Turnigy TGY-i6

by JUSS10 | August 15, 2015 | (14) Posted in Reviews

Recently I saw a member on the forum asking about a good starter radio and this radio was brought up. I had recently purchased a few of them for just that purpose, to get other started in to RC flight. I figured I would pull one out of the box and do a sort of "un boxing" as well as share my experience and thoughts on the radio after using one for a few weeks now. 

Lets start with the specs as listed by hobbyking:

• Entry level 6 channel 2.4ghz radio with telemetry capability
• Dual Rate/Trims/Gear/Flap/Gyro Gain Adjust/Flight Mode/Throttle Hold/Hover Pitch Switches
• Easy to use Programming & Navigation Buttons
• Supports Heli/Standard Wing/Elevon/V-Tail
• 20 Model Memory
• 8 Character Model Name
• Trainer  port
• Backlit LCD Screen displays real time transmitter and receiver voltage
• 4 Stick Mode Selectable
• Optional telemetry receivers and sensors available separately

Basic Programm Functions:
Dual Rates and Expo
Sub Trim
Travel Adjust
Channel Reverse
Swash Mix
Gyro Sensitivity
Throttle Curve
Pitch Curve
Throttle Hold
Model Name

Turnigy TGY-i6 Transmitter Specs:
Frequency: 2.4ghz ISM Frequency Range
Modulation: GFSK
Spread Spectrum Mode: AFHDS 2A and AFHDS
Band: 142
Number of Frequency Channels: 20
Output Power: <=20dbm
Working Current: <=100mA
Working Voltage: 1.5v x 4 AA
Dimensions: 174x89x190mm
Weight: 392g
Resolution: 1024 bit
Stick Mode: Mode 2 (Throttle Left)

Turnigy iA6 Receiver Specs:
Channel: 6 
Frequency: 2.4g ISM Frequency Range
Power: 4.5V~6.6V/<30ma
Net Weight: 6.4g
Dimensions: 40.4x21.1x7.35mm

Here is a picture of the packaging and the info thats on it. 

Here is how it comes out the package. Pretty bare bones. You have the transmitter, a manual, the receiver and a bind plug. 

Here are some pictures of the transmitter.

Initial impression is that it is really small (i fly with a turnigy 9X so this is very small and light compared to that) I think this radio a huge step up from the last 6ch flysky radio (the turnigy radios are just rebranded flysky models. This one is technically the FS-i6) I much prefer the satin black with less chromed plastic as it feels less fake to me. The gimbals feel pretty good and the switch array feels nice with the longest switches in the middle. The dials on radio are in the middle which makes sense as they seem to be the least used of all the inputs on a radio. They feel nice and smooth and have a good center (once again, unlike the previous 6ch model which felt very cheap) On the back there is a battery cover for the 4AA batteries. Again a nice improvement from the 8AA version prior. There is also a trainer port on the back that doubles as a data port to upgrade the firmware (with a cable sold seperately). The only major issue I had with the radio on first impression is the power switch feels cheap. Its just a plastic cover that goes over a standard slide switch. It has popped off at least once. This could be fixed with a dab of glue if you wish and it would no longer be an issue. 

Here is a picture of the receiver.

The receiver is nice and light. Not much to say about it. It has 6 channels as well as a battery/bind slot. It has dual antennas which I will assume are diversity but don't know for sure. Finally it is wrapped in a sort of printed card stock label. This is similar to some of the mini receivers out there so I won't call that being "cheap". Its clearly to cut down on weight which compared to the 8ch receiver that comes with the 9x this is much smaller and lighter plus it has the two antennas unlike previous receiver versions. 

First thing to do is bind the radio to the receiver. This was a little different to me at first as I assumed it was done the same way as my 9x was. There is a bind button on the front of the radio. To bind, you need to press that down then turn on the radio. The radio will say its in bind mode. Next, plug the bind plug in to the receiver and power it up via an ESC or other power source. Once the receiver is bound, unplug the bind plug and you will here the radio beep and show that the TX is connected on screen, you can now power down the receiver and radio. One thing to note here which really frustrated me early on is that the radio requires you to bind a receiver for every new model (actually a nice way to prevent mistakes of having the wrong model selected). This wouldn't normally be an issue but when you use this in a swappable power pod the same receiver goes from model to model. So just make sure everytime you plan to swap it to a new plane, choose a new model on the radio and re bind it to that model before you put your power pod in your plane. Makes things much easier when you remember that.

