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Pumpkin drop event

Which Transmitter You Should Buy...

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#1
Which transmitter should I buy?
That is a question often asked and understandably so. This hobby has historically been cost prohibitive for many and the transmitters alone are a large part of the investment.
Therefore, some forum members have assembled the most recommended transmitters available to aid in making that decision. By all means if there are any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. This thread is meant to provide information but not to discourage questions. Please don't feel pressured by the mere title of this thread. These are only suggestions/recommendations. In the end it's your money/your call. Whatever you decide, you will find support here to make the best of your decision.
Below is the transmitter index. It shows transmitter systems that have been covered in this thread and the post in which post they're found. It is not meant to be an all inclusive list nor cover every aspect of the radios discussed but rather to outline the sub-$500 radios we recommend so often and why. Again, if there are concerns, questions, or suggestions please do post them.
A special thanks to RKAR, rfd, RCdiy, & Ray K who've gotten this thread started with some excellent and substantive content. Thank you.
Jim
Transmitter Index
Spektrum---Post #2
Jumper-----Post #3
FrSky------Post #4
Graupner---Post #5
Hobby King-Post #6
FlSky-------?
Futaba------?
???---------?
 
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#2
Spektrum

Spektrum is a part of Horizon Hobby based out of Champaign Illinois who also produces several other lines of products that are usually compatible with each other.

Available Tx Models (Prices shown are from company website and do not reflect potential special offers)



SPM1000_a13.jpg
DXe ($60)
  • 6 to 9 channels (based on programmed configuration)
  • Programmable (through mobile device and cable)
DX6e ($150)
  • 6 channels
  • 250 model memory
  • Model Airplane News Editor's Choice 2017

DX6 ($200)
  • 6 channels
  • 250 model memory
  • Antenna diversity
  • Programmable voice alerts
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry
DX8e ($200)
  • 8 channels
  • 250 model memory
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry
DX8($300)
  • 8 channels
  • 250 model memory
  • Antenna diversity
  • Programmable voice alerts
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry
  • 2000mAh Li-Ion battery

DX9($450)
  • 9 channels
  • 250 model memory
  • Antenna diversity
  • Programmable voice alerts
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry
  • 2000mAh Li-Ion battery
Spektrum Technology
DSMX
  • The main back bone behind spektrum air radios is DSMX. This technology is based off of the DSM2 2.4GHz frequency.
  • Your transmitter when turned on scans the sky for two frequencies that are free. Once found these two frequencies are used to control your model.
Note: DSM2 reciever is compatable with a DSMX transmitter, however a DSM2 transmitter will not work with a DSMX reciever.
AS3x
  • AS3x is an available option/ upgrade to any spektrum system. This technology is solely embedded in the receiver. Essentially this is a gyro enabled receiver. AS3x basically counters any wind and propeller effect. So rather than you having to use stick input to correct a gusty wind the AS3x will do this for you.
SAFE technology
  • This is used in conjuction with AS3x. This allows three flight modes, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Based on what mod you fly in you are only given 30 degrees, 60 degrees, 360 degrees respectfully of control for the pitch and roll. You also can program a recovery button so that no matter what orientation you are in in will automatically level your plane.
  • More about AS3x and SAFE can be found here https://www.spektrumrc.com/Technology/AS3X.aspx
Wireless Trainer Link
  • Wirelessly ''buddy box'' with another DSM2®/DSMX® transmitter when teaching someone to fly.
  • Assign gimbal functions to a 2nd ‘camera’ transmitter when flying a camera drone so you can focus on avoiding obstacles and maintaining visual contact while someone else lines up the shot.
Bind N Fly
  • BNF aircraft can bind with DSMX transmitters thereby making it possible to use 1 transmitter with multiple models.
  • Common compatible BNF brands include E-flite, Blade, HobbyZone, ParkZone, Hangar 9

Advantages
  • Warranty - Warranty and service is provided by HorizonHobby.com
  • Programming - User interface and programming is perhaps the easiest to use if you understand all the terminology. If not youtube.com has just about every tutorial on how to program your transmitter.
  • SAFE technology - Perhaps the smartest thing for anyone wanting to learn how to fly.
  • Integration - Just about every flybarless unit for rc helicopters will accept a DSMX satellite as a means of a signal.

Disadvantages
  • Price - Compared to FrSky these are expensive transmitters. However compared to JR and Futaba prices are right on par.

Author's Opinion
I highly recommend the DX 8 to anyone getting into the hobby. Here is why:

  • Most RC planes take 4 channels, however if the aileron requires you to have separate channels and you have separate channels for flaps. You are now at 7 channels. Add some landing gear and now you require 8 channels. While a DX6 will get you up and flying, it does not give you a ton of expandability or growth options. However if you want to stick with flite test and simple plans DX6 will keep you in the air all day long.
  • If you plan on getting into RC helicopters eventually at a minimum you want 7 channels.
  • For quads I have found 7 channels works best as well.
I recommend the Spektrum lineup to anyone for 2 reasons
  1. Reliable - I personally have never had a problem
  2. Warranty - Warranty support from horizonhobby.com is superb.
 
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rfd

AMA 51668
#3
Jumper T8SG

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 8.38.46 PM.png

After having and using a gaggle of radios from Spektrum to Tactic to FrSky, I'll still continue to recommend the Jumper T8SG as a radio for both newbie and seasoned pilot alike. It's smaller and lighter than almost all full function brand boxes, some might consider too small and light (not me). The sticks work quite smoothly, too soon to tell their overall durability. There was an issue with the earlier versions that required the box to be opened to access the USB port in order to update the firmware, but that was been corrected awhile ago and USB access is easy via the tx's bottom hatch. The Jumper can be had in modes 1 or 2. The Pro's ...

