battery pack








Smart Charge Global Charging System with International and Domestic AC Power Converter

The first thing I noticed was that the charging plug in the transmitter was smaller then the plug for charging my older DX7. When I got to the charger I saw that it looked completely different with a number of alternative clips for the power outlets in various countries. The AC converter switches AC current from a variety of systems to 12 V direct current to charge the transmitter. The Smart Charge global charging system is designed to take the hassles out of charging your transmitter whether you have the standard 2,000mAh NiMH 4-cell battery pack in the transmitter or the optional two-cell 4,000mAh LiPo battery pack in the transmitter. The DX7s has a built-in multi-chemistry charger designed to charge the 4-cell NiMH or the 2-cell LiPo pack at a charge rate of 200mAh. Furthermore, the charge port on the right side of the transmitter is not polarity-dependent as was my old DX7.

The supplied 12 volt power converter has a number of outlet clips to match with the power outlets of various countries. I have selected the one for North America and placed the others in a safe place for storage. When the charger is connected to a power source and the transmitter the blue charging light on the transmitter goes on. With the NiMH this light stays on as long as they are connected even when the battery is charged. With the optional LiPo battery the light goes out when the charging is complete.

Initial Battery Charge for the Transmitter

With the transmitter on a non-flammable surface, I plugged in the battery charger to the charging port on the transmitter. Using the proper North American outlet clip I plugged the power source into an electrical wall outlet and let it charge for 12 hours with the 2,000mAh 4-cell NiMH battery pack that came with my transmitter. With the transmitter's battery charged I was ready to explore and program my new transmitter. But first I looked at my new receiver.

The Spektrum AR8000 High Speed Receiver

 Spektrum AR8000
Spektrum AR8000
Type: 8 channel DSM2/DSMX Receiver
# of channels: 8 + battery space
Band: 2.4GHz
Model Types: Airplane, Helicopter & Sailplane
Weight: 9.4 grams
Frame Rate: 11 Millisecond from stick input to servo output
Resolution: 2048 resolution
Features: Flight Log & Telemetry compatible
Dimensions: 32.3mm x 34.3mm x 11.4mm
Modulation: DSM2
Voltage Range: 3.5-9.6V
Antenna: 30mm x 2. remote 30mm x 2
Price: $129.99

My new receiver can be used with an airplane, a sailplane or a helicopter. It is also a high speed capable receiver so it can be used at either 11ms frame or 22ms frame as will be discussed below. It is a DSM2 and a DSMX receiver so it can be used with older DSM2 transmitters as well as in DSMX mode with my DX7s. Finally it is Flight log capable and that means it is also telemetry compatible as well. I will be saving this receiver for a future project but I will be using it with a battery pack and some servos to test some of the programming features of the DX7s.

DSM2 and DSMX

Spektrum has been using the DSM2 wide band spread system for several years now and found that while it has been excellent in most uses it, it was designed to be used with 40 transmitters on 2.4GHz as the maximum number of transmitters being used. At SEFF, Joe Nall and a few other events there are sometimes up to 100 or more transmitters on in a given area and this can cause some problems due to the high amount of frequency noise in these very limited situations. The DSMX system provides extra interference protection and faster reconnection times due to improved frequency agility. It has been extensively tested with 100 transmitters operating simultaneously without interference. Each DSMX transmitter has its own unique shift pattern giving improved channel interference protection. My DX7s works with my older DSM2 receivers and in my flight situations I have never experienced any radio interference. With DSMX and my new AR8000 and other new DSMX receivers I have even greater interference protection in a potentially GHz noisy environment. So, for example, when I go to the Arizona Electric Festival I use my DSMX receivers for the greater protection they provide. Best of all it requires no great thought on my part as the DX7s will bind properly just following binding instructions using the proper method of signal whether I select a receiver that uses DSM2 or DSM2/DSMX and in the later case it will be using the DSMX method.

