The DumboRC X6PM-350 is a new, compact 6 channel transmitter from DumboRC, my favourite budget wheel/trigger radio brand. Alongside the launch of this new transmitter, DumboRC have also released a whole lot of new receivers - 8 in total. This means they have something for every application from micro to full scale, gyro, no gyro, built-in brushed ESCs and even full lighting controls for your scale rigs. In this article I'll review the radio in full and help you understand which receiver will suit you best.
DumboRC have been really successful in the budget RC area with their X4, X5 and X6 range that I covered extensively in this guide here. The reason that they were so successful is that the price was sharp but more importantly they were VERY reliably even over a long range and they offered useful features like gyro and lighting control without overcomplicating the operation of the transmitter. For these reasons we have see DumboRC radio gear get used more and more as an OEM with companies like ZD Racing and Rlaarlo.
Clearly they lack multiple model options and digital adjustments but at this price you could have separate controllers for separate cars/tanks/boats/trucks etc. The new X6PM-350 as reviewed here offers all of the benefits of the X4-6 range but in a more compact package that fits easily into a backpack plus at an even sharper price.
What is included when I buy it
This is a budget radio so don't expect extras. It is just the transmitter itself (for which you will need 4 x AA batteries), the receiver of your choosing and a simple but practical manual for basic functions, setup and advanced function and mixing if needed.
Understanding the Transmitter specs
Below I've broken out the specs of the transmitter and what they actually mean:
This remote can transmit on 6 channels. The first 2 are for steering and throttle. There are further 3 pushbutton momentary switches and a single dial channel that is typically used for gyro control.
Radio Transmitter Distance: 350-400 meters
This is a very good range and is proven for DumboRC. 350-400m is much further than you can really see.
Remote Control Working Current: 80-120mA
A set of 2000mah rechargeable NiMH batteries should last up to 20 hours continuous use
Receiver Operating Current: 30mA
Very low current draw required for the receiver, this would not be noticeable on even the smallest scale electric cars
Modulation Mode: GFSK
Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying is an efficient radio format and is used here
Remote Control Voltage Range: 4.8-12V
You could power this remote with a 2s or 3s lipo battery if you wanted although the battery tray on this remote doesn't have the room. Stick with AAs
Receiver Voltage Range: 4.8-10V
You can run high voltage servos if need be. This receiver will also run on 2s lipos without a BEC
RF Power: <20dbm
Radio transmission strength. I have nothing to benchmark against but refer to range for a better measure here.
Voltage Alarm: 10.8V7.4V/4.4V
Appropriate volage alarms regardless of whether you run 2s or 3s lipos or AA batteries.
Product Size: 180*130*65mm
A good weight in the hand for a small radio. More on this below
Battery: 4x AA battery (not included)
I always worry when remotes use only 3 or even 2 x AA batteries only, there is simply not the voltage for a strong enough signal. 4 x AA (or equivalent) is ideal.
Fit For: RC Car Boat Tank Mode
There are several different mixing modes including motor per side like a tank that make this very versatile for any surface vehicle
Spreading Mode: FHSS 67 channepseudo-random frequency hopping
Up to 67 automatically chosen channels available. You don't have to worry about your remote interferring with your neighbour unless you have 78 or more people trying to run a DumboRC remote at the same time...
A closer look at the Remote
Let's have a closer look at the remote so we can discuss the practical features.
The DumboRC X6PM-350 remote feels compact in the hand without feeling undersized. This is because the grip, trigger and steering wheel are all full-sized but since the batteries are housed in the grip rather than underneath, it is physically much smaller. This makes it great for portability and speaking from experience this is really useful if, like me you often pack a car or 2 in a bag when you go for a drive. The only potential downside is if you like to run a lipo battery instead of AAs - there is not as much room to fit them in. With that said AA batteries last very well in this remote and NiMH tends to be better suited to this application as they hold charge for longer.
It's a good weight
The X6PM-350 is 168g without batteries or more importantly, around 275g with batteries (I used rechargeables). As you can see below this is substantially less than the other common transmitters I've included below: all with batteries. If this were the same size it would probably feel light and junky (like the physically larger WL Toys remote on the right) but being smaller it still feels sturdy - not light and junky but not heavy and cumbersome.
6 Channel Control
As mentioned steering and trigger make up the first 2 channels respectively, just like any other surface remote. Channels 3 and 4 are on the top of the remote, above the cover for the fine controls and are push button only. Channel 5 is a potentiometer dial under the fine control lid and is most often used to adjust the gyroscope strength when used. Channel 6 is on the back side of the grip and is a momentary switch that can be activated by your thumb.
