Horizon Hobby Spektrum DX6e - RCGroups Review

The Spektrum DX6e is an entry level price point transmitter with 250 model memory and full-featured programmability. Join us as RCGroups reviewer kingsflyer explores it's functions.

Splash

Introduction

Spektrum DX6e Transmitter
Radio:6-Channel programmable with 250 model memory
Modes:User selectable 1 thru 4
Band:2.4 GHz
Modulation:DSM2, DSMX
Range:Full Range
Model Types:Airplane, Helicopter, Sailplane, and Multirotor
Trainer Link:Wireless
Battery:AA Alkaline (4) or optional LiPo battery pack
Weight:1 lb 8.7 oz with AA batteries
Manufacturer:Spektrum
Available From:Horizon Hobby through your local hobby shop
Street Price:$149.99 TX Only, $179.99 with AR610 Receiver

Over the years, I've owned a lot of radios. I started out with a 10-channel Reed system in the 60's, then some Galloping Ghost systems, followed by some great Kraft "proportional" systems. I even built a few Heath Kit and Cannon radio systems from kits. But in the early 2000's, I started flying Spektrum radios and I've never looked back. I presently fly a DX18 Gen2 and have my eye on the new DX20.

As a Club Instructor Pilot, I've often used my transmitter as the student's buddy box so that the student's radio would remain bound to their plane and I could program some exponential and even some aileron/rudder mixes to make life a little easier for the students. However, I was always a little hesitant to hand over my expensive transmitter to a student pilot, especially the very young ones. Well it looks like Spektrum has come to my rescue with their new DX6e radio. This new radio is a full featured programmable Spektrum radio at a budget price point. In addition, it has some unique mechanical features that will come in handy for my planned forays into FPV and multirotors.

It looks like my favorite delivery driver has just left me a package, so let's open the box and see what's inside.

First Look

Let's get the box open and see what's inside.

Dx6e Unboxing and First Impressions (4 min 12 sec)

The 180-page Instruction Manual was very well written with numerous illustrations, but it couldn't possibly include all the information needed for the myriad of programming possibilities available in the DX6e transmitter.

Additional programming information is also available in the RCGroups DX6e Radio Thread.

Mechanical Adjustments

The new Spektrum DX6e looked really nice. The next task was to adjust the stick length and tension for my individual flying style, a task that previously required some level of transmitter disassembly. My other transmitters always needed several disassembly/adjustment/reassembly/repeat cycles to get everything adjusted just right. Not with the DX6e! Every adjustment was accessible on the front of the transmitter. Check out this video to see just how easy it was.

DX6e Stick Adjustments (4 min 38 sec)

Once the sticks were just right, I turned my attention to the unique Mode Slider Switch on the back of the transmitter. This switch was used to mechanically change the stick functionality with a simple slide from side to side. Check out this video to see how easy it was to change from standard aircraft throttle to multirotor throttle and back again.

DX6e Stick Function (2 min 44 sec)

Registration

After I installed the AA dry cell batteries, it was time to register the radio on the Spektrum Product Registration Site. Product updates for Spektrum Radios are serialized to each individual transmitter. Once a radio is registered, the owner will then be able to download updates for that specific radio. The Serial Number of the transmitter was located in the System Setup Menu, System Settings, Serial Number. It was a long and complicated series of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. I found the following Horizon Hobby video very helpful and very easy to understand. I followed the instructions in the video and finished the registration process in less than 10 minutes.

How to Register and Update your Spektrum Radio (9 min 59 sec)

Radio Programming

The new DX6e has an amazing amount of programming power for an "Entry Level" radio. There are four distinct Model Types included with special programming functions included for each type of model.