Binding

As with all Spektrum/JR DSM transmitters it is necessary to bind the receiver to the transmitter. To do this the first step is to make sure the receiver is ready to bind. Some are always ready such as the micro receivers while others require that a binding plug be inserted into the binding port. The second step is to supply power to the receiver. All receivers have a LED that should be flashing rapidly to show it is ready to bind. Next press and hold in the Trainer/Bind button on the TOP (to the left of the antenna) of the DX7s transmitter while turning on the transmitter's power switch. Release the Trainer/Bind button after the receiver has stopped flashing rapidly. Once the receiver's LED stays illuminated the receiver is bound to the transmitter. The screen also provides binding information. Remove the bind plug from the receiver. Thereafter, for flying turn on the transmitter a minimum of five seconds before powering up the receiver.

Re-bind the Receiver after Completing Programing!

Once the transmitter has been programmed for a given model you should re-bind the receiver to set the failsafe position. If the model has retracts they should be in the down position when doing the re-bind.

Model Match

Model Match prevents a pilot from trying to fly planes 2-20 when the DX7s transmitter is still set on plane # 1. In that situation there isn't a Model Match and even though plane 2's receiver is bound to the transmitter it will not respond until the transmitter's programming is moved from plane 1 to plane 2 by selecting plane 2 using the "Model Select" option in the System Menu. This wonderful feature prevents a pilot from accidently trying to fly a plane while the transmitter is still set on the programming for a different model plane or helicopter. It is therefore important to select the proper aircraft program on the transmitter before binding the aircraft to the transmitter or when you go to fly a given aircraft.

Spektrum ServoSync

ServoSync automatically re-sequences data for transmission depending on mixing and servo setup. It makes sure that servos programmed to work together receive their pulses together so they operate at the same time together. The result is properly synchronized servo movement for complete control.

Enhanced Wing Type Programming

Airware gives graphic choices for wing selection and shows the type of wing programming a pilot has selected and automatically configures the necessary mixes. Saves time and reduces the chance for error when programming complex control surface configurations that use multiple servos.

Navigating the Transmitter

To navigate on the transmitter the Roller, the Back and the Clear buttons near the LCD screen are used to move through the options, select and program the transmitter. I had to use the instruction manual to go to the Model Select screen because the method is different than it was on my older DX7. To get to the Model Select screen I had to have the transmitter powered on and I had to press the Clear and Back buttons at the same time. This is direct access and I no longer have to power the transmitter off and on.

System Setup

I pressed and held the roller while powering on the transmitter to see the System Setup list. No radio transmission occurs when a System Setup screen is displayed and this prevents accidental damage to servos and linkages during changes to programming. In this area I was able to program in my user name, adjust the contrast to my liking and if I was in Europe I could have changed the selected region. Here in the US we are all US-247. I could have changed the language displayed on the transmitter but I stuck with English. System Setup will differ depending on whether the model is Acro for plane or Heli for helicopter. Items included are:Model Select, Model Type, Model Name, Wing Type/Swash Type, Switch Select, Telemetry, Model Reset, Model Copy Transfer SD card and more.

Modes 1,2,3 and 4 Programmable on the DX7s

Honestly, this feature means nothing to me as mine came in mode 2 and that is where it will stay. However, for those who prefer mode 1 this feature may be among their favorite. (For the NEWBIES: Mode 2 is used in North America and Mode 1 is primarily used in Europe and parts of Asia. It is the assignment of ailerons, rudder, elevator and throttle to the two main sticks. Mode 2 has ailerons and elevator on the right stick and rudder and throttle on the left stick.)

Built-In Telemetry

The DX7s is equipped with a built in telemetry feature that allows me with the use of optional accessories to get real time information on a variety of items including: the model's battery voltage, engine or motor temperature, RPM, airspeed, altitude and more. This is my first transmitter with built in telemetry. The telemetry information appears right on the DX7s screen or can be viewed by an assistant using another accessory on an Apple iPhone or iPad. I have listed the optional telemetry accessory items below. To obtain telemetry information from your aircraft in addition to the DX7s you need a DSMX receiver that is Flight Log capable such as the included Spektrum AR8000. A telemetry module is needed and presently there are two: the TM1000 full range module and the smaller TM1100 fly-by (short range) module. Finally you need the sensors and accessories that read or generate the information you want to receive and these are listed below. Telemetry information can be obtained just for fun or to track critical functions on your aircraft. I am interested in getting one of the flight pack voltage sensors to use on a slope plane in preparation for, and going for, an eight hour duration flight at the slope. I am also interested in getting the brushless RPM sensor to get real time data during future reviews on the motors RPM during actual flight. People can have a variety of reasons for using the telemetry function or they can choose to ignore it completely if it holds no interest for them. For more information on telemetry: Spektrum has an article and video on telemetry on their website for those that are interested. http://www.spektrumrc.com/Articles/Article.aspx?ArticleID=2338

