The Frsky Taranis Q X7S is an upgraded “Special” version of the popular Taranis Q X7. In this article we will take a look at the improvements on the QX7S, and help you decide whether the changes are worth the extra cost.
Your can purchase the Taranis Q X7S from Gearbest (make sure to check prices for the best deal):
- Banggood – http://bit.ly/2BdozS1
- Gearbest – http://bit.ly/2mPd13Y
- HorusRC: http://bit.ly/2zZKE8l
- Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/2zfCYLP
Please check out our guide on how to choose a radio transmitter for quadcopter.
QX7 vs QX7S, Which one should I get?
The two radios have nearly identical capability, the decision comes down to how much you value the upgrades on the QX7S.
The cheaper QX7 is an excellent radio for value, which should be enough for most people to get started flying multirotors. You can slowly upgrade the components too in the future if you wish: the gimbals, the switches, the case etc… This is probably the best TX you can buy for $100 right now.
You won’t regret getting the QX7S either, because it’s just an overall better radio when it comes to quality and user experience.
With all the upgrades and accessories that come with the Q X7S, it’s actually a pretty good deal than upgrading the original QX7 yourself: M7 Gimbals + Lotus Stickends + NiMh battery + charger + carry case = $114!)
Here is a comparison table between the Q X7S and Q X7, listing all the differences.
|Taranis Q X7S||Taranis Q X7|
|Colour||Blue, Carbon||White, Black, Green, purple, orange, blue|
|Gimbals||M7 Hall Gimbals||Stock Gimbals|
|Stick End||Upgraded M4 Lotus||Stock|
|Stick protectors for Transport||Yes||No|
|Switches||Angled, softer switches||More rigid switches|
|Battery & Charger||2000mah + Charger||No|
|Wireless Trainer Capability||Yes||No|
QX7S vs X9D-Plus
You might wonder, at the $200 price point, you can also get the Taranis X9D-Plus, which has extra switches and sliders, and a larger screen.
But if you think about it, these aren’t really that big of a deal when it comes to mini quads. Some people might prefer the design of the QX7 series, not to mention the X9D doesn’t come with Hall sensor gimbals so you will have to spend extra for those.
Let’s take a look at the QX7S changes…
The Taranis Q X7S comes with a really lovely soft travel case, with the following accessories inside:
- FrSky Taranis Q X7S
- 2000mAh NiMh battery pack (with balancer plug)
- Charger & Power Supply – Can charge both 6-cell NiMh and 2S LiPo
- Carry case
- Neck Strap
- A set of stickers
- Instruction manual
The Q X7S has two different colour options: blue and “carbon fibre”.
Although the carbon fibre version costs about $37 more, it’s not made from real carbon, the pattern is only painted on. But still, I prefer the carbon fibre version because it feels and looks more professional and less like a toy :)
Frsky also made a small adjustment on the power button in this new version: you have to hold down the power button for at least 3 seconds to turn it on or off. This prevents the radio being switched on or off by accident.
The Taranis QX7S runs the latest OpenTX 2.2 so it saves us trouble updating the firmware, for now :)
Gimbals and Stick-ends
The Gimbals on the Q X7S are M7 Hall-Sensor Gimbals. The sticks feel a bit too tight for my liking, and the throttle has ratchet which I should adjust later on.
In this article I explain how to adjust stick tension and remove throttle ratchet in your Taranis Transmitter.
Why Hall Sensor Gimbals are better than the stock gimbals
The stock gimbals on the QX7 uses potentiometer and small brushes which can wear out more quickly over time than the hall sensor gimbals.
Hall sensor gimbals uses magnets to get stick position reading, which is more precise, more durable and smoother.
The upgraded Lotus stickends are great for both thumbers and pinchers compared to the stock.
The M7 gimbals cost $50 if bought separately, and the stick ends are $12. So these upgrades alone are worth $62 + an hour of labour!
Switches and Handle
The new switches have a softer feel than the original QX7, they are also slightly angled for better ergonomics.
There is now additional rubber grip on the front and side of the TX.
Battery and Charger
The X7S comes with a 6-cell 2000mAh Ni-Mh battery which is way better than using 1.5V AA batteries. AA batteries have such low capacity you would be replacing them very often.
When it comes to battery charging, I guess I am spoiled by the Taranis X9D, where I can just simply plug in the charger on the side of the TX.
On the Q X7S, you have to unplug the battery from the TX and connect it to the charger.
Not only this is inconvenient, I am not impressed by the battery wires either. The wires are hard plastic, not silicone, it’s more likely to be damaged due to mechanical wear.
I think I might modify the battery and just add an extra connector for charging so I don’t have to unplug the other one.
If you were getting the Q X7, you can buy the battery and charger separately for $16 and $20 respectively.
Wireless Trainer Capability
There is a built-in Bluetooth module inside the Taranis Q X7S, it allows you to connect this radio to another Frsky radio with the same wireless capability as a trainer wirelessly. This will also allow you to connect it to your phone and use the Frsky Telemetry App.
This wireless feature is new and will be available on other top end Frsky TX as well, such as the Horus and X10. Getting this in the cheap QX7S is quite cool, although I don’t really see myself using the trainer feature or getting telemetry data on my phone :)
More QX7S Photos
Here are photos of the top and bottom of the TX. There is Smartport next to the SD card slot, which you can use for flashing your Frsky receiver firmware.
Here is the back of the radio, and the external TX module bay.
Incompatibility with TBS Crossfire
The TBS Crossfire is an external transmitter module designed to provide long range radio communication.
However the Crossfire is not fully compatible with the QX7 and the QX7S, and some modification is required to get Telemetry working properly.
I don’t really plan to use the TBS Crossfire module because I am quite happy with the range that the QX7S has, therefore I have not read into the problem and fixes.
Currently, the Crossfire is fully compatible with the X9D so if you want to use Crossfire and avoid doing DIY mods, you should probably stick with the X9D for now.