Below are screen shots of the screen and the user interface. I tried to capture all the possible main menu's and sub menus that you would normally use.

First is the screen you see while flying. This displays the model name, the trims, battery voltages of both the TX and RX, and the type of protocol you're running.

If you press and hold the "OK" button it brings you to the main menu screen where you can either choose system settings or the setup menu for the model you are on. The up and down buttons move a highlighted box to show you which is selected.

Under System menu, you can choose the model you want. You hit OK to enter a sub menu and CANCEL to exit one. You can also name the model, choose the type of model it is, copy, reset and the type of RX you want to use. This radio uses the AFHDS protocol. It comes with the new 2A version receiver but it is backwards compatible with older turnigy, flysky and some hobbyking receivers with the same protocol. This works out nice as I have some older receivers that I can now use on this radio since I upgraded my 9X to DSM2/DSMX.

Proceeding to the next page of the system menu there are a few more options. You can put the radio in trainer mode, student mode and a few others. You can also adjust the LCD brightness and check/update the firmware. I haven't done a whole lot with these options as I don't have a trainer cable to hook up. That said, with the low cost of the radios, you could buy two and use the buddy box system to teach others to fly for a very low cost.

Going back to the main menu and selecting setup you are shown these options. First is the reverse option.

This is really easy to do, just hit OK to scroll through the channels and hit up or down to reverse. One VERY important thing to note that I missed earlier. Just hitting cancel won't save what you changed, it will do what it says and cancel what was just done. To save what you changed to need to press and hold cancel till it moves you back to the previous screen. The beep is also a different sound. This was really frustrating at first especially after naming a model and hitting cancel and then needing to rename it again. This aplies to all menus you go and edit. 

Next is the end points. Once again pretty simple once you understand how it works. OK scrolls you through all the channels. Up and down adjusts the precentage. To choose the direction, you need to move the stick. For instance on channel one, you need to move the stick left or right to choose the end point for each direction. There is an arrow that points at which percentage you are changing. Once again, press and hold CANCEL when you are done.

Aux channels are easily assigned. just chose the channel you want and scroll through the input options. all the switches and dials are labeled and the coresponding label is chosen by scrolling up or down on the given channel.

Sub trim is also simple. OK selects the channel, up and down moves the sup trim.

Dual rates work really well and are quite simple to setup. SWA is the swich that controls this. With the switch up its in "normal" with it down its in "sport". With the switch up it will say normal and display the channel. OK scrolls through the three options and up/down changes it. Flip the switch to sport and now you can assign the sport settings. Its pretty simple and works well. There is also a graph to give you a nice visual for expo. 

Finally there is the mixing option. The mixes go on the 3 way switch SWC. You have 3 mix options and the standard mix features: master, slave, and the amount of mix plus offset. I was able to mix elevator in to the rudder one time to help someone new at flying so they really only had to turn left or right. It worked really well. Not as advanced as some radios, but once again, I consider this an starter radio that you can grow with for a while. 

Further in the menu you get the options of V tail and elevon. There are also more features like throttle curves and throttle hold as well as switch asigning if you wish to change what switch does what (for instance, maybe you want your dual rates on the right switch instead of the left). 

As far as flying goes, it works great. I haven't done an "official" range test on it but both a friend and myself have these radios and we have run them on quads and larger planes with no issues what so ever. The signals seem very solid, much better than the previous generation of turnigy models where I have had signal drop issues when flying with other people. That did not occur here. 

One major aspect of this radio that sadly I am not able to write about in this review is the telemtry options. With an telemetry enabled receiver (seem to be around $16-20) you can use the telemetry modules that the TGY-i10 uses and get real time data back on the radio. I don't know much about how it works or even how well it works but maybe I will get my hands on one in the future and write a second review. 

Overall I have to say this is a great radio for the money. I got mine for $40 and free shipping from hobbyking a few weeks back but they range from 50-55 most days or maybe even less if you buy over seas. It is a perfect radio for someone who wants to get started in the hobby but doesn't want to "break the bank" to get a radio with great features. Most cheap radios will only get you started and have limited if any extra features liked expo or dual rates. This radio you can easily grow with and use for many years and models until you decided you are fully committed to the hobby and want to get someting a bit nicer. Also, with the option of upgrading firmware, there is a chance that down the line someone will develop a new firmware for it similar to ER9X that taps in to the full potential of the radio. Even if not, the current firmware is easy to use and much better than the stock firmware of the 9X. 

