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Complete Guide to Setting Up the Spektrum DX6i
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Author Topic: Complete Guide to Setting Up the Spektrum DX6i  (Read 59003 times)
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« on: October 19, 2009, 12:18:17 PM »
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Spektrum DX6i Setup
This is a compilation from many sites and fellow modelers. This article is going to take you start to finish on how setup the Spektrum DX6i transmitter and AR6000 or BR6000 receivers for Tamiya tanks electronics. You could use this for any system, but this will concentrate on using the Tamiya system.

First you need to understand and determine the mode of your transmitter. Mode means transmitter stick-mode, which stick will control which function/channel. There seems to be some confusion about the channel setup for the different models, especially in the usually very accurate Tamiya manuals

To help you better understand, there are actually 4 different stick modes, yes 4, not only 2 as most of us think, but let us stick to the two most common for this article, mode 1 and mode 2.

We are mostly confronted with 2 modes of transmitters, mode 1 and mode 2, where mode 2 is the most commonly used or default mode when purchasing a transmitter for the USA market. When ordering, you need to specify a mode if other than the default mode 2 transmitter. It doesn't make it easier for the newbie that most manuals for multi-channel (4 or more channels) RC systems are written for airplanes and not the ground guy's. The following information will help simplify this confusion.

Another thing to consider when purchasing the Spektrum DX6i is to order it with self centering on both sticks or if you have one send it back to have them modified and checked to:

Horizon Hobby, Inc.
ATTN: Product Support
4105 Fieldstone Road
Champaign, IL 61822
Support Phone: (877) 504-0233
Fax: (217) 355-1552
For more info check out the website at

This is electronic system shown in the Tamiya tank-manuals:

If you check the Tamiya setup manual, you will see that according to the manual, the left stick should control the throttle and the turret-rotation and the right stick the turning and gun-elevation, main gun and machine gun firing.

Let’s take a closer look to help you understand RC transmitter mode and channel numbering. After gaining this knowledge you will be able to better setup which control feature you desire for each stick position.

A quick way to determine a Spektrum DX6i transmitter mode is to look at which side the trainer/bind lever is on. Left is Mode 2 and on the right is Mode 1.

Descriptions used here are for the airplane terms, since that's what you will find in most RC transmitter manuals.
Here is a translation for ground terms:

Airplane Terms:      Tank Terms:
Ch 1   Throttle   =   Throttle
Ch2   Aileron   =   Turret Rotation
Ch3   Elevator   =   Gun Elevation / Gun Firing
Ch4   Rudder   =    Steering

The functions described in the Tamiya manual are the channels for the DMD unit, which need to plug into the receiver.
(To set up a transmitter with Stick Mode 1 - the standard airplane mode) you have to switch the channels as follows:

Tamiya DMD Unit:        How it should be plugged into Receiver:
Rudder   = Ch 1      Rudder   = Ch 4
Throttle   = Ch 2      Throttle   = Ch 1
M.gun   = Ch 3      M.gun   = Ch 3
Turret   = Ch 4      Turret   = Ch 2

Now to setup the throttle and steering on the left stick, meaning throttle and steering on the same stick

Throttle/Steering left stick:         Throttle/Steering right stick:
Rudder   = Ch 4         Rudder   = Ch 2
Throttle   = Ch 3         Throttle   = Ch 1
M. gun   = Ch 1         M.gun   = Ch 3
Turret   = Ch 2         Turret   = Ch 4

Now you have a better understanding of the transmitter mode and receiver channel mapping, let’s get started with setting up your tank.

Binding receiver to transmitter
1.   Insert one of the cables from the Tamiya DMD unit into the AR6000 or BR6000 receiver, it doesn’t matter which one at this time
2.   Insert the bind plug into the BR6000 receiver battery port receptacle
3.   Attach a battery to the DMD unit
4.   Turn on the DMD switch. Note that the LED on the receiver should be flashing orange, indicating the system is ready to bind
5.   Pull and hold the trainer/bind lever on top of the transmitter and turn on the power switch
6.   Wait 5 seconds and release the trainer/bind lever. The BR6000 receiver LED should go solid orange, indicating the receiver and transmitter are bound
7.   Remove the bind plug from the receiver before shutting down the receiver and store it some were safe in case you need to rebind later or add extra tanks
8.   Turn off the DMD unit, then the transmitter.

With your tank shored up on a block of wood to raise tracks from moving the tank, attach the DMD plugs into the proper channels of the receiver to match your desired settings.