  • The Jumper can handle just about all tx/rx protocols, good for toy rotors to the larger aircraft.
  • It has built-in model templates.
  • It's firmware (Deviation) is open-source to allow updates for protocols & features.
  • It's computer navigation is about as intuitive as they come, for easy newbie use.
  • Onboard advanced features included (telemetry, voice).
  • It's CHEAP, costing under $80/shipped in the USA
What might be considered its only "con" is that it doesn't come with a battery and will require a 2s lipo that measures no larger than 90x30x15 mm. One the best batts for the Jumper is the MJX Bugs RC Quadcopter 7.4V 2S 25C 1800mAh. That's a chunk of tx horsepower that will power that puppy for a very very long time (hours). However, ANY 2s lipo that will fit in its battery compartment will do just fine. There are more than a few YouTube instructional vids on the Jumper, too - and growing.

FT Hyperion 2s 850mah lipo - $9

IMHO, this little giant killer radio has revolutionized r/c radios. It sets a standard that all other radios will need to get up to speed on, in terms of functionality, build - and price.

The techie stuff that most newbies can just bypass (for now!) ...

DESCRIPTION
TX: Jumper T8SG
MCU: STM32F103RCT6
Storage: 25VF016B (2MB)
4IN1 RF mulit-protocol chip: JP-4MP(CC2500, NRF24L01, A7105, CYRF6936)
Transmission power: adjustable 0-150mw
Display screen: 128*64, 1.7 inch LCD
Channels: 10 (up to 12 depending software)
Prompt mode: sound and vibration
Power supply: 2S Lipo (90*30*15)
Dimension: 188*151*86mm
Weight: 338g (not include battery)


RF CHIP DATA
Cyprus Semiconductor CYRF6936: DSM/DSMX, Walkera Devo
Texas Instruments CC2500: FrSky, Futaba SFHSS
Amiccom A7105: FlySky, FlySky AFHDS2A, Hubsan
Nordic Semiconductor NRF24L01: HiSky, Syma, ASSAN, Tactic/SLT, and most other Chinese models


 
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#4
About FrSKY
FrSKY (free sky) was founded in 2010 and has more than 40 patents. Based in China they have dealers all around the word.
Authorized Dealers
https://www.frsky-rc.com/purchase/
Premier Dealers are located in China, Belgium, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and USA.
Note: Only their premier dealers provide after sales service, support, replacement and warranty.

Available Transmitter Models
2018 January 16 - Prices in USD, Aloft Hobbies, plus shipping.
https://alofthobbies.com/radio/frsky-transmitters.html
Suggest shopping around with premier dealers to get the best deal for your circumstances.

Features Common To All FrSKY Transmitters

  • Up to 60 models (more on SD Card)
  • Receiver/model match
  • Audio announcements (SD Card required)
  • Programmable actions, curves, flight modes, audio announcements and alerts
  • Telemetry
  • New Model Wizard (SD Card required)
  • 3 Timers with throttle % option
  • 16 Channels
  • Up to 32 Channels using External JR Module Bay
  • Trainer port, 3.5mm stereo or mono headphone jack
    • Not present on the X-Lite
  • Wireless trainer between X7S, X12S, X10, X10S
  • Mini USB port for software updates, configurations, Joystick Emulation & SD Card access
  • Compatible with Spektrum, Futaba and all major brands using a module placed in the external module bay
  • DIY Upgradeable to Hall Effect Gimbals
  • ​Reasonably priced and easily available spare parts
  • ​Battery & Charger included except where noted
  • OpenTX on Taranis X7 series & Taranis X9 series
  • Horus X10 series and X12S firmware may be changed to OpenTX
Note: The X7 series requires you to open up the case to set the sticks to mode 1 or mode 2. If you are not comfortable doing this buy an X9D+ which comes preconfigured to mode 1 or mode 2 or ask your supplier if they will do the X7 mode 1 or mode 2 configuration for you.

Taranis X-Lite ($120)

1525891295935.png 1525891390116.png

  • OpenTX
  • Black & White LCD 128 x 64
  • 4 Switches – 2 x 3-position, 2 x 2-position
  • No Knobs
  • 2 Sliders
  • Vibration alerts
  • No 3.5mm trainer jack
  • M12 Lite Hall Effect Gimbals
  • Soft case included
  • Two 18500 batteries & charger usually extra
  • FrSKY FreeLink App compatible
  • RAM 128K
  • Mode 1 & 2 configurable
  • Internal antenna and external antenna connector
Note: Mode 1 and 2 conversion adjustment can be made without opening the case.

Taranis Q X7 ($110) & X7S ($184)
x7group.jpeg

  • OpenTX
  • Black & White LCD 128 x 64
  • 6 Switches - 4 x 3-position, 1 momentary, 1 x 2-position
  • 2 Knobs
  • No Sliders
  • S.Port Jack
  • Vibration alerts
  • Wireless trainer on the X7S
  • M7 Hall Effect Gimbals on the X7S
  • Soft case included on the X7S
  • Battery & Charger usually extra X7, included with the X7S
Note: Mode 1 and 2 conversion is made by opening the case. It comes with both gimbals centred by springs.

Taranis X9D+ ($189) & X9D+SE ($257)
x9dgroup.jpeg

  • OpenTX
  • Greyscale LCD 212 x 64 (nicer on the +)
  • 8 Switches - 6 x 3-position, 1 momentary, 1 x 2-position
  • 2 Knobs
  • 2 Sliders
  • Vibration alerts on the +
  • Only + available for new purchase
  • DIY M9 Hall Effect Gimbals on SE
  • Case included with SE

Taranis X9E ($315)
x9egroup.jpeg

  • OpenTX
  • Tray version of the X9D+
  • Colour OLED top display
  • Greyscale LCD 212 x 64
  • 8 Switches - 6 x 3-position, 1 momentary, 1 x 2-position
  • 2 Knobs
  • 4 Sliders
  • Vibration alerts
  • M9 Hall Effect Gimbals upgrade available
  • Soft case included