- The cost. very affordable for what it is
- The features. This is a full feature radio that can fly most any model
- The size. Great size for children or adults with smaller hands
- Weight. It really doesn't require a neck strap to feal comfortable
- Overall swich layout and surface controls

- Some parts feel "cheap" such as the power switch
- No clear "Save" button to save your settings. Its the Cancel button when help down for a time
- No USB cable included for firmware upgrade. I hear the FS-i6 does include one though 
- No scroll wheel like the previous flysky 6ch radio.  

I hope you found the review helpful and please let me know if the comments if you have any further quesitons on things I missed. Thanks!


banatijano on August 16, 2015
OK I use the FlySky i6 with telemetry. You have to buy the more advanced receiver FS-iA6B. $12-13, it is stronger but heavier. The one which comes with the unit cannot do telemetry. But the iA6B has also more range (a lot more I could use it from 2.6 km OK with some errors).

By itself the iA6B also only shows the voltage of the receiver. To show battery voltage you have to buy the "Flysky Voltage Sensor Telemetry Data Module FS-CVT01 for FS-IA6B Receiver"

It is $11. You have to connect it to the balance port of the batterie and a special iBus port to the receiver, and the transmitter immediately will show the battery voltage. Sorrily there is no low voltage alarm sound or anything that would have been nice.

I think this is by far the best beginner transmitter, the price is unbeatable. It is good even for professionals, ok for very expensive plains something more reliable with a better name might be better.

I also use it for simulator with Phoenix.
Log In to reply
ingannilo on December 13, 2015
Have you been able to get Phoenix to recognize the aux channels? If so, how?
Log In to reply
GRIMESPACE on January 17, 2016
Yes, Phoenix recognizes channels 5 & 6. By default, it'll get the rotory (potentiometer) controls. You can reassign the channels in the radio to use a switch instead.
Log In to reply
m00ndancer on March 16, 2016
It does support voltage alarm at least on the latest firmware. I have the TGY-i6 and the FS-iA6B + FS-CVT01. The only downside is that it doesn't do it correctly. Max value is 10V. But there is work going on the firmware so that you can go higher. Until then I'll be connecting the leads to ground and the second cell on my 3S. Setting the RX battery alarm to 7.4V (3.7V) and the low alarm to 7.0V (3.5). Not the best solution but my lipos are really even between the cells.
Log In to reply
hack-o-holic on August 16, 2015
Thanks for the great review. Are you sure you have the model selection thing right where you have to bind a receiver to each new model? This is almost a deal breaker for me. We only have the simple HK-T6A Tx and it does everything I want minus Expo and saving models on the Tx. When I swap models using the cable and my tablet at the field, it could care less what Rx it is sending to so long as I have previously bound it to my Tx. Makes it sort of convenient. In other words, swapping models only changes the features and functions of how it sends out the signal. I'm curious why this would also require a new Rx bound as well. Do other brand Tx's behave this way as well?

One thing I really liked about the thought of this Tx was that I already have 5 receivers from my HK-T6A's and believe they will bind to this no problem. However I sometimes swap power pods between planes and think it would be a pain to be limited to one Rx per model. Even it you can bind the same Rx to two or more models it still might be a pain since you would have to know for sure you are using the right power pod containing the right Rx.

Anyone else with this Transmitter have more information to share?

Log In to reply
JUSS10 on August 16, 2015
I'm quite certain you need to bind a receiver to every model. It is a bit of a hassle but you can use the same receiver for every model if you want. When you get the radio, you could bind the receiver to the first 6 models or something from the beginning then rename and edit the models as you build new planes. I think the intent is that its a safety feature so you don't have the wrong model selected by accident and fly off. I have done this and it didn't end well. Kind of hassle but I get why they do it. I guess its an option in higher end radios. Maybe there is an option to turn it off but I didn't see it.

Log In to reply
pressalltheknobs on August 16, 2015
Thanks for this. A lot of work on your part.

I recently got one too and I'm quite impressed except for the stupid cheapo power switch (why?) and they should have called the "OK" and "Cancel", "Select" and "Done" or something. A long "Cancel" to save...Really! It's a bit hard to name them because the buttons don't work the same way on all the menus. In some menus "Up" and "Down" moves though the main list and some they select the value of the current option. Sometimes OK selects the current option and sometimes it moves through the list. Haven't figured out if there is actually a consistent rule applied here or its just what the programmer was feeling that day but it is a bit annoying. Another odd thing with the menus is that a lot of the system menus actual apply to the current model. Only some of them apply to the "system". The setup menu only applies to the current model. Once you figure it out it sort of makes sense because you don't change the model's "system" settings much once you have them set up.

