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Frsky or Spektrum?

#1
Hey guys and girls! Ive been looking to buy a new drone and im thinking of buying a. Emax Babyhawk R or the orginal. I know that it comes standard with a frsky receiver. my question is should I buy spektrum receiver and get a spektrum transmitter or should i got with frsky? what are the differences between the two? Thanks much in advance!
 

varg

Build cheap, crash cheap
#2
That's a big debate, people love their brands. I'll avoid that and just tell you why I picked a Taranis X7; all the channels I want for less than the cost of a DX6. That's it. Seemed pointless to me to spend $200 on a DX6 and be really limited for the more complex planes and quads I knew I would eventually build when I could just get a $110 Taranis and have an 8 channel receiver for $30 which could expand to 16 with SBUS. Since meeting people with spektrum radios and using theirs I've also come to appreciate the interface of OpenTX.
 
#3
Yea, i noticed that the taranis is much cheaper than the DX6 that i originally was going to buy. My hobby store seel the dx6 for around $180 and the taranis for about $120.
 

IanSR

Active member
#4
Well, I've had both (although my FRSky was a Jumper T8 remote), now we're in a dirty area, but the spectrum has failsafed several times, luckily it's re-established sync before hitting the ground, this was about 300 meters away, my wing has a FRSky XM+ in and the jumper remote and it's only ever failsafed when I wanted it to (deliberately during testing), the other day I went out way over 500m no prob.

I was a spectrum fan, now I use FRSky, if I had to do it all again, I'd go with a multi-protocol remote and pick and choose the receivers as needed, rather than buying the Spectrum gear then defecting to multi protocol.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#5
If you will mostly want to fly Horizon brand BNFs then probably a Spektrum DX6e or DX8e will work best. The DX8e has 8 channels which is sort of a minimum these days although you can do a lot with 6. It probably adds a few additional things. I think you don't get voice alerts or TX diversity with the "e" models. If you want those things you have to go to more expensive models. Spektrum have easier support for stability and have "brick" type RXs which are good for small airplane models.

If you plan on building or doing more DIY stuff then the FrSky will work best because it is way more flexible. The base TX supports 16 channels. Voice alerts are completely customizable. FrSky have been very busy launching new RXs and have a much better selection of RXs for small multi-rotors. They also have redundancy, stability, and glider specific RXs. Generlly you should use the D16 RXs - X, RX, XM, G and S. The D and VII RXs are obsolete for the most part. You can even add a module to enable you to use Spektrum RXs and BNF models ( I recommend only for smaller up to park flyer stuff ). I use Frsky.

Both systems suffer or have the advantage of 3rd party copyist RXs. Generally I would not recommend these for FrSky. There is no strong 3rd party brand and the quality is very variable. These maybe ok for small close range projects but nothing long range, big or dangerous. Lemon are generally regarded as decent for Spektrum. Orange RXs have good features but are probably less trust worthy. Others should probably be avoided except for small close range projects.

FrSky is generally cheaper but mostly because you get way more capability/flexibility for the price. The DIY community is very active and new features appear here first.

FrSky TXs use the open source OpenTX which means in theory you can implement your own TX features if you wanted to. Even if you don't want to go that far, there is a scripting language which can be used to created add ons. And even without that the OpenTX firmware has all the programming capabilities of that the top of the line TXs have. Also it have Companion which allows you to program and simulate the TX on a PC/MAC.

The best value FrSky TXs are the Q-X7 and the X9D+. You must buy a battery, charger and SD card (for voice alerts and other features) for the Q-X7 but the X9D+ comes with them. They both have lots of pots and switches but the X9D+ adds 2 3pos switches, 2 sliders and 2 pots and has a higher res screen. The newer Q-X7 has a nice rotary selector replacing some buttons which makes it easier to program on the TX. It is much grippier but a bit squared off to hold. The new X-lite is interesting. I'm not a fan of its battery setup personally and its size means it had more limited controls.

