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Transmitters with Telemetry - What are my options?

kah00na

Senior Member
#1
I'm thinking about getting a different transmitter with telemetry built in mainly so I can stop setting the low voltage alarm on my quadcopter and let the TX do it for me. I'm interested in the low voltage and an altimeter. Other monitors would be nice but that is all I really want to start with. I have a 9X and 9XR now but I want the TX to have the ability built in because I don't want to modify any of my hardware (resell reasons). I'm not really sure where to start looking. My LHS started selling the Spektrum DX6 and it looks like it can do those things but I can't find specifics on how it all works. I'm wondering what other people are using and just trying to figure out my options and what I should be looking for. Any thoughts? Other forums where this is discussed?
 
#2
I love my Taranis, D4R-II receivers, and Naze32 combination. The Naze32 speaks the D series receiver's version of telemetry and offers a number data points which are sent back to be displayed and/or data logged. I only really use the VBAT (flight pack voltage) data which then has a software switch setup to start reciting the pack voltage in my hands as a low voltage alarm. Three extra wires to hook up to the Naze32 plus enabling two features in Baseflight makes the telemetry setup easy and neat without the use of external sensors.

For when I don't use a Naze32, then I use a native to the Taranis X series receiver which then uses external Smart Port sensors.

I had heard the latest version of the Spektrum Dx6i would have telemetry, but I haven't seen anything on that in several months. Probably due to the fact that I have no longer have an interest in Spektrum hardware because the Taranis is just that good.
 

ssteve

Senior Member
#3
Seems like a lot of guys on rcgroups are going with the taranis/naze combo, and not just due to price as many are ditching their more expensive TX's in favor of it cause it just works.
 
#5
Hitec Aurora 9 and all their optima receivers have a special port for reading the voltage. You can program the A9 to beep when it gets below a certain voltage. I also absolutely love the other programmability/functionality.
 
#6
I also like the Taranis with D4R-II receiver. I'm planning on using it to send CPPM to a KK2 board for 6 channels instead of 4 you get when not using CPPM. I also have the FAS-40 sensors for the D series FrSky telemetry and put it in everything.
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#7
My questions keep coming.....

So there is no special firmware or hardware modifications to the Taranis to get telemetry?

It looks like it comes with the module installed in it already. Is it like the Turnigy 9X where if you want to remove it, you have to cut the antenna wire?

How would I get an altitude reading from a D4R-II receiver?

The included X8R receiver looks like it only does low voltage warning and not telemetry. Is that right? What is the difference?

It is in stock at getfpv.com for $210. Is there any of you have ordered it from?

http://www.getfpv.com/frsky-taranis...kFnzz44KaZG1P4bLNLpM5ReSimrHxck91KxoCuBbw_wcB
 
#8
No special firmware or hardware needed for the Taranis and Telemetry. It is native and works out of the box.

There is a module bay on the back, but there is no module in it out of the box. There is the internal "module" which is integrated to the circuitry. You can select in a model's profile to use the internal or external radio (or both for 16 channels of control) module.

The full Naze32 has a barometer which can feel altitude information over telemetry with the D4R-II. If you don't use a Naze32, you can get a sensor hub and a variometer to get altitude information. It is a little more clutter using external sensors, but it is an option.

The X8R does a number of things, but it does use full telemetry. The X series receivers use a Smart Port which allows sensors to be daisy chained together, instead of using a hub like the D series receivers use. But this also means that the Naze32 no longer speaks the right "language" to feed the X8R (or X6R) receiver telemetry data.

GetFPV is an awesome shop, I go to them for all of my receivers. I picked up my Taranis from ReadyMadeRC several months back by getting lucky with catching a big batch of them coming in stock.
 
#9
Taranis

My questions keep coming.....

So there is no special firmware or hardware modifications to the Taranis to get telemetry?

It looks like it comes with the module installed in it already. Is it like the Turnigy 9X where if you want to remove it, you have to cut the antenna wire?

How would I get an altitude reading from a D4R-II receiver?

The included X8R receiver looks like it only does low voltage warning and not telemetry. Is that right? What is the difference?

It is in stock at getfpv.com for $210. Is there any of you have ordered it from?

http://www.getfpv.com/frsky-taranis...kFnzz44KaZG1P4bLNLpM5ReSimrHxck91KxoCuBbw_wcB
I own a Taranis and love it. There is a learning curve, but it is a very capable system because of it's Open TX architecture.