Telemetry Related Accessories

  • TM1000 DSMX Full Range aircraft telemetry module
  • TM1100 DSMX Fly-by aircraft telemetry module
  • 2.5" Aircraft telemetry data lead
  • STi Telemetry Interface for use with Apple products
  • Aircraft telemetry Altimeter
  • Aircraft telemetry 3-axis G-force sensor 8G
  • Aircraft telemetry 3-axis G-force sensor 40G
  • Aircraft telemetry temperature sensor
  • Aircraft telemetry airspeed indicator
  • Multiple types of air telemetry flight pack voltage sensors
  • Aircraft telemetry brushless RPM sensor
  • Aircraft telemetry RPM sensor and bracket

Resetting Model programming from one of the 20 Model Select Locations

I will continue to program aircraft into the DX7s until at some point in the future all 20 model memory slots in the transmitter are filled and all 20 are also stored on my SD memory card. This summer when I acquire an E-flite Albatros if it is the 21st model I want to fly with my DX7s I will have to clear a model memory slot. I decide to use the slot held by my ParkZone BNF Spitfire. I have already backed up the Spitfire's programming onto the SD card so when I delete it from the transmitter's model memory slot, I will still have the programming on the SD memory card.

To clear the slot I go to System Setup and scroll down to Model Select. I scroll down to the Spitfire, and select that model by pushing on the scroll wheel. I go back to System Setup and scroll down to Model Reset and push down on the scroll wheel. In Model Reset I scroll onto the Reset and click down and my Spitfire programming has been deleted from the model slot it was in. I can copy a plane in there or program a new model into that slot. In my example I will be programming the new E-flite Albatros into that slot.

Frame Rate

The DX7s can operate at two frame rates. The standard rate is 22ms and this is the default setting. However, it can be changed to 11ms when a receiver that works at 11ms is being used along with compatible high speed servos. The supplied Spektrum AR8000 receiver is a high speed receiver and if digital servos are being used the DX7s can be switched to the high speed 11ms frame rate. Even if using the AR8000 or other high speed receiver if using some types of analog servos that are not high speed it will be necessary to use the 22ms rate. High speed rate requires transmitter, receiver and servos to all be high speed capable.

Function List

Powering on the transmitter without touching any controls showed me the main screen and the active Model Memory. By pressing on the roller I got into the function list and rolling the roller I could program that model to match the needs of my aircraft. The Function List is also affected by the whether the Model Type selected is Acro of Heli. Functions to be programmed include: Servo Setup, Dual Rate and Exponential, Flap System, Mixing, Range Test, Timer and More.

Dual Rates and Expo

The transmitter lets me program two rates for different amounts of movement on the main sticks. Low rates lets me move the sticks a good distance with little movement of the control surfaces. Helpful with a beginner or for smooth flight of a very responsive aircraft. High rates allow a lot of movement for the stick movement. This is very helpful in performing acrobatics and is used by the more experienced pilots to get more out of their aircraft. Some like low rates for takeoffs and landings as well as relaxed flying and high rates for the aerobatic portion of the flight. Expo lets you program in the amount of response per the stick movement. Small movements generally cause small movements of the control surfaces but as you get further away from the center stick position the throw increase exponential and thus the name. These features have been standard for years and almost go without discussion but are very helpful in properly setting up an airplane, helicopter, quad-copter etc.

Servo Setup

Servo Setup in the Function list lets me set the servo travel for all seven channels one at a time as well as adjusting the Sub Trim and selecting Normal or Reverse servo movement. An example of using all three servo setup functions. You bind your plan and move the left stick from side to side and see the rudder is slightly off center, moving to much from left to right and moving to the right when you want it to move to the left. In the Servo Setup I select the rudder and go to the Normal/Reverse option and I reverse it. The rudder is now going the correct direction. I go to the sub trim and since the rudder is only a little off center I adjust the sub trim so the rudder is centered in the neutral position. I next go to travel and reduce it in both directions so the rudder throw is reduced to where I want it.

