Spektrum DX7

As the first full-range, ‘spread-spectrum’ 2.4GHz radio system to hit the shelves, Horizon Hobby’s Spektrum DX7 is set to cause quite a stir. The 2.4GHz frequency band allows the various components of the system to communicate in a way that has never been possible using standard 35MHz equipment, meaning that a new brand of radio gear is arriving to revolutionise the way we operate our aircraft. The DX7 is first to the punch, and RCM&E will be publishing a two-part review across its March and April editions. The first part will cover the product’s functions, while the second will concentrate on practical testing. ModelFlying.co.uk has a sneak preview of part one, which will be available to read in full in the March issue of RCM&E – out on 16th February (or earlier to subscribers). Here’s a round-up of reviewer David Ashby’s initial thoughts:

PROS
  • Truly revolutionary: “It seems uncanny that almost overnight, this system will remove so many of the problems that we’ve grown accustomed to working around for so many years…The thought of a flying field free from frequency control muddles and switch-on shoot downs is very attractive.”
  • Price: “Initially, £270 sounds a trifle high for a basic seven-channel computer radio, but when the full capabilities of this little bundle are realised, I for one find it eminently acceptable – not least because the set is packaged with a quartet of digital servos.”
  • Capacity: “In terms of features, the DX7 is a mid-range offering on a par with the JR 2610 or Futaba FF7, although it does offer a generous 20-model memory compared to the 10 found on the JR and Futaba.”


  • CONS
  • Small niggles: “The omission of a transmitter charger seems silly. The charging socket on the Tx has a reversed polarity uncommon to the majority of current sets, although JR owners will be able to use their current unit…Moreover, the Tx battery connector is not of the standard type, so the battery can’t be easily removed for a fast charge with a commercial charger. It seems a bit stingy not to include a receiver battery pack – or neckstrap.”
  • Visibility: “The screen could be a little brighter, although Spektrum’s characters are easy to read and the two rocker switches simple enough to use without reference to the manual every time a change is made.”


  • THE VERDICT
    You’ll have to pick up the March issue of RCM&E to find out! Suffice to say, however, that despite a couple of minor whinges David came away from part one of the evaluation suitably impressed. He explains exactly why in the full review, so be sure to pick up a copy of the mag. The proof of the pudding, of course, will come in the flight test. All in good time…