The Taranis does telemetry thru the X8R by adding modules that plug into the Smart Port. This is a Serial Protocol data bus that allows you to add modules for GPS, Amperage draw, Vario, or Lipo voltage including automatic lowest cel in your pack. I think there is also an Airspeed sensor. They are a simple 3 pin daisy chain of standard servo cables. No propritary cables or adapters. They are compatible with the older modules that use a hub, and in fact the Vario does the job of adapting the older modules to the Smart Port bus for you.

You can set up any of the info to display on one of three Screens in the Telemetry section. Each screen can have up to 12 values per screen in number mode, and up to I think 6 in gauge mode. You can also set it up so if you flip a switch Taranis READS any value (or chain of values) to you so you don't have to take your eyes off the model to check the desired value. You can set alarms for any value, (min voltage or MAX altitude for instance) and even customize the audio alerts with wave files of your own. (this can be a lot of fun all by itself)

These Modules are very cheap for what they are, the most expensive being around $50 for the GPS module, Most of the rest are around $25 to $35. Additional X8R's are $33 each and are HALF the cost of my Futaba R2008's

As an example, I fly my Radian with a Lipo sensor and a Vario. The Vario can be turned on and off with a switch, and really helps me find thermals or for that matter sink when I start to "Spec Out" and need to come down a bit. I fly my Twinstar with the GPS and Amp Meter, and sometimes a Lipo sensor too. I set alarms so that my lowest cel value will trigger a "Yo Fool, You Better Land" wave file when it hits my desired limit. I also have it give me audio confirmation when I throw a switch, such as Hi, Medium, or Low Rates, Change of Flight Mode on my Multi-rotor or to verify that I am in Throttle Cutoff Safety mode, to prevent inadvertent motor starts.

For more channels you can gang two X8R's together for control of up to 16 analog servos. If you have Serial Bus Servos, a single X8R will handle up to 16 channels, and yes, you can double it up and run up to 32 serial channels. All this from a Radio that sells for less than $220 WITH a receiver.

Other MFR's are taking note, (and playing catch up), Just look at the $330 Futaba T10J. A lot of the same features, just a year and a half later, and No Open Tx software.

I could go on for days about this TX. A wonderful unit with amazing features, you just have to watch the videos on YT and learn to use the features.

Matt
 
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#10
My questions keep coming.....
No Problem.

So there is no special firmware or hardware modifications to the Taranis to get telemetry?
That is correct. The Taranis supports telemetry right out of the box.

It looks like it comes with the module installed in it already. Is it like the Turnigy 9X where if you want to remove it, you have to cut the antenna wire?
While it does come with a RF unit, the RF unit is built in and not a JR module. The JR module bay is empty. It just has a cover for the module bay. You can actually have the Taranis use both the internal RF unit and a JR Module at the same time.

How would I get an altitude reading from a D4R-II receiver?
The D4R-II was designed to be used with a sensor hub (the FSH-01). You would plug the Variometer Sensor (FVAS-01) to the senor hub which then plugs into the D4R-II.

Do realize that FrSky is trying to switch to X series receivers that use Smart Port telemetry sensors so finding sensors compatible with the D series is becoming more and more difficult.

Your other option is to find a flight controller system that has the Variometer and knows how to talk to the D4R-II directly. I have no experience with this but have seen web pages that indicate this is possible.

The included X8R receiver looks like it only does low voltage warning and not telemetry. Is that right? What is the difference?
The X8R is a full telemetry receiver but it uses a different set of sensors. The D4R-II uses hub based sensors where the X8R uses Smart Port sensors which do not need a hub (it is a bus based technology). The two are not compatible. I think the Smart Port is a better protocol (I have access to the details of this protocol) but FrSky has not yet released all the same sensors they had for the older protocol (yet they have stopped selling them).

The big advantage of Smart Port protocol is that it supports multiple sensors of the same type (like multiple current sensors or multiple battery monitor sensors).

It is in stock at getfpv.com for $210. Is there any of you have ordered it from?

http://www.getfpv.com/frsky-taranis...kFnzz44KaZG1P4bLNLpM5ReSimrHxck91KxoCuBbw_wcB
I purchased my Taranis from getfpv.com and I have also ordered D4R-II receivers from them. I have not had any problems with them.
 