Timer

The DX7s has a built in timer. It can be set to count down or to count up. It can be set to be activated by pressing on the Trainer/Bind button or when the throttle is moved up 25% or more. In count down mode it can be set to give a tone, vibrate or both. On count down I get a click at the 1 minute mark and a count down by second at the ten second mark. With tone and vibrate I get a brief tone and transmitter vibration at the zero mark and the timer starts counting up. The timer is reset when I turn the transmitter on and back on. It came set on five minute count down. The count up program is called stopwatch. Both stopwatch and countdown have worked perfectly in my tests.

Mixing

The DX7s has the commonly used Aileron/Rudder Mix and 6 additional mixes available for the user to use. I frequently use the aileron/rudder mix especially with a scale plane to have a little bit of rudder automatically come in when I have the mix on and feed in some aileron. It makes for more scale like turns with no effort by me once I have the program set up properly. I also sometimes use a mix of throttle and elevator if I have a plane with a very high rate of climb when given a lot of throttle. When the right mix is determined the plane can continue to fly level and faster as more throttle is applied rather than also climbing like a home sick angel. I found the mixes worked like those on my older DX7 and current JR transmitters.

Flap System

Flaps have to be enabled in the Wing Type Screen otherwise the flap system is inhibited (INH). To learn about the available flap setup choices it is necessary to go to the Wing Type Screen. For my Beechcraft Staggerwing I selected the wing choice with one aileron servo and one flap servo. My flaps were now enabled so I went to the function screen and scrolled to the Flap System. There I selected the switch I wanted to control the flaps and I selected the flap switch; the three way switch on the top front left side of the transmitter. I then got to program the three settings for the flaps and the speed I wanted the flaps to operate (which ranged from normal then .1 second out to 30 seconds) and I also got to program in adjustment for the elevator setting for each flap position. A lot of options available and it took some time to figure out what I wanted.

Range Testing the DX7s

Power up the DX7s and then the receiver. Walk 30 paces (90 feet) away from the plane with the plane on the ground. Face the model with the transmitter in the normal flying position. Have the DX7s on the range test screen and depress and hold in the Trainer/bind button on the top of the DX7s transmitter. This causes reduced power output from the transmitter. Despite the reduced power output there should still be complete control of the model at that distance. If there is a problem check again and if it persists contact Spektrum's product support as listed in the manual. I did ten tests as part of this evaluation but I also intend to do range testing at the start of each outdoor flying session for the next couple of months.

Spektrum AirWare Software

The DX7s is equipped with Spektrum AirWare developed by Spektrum from the ground up. They claim it includes all the programming functions an airplane or helicopter pilot could want yet doesn't require an expert to use them. The main interface is the scroll wheel (mentioned above) which they call the "Intuitive Simple Scroll." They state it makes navigating menus and changing settings as simple as roll and click. They compare it to using a computer mouse. I found the software was different from my X9303 and my 11X and that I benefited from looking at the instruction manual a few times due to these differences although both of these transmitters also use scroll wheels, there are some minor differences in the software. With a couple of checks with the manual it quickly became easy and intuitive. The differences were minor but the manual helped me quickly discover the way to the programming paths I wanted to see and use.

4 Digital Trims with Trim Position Memory and LST

Digital trims are very helpful. The trims for the aileron, elevator, rudder and throttle functions are all digital. The digital trims are used to make adjustments to the controls. The digital trim adjustments are remembered in the programming automatically so the next time the aircraft is flown the trim settings will be where programmed. There is a visual display of the trim tabs adjustment on the screen (sides and bottom of the main screen) and a tone is emitted when actually making adjustments with the trim. I have my choice of leaving the adjustment in the trim controls or moving it to the sub trim through programming adjustment after the flight. If the adjustment was large, a mechanical adjustment to the servo is most likely best. (I trust all readers understand that servos should be mechanically set up to center control surfaces in the desired neutral position. With proper mechanical set up the final trim can be used to perfectly position the servo arm with the transmitter programming.) I remember when digital trim first started to replace the old analog trim which was not stored in the transmitter memory and had to be reset every time the plane and its program was used if another program had been used in between. Digital trim is now considered so standard it is not even discussed in the instruction manual.