The main difference between programming the Spektrums and OpenTX is that Spektrum pre-cans stuff like wing types and model types where OpenTX gives you a set of tools to program each channel. With the pre-canned stuff if you are familiar with RC airplanes you can poke around and find stuff you want but you have to wade through stuff you don't need and possibly disable it or even work around it. There is not much in OpenTX that is specific to aircraft. You have to know a bit more conceptually about the components you are working with to start using OpenTX. You put the bits and pieces together to build up stuff. Once you know it, it applies everywhere so there is less to learn for the same function. Most people who try OpentX and get past the initial hurdle really like its power and ease of use. It is a bit more "technical" though.

As far as how well they work the general consensus is that FrSky has better range and better range options. Spektrum technically has better latency but it is doubtful you can actually tell. FrSky Telemetry is better supported, cheaper and has better range but all new Spektrum stuff seems to have telementry built in so FrSky's advantage here is not as great as is once was. Spektrum might have better ergonomics but that is going to depend on the person.

Hard to say on link reliability these day. Generally Frsky has a better reputation for this. Both have occasional issues reported. There are more Spektrum users so more issues will be reported The old DSM2 protocol that Spektrum essentially dumped in 2011for DSMX but still insist is perfectly fine except ah blah...is really a thing of the past for new users. You can still use it but don't. Personally I have my doubts that DSSS really adds much in an RC applications but DSMX also frequency hops like everyone else so mostly that is irrelevant. A lot of more recent Spektrum range issues with multi-rotors probably came from (mis)using Satellite receivers which only have a single monople antenna and were not really intended to be used stand alone. Spektrum now have a diversity antenna version of a satellite meant for multi rotor use which should be better.
 

varg

Build cheap, crash cheap
#7
On the above remarks about range and reliability, I do have to say that I have had fewer issues over the past year or so flying than my friends with spektrum have had when it comes to signal dropouts, despite an early issue with my TX coming with a bad solder joint. I've only ever had one failsafe due to signal loss and that was when my quad was about 1,000' away and beyond a treeline, using an XM+ receiver.

This is all anecdotal and of questionable value.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#8
I had to buy new gear when I restarted flying because all my old stuff was 35 MHz. I bought Spektrum DX7S (used) and new Frsky X7S. I also bought a Jumper T12 just out of curiosity. Here's what I think:

The DX7S is dead easy to setup and use. I didn't even bother with the manual. I soon worked my way through the menus to get it all working. It has the advantage that Hobbyzone BNF planes work with it.

The Frsky is much more complicated. It can do a lot more, but the menus are painfully hard to navigate and program. You have to invest many hours watching Youtube videos and/or reading manuals before you can get it working. I reckon I must be up to over 40 hours studying, and I still struggle. It would be brilliant if you have a friend that can show you and explain. When you get anything more complicated than a simple receiver, like telemetry or stabilisation, your confusion will go up a level. You're programming it at a more basic level to the Spektrum, but that gives you more control and options for what you want to do. Basically, Frsky is more flexible than a Spektrum, but you need more knowledge to use it.

The Jumper T12 looks like a good transmitter for the money. It works more or less the same as the Taranis regarding setup, and it can do more or less the same things as it uses a very similar Open TX system. It has a multi-protocol RF module, so it can work with Spektrum, Frsky and many other receivers. On the downside, it feels more like a toy transmitter. It's very plasticy and the switches feel cheaper. It's also smaller than the others and the springs on the gimbals are relatively weak. It's still not bad for the money.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#11
I had to buy new gear when I restarted flying because all my old stuff was 35 MHz. I bought Spektrum DX7S (used) and new Frsky X7S. I also bought a Jumper T12 just out of curiosity. Here's what I think:

The DX7S is dead easy to setup and use. I didn't even bother with the manual. I soon worked my way through the menus to get it all working. It has the advantage that Hobbyzone BNF planes work with it.

The Frsky is much more complicated. It can do a lot more, but the menus are painfully hard to navigate and program. You have to invest many hours watching Youtube videos and/or reading manuals before you can get it working. I reckon I must be up to over 40 hours studying, and I still struggle. It would be brilliant if you have a friend that can show you and explain. When you get anything more complicated than a simple receiver, like telemetry or stabilisation, your confusion will go up a level. You're programming it at a more basic level to the Spektrum, but that gives you more control and options for what you want to do. Basically, Frsky is more flexible than a Spektrum, but you need more knowledge to use it.

