News: iRangeX IR8M Multi-Protocol Transmitter Released

by Oscar

The iRangeX IR8M radio transmitter is a multi-protocol TX that is compatible with Frsky, Spektrum DSM2/DSMX, Flysky, Walkera and many other radio systems. In this article we will take a look at the product spec and discuss the possible pro’s and con’s.

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Check out this guide to learn more about what TX/RX protocols are. And this guide about the basics of radio transmitter.

What’s Special about the IR8M TX?

For $80, the IRX IR8M TX comes with a built-in 4-in-1 multiprotocol module, and it supports a wide range of popular TX protocols including

  • Frsky
  • Spketrum DSM2/DSMX
  • Flysky
  • Futaba
  • Walkera
  • Syma
  • Hubsan
  • Hisky
  • … And many other protocols commonly used in Chinese toy quadcopters

Other TX such as the Taranis and TBS Tango can have multi-protocol support too by using external TX modules, but the IR8M has this feature built inside the TX at this low price point, which is pretty exciting.

The iRange IR8M transmitter resembles the TBS Tango, but it’s missing the integrated 5.8Ghz video receiver, and the colour HD display for FPV video. The 2.8″ LCD screen on the IR8M is only for displaying TX related menu and functions (similar to the one in the Taranis), and very possibly only in black and white.

Specification of the IRX IR8M

  • 2.4Ghz, 8 channels
  • 6 switches (could be all 3-position switches since they are resting in the middle position), 2 pots
  • Powered by a 2S LiPo battery, or 4 x “AA” 1.5V batteries
  • 2.8inch LCD screen with backlight – 128 x 64 pixel resolution
  • Dimension: 208 x 143 x 51mm
  • Telemetry available
  • Mode 1, Mode 2 available
  • Available Colour: Black, White
  • Modulation: “4 IN 1” CYRF6936, CC2500, NRF2401, A7105
  • Model Memory: 30 (or 255? conflicting info on the spec)
  • Weight: unknown yet…

The TX also comes with a light weight, compact radio receiver, that supports PPM and SBUS.

Pro & Con of the iRangeX IR8M

This is indeed a very interesting product. Since this radio is not yet available, some of the info below is based on speculation. We are looking forward to hearing more about this TX and possibly testing one in the future.

Is the IR8M the Taranis Killer? NO.

First off, in my opinion, this radio is not going to replace the Taranis.

From the spec it seems to have telemetry but it’s unclear how that’s going to work yet. It probably doesn’t support SmartPort and you definitely won’t be able to use the LUA script goodness and the flexible OpenTX OS on this radio.

But you can still use Betaflight OSD with it so that’s good.

Multi-Protocol = Good!

Having compatibility with such a wide range of TX protocols and radio receivers is simply amazing, this is going to be a great choice for someone who owns and flies multiple quadcopters and RC models.

Imagine being able to fly your 5″ racer, Hubsan X4 and Eachine E010 with the same TX, how convenient is that :)

However it only supports 8 channels, that can be a limitation for some, for example, those who fly GPS drones with lots of flight modes. But that shouldn’t be a problem if you only fly mini quad and micro quad, 8 channels should be more than enough.

Here is Another Cheap and Popular multi-protocol TX, the Jumper T8SG

Shape, Gimbals and Handling

The gaming controller style shape is known to handle and work well for thumbers, and those with smaller hands.

Each gimbal on the IR8M has four bearings, and the stick length and tension are adjustable, so we can expect them to perform better than most toy grade TX out there. I am also interested to see if the IR8M can be upgraded to the Frsky M7 / M9 gimbals when it comes out.

I like the idea of having anti-slip rubber grips on the handles. This has been proven successful in the popular QX7S, and how much better it feels in the hands than the X9D that doesn’t have it.

Firmware / USB Port / Simulator

This TX has a USB port that allows you to modify and backup your settings easily.

It could be running the DeviationTX firmware which is commonly used on many multi-protocol transmitters. But we were told the firmware can be upgraded through the USB port, so it’s unclear at this point.

Not sure about whether or not you can use this TX with your simulator via the USB port yet, but my guess is NO since it wasn’t possible in the previous i6X either.

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Freddy. Robinson 16th February 2018 - 4:35 pm

HOW Do you get support for this Radio I bought One from Grayson Hobbys, It is a Bad Radio the processer is not stable, and it only has a Range of 24 steps, I have Reflashed and reloaded software several times, Grayson HOBBYS WILL NOT RESPOND FOR HELP

Burt Lo 25th November 2017 - 6:58 am

I recall hearing rumor that the Deviation team was consulting on this firmware, if not actually delivering it.

Dave 21st November 2017 - 2:15 pm

Man that ergonomy… it seems to me that they their design skills are stuck in the 80’s this looks like some gaming pad from that time.