I use the LST (Limited Standard Trim) when setting up my helicopters. This allows me to trim and center moves to truly center the servo but keeps the end point movements where they were to avoid exceeding the desired movement. It also goes to very fine adjustments with trim for my helicopters after they have been initially trimmed out.

Helicopters

I am still an intermediate helicopter pilot. When it comes to actual programming my transmitter for my helicopters I unfortunately remain an advanced beginner. I am better at following recommendations than free programming for helicopters. I still prefer if you give them to me ready to fly and good to go. Most of the programming functions are universal in operation so that describing their function for airplanes isn't any different than their function for helicopters. The helicopter programming that I have done with the DX7s involved inserting the recommended programming of others and transferring manually one program from another transmitter to fly the helicopter using the DX7s. My helicopter flies fine now using the DX7s. Someday I will have to spend some time and learn more about programming for helicopters, but probably not as long as my friends continue to help me.

Trainer

The DX7s has a programmable trainer function with three trainer modes: Inhibit, Programmable, and Pilot Link Master/Slave. The instruction manual covers this on page 19. I just want to touch upon the Pilot Link Master and Programmable programs. When PLM is selected the slave transmitter has control of the stick functions only while the master maintains control of all other functions including dual rate and switch positions. This can be helpful when letting someone fly your plane if it is complex. With Programmable you can program the transmitter to transfer any or all channels. Letting a student work with only one or two channels can be really helpful when teaching someone to fly a helicopter. Let the student focus and control only one or two functions while the teacher with the master transmitter controls the rest. I like students to focus on throttle control when first learning how to fly a helicopter. When that has been learned I move on to throttle and rudder. This method has worked very well for me and this arrangement on the DX7s lets me control it, not just request it.

Fit of the DX7s Transmitter in my Hands

Like many pilots I don't hold the transmitter sticks. I place my thumbs on the top of them and move the sticks with my thumbs. I grip the transmitter with both hands. The DX7s feels very comfortable and light in my hands. The back edges small ridges extending out on both sides made for a very comfortable grip on the transmitter. They allow me a good grip on the transmitter with a comfortable feel in my hands and with my thumbs resting on top of the sticks. The sticks have proven to be very smooth and precise in operation. The transmitter feels well balanced in my hands. The layout of the switches allows me to find them quickly and easily with my index fingers without having to look at the transmitter. Feel and comfort are very personal things and the feel of the DX7s is excellent. Curiously I found no mention of the gimbals (sticks) used on the transmitter in the instruction manual other than how to adjust them for the different modes as necessary. As mentioned above I found the feel and the response to be excellent but I learned elsewhere that it had the same gimbals as used in the Spectrum 8X transmitter. With the 8X they called them quad bearing gimbals because of the four ball bearings per stick. By any name, or no name, I like the feel of the DX7s sticks.

SD Computer Memory Card

The use of the SD card is a nice feature of the Spektrum DX7s transmitter. My DX7s arrived ready to use with a 128MB SD computer card. The use of the SD card allows me to do several things very easily. This includes unlimited model memory programming by storing the programming on the SD card and in my computer. Sharing and saving model programming using my computer and upgrading my transmitter's software as needed from the comfort of my home. The SD card slot is accessed at the left side of the transmitter as shown in the picture below. I just had to insert the supplied card and I was good to go. Unfortunately, while I can share my programming with others using the DX7s I can't share to my 11X or other Spektrum or JR transmitters as the programming is different.

20 Model Memory And Unlimited Model Memory Using The SD Card

The DX7s comes with 20 model memory. No memory card is needed to program the first 20 aircraft into the DX7s. The aircraft can be any combination of planes or helicopters. The first 20 can be directly programmed into the transmitter. The transmitter can be programmed for the selected aircraft, each aircraft using one of the 20 model slots in the transmitter. In order to fly a given aircraft the programming must be in one of the 20 model slots and that model must be selected as the active model because of Memory Match (discussed above) to fly it.

