The Best Radio Transmitter for FPV Drones

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

This buyer’s guide explains the basics of radio transmitter for FPV drone. Apart from price, the supported frequency and protocols and the number of channels, there are a lot more to consider when buying a TX.

A radio transmitter (a.k.a. TX) is used to control a drone remotely. The user commands are then received by the radio receiver (RX) which is connected to a flight controller.

radio transmitter receiver protocol

A radio transmitter should be one of the very first items to buy when getting into FPV, as you can use it to play with drone simulators before even owning a drone. Unlike many other components and accessories that are more likely to break or become obsolete, a good radio will follow you for many years, so it’s okay to invest a bit more on a decent one.

New to FPV? Make sure to check out my beginner guide to FPV drones.

Radio Transmitter Round-up

Here is a list of all the popular radio transmitters on the market currently.

Product Names Protocol Price Resellers
BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 Frsky/Bayang $40 BetaFPV | GetFPV | RDQ
Flysky FS-T6 Flysky $56 Banggood | Amazon
Spektrum DXe Spektrum $60 Amazon
Jumper T-Lite Multi + External $76 RDQ | Banggood
Radiomaster T8 Pro Multi $89 Banggood | GetFPV | RDQ
Frsky X9 Lite Frsky + External $90 Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon
FrSky Taranis Q X7 Frsky + External $120 Banggood | Amazon | HorusRC
Radiomaster TX16S Multi + External $130 Banggood | RDQ | Amazon
Jumper T16 Pro Multi + External $160 Amazon
Jumper T18 Multi + External $155-$195 Banggood | RDQ | Amazon
Flysky Nirvana Flysky + External $180 Amazon | Banggood
Frsky X-Lite Frsky + External $140 GetFPV | Banggood | Amazon
Frsky X-Lite Pro Frsky + External $200 RDQ | Amazon | GetFPV
Spektrum DX6 Spektrum $230 RMRC | Amazon | GetFPV
FrSky Taranis X9D+ 2019 Frsky + External $250 Banggood | Amazon | HorusRC
TBS Tango 2 Crossfire $160 – $200 GetFPV | RMRC | Amazon
TBS Tango Crossfire $250 Amazon | GetFPV
Flysky Paladin Flysky $285 Banggood | Amazon
Frsky Tandem X20 Frsky + External $330 Banggood
Frsky Horus X10S Frsky + External $470 HorusRCAmazon
FrSky Horus X12S Frsky + External $500 Amazon | GetFPV | HorusRC
Spektrum DX9 Black Spektrum $480 Amazon

Too many choices right? Well, here are my recommendations below. However, I encourage you to do more research and check out reviews on the radios you like before deciding.

Radio Recommendations

Cheapest Worth Having

Jumper T-Lite

Product Page:

This is the cheapest radio ($67) that runs OpenTX, has multi-protocol module built-in and supports external module. Just to name a few features.

It supports FPV simulators so you can get this to practice flying before even building a drone. It’s very small so you can take it everywhere. The main limitations would be the lack of switches. But it’s hard to complain for this price! See our review of the Jumper T-Lite for more detail.

And because it’s so cheap, DO NOT expect top notch build quality. If you are looking for a compact radio and you have the budget, I’d probably recommend getting the TBS Tango 2 instead (explained in more detail further down this article).


Best Value and Versatility

Radiomaster TX16S

Product Page: Banggood | RDQ | Amazon

In my opinion, the most versatile and best value radio right now has to be the TX16S. It has a multi-protocol module inside that supports almost every protocol in the hobby, and it also fully compatible with Crossfire. The full size hall sensor gimbals gives you full range of stick travel and excellent precision. All these, and more for only $130. See my review of the TX16S. I’d recommend getting the Crossfire module with this radio.


Portability and Performance

TBS Tango 2

Product Page: GetFPV | RMRC | Amazon

It’s extremely portable and yet with great ergonomics. According to TBS, the Tango 2 has high quality full size gimbals that have fordable sticks (only in pro version), which is great for transportation. It has built-in 900MHz Crossfire module with a maximum output power of 250mW. It runs OpenTX, has built-in USB charging. And it’s made by TBS – the brand you can trust when it comes to quality.

Note: my friend Giovanni who owns the Tango 2 disagrees with the product description which claims to have full size gimbals. He said they are way smaller than the full size gimbals on a Taranis X9D.

Originally it only supports Crossfire (915MHz), but recently TBS added hardware and software support for an external “lite” module, meaning a multiprotocol module can be added to the internal crossfire module so that it can control practically anything, pretty much like the TX16S when it comes to protocols.

However it’s not great for wing and plane flyers, it doesn’t have enough switches/slider, and there is no trim buttons. See my full review of the Tango 2 and how it compares to the Frsky X-Lite Pro.