Airplane Programming

Airplane programming included the following functions:

  • 7 Wing Types: Normal, Dual Aileron, Flaperon, 1 Aileron 1 Flap, 2 Aileron 1 flap, Elevon A, Elevon B
  • 6 Tail Types: Normal, V-Tail A, V-tail B, Dual Elevator, Dual Rudder, Dual Rudder/Elevator
  • Flap System with Elevator Compensation
  • 3 Flight Modes
  • Dual Rates and Expo
  • 7-Point Throttle Curve
  • 3 Preset Mixes: Rudder-to-Aileron/Elevon, Aileron-to-Rudder, Elevator-to-Rudder
  • 4 Programmable Mixes Normal or Curve

Sailplane Programming

Sailplane programming included the following functions:

  • 4 Wing Types: Single Aileron, Dual Aileron, 2 Aileron 1 Flap, 2 Aileron 2 Flap
  • 3 Tail Types: Normal, V-Tail A, V-Tail B
  • Camber System
  • Camber Preset
  • 5 Flight Modes
  • Dual Rates and Expo
  • Dual Rates and Expo
  • 4 Preset Mixes: Aileron-to-Rudder, Aileron-to-Flap, Elevator-to-Flap, Flap-to-Elevator
  • 4 Programmable Mixes Normal or Curve

Helicopter Programming

Helicopter programming included the following functions:

  • Gyro
  • 7-Point Throttle Curve
  • 7-Point Pitch Curve
  • 7-Point Tail Curve
  • 2 Swash Plate Types: Normal, 3-Servo 120˚
  • 3 Flight Modes + Throttle Hold
  • Dual Rates and Expo
  • Cyclic-to-Throttle and Swashplate Timing Mixes
  • 4 Programmable Mixes Normal or Curve

Multirotor Programming

Multirotor programming included the following functions:

  • Multirotor Channel Inputs ALT (Altitude), ROL (Roll), PIT (Pitch), YAW
  • Multirotor Checklists and Warnings
  • Simplified Multirotor Flight Mode Setup and Switch Assignment

That's a LOT of programming power! Let's see how we can harness some of it for our models

Initial Model Setup

Horizon has put together an excellent video on setting up your first model in the DX6e. This video includes a lot of short cuts and programming tips and is well worth watching.

Spektrum DX6e - Basic Model Setup (13 min 43 sec)

You may want to bookmark the video for future reference. I sure did.

Model Importing

The new Spektrum DX6e is capable of importing model files from your other Spektrum radios or from the Spektrum radio website which contains SPM files for numerous Horizon models. Here is a link for some of those files for the full featured DX6 transmitter. The models will also work in the DX6e.

As I mentioned in the introduction, I wanted to use the new DX6e for my Buddy Box transmitter and pair it up with my DX18G2. The next step will be to download all of my models from the DX18 to the DX6e using an SD card. Let's get started.

DX6e Model Importing (8 min 4 sec)

That wasn't too hard. Now that I've got all my models downloaded to my DX6e, I need to set up the wireless Buddy Box function. Let's get started.

DX6e Wireless Trainer (4 min 31 sec)

Is This For a Beginner?

Absolutely! The DX6e is a perfect first transmitter. It has plenty of channels for any novice and lots of memory for future models. Spektrum's Model Match will keep things straight between models and DSMX will keep your models flying safely even in crowded RF environments.

Intermediate flyers and even Experts will appreciate the DX6e's programmability and its Spektrum system compatibility. I plan to use mine as a buddy box to help teach Beginners the joys of flying RC models.

Conclusion

I've only had my Spektrum DX6e for a short time, but I've been very impressed with it. The "E" in the name may designate Entry level, but I think it also stands for Exceptional value. The DX6e has a whole host of upscale features like 250 Model Memory and 4 Model Types including Multirotors. Multipoint curves and back mixing are just a couple of examples of the upscale programming included in the DX6e. I think it's going to be a no-brainer for folks looking for their first programmable transmitter. The logical flow of the Spektrum programming is the same as their upscale transmitters and the SD card allows you to transfer models at any time.

I also like the ability to adjust stick tension and throttle ratchet adjustments right there on the face of the transmitter. I've been working on transmitters a long time, but I still get a little queasy when I have to pop open a brand new transmitter just to work on the stick tension adjustments.

I wasn't sure at first, but now I'm really liking the new on/off switch with its push "on" and push-and-hold "off" functions.