Couple of points in you feature list
1. It has EXPO and Dual Rates not just Dual rates. They are programmable on AIL,ELV, RUD and you select which set with a common switch.
2. It does NOT have a Timer.

The iA6 Receiver.
One important note on binding. This receiver uses the new AFHDS2A protocol and you have to make sure you have that selected for the model "RX Setup" in the "System" menu or you will have trouble binding the iA6. The TX supports the older FlySky AFHDS (aka Turnigy V2) rxs which is useful if you have any of those but not if you don't. My TX had AFHDS selected despite the manual saying the RX was pre-bound to the included receiver..

You sort of dismiss the receiver in your review and actually feature wise it is quite good. While it is rated as a park flyer it has diversity antennas and some people have reported ranges up to 800m. "Your range may vary" obviously. I haven't tested it myself but I'm hopeful. It has failsafe on all channels which you can program from the TX. You can set the position the receiver sets the throttle and servos if it loses signal. I tested this and it works on the bench. A very nice feature. While it does not support telemetry sensors, it does have a telemetry feature reporting the RX voltage. This is displayed in the main screen of the TX and there is a configurable alarm associated with it. Very useful if you use a battery rather than a BEC, perhaps just a nice to have if you use BEC as most do these days, but apparently there is a hack you can make to the RX to get it to report an external voltage.

A hidden feature I discovered last night and have some misgivings about is that on the "Display" screen where it shows the positions of the channels if you hold down the "Cancel" button it will sweep all the channels through their ranges. This is possibly a useful test feature but probably not something you want to come across accidentally when you have just armed your gas turbine 1/3 scale monster.

One mystery...
The TX supposedly has a attenuated range check feature so you don't have to walk the whole field to get a good idea that your TX will work there. However I have not figured out how to use it since the documentation doesn't talk about it. Well, I couldn't find it. It could be a phantom or possibly it's just a fun puzzle they have given use to keep us entertained for a bit.

Log In to reply
pressalltheknobs on August 16, 2015
One other point. There have been a couple of firmware updates since this radio came out adding features and fixing a few bugs. One feature that was added along the way was enabling PPM support for the iA6B receiver...very nice (not the stock receiver though). The current Turnigy version appears to be 1.1 9-Jan-2015 which is what came in my radio purchased a couple of weeks ago from Hobby King. The current Flysky firmware version date from their North America site, http://www.flysky-cn.com, is a few days different but probably only because of the branding difference. As mentioned above, you must get a special data cable to perform the update should you need to.

Log In to reply
JUSS10 on August 16, 2015
Thanks for the added info. My plan was to just show the quick stuff on the surface. Thanks for getting more in to detail on it!
Log In to reply
pressalltheknobs on August 17, 2015
One other minor correction to the feature list...
It says above "Trainer and charging port." There is no charging port. The TX runs off 4 AA batteries. The port can be used for buddy boxing (aka trainer), firmware update, or simulator connection. Each use requires a different cable none of which are supplied.

