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Spektrum DX8 8-channel 2.4GHz DSM2 transmitter

By Greg Covey
Published: November 11, 2010
Spektrum DX8 box
The DX8 supports four flight modes, eight wing types, and five tail types.
The DX8 includes an AR8000 8-channel High-Speed Receiver, TM1000 Full Range Telemetry Module, and power supply with four interchangeable male outlet attachments.

Product: The new Spektrum DX8 combines industry-leading 2.4GHz DSM2 technology with real-time telemetry in an 8-channel sport-level radio system.

The 30-model transmitter provides smooth 2,048-bit resolution with a high-speed 11ms frame rate equal to the DX7SE. The telemetry module is expandable and is capable of supporting quality of signal (antenna fades, frame losses, holds), receiver pack voltage, rpm, temperature and flight pack voltage measurements. Now you can keep your engine or motor operating in the optimum temperature and rpm range, or even check your battery voltage in-flight!

The new “AirWare” software gives you expert programming features without requiring you to be an expert to use it. The DX8’s large back-lit LCD screen allows you to easily monitor telemetry or settings at a glance. The data interface is designed for use with a standard SD memory card, adding a new level of user flexibility. The included 128MB SD card provides expanded model memory, model sharing, and firmware update capability.

Designed with superior ergonomics, the DX8 has excellent weight distribution, no-slip rubber grips, and smooth, adjustable gimbal mechanics. The onboard global-smart charging system can be powered by any 12V power source with a compatible 4mm barrel connector. This includes 12V DC power supplies, 12V batteries or even the accessory jack in your vehicle.

The charger detects the chemistry of the transmitter batteries (LiPo or NiMH) and automatically adjusts the charge type and cutoff.

Performance: My first experience with the DX8 transmitter immediately told me that I was in for something different. Like any user, the first thing I did was take the transmitter out of the box and turn it on. It started vibrating, beeping, and issued a clear flashing warning on the screen that my throttle stick was set high. I set the stick back to low and immediately started traversing the menus without opening the manual.

The DX8's new AirWare software was developed by Spektrum from the ground up. The menus reminded me of my DX6i interface, but this software included all the programming functions an expert pilot could want. The DX8’s Simple Scroll interface lets you “roll and click” your way between menus with intuitive ease. It works much like a computer mouse for your thumb.

The DX8 comes with both a multi-language hardcopy Starter Guide and manual. The features and functions of the DX8 are numerous. However, the new AirWare software has reorganized the menus to be more intuitive. The main function list has grouped the menus so that your most common items are easiest to access.

You simply press the 128MB SD card to release it from the side of the transmitter, and it can be directly plugged into your PC, allowing you to transfer models between PCs or other DX8 transmitters similar to using a digital camera!

The DX8 transmitter supports all four modes, eight wing types and five tail types, which covers nearly all aircraft and pilots. An electronic E-ring feature prevents overdriving the cyclic servos and the active gain and governor trim allow for in-flight adjustment of gyro gain and rpm. Another key feature is the programmable flap system with delay and elevator compensation for more scale effects.

Marketing: With an MSRP of about $600, the DX8 is best suited for intermediate to advanced flyers. The built-in vibrating warnings may be highly desired by users that listen to music while flying or practicing for a competition. The DX8 charger comes with a set of international power adapters that may favor customers that travel abroad.

The built-in failsafe and servo sequencing features provide less latency than any other PCM radio on the market. The 2.4GHz DSM2 technology not only protects flyers from others by eliminating unwanted interference, it protects pilots from themselves by not allowing an incorrect model to be flown before selecting the correct one on the transmitter.

Although the TM1000 (No. SPM9548) Full-Range Telemetry Module is included for providing real-time flight log data, receiver voltage, flight pack voltage, rpm and temperature readings, the rpm sensor and bracket (No. SPMA9569) is not included. Other optional sensors can be purchased for a variety of ways to detect regulated servo (No. SPMA9554) or raw flight pack voltages (No. SPMA9556 and SPMA9557).

An optional TM1100 (No. SPM9549) Fly-by Telemetry Module is also available for small aircraft or helis. It weighs about a third (5.4g) of the TM1000. The TM1100 is telemetry compatible with any DSM2 receiver and provides a 300–400-foot range.

I would expect other sensors to become available for these telemetry modules in the future. The Spektrum DX8 is truly the world’s most advanced 8-channel radio.

Product: DX8 2.4GHz DSM2 radio
Maker: Spektrum
Stock No.: SPM8800
MSRP/MAP: $599.99/$429.99
Availability: Horizon Hobby

Easy to use
Many upgrades; SD card memory
Intermediate or advanced pilots

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