Horus X10 ($369) & X10S ($430)
x10group.jpeg

  • FrOS changeable to OpenTX
  • Colour outdoor TFT 480 x 272
  • 8 Switches - 6 x 3-position, 1 momentary, 1 x 2-position
  • 3 Knobs - 1 x 6-position, 2 smooth
  • 2 Sliders
  • 2 extra trims
  • Vibration alerts
  • Wireless trainer
  • 2 internal antennas
  • Internal Li-ion battery
  • Support FrSKY Free Link App (unavailable with OpenTX)
  • M10 Hall Effect Gimbals on the X10
  • MC12P Hall Effect Gimbals on the X10S

FrSKY X12S ($499)
x12group.jpeg

  • FrOS changeable to OpenTX
  • Colour outdoor TFT 480 x 272
  • 8 Switches 6 x 3-position, 1 momentary, 1 x 2-position
  • 3 Knobs - 1 x 6-position, 2 smooth
  • 2 Sliders 2 rear, 2 front
  • 2 extra trims
  • GPS and 6 axis sensors
  • Haptic vibration
  • Wireless trainer
  • Hall Effect Gimbals
  • Hard case

Available Receiver Models ($10 to $35)
2018 January 16 - Prices in USD, Aloft Hobbies, plus shipping.
https://alofthobbies.com/radio/frsky-telemetry-system/x-series.html
Suggest shopping around with premier dealers to get the best deal for your circumstances.

D Series


X Series

  • Failsafe
  • Smart Port (a hub-less sensors technology), S.Port/SPort
  • Receivers that feature telemetry can be connected to the X series sensors
  • Telemetry receivers feature built in receiver bus voltage and RSSI feedback
  • Bind in D16 mode
  • SBUS and CPPM outputs on most receivers, check receiver details
  • 6-8 PWM outputs but accessing up to 16 channels using SBUS
  • Source https://alofthobbies.com/radio/frsky-telemetry-system/x-series.html

S Series Receivers

  • A subset of X series receivers
  • Adds stabilization, auto level, recovery/oops, hover, knife edge

R Series Receivers/Redundancy Bus

  • A subset of X series & XM series receivers
  • Adds the ability to attach a second receiver vis SBUS for for redundancy
  • Use a Redundancy bus module to use two non R series receivers
  • Use one R series receiver with a non R series receiver

XM Series Receivers



  • Lightweight and tiny
  • Failsafe
  • No telemetry
  • SBUS​
  • RSSI out on CH16 for flight controller


Available Sensor Modules ($10 to $50)
2018 January 16 - Prices in USD, Aloft Hobbies, plus shipping.
https://alofthobbies.com/radio/sensors/x-series-sensors.html
Suggest shopping around with premier dealers to get the best deal for your circumstances.

  • Chain sensors together or use Y cables
  • Needs an S.PORT on the receiver (X series receivers)
  • Lipo voltage sensors
  • Varios
  • RPM with temperature
  • Current
  • Air speed
  • GPS

Target Audience (Opinion)
The Taranis series of transmitters come with OpenTX. The Horus series of transmitters come with FrSKY's own FrOS. Many people who purchase Horus transmitters change the firmware to OpenTX.

OpenTX is an open source and free software environment for Transmitters. It is used by thousands of hobbyists and developed by volunteers based on user feedback and requests.

OpenTX is meant for flyers who know a bit about RC but want advanced features available using a computerized transmitter. It is meant for users who are comfortable with computers, trying new things, willing to research how the system works and troubleshoot problems that may occur.

There are many OpenTX users in forums who are willing to help when needed!

One major advantage of OpenTX is the Companion PC Software which you can download and try before you decide to use OpenTX.

http://rcdiy.ca/opentx-guide/

http://www.open-tx.org
 
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#5
The very first radio controlled model was demonstrated in 1898 by none other than Nikola Tesla and was a boat. Some 32 years later, Johannes Graupner founded his radio control equipment manufacturing company in Stuttgart, Germany in 1930. After building their first glider in 1935, they added scale model ships in 1938. In 1954 their first radio-controlled models were introduced.
Graupner GmbH was the company's name, the GmbH meaning simply a private company like our LLC. When Johannes passed away in 1953, his son Hans took over the company and Graupner became the leading designer and producer of aircraft and boat radio-controlled models. They provided the world RC market with cutting edge technology RC radios and on board sensor equipment, until it went into receivership in 2012 due to competition from Asia. It was purchased in 2013 by South Korean manufacturer SJ Ltd, a company that had supplied Graupner with radio control equipment. In 2014, the name of SJ Inc. was changed to Graupner Co.Ltd.; thus the name Graupner referred to a Korean company from that time until present day.
While Graupner sells virtually everything R/C, this article will be concerned only with their handheld transmitters and receivers. Graupner's website lists some 24 different transmitters and 9 different receivers. In addition there are flight controllers for quadcopters and helicopters, plus airborne and surface vehicle telemetry.

HOTT TRANSMITTERS

  • Graupner has integrated telemetry into their transmitters and receivers. HoTT stands for Hopping Transmitter Telemetry, by the way. Battery levels, receiver signal and a couple of other functions are included with every tx/rx combination Graupner builds. There are also fuel flow sensors, Bluetooth modules for your phones, modules for altitude measurement, diagonal distance, heading, GPS speed, VARIO tone notifications of climb and descent trends, GPS data logging, metric and imperial units, wireless setup, warning thresholds for GPS data values, and can be used with HoTT Viewer App to measure lap times, warning thresholds for minimum altitude, maximum altitude, climb/drop speed, single cell voltage measurement of 2S-14S LiPo batteries with a warning threshold for minimum cell voltage, battery capacity used with warning threshold, main battery voltage measurement with warning threshold, programmable current limiter, with warning times that can be set to: OFF, 5, 10, 15, 29, 30 seconds, warning repeat time that can be set to: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes, optional support for two temperature sensors, free firmware upgrades via Graupner Update Studio, a General Engine Module for 2 to 6S LiPo battery voltage measurement and individual cell voltage measurement, low voltage warning function, voltage measurement and warning function (3 batteries), temperature measurement and warning function by temperature sensors, engine, motor RPM measurements by RPM sensors, engine fuel consumption, current limiting, and more. For those who may not know, motors and engines are NOT the same thing; motors run on electrical power while engines run on some type of (usually liquid) fuel, like your car.
While Graupner is an international company from Germany and Korea, Graupner also produces several other lines of products that are compatible with digital SUMD or SUMO outputs from third party products.