There are different ways that the programming for a model can be copied. A model can be copied from one Model Select location to another one of the 20 Model Select locations as described above. This is a copy from Internal to Internal memory. Going to the SD Card programming a model can be exported and thereby saved or shared to the SD card in the transmitter. The card can be removed and the data stored in a computer and from there shared with other pilots via the Internet. A program can be saved and recalled from the memory card and thus there is actually an unlimited supply of programs that can be saved using the card that came with the transmitter and any additional SD cards a pilot might need for an unlimited collection of planes.

I am making it my standard practice to save the model programming to the SD memory card. Next I transfer the programming to my computer to save it. I have my models in the Internal memory, on the SD card and in my computer.

Is This Transmitter for a Beginner?

If the person is certain that they are seriously interested in flying RC then this is a great transmitter for a beginner. It has trainer programming that might help them with an instructor making their transmitter a buddy box for them initially. The basic programming is pretty intuitive and with a little help from an experienced user any programming problems should be quickly overcome. They have 20 model memory and a computer transmitter that should handle any airplane or helicopter needs they should have for the next several years, if not their lifetime. That is unless they go to full house sailplanes and the need for the more advanced trailing edge mixing those sailplanes require. If they have the money; the Spektrum DX7s is good to go.

Conclusion:

For this review I have programmed and operated three planes and one helicopter. I have moved, copied and reset models and I have had no problems with my DX7s's software. It has been easy to program and has had no glitches. It feels great in my hands although it did initially feel a bit light with only the four batteries, but I quickly got over that. The rubberized texture on the transmitter feels great and it sits in my hands as if they took a mold of my hands and made it the perfect size for me. I have no hesitation in recommending the DX7s with the one exception of someone who knows they want to immediately use telemetry and a back lighting of the monitor is critical to them then they should check out the DX8 which is back lit and comes with a telemetry module. Otherwise, I fully recommend the Spektrum DX7s.

Pluses

  • ModelMatch
  • ServoSync
  • Enhanced Wing Type Programming
  • 20 Model memory slots
  • SD Card: more Model Memory and Software updating capability
  • Flap System with Mixing and Timing
  • DSM2 and DSMX
  • Digital Trims
  • Helicopters and Planes
  • Fit and Feel in my hands
  • Built in Multi-chemistry charger
  • Internationally compatible outlet clips for power converter
  • Built-in Telemetry
  • Large LCD Monitor

Minuses

  • LCD Monitor is not back lit
Last edited by Michael Heer; Mar 20, 2012 at 06:38 PM..

Discussion

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Old Mar 21, 2012, 08:40 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
United States, TX, Kingsland
Joined Sep 2005
5,161 Posts
Very Nice Review Mike.

Would you please verify a portion of the countdown timer function for me? On the DX8, with the throttle activate timer mode, if you advance the throttle past 25%, the timer starts its countdown. If you then move the throttle back to idle, the timer stops. When you again advance the throttle, the timer starts timing again and shows the total accumulated time.

This function is very helpful with electric models as it only activates the timer when the motor is actually running and drawing down the battery. In the other Spektrum TXs, once the timer starts, you have to push a button to stop it, and then push a button again to restart, or you just have to let the timer run and hope you haven't fooled around in the pits too long.

McD
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Last edited by kingsflyer; Mar 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 08:55 AM
jrb
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Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
11,445 Posts
Nicely done as usual Micheal!

Maybe you can help me -- I was told a few years ago the DX7 was JR -- same/similar feel & programming. So would a JR guy be comfortable with the previous gen?

And a Spektrum guy can now move more easily between all their new offerings?

TIA,

Jim
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 09:08 AM
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freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
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Great Job Mike. I would however also like to mention another note to your conclusion
Quote:
I have no hesitation in recommending the DX7s with the one exception of someone who knows they want to immediately use telemetry and a back lighting of the monitor is critical to them then they should check out the DX8 which is back lit and comes with a telemetry module. Otherwise, I fully recommend the Spektrum DX7s
I would also add that those that are used to having 3 position switches or may want 3 position switches then the DX8 would be the logical choice. I have read posts about members being surprised and shock after buying their DX7s that it did not have 3 position switches where the version it replaces did (DX7)..
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 11:03 AM
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Joined Apr 2001
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Hi Kingsflyer I will verify tonight (unless someone else does it first) but I believe that is the case.
Hi JRB: As best I recall the software with my old DX7 was very similar to that in my 11X and 9303. I didn't have to think at all or look anything up. For the new DX7s a few things were different and actually better and I only had to learn a few new tricks and now I can go between the two systems with no problems and no need to look anything up.
I have been asked if I will be doing more discussion of the helicopter functions and I will be doing that this summer when I buy a new large helicopter and scale body and have to go into the programming in detail for myself. Mike H
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 11:17 AM
jrb
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Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
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Thanks again Michael!