Replaceable steering wheel
Like other cheap remotes the steering wheel on this one is plastic and has a plastic outer grip which feels a bit meh. The good news is there is a replacement alloy wheel with sponge grip and it is cheap - only about $10 here. They also come in 2 colours which is cool. I've ordered one and will update this review to let you know if it is worthwhile once it arrives. Update: It's arrived, I've completed the review and I recommend it here: Ddumborc-upgrade-handwheel-install-and-review-a-must-have-upgrade-for-your-dumborc-radio.htmlumboRC UPGRADE Handwheel install and Review
Voltage return telemetry and trainer/simulator ports
When using the X6FP receiver (more on this below), the receiver can actually retun a signal to the remote showing how much battery power is on board the vehicle, typically the main battery powering the car. This will let you know when the battery is starting to run low. Not a feature we often see on car radio but is very useful on a boat where you want to know if the battery is getting low - for obvious reasons.
The 3.5mm jack on the back is not for headphones but instead outputs a signal to your simulator or even an external module - in theory you could run long range crossfire if you wanted. On the other hand the trainer port allows an input from a trainee remote or even FPV headtracker.
Which receiver do I choose?
The problem with the old series of transmitters was the confusion around which transmitter to choose which is why I wrote this article to help explain them. Now there is just one transmitter but multiple receiver options and so will focus here on looking at which receiver to pair with your transmitter when it comes time to buy. All of these receivers all a wide input voltage of 4.8v to 10v meaning the are suitable for high voltage servos should you have one available.
X6FG - Best for most RC cars 1/16 and up
The X6FG is the standard DumboRC 6 channel receiver with gyro. These receivers are a regular size (34mm x 19mm x 12mm) and have 6 standard channels. These receivers have been around for a while, offer great range and are very reliable. Weight is 6.1g. There is also a X6F without gyro but I would always recommend gyro if available.
X6FP - best for boats and aircraft?
The X6FP is similar to the X6FG above in size (34mm x 19mm x 12mm) and it also has 6 channels but instead of having a gyro, this receiver instead has other interesting features:
X6DCG - Best for most RC cars 1/16 and up with lights
This X6DCG is also the standard size (34mm x 19mm x 12mm) with 6 channels and built in gyro but this also has lighting control for LED lights. This means that for each channel you can make a light run as well as servo. This would be my pick for most car applications 1/16 scale and up. There is also a X6DC without gyro but I would always recommend gyro if available.
X4FMG - best for micro RC
The X4FMG receiver is TINY (21mm x 14mm x 6mm) and LIGHT (2.3g). It even has a built in gyro which would make this amazing for small scale cars such as the WL Toys 284131, K989, Kyosho mini z range or anything else where room is tight. This receiver has 4 channels "only" which is still 2 more channels than needed on most small cars. These use a PH 1.25 micro servo connector which is the standard on micro RC cars rather than the JR/Futaba plugs on all other receivers seen here. There is also a X4FM without gyro but I would always recommend gyro if available.
BL3F(G) -best for small scale crawlers
The BL3FG is pretty much the "do everything" receiver. It is larger at 39mm x 27mm x 13mm but it really has the works:
A note on gyroscopes
The Gyro is a feature I highly recommend. In effect the provide countersteer IMMEDIATELY after a change in direction is sensed that is not as a result of controller input. In real life the most common example of this is when you accelerate hard on a low-grip surface (or high powered car) and the rear steps out. The perfectly timed counter steer that is provided and throttle reduction helps keep you on track, whether you where trying to drive in a straight line or through corner. Since the strength of the countersteer (via steering channel) is completely adjustable with the channel 5 dial, you can change how intrusive this control is, much like in a premium full sized sports car. Check out the video clip here to see what I mean
Summary and a glowing recommendation
The DumboRC X6PM-350 is a compact well built radio built by a reliable manufacturer that feels good in the hand and can control up to 6 channels. It is robust and simple to operate and has all of the key features you would want in a radio. There is a fantastic range of receivers available that are well featured and suit a range of applications from micro scale cars to full sized units capable of full light controls and even an integrated speed controller. Most have gyro control available which is a wonderful feature that helps you control oversteering.
DumboRC make good reliable radio and this new model takes the excellent X6 model and puts it in a smaller and less expensive package with a receiver to suit your needs. This most compelling part of this however is the price. Starting at around $26 (at time of writing) there is simply nothing nearly as good at even double this and for this reason I would not really recommend any radio other than this in the budget range at present especially knowing how well these perform from a range a reliability perspective. Quite simply unless you want a mid to high range range radio with more features (like the Flysky FS-GT5, Flysky FS-G7P or Radiolink RC6GS V3) then I would recommend only the DumboRC X6PM-350 as reviewed here. Even then I would rather have multiples of this radio rather than a multi-model handset like those I mentioned in the mid-range. Cleary this is a radio I strongly recommend.
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