Available Tx: This link will take you to the Graupner website where you can select Radios from the side menu. (Prices shown are from the company website and do not reflect special offers potentially available)

MXS-8 4 Channel ($69)
mxs-8-1_thumbnail.jpg

  • 4 channels (based on programmed configuration)
  • Programmable (through transmitter switches)

MZ-10 5 Channel ($69.90)
mz-10-1_thumbnail.jpg

  • 5 channels
  • 8 LED Screen
  • Wireless /Trainer System
  • Telemetry


MZ-12 6 Channel ($149)
mz-12-1_thumbnail.jpg

  • 6 channels
  • 20 model memory
  • Fully Programmable through Screen
  • User assignable switches and proportional controls
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry


MZ-18 9 Channel ($333)
mz-18-1_thumbnail.jpg

  • 9 channels
  • 30 model memory
  • Programmable voice alerts
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry
  • 2000mAh NiMh battery



MX-20 12 Channel ($399)
mx-20-1_thumbnail.jpg

  • 12 channels
  • 24 model memory
  • Programmable voice alerts
  • Airplane, helicopter, & sailplane programming
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Telemetry
  • 2000mAh NiMh battery
  • GR-24L 12ch and GR-12L 6ch Rx included


mz-24 12 Channel ($399)
mz-24-1_thumbnail.jpg

  • Intuitively easy to use menus comparable to Smartphones
  • Quad bearings with 4096 resolution gimbals for smooth operation
  • External accessible stick tension adjustments
  • Voice announcements from built in speaker or optional ear piece
  • Real-time data logging of all critical flight information
  • Updateable firmware with Graupner Firmware Update Studio
  • Well balanced weight distribution of radio with comfortable rubber hand grips
  • User assignable switches and proportional controls
  • 12 fully proportional channels
  • User adjustable mode selection (1, 2, 3 or 4)
  • External DSC port for flight simulator connections or third party devices
  • HoTTSync for exclusive and safe operation of your models
  • 6 freely assignable Q-Links (flight modes)
  • Selectable signal repetition time of 10ms or 20ms for digital or analog servos
  • Use of up to 75 frequency hopping channels to ensure operating reliability
  • Wireless student and teacher mode
  • 30 model memories with almost unlimited model storage on SD memory card
  • Multi receiver binding for expansion and system redundancy
  • Support for digital SUMD or SUMO outputs for third party products
ALSO INCLUDES:
  • mz-24 Transmitter
  • USB PC interface set
  • USB interface adapter wire
  • 4000 mAh LiPo Battery
  • Battery Charger
  • GR-24L 12ch receiver
  • GR-12L 6ch receiver
  • Manual
  • USB Cable
  • SD Card adapter
  • SD Card case
  • Micro SD Card
  • Hard case
  • USB adapter wire
  • Neckstrap
  • Two year Warranty

Graupner has an additional 9 handheld transmitters ranging in price up to $749.90, and then if you have plenty of money to spend on our hobby, they have a category of Tray Radios that run from $249 up to $1,299.


Advantages
Warranty - Warranty and service is provided by Graupner.
Programming - User interface and programming is perhaps the easiest to use if you understand all the terminology. If not, Flite Test has just about every tutorial on how to program your transmitter. On our forum, you'll also find knowledgeable members who will be happy to help you.

Disadvantages
The manual for my MZ-12 radio is a translation and is not always perfectly clear. Since I haven't seen the other Graupner radio manuals, I'm not sure they have the same type manuals, but expect they would be the same as mine.
Price - I'm sure there are cheaper radios out there, but I seriously doubt they would match the quality of the Graupner radios. For example, Flite Test currently has the Graupner MZ-12 with two receivers included for 144.99, and the Spektrum DXe Transmitter for $89.99. It doesn't look like the DXe comes with a receiver and does require that you buy a programming cable. In addition there is no screen on the transmitter.


Author's Opinion
I highly recommend the MZ-12 to anyone getting into the hobby. Here is why:

I have three models now. An FT Simple Scout, an FT Guinea Pig and a Hobby King Cessna 182 Skylane. I was able to program the Simple Scout and Skylane with Flaperons, as well as throttle, elevator, rudder and ailerons. The Guinea Pig is programmed with differential thrust, as well as normal throttle, elevator, rudder and ailerons. I still have a channel open for a cargo door latch servo. And of course I programmed in dual rates and expo for all three planes, as well as a switch for throttle cut, another for fail-safe, and a dial for flaps. On a warbird I could have throttle, elevator, rudder, ailerons, flaps and landing gear. And this is just a beginner's radio. That's hard to beat.
 
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JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#6
Hobby King

Hobby King which is based out of China and has warehouses worldwide has been an integral part of making this hobby financially feasible for those unwilling or unable to spend several hundred dollars to just get started. Coupled with the great improvements in the quality of their products and their shipping times HK is a significant resource for the air modeler.

hk-t6xv2-m1_2__3.jpg 110181-110184_2.jpg 2_15_10.jpg 62709.jpg

Hobby King currently produces about 30 entry level radios under 4 brand names (Hobby King, Turnigy, Quanum, & Orange).

I have personally owned one Hobby King transmitter bought several years ago and found it very acceptable for the price, ~$30.

