Saturday, 30 July 2011

Spektrum DX3S

One of my initial purchases along with my new model is some new radio gear.

Although most models these days come in an RTR state with a radio and receiver included i felt it would be worth experimenting with an aftermarket item and compare and contrast to what comes boxed.

Last time round all my models were always in kit form (which i prefer, but that's for another time) and the radio gear was never included. This gave way of course to the end user having a wealth of options for the user to select for their requirements and abilities.

Now, i saw some nice equipment out there but decided not to bust the budget too quickly and go for something with enough tricks and features to do the job, but also allow me to get my teeth properly into 2.4GHz DSM line of things… after all my last experiences were still on crystals and AM radios!

As a result the Spektrum DX3S came up as a recommended item and was well within the money constraints i wanted to stick too, of course it comes with a wealth of features and functions and interestingly a built in telemetry system. Something I've never had, and only in the past had i seen ludicrously expensive systems and normally not designated for land R/C models. It will be interesting to see how accurate and useful this system is.

Unfortunately this will be a half and half review, ill say what i can here as unfortunately i am still waiting on the model that this is designated for to arrive!




Thoughts so far

The radio itself seems reasonable and well assembled although the plastics feel a bit thin in places and there are some very small areas of manufacturing mismatch on the overall casing.
The antenna is a solid item with a dual pivot, so should be no big deal on reception.
The steering wheel is excellent, with a nice motion and a tactile foam surface. The trigger is also positioned well with accordance to the grip and easy to work across the whole sweep between acceleration and braking.
The  trim and aux switches are adequate, but do feel a bit “unfinished” in the fact that they are just small black stubs of plastic with quite harsh edges.
On the top of the unit is the large LCD display, this of course shows radio information such as trim and battery life, and will of course show the telemetry information once its rigged up and running. Although i will get back to this in greater detail once it is.
The screen is controlled with a click and roll wheel located on the left hand side, playing around with the radio powered up, this provides a nice quick way of working through the menus and adjusting settings.

The radio is bundled with 2 receivers, one is the SR3300T which has the telemetry ports and a normal SR300 is also included. I'm not 100% sure why Spektrum provide the two? But i would expect at least, the second one can be used in another model. Not that I'm complaining about that!

Also bundled are the telemetry sensors and mounting equipment for the RPM, the bind key, a 4x AA battery box for the receiver and 4 battery's (although ill use a hump pack) and 2 additional grips.
The grips are of varying thickness simply labelled small, medium and large and you simply pull the grip away from the handle and then attach another should you wish to alter.
Personally i find the large grip is best as it provides a reasonable amount of cushioning as well as being adequate for the size of my hand. The small grip is almost just a rubber pad, with the medium, as expected, being somewhere in between.

A sticker sheet and instruction manual are also there.

I'm happy with what i have seen so far with the DX3S and cant wait to get it setup and test it out. Hopefully wont be waiting too much longer for the Savage X to arrive.

Welcome to R-Garage

R-Garage is a blog where i record my trials and tribulations regarding my R/C hobby.

A short note about me… I have been into modelling every since being very young, ranging from everything and including the likes of Lego, Mechano and Airfix and eventually moving onto the R/C world.

I started my initial years of R/C with the good old Tamiya TL01 chassis which i spent many an hour crashing into the sideboards and road kerbs in an attempt to learn the art of R/C control. With suitable experience under my belt (and many repairs later) i moved upwards and invested in better equipment. At the time this was an HPI RS4 Rally chassis, which was without doubt superb, and i wish i had never eventually sold it as they are now no longer produced and like hens teeth!

However at the time of sale i was concentrating on other things, mainly getting my working life and career off the ground, and i had discovered i was now allowed to own and operate a vehicle on Britain's roads, so my attention was diverted for a few years and my R/C time was cut severely short.

These days i am a bit older, works going well and i have a new house with plenty of space to work and plenty of areas to go and play. So its with this i decided to revive my fondness for the R/C world.

Now i am no professional or racer, more of a hobbyist and a basher at best, and i enjoy fixing and working on models as much as i like to operate them, as well as just admire them sometimes. So i now have a list of things i want to purchase and basically get back into the game.

I decided my first stepping stone should be something rugged and off road capable, and with my love for HPI still strong, i have selected the Savage X 4.6 Big Block to get me off to a start.

As well as a bunch of spares and a few tuning items, the truck (at the time of posting) is soon to be delivered, and i hope to post my experiences of the near present and future development.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and welcome you to comment or pass on any interesting information.