The TBS Tango 2 is definitely my pick if all you want is to have the most compact radio and only flying multirotors.


Now, let’s get down to the technical stuff and learn about radio transmitters.

Radio Transmitter Frequency

The common frequencies used in FPV drones are 2.4GHz and 900Mhz.

2.4GHz is the standard nowadays for radio control thanks to its frequency hopping technology, which manages channel automatically to avoid interference between pilots.

900MHz is another popular frequency mostly used in long range flying. Those who don’t fly long range could also choose 900MHz over 2.4GHz purely for its better signal penetration and reliability. The exact operational frequency differs depending on the region, EU uses 868MHz, while non-EU countries use 915Mhz.

There are other less common frequencies used in RC, such as 27MHz, 72MHz, 433MHz and 1.3GHz. But these are either older technology or used in very specific applications, you will learn about these as you progress, all you need to know now is 2.4GHz and 900Mhz.


Gimbal Sticks

The sticks on a radio are referred to as “gimbals”, they translate user inputs into digital data and control the drone’s movement.

radio transmitter gimbals

Gimbal Types

There are two types of gimbals:

  • Potentiometer
  • Hall Sensor

Potentiometer based gimbals are normally cheaper and deteriorate faster over time due to friction between contacts. On the other hand, hall sensor gimbals uses magnets to determine stick position and thus should last longer.

Potentiometer Gimbal

Potentiometer Gimbal

Apart from increased longevity, hall sensor gimbals also offer better accuracy and resolution with reduced jittering.

Hall Gimbal

Hall Gimbal

For a beginner, the difference in gimbal quality might not be huge, but it becomes an important consideration as you grow as a pilot.

Regardless the type of gimbals, you can normally adjust the spring tension to achieve certain stick feel. This is mostly a personal preference, and it could help tremendously with your control precision. In my reviews I usually attach a diagram where you can do this inside the radio. Here is a guide on adjusting stick tension for the Taranis and other popular radios.

How to Hold Gimbals?

Another thing to consider is how you should hold the gimbal sticks. I have another post explaining the different ways and benefits.

holding radio transmitter sticks

“Thumbers” typically want shorter sticks and a thinner radio body, similar to how they would hold a gaming controller. “Pinchers” might prefer longer sticks and travel, and a neck strap might also help stabilize the radio due to the weakened grip.

There is no right or wrong way, it’s purely personal preference.

Stick Ends

The tip of a gimbal stick is called “stick end”, and it can be replaced. “Pinchers” might prefer a different type of stick end to “thumbers”.

Gimbal sticks are normally either M3 or M4 threads, so make sure you check before purchasing replacements.

Here is an example of the different types of stick ends:

  • FRSKY Taranis Standard Gimbals – M3
  • FRSKY Taranis Hall Effect Gimbals – M4
  • FRSKY X-LITE – M2.5
  • TBS TANGO 2 – M3
  • Jumper T16 – M3
  • Jumper T18 – M3
  • Radiomaster TX16s – M4
  • Jumper T12 Pro – M3

Mode

Before getting your first radio, decide which mode you prefer. The mode determines the configuration of the two control sticks. There are 4 modes – mode 1, mode 2, mode 3 and mode 4.

mode 1 mode 2 radio transmitter configruations

Mode 1 configuration has the elevator control on the left joystick and the throttle on the right one.

Mode 2 is the most common among FPV drone pilots because the stick represents the movement of your quadcopter. It has the elevator control on the right joystick and the motor throttle on the left one. The right joystick self centres in the both axis, whereas the left joystick only self centres in yaw axis (left/right direction) and slides in the throttle (up/down) axis in order to allow constant throttle.

how to choose RC radio transmitter tx mode 3 4

Mode 3 – same as Mode 1 except Aileron and Rudder are swapped.

Mode 4 – same as Mode 2 except Aileron and Rudder are swapped.

There is no right or wrong mode, just personal preference. If you are not sure which mode to use, just go for mode 2, because that’s what the majority of pilots use. You can change to other modes in some radios if you want to experiment.

Switches

Transmitters also have an array of switches you can use for arming and changing flight modes etc.

radio transmitter switches

Switches come in two-position or three-position forms as well as sliders and rotary knobs. However as FPV drone pilots we don’t need as many switches as RC plane flyers do.

I think having 2 to 4 switches are enough for most FPV drone pilots. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have more.

5-channel-transmitter-diagram

Channels

Each control, or switch on the transmitter requires a channel to send the data to the receiver. Channel values range between 1000 to 2000.

The two gimbals has 4 control inputs: throttle, yaw, pitch and roll. Each of these takes up a channel and so to control a drone, at least 4 channels are required.