Pro's
  • Inexpensive (price ranges ~$25-$100)
  • Various models, styles, colors available
Con's
  • Manuals can be difficult to understand
Recommendation

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Nevertheless though there are good deals to be had and if you are not sure you want to be in this hobby or you just aren't ready to invest a couple hundred dollars on a more capable radio then considering an inexpensive entry transmitter makes sense since it is a relatively lower financial risk. Significant fun can be had on a radio without all the bells and whistles of higher priced radios.
 

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#7
I did some more touching up, formatting, and also included the DX8e and DX9 for the Spektrum post. Some of the text was looking a bit small and I think some photos shrunk in the "wash" (new forum). I updated SPektrum's photos and also the Jumper.

If there are new models that need to be updated please update your post if it was yours and if not anyone else is welcome to post updates they think need to be included. For example, I know Jumper has a version 2 of theirs. I went with 18 pt Verdana on the font and made the photos a decent size that the controls can be seen bit not have the radios overly large. I'd like to try to keep the format somewhat the same from post to post so that the merits of each radio are what sets it apart for their prospective buyers.

There are still a few radios that still could use some representation. Anyone bold enough is welcome to contribute. I am here to help with formatting, links, videos, getting it into the index, and whatever else we need.
—Jim

...And then I made an entry for HK and moved this post back to the bottom.
 
#8
Has anyone done a review of the Turnigy 9X? The price tag is cheap and it comes with an 8-channel Rx. The write up says it is designed for the tinkerer, but I wonder to what extent they mean. Is it like an Icom portable or is it older?
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#9
Has anyone done a review of the Turnigy 9X? The price tag is cheap and it comes with an 8-channel Rx. The write up says it is designed for the tinkerer, but I wonder to what extent they mean. Is it like an Icom portable or is it older?
Not really sure we should be discussing this on this thread but moderators can move it if they care.

The venerable FlySky/Turnigy 9X was the DIY TX of choice from shortly after it came out in 2008 to around 2013 when its value as a platform to hack was seriously eroded by the release of the Turnigy X9R/X9R PRO and FrSky X9D/X9D+ which both implemented all the popular hacks that people had done to the 9X. It is not really "designed" for the tinkerer so much as it was cheap enough that people tinkered with it and made value 8CH TX in to something really quite powerful mostly via the open source firmware that is er9X and openTX. This was done with the help of FrSky 2.4GHz modules for the RF because the stock FlySky 2.4GHz systems wasn't all that great where the FrSky was.

I think its value today is dubious. The only upgrade it has had since ~2011 when it was re-vamped for 2.4Ghz is the replacement of the old AFHDS 2.4GHz module with a AFHDS 2A module but there is nothing on the TX that can take advantage of the telemetry the new protocol adds. You can just bind to the new receivers...but I think you can't bind to the old ones. The stock firmware is still PPM to the module and it has no port to flash it...you have to hack one. A few years ago there were a couple of upgrade boards that could make the 9X into something decent or even be used standalone but they have been discontinued.

While I strongly considered buying an 9X in 2012, I would not buy one today.

It really depends on what kind of tinkering you want to do. The FrSky Q-X7 or X9D+ are much better and only a bit more. They are 16CH and the firmware allows them to do pretty much anything you can imagine with the context of hobby RC and related remote control. The X9R PRO while it is a bit unfortunate in the packaging and quality front is a bit cheaper and similarly capable once you add a FrSky XJT module to it. It is still actively being hacked and supported by Mike B and er9X. If you are looking for something cheap then the FlySky i6 is something to consider. It is more limited but capable enough for most basic 6 ch stuff. There is some hacked firmware that make it better but unlike the open source er9x and openTX, this is truly a hack and the improvments are incremental and merely useful rather than revolutionary as some consider er9x and openTX to be .
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#11
...

Features Common To All FrSKY Transmitters
  • Up to 60 models (more on SD Card)
  • Receiver/model match
  • Audio announcements (SD Card required)
  • Programmable actions, curves, flight modes, audio announcements and alerts
  • Telemetry
  • New Model Wizard (SD Card required)
  • 3 Timers with throttle % option
  • 16 Channels
  • Up to 32 Channels using External JR Module Bay
  • Trainer port, 3.5mm stereo or mono headphone jack
    • Not present on the X-Lite
  • Wireless trainer between X7S, X12S, X10, X10S
  • Mini USB port for software updates, configurations, Joystick Emulation & SD Card access
  • Compatible with Spektrum, Futaba and all major brands using a module placed in the external module bay
  • DIY Upgradeable to Hall Effect Gimbals
  • ​Reasonably priced and easily available spare parts
  • ​Battery & Charger included except where noted
  • OpenTX on Taranis X7 series & Taranis X9 series
  • Horus X10 series and X12S firmware may be changed to OpenTX
This misses some important points and rather understates the capabilities...
Instead of separate Aircraft types and Wing Types, OpenTX takes a more general approach to the task of connecting a control to a channel - fundamentally what RC TXs really do - which lets you construct a model for pretty much any type from simple 2ch cars and trucks, simple 3 and 4 channel planes through complex scale planes and battleships. Each model provides the following resources:

