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Monday, August 22, 2011

Fixing Spektrum's DX6i Trim Button Defect

Update: Two more trim buttons broken and a dual rate switch jammed immovably.  This radio has a useful life of about one year before a switch and button overhaul-- moved to my AVOID list.

***** This safety bulletin affects all Spektrum radios with plastic trim buttons *****
Sometimes there is a fine line between breakage from normal wear and tear, failure from a design flaw, or a dangerous product due to the manufacture's negligence.  This flight control issue is the latter.

Looking back, the DX6i was a much better deal than my horribly lethal DX8, which I finally destroyed out of concern for my fellow man.  It also has had fewer issues, with the exception of an unsafe lack of throttle-high signal cut out during binding and model initiation.  So after I ditched all of my Spektrum gear in favor of Hitec radios, I retained my DX6i specifically to fly micros with integral receivers.

My 6i isn't exactly old, nor had it been used that much.  But in typical Spektrum radio fashion, it tried to destroy a model today when the elevator trim tab stopped trimming forward and would only trim backward.

After inspection of the interior switch mechanism, it turns out that all of your models and the safety of those within crashing distance rely on a 1/32" thick, ultra cheap plastic tab not breaking -- two of them, actually, for each stick direction, or a total of 8 tiny plastic tabs just itching to surprise you.  This radio is a ticking bomb.

If that isn't bad enough, it turns out that Spektrum knows all about their DX6i's flight control defect, but couldn't care less that it is dangerous so long as they make an extra 1 cent per radio sale.  How do I know?  Simple.  Look at the DX8's aluminum trim buttons:
Click to enlarge and note the aluminum switch replacements for the DX6i's known hazardous, ultra-cheap trim buttons,  Horizon Hobby/Spektrum is begging to be sued, they are the most negligent company I've ever seen in operation.
I urge users to send their DX6i's, or any other Spectrum radio with plastic trim buttons, back to the company and demand replacement with the safe aluminum buttons.  Since I know Spektrum will go into hiding like they always do when confronted with a myriad of safety problems, I'll post a "how to" fix tutorial shortly to help avoid an accident.

If you use one of these Spektrum radios, consider your fleet grounded until Spektrum corrects this potentially lethal flaw and caused injury to you, or worse, a friend or a family member due to known-defective flight controls.

Picture Tutorial:

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