You will get mixed feelings about this Spektrum DX4e 4 Channel Radio. This was my first radio because it came with my first CP heli, the MCPX. In my opinion, the DX4e is a very decent radio. It definitely is a great first beginner radio without a doubt. It has the options for mode 2 and 4 which can be switched with the slider dials on the bottom of the radio. If you do not know what the mode differences are I will explain a little later. This radio will help you get used to the average switches on a higher end radio if you are coming from coaxial heli’s. It is a beginner radio and is designed to be just that. It does it’s job. A few minor complaints from my end.
Chances are that if you have this radio, you are transitioning into the actual world of RC helicopter flying. From my experience the worst part about moving up was getting used to the stick movement. The radios that are packaged with coaxial heli’s are usually reversed in one way or another. The stick movement on the DX4e is spot on with flying in the US if you are in mode 2, but the switches are backwards. If you do some research you will quickly realize that all radios above the DX4e has a standard switch layout. This radio should not be the exception but it is. After all, 90% of this hobby is training your fingers with repetition. Do not let this keep you from buying it as your first radio. I will show you have to fix that below. An additional downside is that you cannot turn off the trims. Normally you will not use the trim sliders on a collective pitch heli. With this radio they either get moved in transit or sometimes during flight. All that aside is still is a very reliable first radio. I still have mine and still use it over a year later.
- Non-Computer Radio
- 4 Channel
- 2.4 GHz
- 4 AA Batteries
- DSM2 or DSMX Compatible
- Servo Reversing Capable
- 2 Flight Modes (Normal and 1 Idle Up)
- Radio Mode 2/4
- Phoenix Flight SIM Compatible
Some of the Compatible Blade Heli’s:
- 120 SR
- Nano CPX
Basic RC Radio Information:
The difference between radio mode 2 and 4. It sounds complicated, but it is actually very simple. There are actually four different radio modes. They are simply 1, 2, 3, and 4. The different modes basically cause the sticks to change which servos that they control.
The different modes, looking at the front of the radio.
- Left stick controls (Elevator/Rudder)
- Right stick controls (Throttle/Aileron)
- Left stick controls (Throttle/Rudder)
- Right stick controls (Elevator/Aileron)
- Left stick controls (Elevator/Aileron)
- Right stick controls (Throttle/Rudder)
- Left stick controls (Throttle/Aileron)
- Right stick controls (Elevator/Rudder)
Bet you did not realize there could be so many combinations. Now that modes makes sense, realize that most US radios are setup for Mode 2 by default. There are different mode standards in different countries. I am trained for Mode 2, but feel free to play with it and get used to the mode that you are more comfortable with.
Spektrum DX4e 4 Channel Radio Switch Modification
I point out the issue about the switches in my review. The most important switch on this radio that you need to get used to using right off the bat is the Throttle Hold switch. Well, actually on this radio it is a button and it is labeled Trainer/Bind. Trainer if you are hooked up to another radio. This allows you to control the heli, but if you start to get into trouble the person with the other radio that can be attached to yours can override your movements for safety purposes. It is a great teaching tool. It doubles as your Bind button when you first connect your radio to your heli. In order for your DX4e to actually control your heli. When you are in flight this button becomes Throttle Hold. Throttle Hold instantly disconnects power to the motors of your heli. Think of it this way; you do not want to crash into a wall, the ground, or god forbid another person with your blades spinning. That will cause more damage to your heli and object. Throttle Hold stops the blades from spinning and will save your more times than not. Now on an average radio the Throttle Hold button/switch is located on the right side of the radio and not the left like it is on the DX4e. The same thing goes for the Normal/Idle Up switch. On an average radio this switch is on the top left side of the radio. On the DX4e the switch is on the lower left. Next I am going to show you how to solve this issue.
WARNING: This modification WILL VOID the warranty on your radio. If you are not careful you may even break your radio. Failure to remove the batteries can cause electric shock. You have been warned and I am not responsible for any damage, warranty loss, or injury as a result of this mod.
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Wire Cutters
2. Now that the radio is open you may as well make a couple minor adjustments. The throttle stick by default is notchy. Some dislike that and if you want to rid your self of it, straighten out the silver plate indicated in the picture. When it is flat push it down to the resistance that you desire. I have added heat shrink to make it feel more smooth.
4. Now that the minor adjustments are complete. Here are the two switches that we are going to move from the inside of the radio.
5. Remove the nut around the Trainer/Bind button on the outside of the radio.
6. Once the nut is removed, gently wiggle and push the Trainer/Bind button back until it is free. This is a tight fit and will take some patience.
7. Remove the 5 indicated screws from the circuit board.
8. Gently pull the circuit board back slightly.
9. Next push this rubber plug out from the inside. This is where the Trainer/Bind button is going to be relocated.
10. The wire attached to the switches is bound by this plastic guide. Take your wire cutters and snip it. Be careful not to nick the wires in the process.
11. Route the Trainer/Bind button to the other side of the radio.
12. You can take the time to wiggle the Trainer/Bind button into it’s new location or you can shave some of the hole off at an angle with a drill. This will make installing the button easier.
13. Once the Trainer/Bind button is installed, secure it with the nut and tighten it down.
14. Now lets move the ACT/AUX switch.
15. Remove the nut from the switch.
16. Turn your radio back over and remove the switch.
17. Move the ACT/AUX switch up to where the Trainer/Bind button used to be.
18. Reinstall the nut and secure it.
19. Use the rubber plug from earlier to seal the ACT/AUX hole.
20. Reinstall these 5 screws.
21. Replace the back of your radio and reinstall the 4 screws.