As you might remember I have a 9503; and thinking do I get the older DX7 as a spare TX from a Spektrum guy.

Or, just go to DX -- like the 8; does it do all the 9503 can?

TIA,

Jim
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 11:48 AM
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United States, TX, Odessa
Joined Mar 2010
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Thanks for the review, Michael. Great job as usual.

I bought the DX7s a few weeks ago and have been using it to fly one plane, setup another and on all of my sims. It is an awesome TX.

The only problem I have been running into, and I am convinced it is my error or an rx error and not one of the TX, is the use of flaperons. Both of my planes have orangerx's in them and on one plane when I flip the flap switch the ailerons both move down to the desired position. On my other plane with a very similar(exact) setup they go opposite directions. The same thing happens when I attempt flaperons in a sim. I may be missing a setting in my simulator and L-4 model memory that I have set in the working plane. If anybody has any suggestions feel free to PM me.

Thanks again for the review, Michael. If anyone is on the fence about getting this transmitter, I say jump off and go get one! I bought mine directly from HH but if I were to do it today I would by it on Amazon using Prime to get it in two days with free shipping. HH took a minute to get it to my door. Just, FYI.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freechip View Post
I would also add that those that are used to having 3 position switches or may want 3 position switches then the DX8 would be the logical choice. I have read posts about members being surprised and shock after buying their DX7s that it did not have 3 position switches where the version it replaces did (DX7)..
The DX7S does have 1 3 position switch btw.

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Old Mar 21, 2012, 03:51 PM
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freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
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Oh I know that but some don't fully research a radio before buying. Don't mean research here but reading the manual before hand, trying to get one in hands to look at it first.

They just buy then complain when it doesn't have exactly what they want.

Oh well.
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 02:45 AM
Dixie Normious
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Can A da....Ehh!!
Joined May 2010
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Great review, thanks for that!!

Planning on getting the 7s soon, need to step up from the old battered 6i.

I've fixed the "plastic" trim tabs now a few times. I think the only one i haven't is the Aileron! also the plate with the 2 mico buttons/tabs that the rudd trim rocker contacts is dead on the right side of the right tab! ;0(
Been looking for spare parts for her, but there hard to find!

So my question is, are the trim buttons alloy? or cheap plastic? I found flying in the winter with the cold may of helped in the breakage of the plastic ones!

Thanks
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 10:20 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
25,343 Posts
They are a much better plastic, and they're metal plated. We haven't had issues with them breaking - and apparently East RC hasn't seen a market to sell machined ones (DX6i's won't fit).

Andy
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 04:47 PM
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United States, AZ, Cave Creek
Joined Oct 2001
42 Posts
Delta Wing Trim Question

Very informative review. I have a delta wing that requires uptrim on launch. Can the 7s mixing accomodate programming elevator uptrim (or different servo neutral positions) on a switch when using elevons? Thanks - Dick
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
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Yes, use the Flap System to do it so that when you hit the switch it controls them at a set speed, not an instant jump.

The Flap System provides a timed change for flaps and elevators. In an elevon wing, the "flap" is typically a speed brake device, not flaps. You are able to use it to provide just the change you need on the elevator control.

Andy
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Old Mar 23, 2012, 02:16 PM
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United States, AZ, Cave Creek
Joined Oct 2001
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Thanks, Andy! Other than the backlit display and extra channel, what are a couple of the key features that the DX8 has that the DX7s does not have? I'm trying to choose between the two. Thanks -- Dick
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Old Mar 23, 2012, 04:11 PM
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freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
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Telemetry unit with temp and main pack voltage sensor. More model memory means less binding.
3 positions switches.

It also has 6 user mixes and 2 preset while the 7 list 6 so not sure if that means 6 total??

Plus not sure if it's still active but you get 2 more receivers with the DX8.

If you sell off everything extra you get with the 8 it ends up being a better deal than the 7
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