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Spektrum NX radios - are they worth it?


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I've had my JR 9 channel TX for years and upgraded it with a Spektrum module when they came out.

I have recently been thinking of buying a new one. As I can't get JR kit anymore have been wondering about Spektrum.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the new Spektrum NX series? Are they backwards compatible with my current Spektrum DSM2 and DSMX receivers?

Does the software perform well and what are the downloadable configurations like?

Does the wifi training facility work with other Spektrum Tx's?

 

Would love to know your thoughts and experiences.

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The new UK Spektrum transmitters for the last few years (since 2017?) have been DSMx only and will not operate your DSM2 receivers, so it may depend on how many of those you have. The new JR transmitters are not compatible with DSM2 or DSMx

 

Devices that transmit the DSM2 protocol are not approved for use in the UK (and EU), but you can buy the multiprotocol transmitters (Jumper and Radioking) that do operate DSM2 receivers. So legally they are not allowed to be used with your DSM2 receivers, but if you were to use the module from your JR then that would be fine as it has "grandfather" rights having been sold before the revised regulations were brought in.

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My experience of Spektrum radios has not been good. Too many component failures (multiple rf deck failures, roller wheel failures, screen failure etc). Customer service is diabolical. Very expensive if you want a radio/receiver with lots of channels too.

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Alternatively my DX9 Black from 2015 ( last with both DMS2 & DSMX) has been exemplary, yes Spek 9 chanels are not cheap but up to 6's are par for the course, however I also use Lemon which are both cheap and for me reliable + there are also the Orange ones which are also cheap and from my experience( V2 & V3) again reliable. 

I do quite a bit of training and again the wireless buddy has worked faultlessly with options on which channels to pass to the student and even options on how you regain control. No cables and no dangling RX's.

 

Just noticed it's my 500th post 🎂

Edited by Ace
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In 2015 having sold my house in Shrewsbury and having retired to rural France, I was well-wedged so I bought a DX9. I have had to send it back to the agent twice with faults similar to those listed by Jason-I. Fortunately I had retained my DX6i as a slave for the use of beginners so I was able to continue flying. The last time it came back from the menders I threatened it with replacing it by a Multiplex radio. It's been alright since!

 

One of my trainees has a new NX8 and another has a DX8. Neither has experienced any trouble.

 

Incidentally, I'm very impressed by the new Spektrum aerial-less receivers.

Edited by David Davis
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8 hours ago, Jason-I said:

My experience of Spektrum radios has not been good. Too many component failures (multiple rf deck failures, roller wheel failures, screen failure etc). Customer service is diabolical. Very expensive if you want a radio/receiver with lots of channels too.

 

 

So when was the "experience" you had or are you just another historical Speky basher?

 

I agreed a few years back with the demise of the UK Support and the hike in RX cost things were a bit frustrating, however Logic RC providing great service (quick and comprehensive service per and during the Covid period (not failure repairs). I have a DX4,e two DX8 gen 1's and a DX8 gen 2 and never had a problem with the TX's other than damage caused by dropping the TX and bending the aerials. The only failures in flight was with a Lemon RX and a A600 in close to 1500 flights 

 

If you don't like LogicRC then there is Ail's Hobbies or other independent service agents that have good recommendations.  

 

So back to the OP, feed back from NX users Good or Bad

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Chris Walby said:

 

 

So when was the "experience" you had or are you just another historical Speky basher?

 

 

 

 

 

Very unnecessary disparaging tone there Chris. All my current models are fitted with spektrum receivers. In my family we own 2x DX9, 1x DX6, 1x DX8 and several bundled dx(n)e radios. I also own a 1980's sanwa and futaba radio. The two 1980's radios have never failed and still function perfectly. Every one of the spektrum radios has had a failure at some point. Both the DX9's have suffered rf deck failures (which is a very serious failure when it occurs in flight). 

 

I am sort of trapped in the spektrum ecoshpere at the moment, but as current radios fail again, I will not be replacing them with spektrum. In hindsight, given my time over, I would not have gone with the overpriced and unreliable spektrum gear. 