  • 32 INPUTS - basically control "Modifiers" each allowing multiple switchable Input Lines. This provide multiple rates for sticks or mixes or other controls allowing the modification to be shared between channels. Inputs also allow trims to be associated with any control. There are 64 INPUT lines available for use across these INPUTS
  • 32 Channel MIXERS - each allowing multiple switchable Mix Lines. Any controls can be mixed. Unused channels can be used as intermediate mixers. There are 64 MIX lines available for use across these MIXERS
  • 32 Channel OUTPUTS providing reverse, min, max, scaled/non-scaled subtrim and PPM center for each channel
  • 9 Flight Modes each with own trims, variables and transitions
  • 32 Custom Curves - each with 2 to 17 points allowing non linear Inputs and Mixes also for fine tuning the final Output for things like multi-servo wings.
  • 64 Logical Switches - allowing controls and values to be tested,
  • 64 Special Functions - used to add custom voice alerts among other things
  • 4 Telemetry Screens
  • 32 Telemetry Calculators
  • CCPM Heli Mixes
  • 3 Timers with configurable starts
  • Model start Switch and Pot safety warnings
  • Special Throttle features (warning, reverse, throttle trim idle only)
  • Instant Trim and Stick|Trim->Subtrim functions
  • Model "folder" voice alerts
  • Model "bitmaps" (except Q-X7 models)
  • Bind options and remote per channel "Failsafe" configuration (D16 only)
  • Customizable trainer mapping.
  • etc.
In addition OpenTX provides...
  • 64 Global Functions - apply across models.
  • Voice Alert System - fully customization and extendable
  • Lua Scripting - model, telemetry and general. Supplied examples include the Model Wizard, the FrSky SRX calibration and of course snake.lua. Other useful examples include the betaflight-tx-lua-scripts.
  • Background music player.
  • Available FAI Mode to disable telemetry for practice or competition.
  • Multiple trainer hookup options (except X-Lite) including wireless (X9D and Q-X7 models only - requires additional RX with CPPM or SBUS output)
  • etc.
These capabilities are standard on all FrSky TX models when running OpenTX regardless of price. Some features require an SD card that may be an option. The main difference between TX models is the number and quality of the switches and pots the quality of the gimbals and the resolution and type of display used. All are good but the S/SE/Horus models have higher quality gear.

Note: er9X is an alternative firmware that can also run on most FrSky TXs which some people prefer. It is similar to OpenTX with equivalent functionality - they have the same origin - but er9X takes a slightly more pragmatic approach that tends to be a bit more cutting edge.

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Note: The X7 series requires you to open up the case to set the sticks to mode 1 or mode 2. If you are not comfortable doing this buy an X9D+ which comes preconfigured to mode 1 or mode 2 or ask your supplier if they will do the X7 mode 1 or mode 2 configuration for you.

...
Not sure why this is in the common features section but anyway it is no longer true. The Q-X7/Q-X7S now typically comes configured as Mode 2.

All FrSky Taranis TXs except the X9E can fairly easily be converted between modes but tightening and loosening some screws. You can also adjust the gimbal tension to some degree. But it does mean opening the case. The X9E can be switched but it is more involved and it is best to start with the mode you want. I have not looked at the Horus models.

WARNING: If you have to open a TX case "REMOVE THE BATTERY FIRST" Also, make sure to "GROUND YOURSELF". If you leave the battery in you risk shorting something and doing damage. There are static sensitive components that can be easily damaged by static discharge. This is not a general warning!

Edit: typos, add input and mix line count
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#12
FlySky RC (not FrSky Taranis - that's a competitor)

FlySky transmitters are produced by FlySky RC from China, with roots as budget conscious brand that focuses on both air and surface hobby grade radio control products. FlySky radios have been a strong competitor for the HobbyKing / Turnigy / Orange budget radios due to their price point, and recently are moving "up market" with more capable computer based radios including features like telemetry and multi-protocol compatible radio modules and trend-breaking (or setting?) style & formats.

FlySky radios use the AFHDS and AFHDS 2 protocols so they are not compatible with Spektrum / FrSky / Graupner etc receivers or most Bind and Fly (BNF) planes and drones made before 2017 (unless using an external radio module with the FS Nirvana). However there are starting to be some BNF quadcopters using the FlySky protocols in the market.

I started back into the RC hobby with the FS-i4 and a FT Tiny Trainer and it served me well for a few months before I upgraded to the FS-i6. Then after about 6 months I dove in to the OpenTx FrSky Taranis world. I also know several people at my club happily flying the FS-i6 a couple years into the hobby. I believe these are very viable transmitters (especially the FS-i6) for people getting into the hobby who don't want to spend a lot of money but do want a radio that could last them for several airplane or drones.

Models

FlySky FS-i4 4-Channel Transmitter - ~$40 US w/ 1 receiver

Pros:
  • This radio is a frequent choice for new DIY RC folks on a budget - lots of people with experience to help
  • Capable of reversing servo direction (via manual switches)
  • Additional receives can be purchased for ~$16 US unlike cheaper WL Toys radios
Cons:
  • Only 4 channels. This limits the types of models it will work with. Use of a Y cable for dual aileron servos will get your FT Storch in the air with this though.
  • It can only be bound to one model at a time - no easy switching between planes
  • The trims and servo direction settings need to be reset when binding to a new receiver (cause it's manual).
  • It feels like a cheap hunk of plastic. But it's a cheap hunk of plastic that will get you flying!

FlySky FS-i6 6-Channel Transmitter ~ $55 US w/ 1 receiver


Pros:
  • 6 channels! This will handle the majority of flying aircraft for the average DIY person's first couple years
  • Multiple compatible receivers for sale including ones that supports PPM / iBus / sBus for single wire flight controller connections (very important for modern quads)
  • Capable of basic computer radio functions like servo reversing, dual rates, and expo
  • 20 Model Memory!
  • AFHDS 2A protocol capable for telemetry support
  • Very simple to use interface
  • Supports trainer/student radio buddy boxing with PS/2 cables (different cable type compared to Spektrum or FrSky - custom cable conversion hacks have been documented for the true hackers out there)
  • Can be used with computer simulators with a PS/2 to USB cable
  • Community developed firmware available that expands the radio to 10 channel capability
  • Lots of community hacks and 3D printed accessories on the interwebs

Cons:
  • Very limited mixing - only 3 per model and basic in function compared to OpenTx capabilities
  • Still feels like a cheap piece of plastic with questionable styling :p
Flysky FS-I6S 10 channel ~$55 US