Log In to reply
JUSS10 on August 17, 2015
I'll edit that. I just took the list right from the Hobbyking website. Should have known better than to think it was 100% accurate.
Log In to reply
rockyboy on August 19, 2015
Thank you so much for this review! I bought this radio about 3 weeks ago and have been incredibly frustrated trying to set expo levels - holding the cancel button for a long press never crossed my mind!
Log In to reply
rcrc on August 26, 2015
I have been wanting to get this radio for some time now. Thanks for your review. One quick question, does it have an option to use the two extra channels for head tracking like the 9x?
Log In to reply
Wave_hun on November 16, 2015
Hello, I have same problem. DId you find a solution ?
Log In to reply
TEAJR66 on August 27, 2015
Thank you for the thorough review. You did an excellent job highlighting the features. Your presentation of this radio as an entry level alternative to the 9X was spot on. The review has caused me to consider purchasing one of these for trial as the radio to use for my shareable airplanes. I will further explore the buddy boxing options. The radios features, as outlined in your review coupled with its price seem to make it an excellent starter radio. Thank you for taking the time to review the product and write the article.
Log In to reply
oldflyer on October 2, 2015
Thanks for the review. I have been using my i6 since July. I have been using it lately to fly electric motored sailplanes. On of the "misses" is the ability to turn a mix on or off. The old computer based 6A/B had this feature which let you turn on/off flaps for wing cambering. On the 6A/B you could mix VRA to the flaps and turn the mix on or off. This meant that you could use VRA to set the flap deflection and have the ability to return the flaps to neutral for climbing when you do not want the extra lift. This keeps you from having to return the flaps to neutral on climb and then reset them during motor off.
However, I have discovered a way to turn flaps on or off without using a mix. You link channel 5(flaps) to channel 6 using a "y " cable with two female plugs and one male plug. I had to build a special "y" cable since I could not find one commercially. You plug one end into channel 5 and the other into channel 6 on the receiver and the male end into the flap servo plug. On the TX set channel 5 to VRA and channel 6 to what ever switch you prefer. I use SWB as it is next to the VRA knob. SWB is used to switch VRA(channel 5) on or off. It works well as I can now set my camber for the motor off portion of the flight and have fun staying in lift!!
ALSO, I have used the older Flysky RX's with this TX and they work well. As you mentioned the older system would drop the signal causing nasty results. There is a "bad" area at our field where the signal would drop. I have flown through this area with this TX using the older RX with no problem. No doubt that this is a great system for the money!!!
Log In to reply
povlhp on November 11, 2015
I got this TGY-i6 from HobbyKing. I have since upgraded to the rclogger firmware, so it now has 8 channels to APM over PPM / iBus. Number of channels is a software thing - not hardware, as the protocol is the same as the i10 uses.

Nice lightweight Tx for use as trainer Tx, or for simulators. But can also be used for flying. Will use it on my RC car next, as I need more channels for FPV headtracking, and car Tx rarely supports that.
Log In to reply
tb942 on November 28, 2015
Does the RClogger firmware retain all the airplane features such as elevons/mixing/v-tail?
Log In to reply
Peter Cyr on November 29, 2015
Would you be willing to put up some instructions here as to how you set this up on your radio please? I need some info on setting up the data cable drivers etc.As in where to get a driver that works. I have the cable to run this radio on simulators and it works fine. I also bought the data cable for firmware updates but can't get my XP system to acknowledge or install it. Thanks in advance.
Log In to reply
Wave_hun on November 16, 2015
How I can add the head tracker ? I try but dont work. :( what is the problem ?
Log In to reply
Zajc3w on December 2, 2015
Telemetry is rather inaccurate.
I have Battery voltage and temperature sensors and both are giving low reading.
temperature sensor gives readout 5c below actual temperature.
voltmeter is 0.5V below actual voltage -> i have flown my quad with fluke87 strapped to it and recording min/max voltage ;)
Log In to reply
banatijano on January 31, 2016
Yeah I also found it to be not very accurate…
Log In to reply
TuDawgs on January 12, 2016
how do you set it up for F-22 raptor elevons?
Log In to reply
leogcam on April 16, 2016
Do you think this or a Turnigy 9x is better?
Log In to reply
JUSS10 on April 19, 2016
I have both. out of the box, I like the i6 better. Its simpler to use, the firmware seems a little easier. If you plan to modify the 9x and need the extra channels and functions, then it may be a better option. My 9x was decent out of the box. I had some signal issues that I haven't had with the i6. However, I upgraded it to run DSMX, it has ER9X firmware on it and I run it with a life battery and added a usb port to sync to my computer. However, if you aren't wanting to modify a radio, then I would say the i6 is the better option.
Log In to reply
FlyingDutchman_ on January 16, 2017
Hi guys, I'm new to the hobby and I just purchased my Turnigy TGY-i6, but I'm encountering a problem. When I opened the display to see my stick input on the screen with the transmitter unbound (so with the receiver off and not even bound), everything works fine. But if I bind my receiver and go to display mode then the left and right movement of the right stick (for the ailerons for me) does weird things. Sometimes is doesn't react at all, sometimes it moves to the right when i move but it stays there if I move my stick back to the middle. Any idea what this could be?

P.S. if my problem isn't clear feel free to ask!
Log In to reply
Caleb Crawford on August 7, 2019
Have had this receiver for about a month or 2 now as I have just got into the hobby and have had no problems with it so far, I haven't had the power button falling yet but I will keep that in mind. It is a really good beginner transmitter.
Nice review.
Log In to reply

You need to log-in to comment on articles.

Turnigy TGY-i6