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Spektrum vs. Taranis Advice

#1
Hey folks!

It has been a long time since I've been an active member of this community, but I'm looking at coming back into the fold. This time, I'm looking for reasonable advice with my transmitters to make it fun for me and my boys.

My oldest son (9yo) has just started expressing interest in my FT foamies in the garage. In the past few weeks, I've taken them out, dusted them off, and flown a little bit after taking a long (couple of years) break. Even my 5yo son has enjoyed spectating, which wasn't really the case before.

I own a Taranis X9D with an Orange module for DSMX stuff, and I was recently gifted a (discontinued?) Spektrum DX6i.

Here's my dilemma: While I love the power of the Taranis, I don't find much joy in spending too much time tinkering to get everything working right when I could be out at a park flying. I bought it thinking I would grow into it, but I have really appreciated how I can just bind the DX6i, tweak a few settings, and toss a 3/4 channel plane up and fly. I'm now considering selling or trading the Taranis for another Spektrum to make it that much easier for me and my son to share settings, buddy box, etc.

I also appreciate the ability to just take a bunch of AA batteries to the field instead of worrying about the Taranis battery, which probably needs to be replaced at this point.

What would you guys do? What do you think would be the best situation for me and my boys? Has the Taranis even held much value over the past few years?
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#2
Hey folks!

It has been a long time since I've been an active member of this community, but I'm looking at coming back into the fold. This time, I'm looking for reasonable advice with my transmitters to make it fun for me and my boys.

My oldest son (9yo) has just started expressing interest in my FT foamies in the garage. In the past few weeks, I've taken them out, dusted them off, and flown a little bit after taking a long (couple of years) break. Even my 5yo son has enjoyed spectating, which wasn't really the case before.

I own a Taranis X9D with an Orange module for DSMX stuff, and I was recently gifted a (discontinued?) Spektrum DX6i.

Here's my dilemma: While I love the power of the Taranis, I don't find much joy in spending too much time tinkering to get everything working right when I could be out at a park flying. I bought it thinking I would grow into it, but I have really appreciated how I can just bind the DX6i, tweak a few settings, and toss a 3/4 channel plane up and fly. I'm now considering selling or trading the Taranis for another Spektrum to make it that much easier for me and my son to share settings, buddy box, etc.

I also appreciate the ability to just take a bunch of AA batteries to the field instead of worrying about the Taranis battery, which probably needs to be replaced at this point.

What would you guys do? What do you think would be the best situation for me and my boys? Has the Taranis even held much value over the past few years?
Well...Honestly, many of the newer Spektrum radios have a rechargeable battery in them now, so it's a little harder to use the AA batteries. That said, the Spektrum is a SOLID radio brand. If you are looking to buddy box, and you want that easy binding that you like about the DX6i, I'd highly recommend picking up another one. Sharing settings is really easy, using an SD card; simply copy and export on the radio that currently has the settings, and import on the one you want to have it. Doing wired trainer between them is REALLY simple too, for buddy boxing.

If you're going to go the route of getting another Spektrum, I'd recommend either the DX8 or DX9. That will give you room for growth should you want to get into helicopters or some of the bigger planes with retractables, flaps, etc - you'll need the extra channels over a 6 channel radio.

The Taranis is a decent radio for some people, but if you're wanting the compatibility of the Spektrum and the sharing of the settings, you're going to want to go that route. As for the Taranis holding its value, sure - there are people who will want it; Taranis radios seem to be very popular with the quadcopter guys.
 

w1lp33

Active member
#5
Not with the multi protocol module... I actually have a tiny spectrum receiver wired inside my Taranis to the trainer port on a switch, so a spectrum radio can bind to it and buddy box wirelessly with my Taranis.
 

w1lp33

Active member
#6
And a buddy of mine has a fly sky radio, so I’ve made a Taranis to fly sky trainer cable so he can buddy box with me wired. And I can bind to his receivers with the multi protocol module.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#7
Not with the multi protocol module... I actually have a tiny spectrum receiver wired inside my Taranis to the trainer port on a switch, so a spectrum radio can bind to it and buddy box wirelessly with my Taranis.
Which means extra work, wiring it up - and I think the OP is going for simplicity...
 

w1lp33

Active member
#8
You’re not wrong. I’ll be honest, I read this thread on break at work and skimmed through it... I didn’t really catch the part about focusing on the buddy box aspect...

Lesson learned to have better reading comprehension before posting :)
 
#9
Thanks for the replies!

Yeah, I'm definitely wanting to aim more for simplicity. I don't anticipate getting into Helis or quadcopters anytime soon, but I will probably want to end up flying planes with flaps and other cool features.

I have wired buddy boxing set up between the two radios with the Spektrum as master, and Taranis as slave, but there was a learning curve and I still haven't used it with a plane up in the air yet.

@sprzout Thanks for recommending the Spektrum radios! I'll look into those!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#10
You’re not wrong. I’ll be honest, I read this thread on break at work and skimmed through it... I didn’t really catch the part about focusing on the buddy box aspect...

Lesson learned to have better reading comprehension before posting :)
No worries, man. :) I know there are people who like the Taranis and are willing to tear into it to do a lot of stuff to get it to work the way they want it. That's fine and all, but I'd rather buy something that does what I want it to from the start - or at least as close as I can get it. I guess I look at modifying the radio as time spent NOT flying, and for me, that's something of a crime. LOL

@LocalHero - Glad I could be of help. The DX8 is a really nice radio, and is what my dad has; he's got it set up for some gliders he wants to fly, with some airbrakes, flaps, a tow release, and telemetry. It's a good radio that gives him everything he needs for him. He's also used it for buddy boxing to his Timber and Apprentice planes with my old DX6 radio, which worked wonderfully via wireless trainer. I'm not sure if the DX6i offers wireless trainer functionality; I honestly don't think it does, so you may be limited to wired trainer connections.
 

tamuct01

Active member
#11
Ever connected a Spektrum to a Taranis and gotten the buddy boxing to work?
Yes, I have the DX6i and a Taranis. I've used the DX6i as a buddy box for my kids. I created a trainer model in the DX6i with basic 4ch controls and setup the Trainer function in the Taranis. I like that I can control exactly which channels I let transfer to the buddy box. For instance, I can allow elevator, rudder, and aileron, but keep throttle control for the Taranis. If you need, I can share the Taranis config. I use a stereo 1/8" phono cable to connect the two transmitters.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#12
@LocalHero If you don’t care about being locked into one system with a fixed number of channels there’s a lot to be said for pre programmed systems. OpenTX can be simplified with the latest set up wizard to not take much more time than doing the manufacturers radio, but I can see why easy wireless buddy boxing is attractive.
I would always go with what works best for YOU, sell your surplus equipment and spend more time flying!
 
#13
Ever connected a Spektrum to a Taranis and gotten the buddy boxing to work?
Yes I did....that was how I managed to spend most of my early days flying rather than repairing. My flying buddy has a Spektrum and I have a Taranis X9D+. We set up my Taranis as the master (which he used) and his Spektrum as the slave, which I used. Buddy boxing is a great way to learn to fly. A couple of the guys in my club recently bought the newer Jumper T16 transmitters, which are OpenTX based. Hard to beat the software that lets you do virtually anything you want. That being said, an OpenTX radio isn't for everyone....but copying an existing 4 channel model so you can fly your new 4 channel plane isn't hard, either.