Setup the DX6i transmitter

Go to the Setup List
Check POWER SETTING set as:
EU use A – EU 328
US use B – US 247

The following settings allow you to fire the main gun with full up elevator and the machine gun with full down elevator without moving the trim setting. This works for the added button modification to the DX6i transmitter also.

Go to SUB TRIM to set up the main gun set as:
Mode 2 set Elevator
Mode 1 set Throttle

Go to TRAVEL ADJ to set up the machine gun set as:
Mode 2 set Elevator
Mode 1 set Throttle

No need to adjust these settings because the SUB TRIM & TRAVEL ADJ handle these.

MIX 1 (Settings to fire main gun) set as:

MIX 2 (Settings to fire hull machine gun) set as:

To add the ability to turn on the front headlight by flipping the GEAR switch on then off. You can plug in a MCD 'ADD-A-SWITCH' circuit board to RX channel 5 (GEAR) and set up the TRAVEL ADJUST of Channel 5 (GEAR) to +125%. This doesn't seem to interfere with the MIXES using the GEAR channel (unless you leave the GEAR switch on!)

Add the ability to power down the tank by flipping the FLAP switch from the transmitter add a Pico switch to channel 6 (FLAPS).

With the addition of RC switches (Dimension Engineering's PicoSwitch) the two extra channels (flaps & gear) can be used to toggle headlights on/off (if you install them) and shut down the tank temporarily for a warm restart.

PicoSwitch is a relay switch that you toggle via hobby radio control gear. You can use PicoSwitch to quickly and easily control anything from a digital camera shutter to an electric squirt gun to home lighting and more. You can activate applications with voltage levels as high as 125VAC without having to know anything about micro-controller logic levels or transistors because the relay offers full electrical isolation from your receiver electronics.

PicoSwitch plugs into a standard hobby radio control receiver as easily as a servo does. You connect the load that you want to toggle using PicoSwitch's wear resistant screw terminals. Depending on the channel you use, you will then be able to control the relay by moving your radio's control stick up or down, left or right, or another method you desire.

PicoSwitch has a status LED on the bottom. The LED will light up when the relay switch is on, and vice versa. It will also tell you if your radio link is too weak by flashing repeatedly.

The relay is a single pole single throw switch. It has a typical lifetime is 100,000 to 1,000,000 switching cycles, depending on how heavy a load you are using. The relay is normally open when unpowered.

PicoSwitch does not supply power at the screw terminals. PicoSwitch should not be used to switch inductive loads like motors or solenoids without an anti-parallel diode.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 02:53:05 PM by mschrad2 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 02:03:05 PM »
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For our EU viewers, I should point out that you should NOT use the US 247 power setting as this exceeds the 100mW max power output allowed in most EU countries Grin

In reality the tank will most likely never be far enough from you to need the higher output, so I'd recommend using the European setting to preserve your battery life. I have discussed this with Horizon Tech support, and they assure me that the power output is the only difference between US and EU standards.

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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 02:23:38 PM »
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Very good point Mart and I will add that to the article.

What I have done is compiled and sorted out the good from the bad (What works & what didn't) into an easier to understand step by step document for the newbie. I have just had a difficult time trying to figure this out on my King Tiger.

I'm just trying to make it easier for the next person. Also document it for myself to use down the road on other tanks.

I won't take any credit for this other than composing what others have done. I want to thank Grompix, Jim Bowman, Willy and others for their tips.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 02:47:28 PM by mschrad2 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2012, 11:27:31 AM »
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Just a simpler explanation of how to set up the radio for firing the cannon on your tank

1: Take your DX6i radio and hit the scroll button to go to set up list
2: Scroll down to travel adjust, #3 on the list, click the scroll button again
3: Scroll down to elevation and make sure the travel is set at 100% ( it should be set there from the manufacturer but check it too be sure)2
4: Make sure it is 100% in both the up position and down position the arrow to the left will change this is important!
      if not done correctly the cannon or machine gun won't fire!
5: When this is done click the scroll button and reverse scroll out of the settings frame to list and click scroll and reverse scroll  to main and and click the scroll button again this puts the radio in the operate position
6: Set up your tank's DMD/MFU according to Tamiya's instructions
7: After doing the DMD/MFU set up turn the tank off (again important) go back to travel adjust in the radio and to the elevation setting again
8: With you firing stick all the way up use the scroll button to adjust to 125% travel the do the same with the stick in the down position (again important if you want macine gun and cannons to work)
9: click the scroll button and back out of the settings frame and the scroll out of setup
10:  Your done......................enjoy

This may sound complicated but its not. My radio for whatever reason has lost its settings a couple times and resetting it has become second nature along with setting up several new tanks Grin

Mike  2
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 12:06:27 AM by EOT » Logged

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