Pluses

  • 250 Model Memory
  • Four Model Types including Multirotors
  • Stick Adjustments Front Accessible
  • Wireless Trainer Link
  • Built-In Telemetry
  • Back Lit LCD Screen
  • Gimbal Spring Configuration Switch
  • Push On - Push & Hold OFF Power Switch

Minuses

  • Rechargeable batteries are extra

Thanks

I'd like to thank Horizon Hobby and Spektrum for providing the DX6e transmitter for this review. Thanks also to Matt Gunn for his editing expertise.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Dec 30, 2016 at 07:42 AM..
Thread Tools
Dec 30, 2016, 03:44 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Gotta love this new Transmitter!

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Dec 30, 2016, 07:22 PM
Modeling Retread
Be sure to check the big thread on this subject.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...rum-radio-DX6E

Good marks but some issues to consider.
Dec 31, 2016, 02:11 AM
Registered User
Mike can the DX6e be set up to have triple rates for rudder, elevator and ailerons? I have looked in the manual but it doesn't say which (if any) switches are triples, or if the software allows it.
Dec 31, 2016, 07:51 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Yes. B and G are 3-pos switch es.

Andy
Dec 31, 2016, 08:20 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
When I did the videos, I imported models from my DX18G2 and the switches I set for my elevator and aileron dual rates were Switch C and Switch F. Those are 2-position switches, so all I got were 2 rate settings for elevator and ailerons. However, my imported models assign Switch G for rudder rates and the DX6e imported all 3 rates for my rudder. So the DX6e programming supports triple rates if you use a 3-position switch. As Andy pointed out, Switch B and Switch G are 3-position switches, so using them will allow 3 rate settings.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Dec 31, 2016, 09:48 PM
Registered User
Awesome guys, thank you for the answer. Does the DX6e support something like the DX6i's "D/R COMBI" feature, where you can combine all control surfaces rate adjustments to the one switch (so you could control all 3 rates settings simultaneously with one of the three position switches)?
Last edited by benz11; Dec 31, 2016 at 10:04 PM.
Jan 01, 2017, 07:03 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
You can assign any switch to the rate function. You can choose the same switch for all three rate functions and that would allow you to simultaneously change all three rates with one switch.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Jan 01, 2017, 11:19 AM
Registered User
Steve Merrill's Avatar
The reviewer didn't even mention telemetry. That's why I bought this radio. It doesn't talk to you, but it does beep. Vario is what I'm using it for. Gliders!
Jan 01, 2017, 06:11 PM
Registered User
Thank you again, that would do it!
Jan 02, 2017, 10:21 AM
Registered User
aec III's Avatar
Great review Mike and I look forward to seeing you and it at the field. Happy New Year!!!!

AL
Jan 31, 2017, 06:34 PM
Registered User
Do the gimbals feel the same as the rest of the DX line (excluding the dx20)? I currently have a dx8 gen2 but looking for something simplified I can throw in a backpack without worrying about a $300 radio. 95% of the time I don't use the additional features for the dx8.
Jan 31, 2017, 08:35 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Transmitter ergonomics and stick feel is such an individual thing I'm not sure how to answer your question. I found it very easy to adjust the stick tensions and throttle ratchet on the DX6e. I spent less than 5 minutes total getting the sticks just right for me.

Once I had them adjusted, they feel just like the sticks on my DX18G2.

I think the DX6e would fit your criterion for an inexpensive "at risk" transmitter. An additional benefit to consider would be that you can download any of your planes from your DX8 into the DX6e and all the trims and rates and expos will be imported. As I understand it, even some of the advanced programming from the 8 will import into the 6e. You may not see the programming options in the 6e menu, but they will work just the same.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Feb 01, 2017, 02:21 AM
Registered User
You understand correctly. All features except the channels are imported and work on the smaller radios. If you have a fancy programming on the DX18 with sequencers and mixes and absolute travel limits everything will work the same if you import to the 6e (except the channels and switches, you are limited to 6 channels and the physical switches available).
This way you can add features not available on the 6e like sequencers. Or exotic swashplates.
Of course you still have no voice, though.
Feb 22, 2017, 04:22 PM
Registered User
Ive recently stepped up to starting with 3d flying and have a blade 130x and a spektrum DX6e and am having a really hard time setting my TX to the 130x. The only downloadable I can find is at spektrum and its for the DX8. If anyone can help me it would be much appreciated.
wesso47


Thread Tools