 

Glad you have had a good experience. I have not been so fortunate.

 

 

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@Peter RobertsI'm not sure you'll ever get a definitive answer to this question........ you WILL get lots of thoughts though, and some experiences. 

 

I had Spektrum for years as they offered good value for money. Then, the equipment seemed to go up and up so when I wanted to replace my old DX7, I felt that, for me personally, the cost of what I wanted far exceeded the budget I had set.  So I jumped to the OpenTX world, with a multi-module so I could use my existing receivers and slowly migrate over time..

 

I only had a few minor niggles with the hardware on my two DX6's, and an RF failure on my DX7 which I found as part of my regular range check routine. That was several years ago and the service was fine then, but HH had a UK 'arm'. Never had an issue with Spektrum receivers (and still have them in a number of my models). As the cost climbed, I started using more affordable Orange and Lemon receivers - never an issue and still use these.

 

A number of my regular flying buddies have Spektrum - from 6 channel up to 20 but tbh, I am not sure if they are NX or IX sets!  I have never seen or heard them have an issue with any, but do see them having regular huddles and Watsapp chats about how to do something. They all use Spektrum receivers, and all seem to be getting more and more locked in, with more expensive receivers to get telemetry. 

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7 minutes ago, GrumpyGnome said:

@Peter RobertsI'm not sure you'll ever get a definitive answer to this question........ you WILL get lots of thoughts though, and some experiences. 

 

I had Spektrum for years as they offered good value for money. Then, the equipment seemed to go up and up so when I wanted to replace my old DX7, I felt that, for me personally, the cost of what I wanted far exceeded the budget I had set.  So I jumped to the OpenTX world, with a multi-module so I could use my existing receivers and slowly migrate over time..

 

I only had a few minor niggles with the hardware on my two DX6's, and an RF failure on my DX7 which I found as part of my regular range check routine. That was several years ago and the service was fine then, but HH had a UK 'arm'. Never had an issue with Spektrum receivers (and still have them in a number of my models). As the cost climbed, I started using more affordable Orange and Lemon receivers - never an issue and still use these.

 

A number of my regular flying buddies have Spektrum - from 6 channel up to 20 but tbh, I am not sure if they are NX or IX sets!  I have never seen or heard them have an issue with any, but do see them having regular huddles and Watsapp chats about how to do something. They all use Spektrum receivers, and all seem to be getting more and more locked in, with more expensive receivers to get telemetry. 

 

When I got my first 6 channel spektrum radio, it was also good value for money. However, over time their prices have shot up exponentially - especially if you need more than the standard 6 channels. Likewise, I have never had a problem with spektrum receivers (but have had some duff Lemon receivers). Spektrum transmitter RF failures do seem to be all to common though amongst other issues.  

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Peter, I have had a DX8 Gen1 for some years now, and it has performed faultlessly, along with about a dozen assorted recievers. It's an early one, so works with DSM2 as well as DSMX. As said by others, later sets are DSMX only.

 

I wanted to do some training, so this year I bought an NX8 to take advantage of the wireless trainer which the DX8 doesn't have. I also like the idea of voice annunciation to report telemetry, confirm switch operation etc. So far, it has done everything I wanted and I am very pleased with it. The wireless trainer was easy to set up, using my DX8 as the student tranny. I've installed a couple of updates from the Spektrum website with no issues. I did it via my PC and USB cable, I haven't bothered setting up the wi-fi in the tx for updates. I haven't used any of the stored model templates as I don't have any of the bnf models in there.

 

The NX8 has two antennae (one internal) which should give excellent signal coverage. Another Spektrum feature I like is Modelmatch, which makes it virtually impossible to fly with the wrong model memory selected.

 

Regarding price, it's reasonable value for the features you get, although in my opinion the styling doesn't make it look like a £300 plus transmitter. I consider Spektrum receivers to be reasonably priced, for small simple models the 4-channel antennaless ones have full range and only cost about £25. I use satellite receivers for bigger models though.

 

In summary, I am a long term satisfied Spektrum user, and think the NX8 is a great bit of kit, hope this helps.

