What is the Dual Rate Setting and How to Properly Program the Spektrum DX6i for Flying RC Planes and Helicopters

Updated on December 30, 2016

Flying RC planes is a great skill to share with kids. Every time my family hits the flying field, the neighborhood kids gather around and watch. If they are really lucky, a couple of them will be given a chance to try their hand at one of the entry-level planes.

Inevitably, these beginner pilots can't control the aircraft very well. Heck, did any of us drive a car very well the first time behind a wheel?

To help make the planes a lot more docile, the Dual Rates can be set to minimize the movement of the control surfaces and soften the flight of the plane. Changing the settings are not a hard process, but it makes a world of difference for new pilots!

Graphic Representation on Servo Movement Vs. Stick Movement with Various D/R Settings
Graphic Representation on Servo Movement Vs. Stick Movement with Various D/R Settings
The Spektrum DX6i has easy to navigate settings.  Almost every programmable radio will have similar options.
The Spektrum DX6i has easy to navigate settings. Almost every programmable radio will have similar options.

What is Dual Rate

Under normal circumstances, virtually every servo/receiver combination will default to moving the servo throw to its full setting.

Servo "throw" is the measurement of how far a servo will move when activated by moving the stick on the transmitter. The normal, out-of-the-box setting for the servo is typically 100%, meaning that when the stick is moved all the way to one side or the other, the servo will move to its 100% throw setting. Look at the picture to the right to see how the movement of the stick is reflected on the servo.

Dual rate allows the pilot to create a second maximum throw setting. Most pilots keep one setting at the default 100%, and add a second setting somewhat lower. For example, if the second setting in the dual rate mode was set to 70% for all the servos, then when the stick was moved to its full position, the servo would have only moved 70% of its maximum.

Study the chart to see how servos move at a different D/R setting.

Why use D/R?

There are three primary reasons to use the Dual Rate.

A. Making the Aircraft more Docile

This is the most common use for the D/R mode. Whether you are a beginning flier or simply have a new plane that you are getting to know, activating a D/R setting of 60 or 70% will soften the movements of the control surfaces.

With the control surfaces moving a smaller amount, the plane will fly in a much more docile manner.

Typically, after a few flights, the flier will adjust the D/R setting and fly it again. This process will repeat until the flier is comfortable flying at 100%.

B. Operating a High Speeds

The faster your plane flies, the less control surface is needed to effect a change in the movement of the aircraft. Think about fighter jets. These are long and sleek aircraft with very small control surfaces. Think about how the wing is sized compared to a slower prop plane.

That same principle holds true for model aircraft. If you are flying a hopped up Electric Ducted Fan jet, then you know the slightest movement of the aileron, rudder or elevator will cause a sudden and drastic movement of the plane. Imagine what would happen if you actuated the FULL servo throw at 200 mph?

These fliers will use the D/R to safely fly at high speeds. During takeoff and landing, the D/R is set back to 100%, giving the pilot full control while operating at slower speeds. But once in the air and the speed picks up, these fliers will switch to a D/R mode of 30% to 60%.

Warning

Before increasing your servo throws above 100%, make sure you read the specs of your particular equipment. Not every servo allows movements beyond 100% and forcing it to do so may result in damage to the equipment or the plane.

C. For Aerobatics

Have you seen stunt pilots fly their 3D foamies at the flying field or RC show? These people are controlling extremely powerful planes that can seemingly flip end over end and dance in the air inches away from the pilot's face. They really are a marvel to behold.

Stunt pilots use the D/R, but in a way that is the exception. In this case, they want the servo throw to be as BIG as possible. Out of the box, servos typically default to 100% throw, but these folks increase the servo throw in D/R mode to a whopping 125%. Activating this setting allows the servos to move farther than their factory settings in order to give the pilot dramatic movement in the control surfaces of the plane.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
See the three settings all at 0 and 100%.  When the switches are in the off position, you will have 100% servo throw.When the Setting is at position 1, the servo throws are changed.  I still wanted 100% rudder movement.
See the three settings all at 0 and 100%.  When the switches are in the off position, you will have 100% servo throw.
See the three settings all at 0 and 100%. When the switches are in the off position, you will have 100% servo throw.
When the Setting is at position 1, the servo throws are changed.  I still wanted 100% rudder movement.
When the Setting is at position 1, the servo throws are changed. I still wanted 100% rudder movement.

How to Set the D/R

Most programmable transmitters allow you to set Dual Rates. I will show you how to do it for the Spektrum DX6i (my favorite!)

From ADJUST LIST choose D/R&EXPO.

The screen will look like the picture to the right. Check to make sure that the number next to AILE, ELEV and RUDD are all set to 0. If not, flip the Aileron, Elevator or Rudder switches on the transmitter. You will notice that they will toggle between 0 and 1.

To start with, keep all the settings in the 0 position at 100%. Leave the Expo set to INH (which stands for inhibit).

Now, flip all three switches so the display shows 1 for each. Scroll and change each setting to 50%. You can change the percentages later to what helps your flight profile the most.

Assign the D/R to a Switch

Once the D/R is programmed and activated, you need a way to toggle it when you want. There are two ways to do this:

Assign Each Servo to a Different Switch

The default setting is to assign the D/R for each servo to a different switch. This means if you want to activate the Dual Rate only for the Elevator, you can flip the Elevator switch on the DX6i to limit the servo throw of only that control surface. You saw that from the earlier step where we toggled each of the three switches and made them either a 0 or a 1.

You will see this used most often for fliers trying to learn to control a four channel plane. The addition of ailerons can be tricky for those who learned to fly on a three channel RC plane. The flier will limit the servo movement of the ailerons to 40% or so and practice with only that control surface limited. As the pilot becomes more experienced and comfortable, the D/R setting will be raised.

Assign All Servos to One Switch

For airplanes, this is the option that is most frequently used. It allows the rudder, elevator and aileron servo throws to be limited in the same manner at the same time. To do this go to SETUP LIST and choose D/R COMBI. The D/R SW setting gives four options: INH, AILE, RUDD, and ELEV. It is defaulted to inhibited, but choose RUDD for this example.

You just combined all three Dual Rate settings to be activated by the flip of the Rudder Switch on the transmitter. I prefer to use the Rudder Switch since it is easy to use my right hand to flip it without having to change my grip. Play with this setting until you are comfortable.

Note: You will find that RC Helicopter fliers may not want all of the servos to be be limited at the same time. In fact, many fliers prefer to have the rudder remain at 100% while the other servos are at a smaller throw.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • MVKilgore profile image

        M. Victor Kilgore 

        2 years ago

        I love my DX6i...thanks for the great info.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)