The Jumper T12 looks like a good transmitter for the money. It works more or less the same as the Taranis regarding setup, and it can do more or less the same things as it uses a very similar Open TX system. It has a multi-protocol RF module, so it can work with Spektrum, Frsky and many other receivers. On the downside, it feels more like a toy transmitter. It's very plasticy and the switches feel cheaper. It's also smaller than the others and the springs on the gimbals are relatively weak. It's still not bad for the money.

This was exactly my experience getting back into the hobby. Purchased a used DX6 for $135 delivered worked great easy to program ran acrossed a used Taranis X9D+ which I purchased I fought with that thing for 3 months trying to figure out the programing finally sold it. I now have a DX9 which will do way more then I will ever need and easy peasy to program ask how many glider pilots are using the DX9 because of the capabilities. Those guy`s have more switches, sliders and mixes then I could ever keep straight.

As mentioned above the early DSM2 in busy areas could give problems the DSMX is pretty rock solid in the 3 years I have been back in the hobby not one glitch. They all get glitches most of the time it is a setup issue cruise on over to RCGroups as FrySky gets more popular they are having more glitch issues. What ever you choose in the new transmitters they all are darn reliable most problems comes from setup issues for all brands..
 

ElectriSean

Eternal Student
Mentor
#12
It's the eternal debate... Ease of use and good functionality vs not so easy to use but very advanced functionality. Apple vs Android. Windows vs. Linux. On and on in every hobby ;)

DSMX is solid. FrSky has been better in my experience. I'm a bit of a geek, I like OpenTX, but it can make you want to pull your hair out. One huge advantage Taranis has is the ability to put in a $100 Crossfire Micro Tx and enjoy God Mode.
 

donalson

Active member
#13
I think the "hard thing" with taranis is that for most things you program you can do them several ways... I will say the dx6 was dead easy to setup... but I haven't had issues with the qx7 either... if I don't know how to do something there will be a video on youtube or post on some forums about it...
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#14
It's the eternal debate... Ease of use and good functionality vs not so easy to use but very advanced functionality. Apple vs Android. Windows vs. Linux. On and on in every hobby ;)

DSMX is solid. FrSky has been better in my experience. I'm a bit of a geek, I like OpenTX, but it can make you want to pull your hair out. One huge advantage Taranis has is the ability to put in a $100 Crossfire Micro Tx and enjoy God Mode.
There is Crossfire for Spektrum now that just plugs into the new I12 transmitter and most of the DX series.
 

donalson

Active member
#16
It's the eternal debate... Ease of use and good functionality vs not so easy to use but very advanced functionality. Apple vs Android. Windows vs. Linux. On and on in every hobby ;)

DSMX is solid. FrSky has been better in my experience. I'm a bit of a geek, I like OpenTX, but it can make you want to pull your hair out. One huge advantage Taranis has is the ability to put in a $100 Crossfire Micro Tx and enjoy God Mode.
or the $30 R9m if you already have a taranis... I'm waiting on mine... was cheaper than buying a l9r rx that works with the stock TX and receivers are nice and inexpensive... I'm almost one collecting the last of my inav bits... after fftx I'll have to decide what to use it in... original plan was for the rmrc recruit but the efficiency and speed of the FT goblin is tempting... or the stability of something with a rudder for slower flying... we'll see when it comes time.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#20
I vote Taranis. Right now I dont know anyone who has out grown the capabilities of open tx.

Pricing is cheaper then spectrum both for radios and receivers. Bigger selection of receivers as well.

Then there is the m-series gimballs. You step into a whole new world of fine controlability when your gear has those.

Open tx is no where near as bad as a lot of people say. The set up is the same and in the same places. There are just added places to do the same things for more versitility. Yes it takes more time to learn but this hobby is long term and you gave plenty of time to learn as you grow.

I think it's better to have the versatility to grow into instead of re-buying a radio every time your skills level up.