Pros:
  • It's pretty, especially if you're into the Apple design look.
  • Specs wise it's pretty much an FS-i6
  • Has a touch screen
  • 10 radio channels
  • Telemetry
  • Built in mounting point for a phone holder (useful for wi-fi based FPV)
Cons:
  • No trim buttons makes it difficult to get a "hands off" flying experience with most planes (not an issue for quads though)
  • Two power buttons doubles the opportunity to accidentally turn it off while flying with it.
  • Suspect no mixing support (means no delta or flying wing or v-tail style models)

Flysky FS-i10 10 Channel ~ $180 US (discontinued but old stock still available)


Pros:
  • 10 channels! This will handle the majority of flying aircraft except for the most complex giant scale or detailed models
  • Multiple compatible receivers for sale including ones that supports PPM / iBus / sBus for single wire flight controller connections (very important for modern quads)
  • Advanced computer radio functions; timers, servo reversing, dual rates, custom expo curves, custom switch assignments, delays & logical switches
  • 20 Model Memory!
  • AFHDS 2A protocol capable for telemetry support
  • Comes with 4 telemetry sensors including temperature, RMP (magnetic & optical), & voltage
  • Simple to use full color LCD interface with custom model picture capability
  • Supports trainer/student radio buddy boxing with standard audio cables (compatible with most Spektrum, FrSky, etc)
  • Can be used with computer simulators with a trainer port to USB cable

Cons:
  • Pricing comparable to the Taranis X9D, but a little lower in capability
  • Still less solid feeling than most FrSky or Specktrum transmitters - but better than the FlySky budget options!
  • Discontinued - you can still find old stock of these on eBay and some retailers, but FlySky has moved manufacturing on to the Nirvana model

Flysky Nirvana Dark Knight TX 14 Channel Radio ~$180 US



Pros:
  • Wow - completely different form factor from traditional RC transmitters!
  • Hall effect high quality gimbals
  • High quality switches and radio feel - not a cheap piece of plastic feeling
  • 3D printed custom grips & switch components released open source
  • OpenTX software - currently on an alpha branch, but expected to merge into the main software trunk
  • Full color LCD interface with custom model picture capability, custom audio, etc. - see OpenTx capabilites
  • 14 channels! This will handle the majority of flying aircraft except for the most complex giant scale or detailed models
  • Multiple compatible receivers for sale including ones that supports PPM / iBus / sBus for single wire flight controller connections (very important for modern quads)
  • Advanced computer radio functions; timers, servo reversing, dual rates, custom expo curves, custom switch assignments, delays & logical switches
  • Radio Module bay - compatible with multi-protocol / Spektrum / FrSky / Crossfire long range radio modules including telemetry support
  • 260 Model Memory! (thank you OpenTX - unlimited model memory if you carry extra SD cards)
  • Audio feedback & background sound capable
  • Bluetooth module capable (remotely reprogram your flight controllers!)
  • AFHDS 2A protocol capable for telemetry support
  • Supports trainer/student radio buddy boxing with standard audio cables (compatible with most Spektrum, FrSky, etc)
  • Can be used with computer simulators with a trainer port to USB cable

Cons:
  • It's new on the market (as of summer 2018) - reviews and help at the field will be limited for a while
  • Currently using a custom branch of OpenTX (expected to merge into main software version)

FlySky / Turnigy 9X (and variants)

This is an older radio, and was a great DIY / hackers platform back in the early 2010's. If you get one for free or $20 at a swap meet, it's very usable, but is out of production and outclassed by many other options on the market today. See @pressalltheknobs more detailed write up on this model https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/which-transmitter-you-should-buy.37966/post-432028

Other Models

Flysky also produces several surface "trigger style" 3 channel radios that are good options for RC cars and boats, but are generally not going to be comfortable for RC aircraft flying. Though it could be fun to hook up a 3 channel glider / trainer to one of these for a lark...
 
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#13
Futaba RC
To begin, some history. Of all the brands on this page not only has Futaba been around longer than the rest of the brands. They also have the most reliable protocols on the market. It's what they're known for. They have not only manufactured radios; they have pioneered alot of the technology we take for granted today. They are frequently higher priced. But with the higher cost, You'll be hard pressed to EVER lose a plane, quad, etc. from radio failure. Their soldering is second to none. their componantry is military grade (The military and Futaba have had a long and successful relationship together.) DJI uses the same Texas Instruments chip found in the Futaba 14SG. Futaba has most definitely set the industry standard when it comes to radio control. Most people aren't aware, BUT, RC is also a hobby for Futaba. Military, Industrial, and Commercial use of their 2.4 Ghz FAASTest protocol is found world wide controlling everything from, military drones, construction cranes, and assembly line machines, remotely of course. So without further a-do lets get started on the protocols.

T-FHSS & S-FHSS
As some of you may call it, ACCST. The FrSky protcol. The ACCST uses less of the band of this technology than Futaba's FHSS protols. But its all done with the same Texas Instruments technology. Futaba own the patent of using a larger portion of the band. FHSS stands for

Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) is a method of transmitting radio signals by rapidly switching a carrier wave among many frequency channels, using a pseudorandom sequence known to both transmitter and receiver. (The T stands for Telemetry.) The T-FHSS is the newest protocol from Futaba. It is very popular amongst hobbyist's who fly gas models because the of the fact the protocol is nearly bullet proof when it comes to picking up ignition noise. This protocol is the cheapest as far as receivers go. Also, It's available on ALL of their current radio's. (No telemetry on S-FHSS on the 14SG)

FAAST & FAASTest
FAAST (Futaba Advanced Spread Spectrum Technology)
This technology is actually older than the aforementioned S-FHSS, However it is arguably more reliable in situations not involving an ignition module (Glow, and electric) because the speed in which the moves across the frequency band is not recognizable by the human eye. It's been demonstrated it would take over 10 "Hops" of the frequency on FAAST for you to even begin to feel what would seem to you to be a mild gust of wind or a glitch. Which moving at the Fastest speed of hopping on 2.4ghz (no pun intended.) you wouldn't even notice. This is the protocol used in many commerical/professional applications. The RX's are more costly than the FHSS protocol's.