#11
DX6i

Yeah I heard the New DX6i was going to be awesome. Funny Story, I heard about the new DX6i on the FT Podcast in March about the Toy Fair in Germany, as I was driving home with a brand new (old version) of the DX6i sitting on the seat beside me. OMG it was obsolete before I even got it home!! lol.

Of course my LHS allowed me to return it for store credit the next morning, and I promptly bought a Radian Pro to play around with. This actually forced me to start playing around with my Taranis, which I had been putting off for quite a while. So Glad I did.

To control the Spektrum stuff I bought an Orange JR module from HK, it works great at least at short ranges, never had an issue with it to date but mostly flying my UMX Radian and my Nano QX with that module, because if I want to fly something bigger, I throw an X8R in it and be done with it.
 

Epitaph

Ebil Filleh Pega-Bat ^.^
Mentor
#12
Just like to mention....

Walkera Devo 7E... Telemetry, multiprotocol capability (including DSM2/DSMX) and homebrew upgradable to 12 channels... All for $60.
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#13
Hitec Aurora 9 and all their optima receivers have a special port for reading the voltage. You can program the A9 to beep when it gets below a certain voltage. I also absolutely love the other programmability/functionality.
I think this is the transmitter MidwestRob uses. Do you know how well does this interacts with a Naze32?
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#14
I've decided to go with a Taranis and purchased one today. Two more questions for those in-the-know.

1. What do I need besides a D4R-II receiver to get telemetry (voltage) info from an Acro Naze32?
2. Is there any other telemetry info an Acro Naze32 can provide?

Do I need to buy anything additional for either one?
 

Balu

Moderator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#15
1. Since the D4R-II does not support the Smart-Port, you need the "FrSky Sensor Hub" FSH-01 and the "FrSky Battery Voltage Sensor" FBVS-01.

Receivers like the X8R have a Smart-Port, so you can just use the "FrSky LiPo Voltage Sensor" FLVSS. But the FrSky X* receivers don't have CPPM. AFAIK they need a different module for the S-Bus: "FrSky SBUS to CPPM Decoder"

I'd really like to have an X* with CPPM, FrSky :)

2. Sorry, no idea.
 

joshuabardwell

Senior Member
Mentor
#16
I am a slathering fanboy for the OpenTx firmware, and all its variants. Given that the Taranis has FrSky telemetry built in, and given that it is generally regarded as a high-quality transmitter overall, it seems like a no-brainer.
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#17
The other thing I want, which I hope is easy, is the RSSI stuff for signal strength. Is there anything special I have to purchase to set that up or is it part of the TX and RX?
 
#18
RSSI information will come out of the box for the Taranis and any telemetry receiver.

To get voltage information from the Naze32 into a D4R-II:
  1. Connect the VBAT pins on the Naze32 to the flight battery's power distribution
  2. Connect the telemetry TX pin from the Naze32 to the RX pin on the side of the D4R-II
  3. Enable VBAT feature in the CLI of Baseflight
  4. Enable telemetry feature in the CLI of Baseflight
  5. Setup the telemetry screen on the Taranis to show the VFAS value
  6. Information is sent once the Naze32 is armed
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#19
I am a slathering fanboy for the OpenTx firmware, and all its variants. Given that the Taranis has FrSky telemetry built in, and given that it is generally regarded as a high-quality transmitter overall, it seems like a no-brainer.
Oh absolutely, if I had the opportunity to choose the Taranis XD 30 months ago, I would have gone that route. I'm making due with the DX8. It's a solid, well built 8 channel with a lot of capability, but for the price, the Taranis blows it out of the water.
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#20
RSSI information will come out of the box for the Taranis and any telemetry receiver.

To get voltage information from the Naze32 into a D4R-II:
  1. Connect the VBAT pins on the Naze32 to the flight battery's power distribution
  2. Connect the telemetry TX pin from the Naze32 to the RX pin on the side of the D4R-II
  3. Enable VBAT feature in the CLI of Baseflight
  4. Enable telemetry feature in the CLI of Baseflight
  5. Setup the telemetry screen on the Taranis to show the VFAS value
  6. Information is sent once the Naze32 is armed
Nice! I like it! I need to get some D4R-II's ordered now! Thanks!