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Aug 19, 2019, 12:01 PM
aka ShadowVFX
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Spektrum Radio: Setup a New Model & Using a Model Template

When I first got my Spektrum Dx6i years ago, I found that learning to use the "new" computer radio was a daunting task. So many options and settings and figuring everything out took forever. Even once I figured out what settings I needed, I quickly discovered that it was incredibly time consuming to set up each new airplane model I had one at a time. When I upgraded to the new Spektrum Dx6 (black transmitter), I told myself that I was going to standardize everything and make a tempalte file. That way, whenever I got a new plane, all I had to do was copy the template, reverse a few servo directions and be ready to roll. It's been a few years now and I feel like this was a fantastic idea and I want to help other people out by sharing my methods.

I have made a video of this process for people to watch. But I recommend also reading through these directions here if you have trouble.
Spektrum Tutorial: How to Setup a Model Template (21 min 40 sec)

First off, why do this?
As mentioned above, it's a huge time saver. Not having to set up dual rates and your switch positions for EVERY model in your hanger is very convenient. However, there's also the benefit of having each and every plane share the same switch positions. My plane's landing gear switch is ALWAYS in the same place, as are my flaps and my High/Med/Low rate switch. Having a standardized switch layout means that in an emergency, you know what switches you need to hit without needing to think about it.

First step is initial setup. I have a template file I will include as a link below, but we'll walk through how to set up your OWN file in this guide. I recommend upgrading your transmitter's firmware and voice files (if applicable) before doing this. A model file made on the latest firmware version CAN NOT be loaded on a transmitter running earlier firmware. Also, Spektrum is making fixes and updates to the UI via some of these updates. So, it's possible that my instructions might not line up 100% with what you're seeing. This could be a slight difference in the transmitter models (example, Dx9 vs Dx6e), but making sure you're on the latest firmware is just a good idea in general. So, just to be safe, I recommend updating your Tx's firmware. If you need help doing this, please see this video. It goes through the complete process and shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

How To Update the Software in Your Spektrum Aircraft Transmitter (3 min 46 sec)

Next, let's startup the transmitter and make a new model.
To do this, go to the MODEL SELECT list and scroll to the bottom. Choose "ADD NEW MODEL". Once created, go to MODEL NAME and name it TEMPLATE. Once done, go back to the SYSTEM SETUP screen (hit the BACK button once). From here, go down the list to AIRCRAFT TYPE. In here, you will choose WING: 1 AIL, 1 FLAP from the list. Leave Tail as NORMAL and hit NEXT. Now, choose a pretty picture of your default airplane. Once done, go back to SYSTEM SETTINGS.

Now we'll go to CHANNEL ASSIGN. In here, we're telling the transmitter what switches we want to perform a function. Example; If you want Switch A to be your GEAR control, then you will scroll to the line that says GEAR and select it. Then, once highlighted, flip the switch you want assigned to GEAR. The Tx should know what you switch you just moved and assign it (alternatively, you can scroll through options until you see the switch name you want). Once you're happy with the selection, click the roller button to confirm. Now, proceed to map the remaining functions to the switches you want. Generally, this only applies to Channels 5 and higher. I wouldn't mess with Throttle, Ailerons, Elevator or Rudder.
THIS STEP IS REALLY IMPORTANT. Since this is your template file, you will be carrying these switch locations over to all your aircraft moving forward. I strongly suggest you think about this and make sure you are choosing the switch YOU want for a specific task.

Once the channel assignment is complete, we will setup Dual Rates and Expo. Go back all the way back to the main screen (picture of airplane with timer) and then click the roller to enter the menu and go to D/R & EXPO. Here you will set up Dual Rates and Expo however you prefer. I prefer to have the dual rates switch for all control surfaces on a single switch. Doing this is a lot less of a mental load when flying to know I have High/Med/Low rates for ALL surfaces on a single switch. The preference is yours.