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18 hours ago, Cassandra said:

 

IMHO buying JR/DFA at the moment would be 'brave'.


That is an understatement IMO. The “new”JR still have not brought any major new products to market that I can see, prices are high, supply has been very spotty and who knows how long they may be around? I have not seen a newly purchased JR TX for ~10 years now, that says it all really. 

Edited by MattyB
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OP also asked the question "Spektrum NX radios - are they worth it ?" which immediately invites more subjectivity as a simple 'Yes' or 'No' would not really help. Personally, I'd say 'No, you can obtain more functionality, and good service, with other, less expensive radios'

 

Re the detailed questions....

  • the manual infers compatibility with DSM2 and DSMX
  • Software performs well but my experience from viewing other club members, and discussion, is that it could be better
  • I could not comment on downloadable configurations, which I assume are for HH products as we have very few of those in the club
  • Our instructor links wirelessly to other Spektrum tx's. The manual says it will link wirelessly to any DSMX or DSM2 tx but I assume the slave tx would need to be relatively modern - or maybe not, I have only seen it linking to more modern Spektrum tx's than I have.

IMO most previous comments seem relevant, there has been little Spekkie-bashing, no OpenTX evangelising....

 

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26 minutes ago, GrumpyGnome said:

 

 

Re the detailed questions....

  • the manual infers compatibility with DSM2 and DSMX

 

 

No. That is for transmitters sold in other parts of the world. Elsewhere in manual it says-

 

"* EU versions of the NX8 are not compatible with DSM2® receivers."

 

It is the EU version that is sold in the UK.

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On 08/08/2021 at 08:29, Trevor Crook said:

Peter, I have had a DX8 Gen1 for some years now, and it has performed faultlessly, along with about a dozen assorted recievers. It's an early one, so works with DSM2 as well as DSMX. As said by others, later sets are DSMX only.

 

I wanted to do some training, so this year I bought an NX8 to take advantage of the wireless trainer which the DX8 doesn't have. I also like the idea of voice annunciation to report telemetry, confirm switch operation etc. So far, it has done everything I wanted and I am very pleased with it. The wireless trainer was easy to set up, using my DX8 as the student tranny. I've installed a couple of updates from the Spektrum website with no issues. I did it via my PC and USB cable, I haven't bothered setting up the wi-fi in the tx for updates. I haven't used any of the stored model templates as I don't have any of the bnf models in there.

 

The NX8 has two antennae (one internal) which should give excellent signal coverage. Another Spektrum feature I like is Modelmatch, which makes it virtually impossible to fly with the wrong model memory selected.

 

Regarding price, it's reasonable value for the features you get, although in my opinion the styling doesn't make it look like a £300 plus transmitter. I consider Spektrum receivers to be reasonably priced, for small simple models the 4-channel antennaless ones have full range and only cost about £25. I use satellite receivers for bigger models though.

 

In summary, I am a long term satisfied Spektrum user, and think the NX8 is a great bit of kit, hope this helps.

 

Thanks for sharing your NX experience. Having had my JR and Spektrum Module combo for some years without problems with either Tx or any Spektrum Rx I concluded the JR kit and module were good and reliable especially as Spektrum kit was built on adapted JR kit. I was sad that HH USA wouldn't sell me an updated module with DSM2 & DSMX compatibility. The JR screen is a nice big screen and I'm used to the roller selector and menus. I did buy a JR 2.4 module unfortunately just before they ceased business so it was a waste of money for me.

 

I normally hesitate when new tech is first issued but thought as NX had been out for a while it was worth asking. Doesn't sound like too many responders have taken it up so I do appreciate your feedback. I wonder how good the latest gen of rx's perform and whether together with smart ESC's and batteries they are becoming ambitious or overly complex?

 

I hope to get some more experiences - thanks to you and all other responders for sharing your experiences.

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For what it's worth I have a DX9 which I've had for years with never a glitch using both DSM2 and DSMX receivers - Spektrum, Orange and Lemon.  (Of course the lastest DX9 TX is DSMX only, but my old one is compatible with either but defaults to DSMX if the RX is DSMX-compatible as most recent ones are).