The extra channels are called “AUX channels” (Auxiliary), they can be assigned to the switches on your radio for arming the drone and activating other features.

You don’t need to use a lot of channels to fly an FPV drone. Personally I only use 6 to 8 channels normally: 1- arm switch,  2 – buzzer switch, 3 – flight mode switch, 4 – flip over after crash.

The number of channels is also limited by the receiver protocol. For example, Frsky D16 (SBUS) can support up to 16 channels, while Frsky D8 (PPM) can only support up to 8.

Radio Receivers

A radio receiver (a.k.a. RX) is the device that receives user commands from the radio transmitter, and passes that data to the flight controller.

A radio receiver is normally only compatible with transmitters from the same brand, using the same protocol. The “protocols” are like a language spoken between the transmitter and receiver, every brand has their own protocols. Here is an overview of all the TX protocols and RX protocols.

However the exception is “multi-protocol module” that is designed to be compatible with receivers from many different manufacturers. And there are 3rd party receivers made to work with Frsky transmitters. Check product pages, they should tell you what protocols are supported.

When you buy a radio transmitter, you need to realize that you are also locking yourself into their receivers (eco system). This becomes an important consideration: some brands of receivers are more expensive than others; some brands might have a better selection of light weight receivers for micro drones; Some brands don’t have certain features such as telemetry…. etc…

Remember, you are going to put a receiver in every quad you build so the cost adds up quickly the more drones you own.

Here is a size comparison between some of the popular receivers from different brands.

radio receiver size comparison frsky crossfire flysky futaba spektrum

Binding TX and RX

To establish communication between a radio transmitter and a receiver, you must bind them first.

Binding of TX and RX only needs to be done once, and only needs to re-bind after updating firmware.

The binding process is usually straightforward (matter of pressing a button on the receiver), but the steps might differ on specific brand. It’s best to refer to their user manual for instructions.

Note that you can bind multiple receivers to the same TX (in theory, you can control multiple drones using the same transmitter at the same time), but you can only bind the RX to one TX.

How to choose receivers

Things to consider: size, weight, RX protocols, telemetry. Here are the popular RX Round-ups:

Receiver Antenna

Antenna on radio receivers is usually coax wire where the active element is wrapped in shielding. Some receivers have two antennas – this is so called “diversity” which improves reception. To achieve the best result, it is recommended to keep the two antennas at 90-degree apart.

If you broke the receiver antenna, you can try to fix it following this guide.

Range

There are many factors that can affect the range of your RC link.

  • Lower frequency system are better at long range
  • Line of sight gives you the best possible signal, obstacles between your TX and RX can significantly reduce range
  • Higher transmitter output power usually results in longer range, but beware of local regulations
  • Receiver sensitivity, the more sensitive the better the range
  • Receiver diversity, some “full range” RX offers two antennas for diversity
  • Antenna placement

Typically, a 2.4Ghz radio system could give you up to about 1K to 1.5Km range. If you want to go further with reliable signal, you will want to invest in a “long range” UHF system that runs on lower frequency. Popular options are the TBS Crossfire and Frsky R9M.

External Module Support

A lot of radios these days have a module bay on the back, which allows you to insert an external transmitter module in order to bind to receivers from a different brand or frequency.

Here is the Jumper T16 with Crossfire module.

Operating System

Every radio has its own operating system (OS), which is basically the user interface.

My recommendation is OpenTX, which has become the industry standard in recent years. Many popular radios ship with OpenTX these days.

OpenTX is an open source project, it’s an extremely powerful and highly configurable radio system. It also offers support for many different types of aircraft. Learning curve might be a little steep for beginners, but the knowledge you gain will serve you well in the many years to come.

You can even change drone settings from your transmitters, including PID, rates and other Betaflight settings, thanks to the powerful LUA script feature in OpenTX.

Telemetry Support

Telemetry is a feature that allows the receiver to send crucial flight information back to the radio transmitter, such as RSSI (signal strength), battery voltage, current draw etc.

In OpenTX, you can display telemetry data on your radio screen, or have the value read out as audio warnings.

FPV Simulator Support

I strongly recommend getting a radio that supports FPV simulators, when you connect the radio to your computer via USB, it will show up as a joystick controller.

Training in FPV simulators will help you build up muscle memory and practice without damaging expensive components.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is very much a personal preference, considerations including radio weight, the location of the sticks and switches, housing material, radio form factor, all play a part in this.

In my opinion, it’s not the biggest factor to worry about, as all of the companies we recommend on this page have been around in the RC industry long enough to know how to make a good radio transmitter.

The best thing to do is probably going to a local meetup and try a few different radios from other pilots and decide for yourself.