Here's a video that should help you setup DR/Expo (go to 50 seconds):

Or, just go to 4:30 mark on my video:

Next we'll setup our Throttle Cut. Go back to the SYSTEM SETTING screen and scroll down and select THROTTLE CUT. On this screen we'll specify a switch to act as our throttle cut. I have this as a safety measure. I don't feel like I need to wast time explaining why this is important. On this screen, go to where it says INHIBIT and set it to whatever switch you want THROTTL CUT to be. I use switch C because it's not a switch I'm likely to accidentally hit and Cut starts with C so...yeah. That's good enough logic for me.
The only thing I want to note here is that the default cut is -130%. This is NOT ideal if you only fly electrics (like myself). If you are primarily an electric flier, set it to -100%.

Flap Setup
Precise flap setup will vary from plane to plane. However, getting something established in the Template will help save you time in the long run, so I usually get my flaps setup here and then fine-tune it once I have the model bound to my transmitter.
Go to the main screen and click the roller button. Go to FLAP SYSTEM. Here you will go to INHIBIT and assign it to whatever switch you want your flaps to be. I set this at 100, 0, -100 and no elevator deflection and a 3second delay. Again, this is a starting point and you'll need to check this on each model.

Optional - Flight Mode/Flaps
This option is convenient if you want to be able to adjust your airplane's trim INDEPENDENTLY for each flap setting you have. Why do this? Well, let's say your plane flies nice and straight with zero trim, but when you lower the flaps, the plane rolls right. Well, with the flight modes linked to flaps, you can adjust the trim of the plane to fly straight and level with the flaps down, but when you put the flaps back up, the flight mode changes and you go back to your level trim. I know this doesn't make much sense, but instead of writting 3 more paragraphs explaining it, just go to this post I made. It should clear things up and tell you how to do it.

OPTIONAL STEP - Setup Custom Voice Settings
At first I thought the voice settings on the Spektrum transmitters was dumb, but I've come to love them. I like the reassurance of the Tx confirming the action I made when I flip a switch. As such, I recommend setting up voice alerts for whatever switches you want. I use it for Gear, Flap position and sometimes gyro toggle.

Note: Custom voice alerts are NOT available on the Dx6e and I don't think they're available on the Dx8e.

Here's a video showing how to setup the voice stuff:
Spectrum DX6 / DX7G2 / DX8G2 / DX9 / DX18 Custom Voice Setups (2 min 33 sec)

Okay, let's see. Anything else? I think we're good! You should now have an airplane model that is setup with all the bells and whistles and is just how you want it. Great! Now I know what you're thinking...but how do I use this on ALL my planes? Well, here's how that works...

Whenever you get a new plane, you'll want to prepare your Tx for binding with the new model. Startup your Tx and go to Model Select and choose the TEMPLATE model. Once it has loaded, go to SYSTEM SETTINGS > MODEL UTILITIES > COPY MODEL. On this screen, scroll to the very bottom of the list and choose the last spot. The UI will ask you to confirm you want to overwrite the model you selected (this is why we went to the bottom of the list and chose an empty slot). Choose YES. Next, go to the Model List screen and scroll all the way to the bottom and select the new Template model. It should be TEMPLATE (copy). Load this model up and then go to SYSTEM SETTINGS > MODEL NAME and change it to whatever you want (example FMS P-51B). Now you're ready to bind the new model to your airplane.

Post-binding steps
Once you've bound the plane to the new model, you will need to check the following:
1) Test the switches and make sure that the plane is behaving as you want. If something needs reversing, press the scroll button down and go to SERVO SETUP > REVERSE and reverse the channels as needed.
2) Similarly, test the flaps and go into your FLAP SETUP menu and modify this as needed and appropriate for the model.
3) Check your control surface throws. You may need to go into the DR & Expo settings and modify them a bit to match the plane's manual recommendations.

That's it, you're done! I realize that when written down, it sounds like there's still a lot of stuff you have to do whenever you bind a new model using the template. But really, it only takes about 3 minutes to do this vs the 10 or 15 minutes it would take if you wanted to setup everything from scratch every time.

I am including a copy of my transmitter template file with this guide. I encourage you to make your own (so it'll be a perfect fit for your flying style) but if you're lazy, then just grab my model file from the link, put it on an SD card and import it into your Tx (assuming you have the latest firmware). Then you can complain about how dumb my switch preferences and voice alerts are.

Download link for Spektrum Template SPM model file:
Last edited by Suko; Aug 19, 2019 at 05:23 PM.
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Aug 19, 2019, 12:56 PM
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