The Spektrum DX7s

Spektrum DX7s

The Spektrum DX7s came onto the market several months after the original DX7 and DX7SE were discontinued leaving a fairly big hole in the "sport" radio segment. Thankfully the s version is much improved over the two originals and looking back now, having that short term hiatus was a good call.  

Finally getting rid of that antiquated programming and multiple button selection required to access the menus on the original DX7 had been a long time coming considering how much easier the DX6i, DX6, DX8, DX9, DX10t, DX18 & 18t, and even all the DSM2/X JR radios are to program over the original DX7.

The good old roll and click dial is now being used across the board on all these radios and is one of my personal favorite features.

Programming your bird's setup can be hard enough, having a logical and easy to interact with menu and value selection method makes it much more enjoyable and faster.

Spektrum DX7s Telemetry

Spektrum DX7s Telemetry

Of course the next item to mention on the Spektrum DX7s is the telemetry feature that Spektrum RC more or less eluded to incorporating in more of it's computerized transmitters back when the Spektrum DX8 came out.

The DX7 was the top selling 7 channel computerized sport radio over for several years and the newer s version is not far behind. I'm sure the new DX6 however will put a slight dent in DX7s sales.

The Spektrum DX7s Feels Great!

This is no "re-softwared" original DX7 like the DX7se was. This is a brand new radio, using essentially the same case architecture that is used on the DX8 so the feel, switch placement, and ergonomics are outstanding. For those with the DX8 or have had the opportunity to hold one, you know first hand how great they "feel" in your hands.

Spektrum DX7s Features Quad Bearing Gimbals

The same butter smooth and long lasting quad bearing gimbals are another carryover to the Spektrum DX7s from the DX8.

Top it off with full 2048 resolution and 11mS response time along with the latest DSMX spread spectrum protocol; performance wise, the new DX7s is right up there along side the other high end contenders.

SD Card Support

The DX7s as one would expect is also using Spektrum's data interface SD card support. This feature is now considered almost a necessity with today's mid to high end computerized radios. With so much development in firmware and software, having the ability to update is crucial.

This was demonstrated loud and clear when the new DSMX protocol was introduced. Those who had the DX8 could update from DSM2 to DSMX by just download the new X software off Spektrum's site and update their 8 for free in a few minutes.

For the original DX7 and JR X9503 owners, we had to send our radios in and pay a few bucks while being without our radio's for a few weeks in order to update to DSMX. SD card support also allows you to save telemetry data, transfer model setup, save model setup, etc... I now consider this to be more beneficial than telemetry, but that's just based on what I feel is important in a computerized radio.

The One Missing Item

My only real beef with the Spektrum DX7s, as good as it is and for the low price we get all these high end features for - why no back-lit display?

Yes, to keep the costs down and many probably don't even think a BL display is that important.

I know I didn't until I got my JR X9503 and soon came to realize after having a backlit display, you never want to be left in the "dark" again.

Outdoors on a sunny day, who cares - non backlit LCD displays are easy to see; but flying indoors or setting up your bird indoors in your shop where direct lighting may be weak rendering the display hard to read is a pain.

Being able to see very clearly what you're doing while programming is such a convenience.

I'm sure there will eventually be aftermarket back-light kits as there are for the original DX7, but I'm of the opinion most of us would rather pay 20 bucks or so more now up front to get that feature and avoid the loss of warranty issues by modifying the display not to mention just not having to mess around with all that.

Again, just my 2-cents (if it's even worth that). This is why I feel the DX6 is going to steal sales away from the DX7s; even though the 7s is in my opinion a better overall radio for the simple fact 7 channels is almost becoming the minimum these days for collective pitch due to remote cyclic gain & or governor settings.

Even multi rotor is getting channel sensitive these days with two and three axis camera gimbals. Get a 4 channel quad rotor with a "remote controllable" 3 axis camera gimbal and guess what? All of a sudden you need a minimum of 7 channels for a simple multi rotor...

Spektrum DX7s Features

  • 20 Model Memory
  • Built-In Telemetry
  • Extensive Airplane and Helicopter Programming
  • Throttle-Activated Timer Setting
  • AR8000 High Speed 8 Channel Receiver Included
  • LiPo Battery Compatibility
  • 8 Wing Types
  • 3 Heli Flight Modes (normal, stunt, hold)
  • 3-Position Flaps with Delay and Elevator Compensation
  • Dual Rates and Expo
  • 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 Select (English, Italian, French, Spanish or German)
  • 4.8V 2000mAh NiMH Transmitter Battery
  • High-speed 11ms frame rate with 2048 resolution

Getting a 7 channel computerized radio and 8 channel AR8000 receiver that supports telemetry and has features that were once only found on high-end transmitters for $300.00 USD boasts of the value. It's easy to overlook the backlit display (and no, not because you can't see it) - still an outstanding radio, for an outstanding price!

by John Salt 

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