Featuring DSMX technology and easyto-use AirWare programming, the new Spektrum DX8e is loaded with features you’d expect with radios costing twice as much. With programming for four model types—airplane, helicopter, sailplane, and multirotors—the DX8e features an SD slot (card not included), so you can share model memory setups with just about any other Spektrum radio user. It has an impressive 250-model memory, and I especially like the way the programming handles the memory menu. Navigation is very easy, as only those memory slots that are displayed are the ones that have model settings saved to them. So should you delete any, you don’t have to scroll down a bunch of empty memory slots or move models around. The DX8e comes with four AA transmitter batteries, a complete instruction manual, and an Allen wrench. The DX8e does not come with a receiver, but it is compatible with all DSM2 and DSMX Spektrum receivers.
The Spektrum DX8e is very similar to the popular DX6e. It looks sleek and is well balanced in your hands. While carrying the DX8e, the tiltable antenna and handhold layout give you a secure grip. It has digital trims for the four main controls and the familiar Spektrum roller/switch to the right of the main display screen, and two flush Clear and Back buttons on the left make navigating the menus intuitive for speedy model setup. Having eight channels provides additional flexibility when setting up models with functions like the flaps and retracts while still providing additional channels for other functions and mix setups.
The radio has a clean layout, and it has all the standard two- and three-position switches for mixes, auxiliary channels, and dual-rate selection. The Bind button is at the upper left, and the On/Off power switch is recessed. When switching off the transmitter, you hold the switch down for a few seconds, so there are no accidental power interruptions. The screen display is the same easy-to-read layout of other Spektrum radios and includes model name, a timer (activated by the throttle stick), a battery-voltage icon and readout, four main trim-position bars, a total-radio-on timer, and a large model-type icon. I especially like the new feature of being able to choose the type of icon you want. Under the System Setup menu, you can scroll down to the Aircraft Type submenu. This is where the wing and tail types are selected, but down in the lower right corner is the Next selection. Click there and the Aircraft Image screen is brought up. In total, there are 36 icons to choose from, including sport and scale models, WW II warbirds, jets, helis, and multirotors. Additional features include quad-bearing gimbals with multipoint front-access adjustments, a gimbal mode-change switch, and a wireless buddy-box trainer function.
The list of fixed-wing powered airplane features includes seven wing types (normal, dual aileron, flaperon, one aileron/one flap, two aileron/two flap, elevon a, and elevon b), six tail types (normal, V-tail A, V-tail B, dual elevator, dual rudder, and dual rudder/ elevator), a flap system with elevator compensation, three flight modes, dual rates and expo, seven-point throttle curve, three preset mixes (rudder-toaileron/elevon, aileron-to-rudder, and elevator-to-rudder), four programmable mixes (normal or curve), and AS3X technology gain adjustments without a PC. It can also wirelessly “buddy box” with other DSMX/DSM2 transmitters.
The built-in telemetry function provides realtime information on things such as battery voltage, signal quality, motor temperature, and more. You can also set up alerts to let you know when specific telemetry values reach or exceed limits that you define.
For the drone pilot, there is multirotor flight-mode setup and an integrated FPV racing lap-timer function. While flying a camera drone, you can assign gimbal functions to a second camera transmitter with the wireless buddybox function so that you can focus on piloting your drone and maintaining visual contact while your copilot can line up the shots. You can also link with specially equipped Spektrum FPV headsets to wirelessly control head tracking and remotely change camera video frequencies.
After putting it through its paces, I really like the feel and performance of the DX8e. Priced at $199.99, it is a great entry-level programmable computer radio that’s easy to program. If you are looking for a new 8-channel system, I highly recommend the Spektrum DX8e.—Gerry Yarrish
The new Spektrum DX8e is a versatile and easyto-program 8-channel radio system.
The switch and control-knob layout will be familiar to any Spektrum radio user.