The most compact radio – the BetaFPV LiteRadio V3 Pro has finally got an upgrade that could be game changing. If you are looking for a small gamepad style radio that does everything, you need to check out the LiteRadio 3 Pro.
Table of Contents
LiteRadio V3 Pro Key Features
The BetaFPV LiteRaido 3 Pro has added some long overdue upgrades and improvements!
It now runs EdgeTX with a screen and menu buttons so you can change radio and model settings right on the radio without the need to connect it to a computer.
It also comes with two internal RF module options: ExpressLRS 2.4GHz (500mW) and CC2500 that is compatible with Frsky D8/D16. Even better, it now has an external module bay that allows you to install a lite module to run other protocols such as Multi-protocol, Crossfire, Tracer or Ghost (or a higher power ELRS TX module).
Where to Buy?
LiteRadio 3 Pro Product Page
- BetaFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-rho9
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dkwp86Z
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-p3tu
If the Pro version is beyond your budget, there’s also a cheaper version (LiteRadio 3) that’s $30 less. It has no screen or menu joysticks, and runs the same LiteRadio system as the previous LiteRadio 2 SE instead of EdgeTX. There are a few other differences too, please refer to the table below.
LiteRadio 3 Product Page
Differences from Last Version
|LiteRadio 3 Pro
|LiteRadio 2 SE
|Internal RF Module / Power
≤100mW (CC2500 Frsky)
≤100mw (CC2500 Frsky)
≤100mw (CC2500 Frsky)
|External Module Support
|Screen & Menu Buttons
|Neck Strap Support
Closer Look at the LiteRadio 3 Pro
- LiteRadio 3 Pro 280g
- Zorro 435g
- T-Pro 335g
The shape and dimensions of the LiteRadio V3 Pro is almost identical to the LiteRadio V2.
The colour has been changed from white to black. The good thing is it doesn’t get dirty as easily like it was in white, but it might get warmer when exposed under sunlight especially when you have a 500mW module running inside the radio without any ventilation.
The plastic material used in the LiteRadio 3 Pro is exactly the same as previous LiteRadio’s. It has a rubbery matte finish that offers a solid grip.
When it comes to ergonomics, it’s best suited for thumbers, not so great for pinchers or hybrid pinchers.
Just like the LiteRadio 3, the neck strap hook is still not balanced even with the extra weight from the newly added screen (it tilts backward), you can resolve this by using a 3D printed holder I think, but with a small radio like this, most people probably don’t need a neck strap anyway so it’s not a biggie.
Screen and Menu Buttons
A monochrome 1.3-inch OLED display and two mini joysticks are added. The screen looks high quality with black background and white text, it’s about the same size as the screen on the Jumper T-Pro but slightly longer (the screen in the LiteRadio definitely feels more premium). The good thing about OLED screen is that it’s highly visible either in the dark or under the sun.
The screen is a lot smaller than the Zorro’s, but still I have no problem reading what’s on there from a meter away. Also I appreciate the fact that the display has a slight tilt angle, it definitely helps readability.
The mini joysticks are not as easy to use as those big individual menu buttons and scroll wheel on the Zorro and T-Lite, but they are more compact for sure and gets the job done.
The LiteRadio 3 Pro comes with EdgeTX, but also compatible with OpenTX. I talked about how powerful and advanced EdgeTX is and why you should get it to replace OpenTX.
My radio came loaded with EdgeTX 2.6.0 firmware under the target of “edgetx-LR3 Pro”.
The radio comes with a micro SD card already installed inside the radio, so it was fully functional out of the box including sound pack. Talking about sound, the LiteRadio 3 Pro does have a speaker, but the volume is really low for two reasons: there’s no holes on the housing for the sound to come through, and the speaker is just quiet. You can barely hear it when you are outdoor.
There is no haptic feedback.
Because the SD card is inside the radio, you can’t really remove it unless you take apart the radio. When accessing the SD card and transferring data, you have to use a USB-C cable even though it’s slower.
I wish they make an SD card slot.
Internal ExpressLRS TX Module
The ELRS version has an internal ExpressLRS module that goes up to 500mW output power, while the Zorro can only do 250mW. The ExpressLRS firmware is V2.
The antenna is hidden inside the radio, so you can’t adjust the antenna position to get optimal signal performance. But for flying around with a micro quad, this should be adequate, but I wouldn’t want to use this radio for long range. The internal antenna, along with the facts that the battery is only 1S 2000mAh, and there’s no ventilation, kind of make the 500mW output power pointless if you ask me.
External Module Bay
An external module bay allows you to install a lite module to run other RF protocols such as Crossfire, Tracer, Ghost, and multi-protocols.
However, be aware that the external module bay is quite deep (9.5mm depth), make sure your module is thick enough to sit in the bay. For example my Jumper ELRS TX module just won’t fit.
Gimbals and Switches
The upgraded hall effect gimbals and new sharper stick ends improve control precision and ergonomics of the LiteRadio V3 Pro. Gimbal travel feels slightly less than the Zorro and T-Pro, but it’s adequate for FPV drone flying. The gimbals are very smooth, feel about the same as the stock gimbals on the Zorro.
There are 4 switches: two 3-position on the front and two 2-position on the back, all located on top of the radio. That should be enough for flying FPV drones.
There’s no dedicated trim buttons, but in fact the mini joysticks for the menu actually act as trim buttons as well. You can activate them by simply pushing the slider on the back of the screen to either side. Unfortunately, for some reason the trim wouldn’t work on the right gimbal, only works on the left gimbal, not sure if that’s a software or hardware bug or I just have a faulty unit, I will check with BetaFPV and come back. Not a problem at all if you don’t fly wings and planes.
Battery and Charging
There’s a 1S 2000mAh LiPo battery inside the radio, BetaFPV promises up to 15 hours of run time when using 100mW RF power. It would be much shorter when you run 500mW with ExpressLRS. You cannot power the LiteRadio 3 Pro from an external power source like the Zorro.
The internal battery can be re-charged via the USB-C port located on the bottom, but whenever I connect the USB cable, the radio always turns on. If I turn it off it will turn back on right away, if you leave it like that you will get the inactivity alarm constantly every few minutes which is annoying. Maybe that’s a software bug that can be fixed in EdgeTX.
Charging only takes 5V input, charge current is up to 0.6A.
The LiteRadio 3 Pro is compatible with FPV simulators on PC. Just connect the radio to your computer via the USB cable, and you will prompt on the radio to choose “joystick”.
The other option is to use the Bluetooth feature in the ELRS module.
LiteRadio 3 Pro Tear Down
By removing the 8 screws on the back of the radio, you can take the back housing off. Interestingly they stick some dead weight on the back housing to make it heavier (even though it’s still much lighter than the Zorro and T-Pro).
Gimbal Tension Adjustment
What Else You Might Need?
The LiteRadio 3 Pro is fully functional out the box. I bound it to my quad and it was working beautifully. There are some other accessories you can get for this radio:
- External ELRS TX Module for CC2500 version: https://oscarliang.com/product-8hr9
- BetaFPV Neck Strap: https://oscarliang.com/product-40wn
- Storage case: https://oscarliang.com/product-5hzg
Here’s the manual (click to enlarge)
How to Update Internal ExpressLRS Module
Firmware Device Target to be confirmed.
There are two ways to update the internal ELRS module, either via WiFi or via EdgeTX in pass-through (thanks to EdgeTX!).
To use passthrough, you need to connect the USB cable, and you will be prompted with the option of “USB serial”, select it and your computer will be connected to the internal ELRS module and you will be able to flash it in ExpressLRS configurator.