 

This summer I have been training a Newbie who has a new NX6, and my old DX9 has buddy-linked wirelessly to it with no issues at all.   Personally I prefer my DX9 (screen is brighter outdoors and voice messages are louder) but otherwise the NX6 seems a very nice piece of kit and it has diversity aerials which is always a good thing.  Of course, as has been said, in the EU/UK the NX6 is DSMX only.

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For me it depends on whether you are prepared to sell/throw away your legacy DSM2 RXs or not. If you want to keep them in use your only real option is a radio based on the MPM (multiprotocol module) or a TX with a full sized JR module bay such as the Taranis X9D, QX7 Horus X10 that you can plug in your Spek module.

 

The good news is MPM radios are pretty cheap compared to the NX8 (the Radiomaster TX16S for example is ~£150 from UK suppliers, the TX12 only ~£80) and have far more channels and functionality; telemetry RXs and sensors are also significantly cheaper than the HH equivalents. You can also buy a wider range of receivers from different manufacturers (for instance for small cheap parkfliers I use the LemonRX Spek compatibles, but where I need telemetry they get a Frsky D16 RX). The bad news is that they vary in physical quality (the X10 is very solid but more expensive, the T16S is acceptable but no 90s JR!). You will also have to get used to OpenTX or erSkyTX which are quite different to the "canned mixer" style of JR and Spektrum (though far more flexible).

 

One possible route would be to download the OpenTX Companion simulator, watch a few videos on OpenTX (the one below is my the best I've found in favourite in explaining the logic): 

 

 

...and try setting up some basic models with it. If you like it you can grab a suitable OpenTX transmitter, but if you don't you've not wasted any money trying and can buy one of the NX series or an alternative from another manufacturer. 

 

 

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Peter, the AR410 rx's I've got give at least as much range on a ground test as the standard receivers. They also have basic telemetry that feeds back signal strength, fades etc. I would hesitate to use them on a larger model as there is generally more lumps of metal, batteries etc. for the antennae to "hide" behind. That's why I like the way Spektrum give the option of satellite receivers, or those with one long antenna to give good diversity.

 

One small downside of the NX8 compared with my old DX8 is the high resolution colour screen on the NX dims after about 30s to save power, so is difficult to see if you glance down while flying. You can bring it back to life by hitting one of the buttons, and I set up appropriate voice announcements so I don't really need to look at the screen.

 

The battery on the NX6 and 8 is a single cell 2000mAh lithium ion, which runs it for at least 4 or 5 hours. The NX10 uses a 2 cell setup.

 

Can't think of anything else to say, but please ask if you want to know anything more specific, and I'll do my best to answer.

 

The NX6 and 8 run off a single 18650 size 2000mAh lithium ion battery, which runs it for

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Matty B is spot on.

I, pre computer, do not use loads of the features. Just adjust the physical model to fly as desired. I was formally educated in techi. But can’t be bothered to worry too much about fripperies. There is a world of pain in software glitches/clashes/why dididothat’s, or Ididn’trealizethatresultedinthat.

 

( I seem to have spent days lately sorting out “security” updates on various platforms. Brick through screen would sort you out mate emotions?)

 

So, if today, I would buy an open TX. Good system. If I didn’t need to throw out my stuff. Then a NX would be good.

 

I am not sure, however, why someone without an investment in Menu driven stuff would start, in 2021, in Menu driven stuff.

 

Mind, having watched users of open TX software, determined they would have a safe motor startup system, with odd stick/switch combos,  being unable to start the motor, I think KISS applies. 

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4 hours ago, Trevor Crook said:

...One small downside of the NX8 compared with my old DX8 is the high resolution colour screen on the NX dims after about 30s to save power, so is difficult to see if you glance down while flying. You can bring it back to life by hitting one of the buttons, and I set up appropriate voice announcements so I don't really need to look at the screen.

 

Stuff like that is almost always adjustable in software in modern TXs - I just looked at the instructions and hey presto...

 

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Edited by MattyB
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