Instead of giving you a list of each model radio. I'll do a quick review of my Futaba and tell you pro's and con's. I'll also provide you with a link to their website, where you can compare, contrast. See all of the features and even, hopefully order one.

Futaba 18SZA - $1349.99
download.jpg
I purchased this radio for something to fly my costly models on. I'll now continue with pro's and con's

PROS
-Links to all 2.4 Futaba RX's
-Very reliable system
-User Friendly interface
-SBUS programming right on radio, no need to hook to a PC
-Model converter integrated in software. Again, no need for a PC. Grab a model off your buddies radio using and SD card. Import and Convert model. Gives you everything their radio knows about that model, including trims, sub trim, name, expo and dual rates.
-Ships with LiFe battery, extremely long battery life.
-Spacious, Responsive touch screen, similar to an iPhone
-Camber mixing
-2 extra trim tabs
-Snap Roll programming
-Non Linear Throttle control (Very useful for glow.)
- 2 sliders.
-Adjustable Gimbals without removing case from radio. simply remove two screws on the front and adjust tension.
- The most amazing looking and feeling radio on the market (My opinion, but still definetly true, Ha!)


CONS
-Inability to set a switch by simply hitting it (Deviation, Spektrum style) must select switch from list (I hate this feature)
-High Cost (please note this is the 2nd most expensive radio they sell please don't let it deter you from checking them out.
-No USB port for updates (Not a huge deal as it has expandable storage with SD, simply copy and paste update onto SD)
- Futaba doesnt allow just anyone to replace an antenna. It must be shipped back to them to fix it. however I have done some reading that these are tuned antenna's and from dealing with a protocol so Fast and Accurate there are some inner workings of the radio that needs adjustment with new antenna.
- The fact I can only find 4 things wrong with it.


Any questions feel free to ask, I know I wasn't as in depth as the previous post (I apologize)
 
#14
Flysky
I would like to add to the Flysky input. About four years ago I went and joined the local aeromodelling club and they advised me to buy a Spektrum DX6i which I did and found it quite OK. I saw a Turnigy I6 on special and thought it might make a good backup transmitter.
I was very impressed with its size,weight,price and that there was a reciever supplied. FlySky make the Turnigy i6 and apart from the stick ends its exactly the same.
The formatting was initially not as easy as the Spektrum. However there is much data in the net on how to programme it.
The I6 source code was soon upgraded by others to make it a 10 channel and I think if you lose some model memories it can be a 14 channel.
It has code hopping signal so up to about a kilometres range.
The huge bonus for me was that you can do a little hack to the reciever that will not affect the reciever in any way and one gets the plane battery status on the reciever screen. There are you tube videos to then help with setting an alarm on the radio to give you low battery warning.
Other club members said that because it does not have a timer its no good. With the telemetry hack Its saved my planes several times when a battery cell has failed and I always know when to land when the battery is low. This makes a timer for electric flight totally redundant.
A 10-14 channel radio with telemetry for around $50usd delivered to you door with a reciever. Whats not to like
Sadly my Spektrum now sits in the cupboard gathering dust.
I now own 3 more i6 and an i10
I would love to own a FRsky Taranis however the i10 is the easiest transmitter ever to program with its touch screen. So it may be a while yet.
When all of the open TX programming gets resolved I am keen to try the new Fly sky Nirvana out
I have had such a good run out of the cheap i6s I cant reccomend them enough. Light, extremely tough, dual antenna easy to programme. Great range have never let me down
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#15
FlySky RC (not FrSky Taranis - that's a competitor)


Flysky FS-I6S 10 channel ~$55 US

Pros:
  • It's pretty, especially if you're into the Apple design look.
  • Specs wise it's pretty much an FS-i6
  • Has a touch screen
  • 10 radio channels
  • Telemetry
  • Built in mounting point for a phone holder (useful for wi-fi based FPV)
Cons:
  • No trim buttons makes it difficult to get a "hands off" flying experience with most planes (not an issue for quads though)
  • Two power buttons doubles the opportunity to accidentally turn it off while flying with it.
Unless you know different, "Specs wise it's pretty much an FS-i6" is misleading. When the i6S was originally released it had one model memory, no delta/ytail mixing or throttle curve and only a single spare mix. Subsequently I believe they increased the model memory some but I think only to 6 or something like that. Apart from the wizbang touch screen the main feature it adds is a way to setup a multi-position mode switch. I have not found anything that indicates that they added the mixing and throttle curve stuff back. Assuming that is still the case this is essentially a multi-rotor only TX and should be avoided unless you know that is all you want. The i6 or i6X is a better choice for both multirotor and fixed wing use.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#16
Unless you know different, "Specs wise it's pretty much an FS-i6" is misleading. When the i6S was originally released it had one model memory, no delta/ytail mixing or throttle curve and only a single spare mix. Subsequently I believe they increased the model memory some but I think only to 6 or something like that. Apart from the wizbang touch screen the main feature it adds is a way to setup a multi-position mode switch. I have not found anything that indicates that they added the mixing and throttle curve stuff back. Assuming that is still the case this is essentially a multi-rotor only TX and should be avoided unless you know that is all you want. The i6 or i6X is a better choice for both multirotor and fixed wing use.
Good info - I'll update the entry.

Thanks!
 
#17
I find that the graupner transmitter Manuel is not that intuitive. if you don't know what the abbreviations of some of the words are you get lost . they will tell you about something and you wont know what they are talking about until the next chapter or you have to go back a few pages find where to get into a menu then forward back to where you were . it seems the Manuel is written with the experienced pilot using it and not the beginner
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#19
which has more range frsky or spectrum?
Both are effectively the same - somewhere beyond 1 or 2 kilometers, way out of sight, and way beyond what you're legally allowed to fly in the US. The things that will more effectively impact your range is how well you orient your antennas and what materials are blocking them (cabron fiber = bad).