A few weeks ago my good friend Clint showed up at Dirt Trax with this neat looking radio that really caught my eye. Having had some frustrations with a few of my spectrum receivers lately I was willing to take the 40$ chance on one of these radios for my self. Its was hard to resist a 2.4Ghz radio that also does VRC! As many of you know I am a sucker for great deal and like 20$ lipos this radio is a real bargain.
Included in the box:
-small 3 channel receiver
-short antenna tube
-DSC to USB VRC adapter
-under $40USD cost.
– Model Memory
– Servos NOR/REV
– Steering Trim
– Throttle Trim
– Dual Rate
– End Point
– ABS Settings
– EXP Settings
– Trainer Port (for VRC)
– CE & FCC certified
Like most transmitters you either love or hate the way they look. Personally i don’t mind its looks, the wheel and the orange/red stickers on it are probably the 2 things I’m not crazy about. So the the first thing I did was remove and install some decals of my own. The wheel will have to wait till i find time to remove it and see if i can use an aftermarket wheel.. Then again that would almost double the cost of this radio! LOL
When you first power it on the blue LCD with white lettering really catches your eyes. All of its 8 key features are right there on the screen, no sub menus to get lost in. And this is where you are reminded its a budget radio. Everything you need to go racing or bashing is there, but there are some notable functions missing such as sub-trim,idle up,timers and adjustable frame rate. Also missing is an instruction manual, which is just a PDF download a way, not big deal. I was able to work my way around the thing without it till i got to the point of Binding a receiver. This is where you will want the manual in front of you. Out of the box though the radio comes bound to the receiver.
How to bind the RX (receiver) to the TX (transmitter):
1. Plug bind plug into CH3, turn on car, the LED light should flash
2. Hold down bind button on transmitter module while turning on the TX
3. The light should go steady now
4. Let go of bind button, turn off car, remove bind plug, turn off TX
5. Turn on TX and then turn on car, it should be bound now
My first test for this radio will be on VRC PRO! For years I just keep finding excuses not to try VRC.. I guess the 30-40$ USB adapter was part of what held me back, but more so, was the need to have your car connected to a laptop or worse using up a receiver and a receiver pack just for playing the game. For the price of the radio i would not have expected the USB adapter to be included but this was the feature that really pushed me to buy this radio. The USB adapter plugs into the DSC port on the radio and of course into your USB on your pc. The wire is about 6ft long which should be find for most people. I found the FS-SM100 USB SLOT FMS SIMULATOR online for under 6$ so this could be a cheap option for anyone that has a DSC port on their current radio. I could not test it on my DX3R as it does not have a DSC so I cannot confirm its compatibility. I installed VRC Pro on my 6 month old HP Quadcore laptop and calibrated the controller using windows game controller calibration. First thing i did was play around with the controller setting to make sure the game was happy with what was connected then i jumped into a practice run! It sucked. And yes Zoofy knows why…. I however, did not right away. So i played around with steering exponential and calibration. The steering was just messed up and the car not drivable. Finally i figured it out… Yes Zoof, the sub $600 laptop lacks a good graphics card. I’m a victim of “you get what you pay for”. When i turned on FPS readout it was clear, 30fps just was not going to cut it. So after a few clicks in the graphics options i was able to get the thing up to 80fps now i could drive! The radio worked great! I can now race VRC! At this point i feel my 40$ was well spent but there is more… Next up a road test in my 4wd buggy….
Test two will be a track test. As many know that Durango DEX410 chassis is slim and a real PITA to fit electronics into. My ESC of choice being the GT2.0 lpf is a fat unit hogging up much of the the limited real-estate on the chassis. The included receiver is very slim and slid in place nicely and i was able to wire everything up without issue.
The radio had a good feel to it, the 8 double “A” cells helped give it the “quality” feel that my DX3r lacks. The trigger was a bit large and even with fuel tubing on the brake side of things my finger felt loose. So i took a ligher to it and molded the trigger to grip my finger more. Swapping between this radio and my DX3r all night was pretty easy, i was comfortable using it and it did what is was supposed to do, glitch free and with zero issues. But there was one thing found missing just before my main. I had dialed up the brake power on my ESC just before the main and during warm up i found i had too much braking power. Unfortunately the radio lacks brake alt. So you cannot reduce braking power on the fly, you have to dig into the endpoint adjustment setting to make this change. Not a deal breaker but a negative just the same.
For the money this thing is impressive. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to run VRC or needs a affordable 2.4ghz radio that’s not traxxas ugly. It passed my noob test with my wife, she thought it looked better then the DX3R a radio 10x more expensive. From talking to Clint i found out that on rctech guys have hacked the software and improving this radio, so perhaps some of the missing features are available with a bit of work. Ill update this after some long term use and once I look into the hacking options for it.
-easy to use
-included VRC adaptor
-feels good in the hand
-cheap looking wheel
-no instruction manual
-only 3 characters for naming your models
-lacks some features of more expensive radios(sub trim and brake alt)
-decals and branding just screams cheap radio
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