Edit History

  • Oct 2013 – Article created
  • Jun 2016 – Updated with popular TX options
  • Jun 2017 – Article updated, added receiver info
  • July 2018 – Added info about gimbals, switches, OS, and Range
  • Oct 2019 – Updated product listing
  • Jun 2020 – Updated products, and my recommendations
  • Mar 2021 – replaced BetaFPV Lite Radio 2 with Jumper T-Lite

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103 comments

Boball 12th August 2021 - 12:16 pm

Does anyone else think there’s a gap in the market here with all those vr type headsets out there that either have a (Android) screen built in or allow you to mount your lovely hd ish 6″ phone screen in them?
Cheap receiver attached (ROTGUT2 in my case) and, in most cases, an improved FOV.
An option to display just the headset FOV but receive the full 150′ and pan around it with head tracking (again already there on a phone) and flatten the image would be great as currently looking at a fish eye view of 150′ FOV on something much less.
Would also love the option of big button on side that switches to phone camera view (hole maybe required!) in an instant to help landing without having to rip the thing off your head.
Presume there are better receivers out there to take advantage of your phones decent res.
Thoughts are welcome, especially if anyone knows of any projects currently exploring this as I’m sure sure some clever bugger out there can code this!
For the above wish list, I’d happily pay a small fee ;)

Reply
Boball 12th August 2021 - 12:59 pm

Soz, wrong place, meant to be in the goggles section, obvs!

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Mike miles 20th July 2021 - 5:13 am

There seems to be a situation with frsky with their transition from accst protocol to access protocol. My local hobby shop has has quit using frsky altogether. I’d like to have the soplest transmitter possible. My taranis has switches all,over the place and I can’t get it to bind. I emailed them, they told me to switch to the access protocol and then you have to register the receiver to the radio? Maybe the archer receivers would be the answer? I think TBS is my answer.

Reply
Oscar 20th July 2021 - 11:31 am

Yes, the community has been steering away from Frsky radios due to their recent change of protocol in new radios and RX.
You can find out how to bind ACCESS receivers here.

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Stephano Mgote 2nd February 2021 - 5:16 pm

Can I use a transmitter and receiver found in toy’s car used by children?

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Steve Denton 3rd January 2021 - 4:48 am

Hello Oscar, first off, thank you! I’ve been watching, reading, and learning from you for a LONG time now, I mean YEARS. What you do for the rc community is admiral and well appreciated. This is why I’m asking your opinion on this as I truly trust your opinion and judgment (very few people in that club). I’ve been flying for over 35 years and been into quads since the early beginning. I fly with a Spektrum DX18 which I love and have used since it’s release but… it’s getting harder and harder to get things like telemetry and other features to work properly with the ever growing fpv quads that are coming out. So… what is the best radio ( below $1000 bucks) do you recommend me purchasing and then learning (protocol) so I don’t get left behind with my DSMX Spektrum. I prefer the traditional style ( not game controller style) and I’m a thumber. Love Hall effect, and it has to FEEL like a quality non cheaply made materials tx. You know, like the older Futaba 12 channels and JR 8103’s if you remember those. Thanks again and I’ll be awaiting your response.
Oh, and thank you once again!

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Oscar 11th January 2021 - 3:49 pm

Right now? I’d go for the Radiomaster TX16S. The built-in multi-protocol module allows you to use your existing Spektrum stuff, and a lot more like the popular Frsky receivers. The external module bay allows you to use Crossfire which is my daily driver. You can pretty much have any modern feature on this radio. The best part is it’s only $160 with Hall gimbals.
Here’s my review: Review: Radiomaster TX16S Transmitter

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Janus van Zyl 3rd December 2020 - 9:05 pm

Hello Ozzie,
Firstly, I want to say thank you for saving me quite a bit of time and money and hard school, by writing this blog, I am no longer what you would call a rookie, or intermediate, I fly expert level, I did post on here but can not find it now, so I don’t know if you ever answered me. But I would REEEEEAAALY like to know your opinion on the Jeti Duplex DS14 Transmitters and basically the overall product as I am told it is just about the top of the line? But is it good for FPV?

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Paul G 11th August 2021 - 3:27 pm

I would like to konw that as well, I’m thinking about buying a DS16 for my Heli’s but I would also like to fly my drones with it as well

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Jon Scott 19th June 2020 - 1:08 pm

Hi Oscar, regarding the Rx size comparisons . isn’t the Spektrum race module smaller now as it’s trying to keep up with basically everyone else? The wires come out parallel now. see DSMX SRXL2

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Nick 19th June 2020 - 5:35 am

You didn’t include the Jumper T12 pro? This looks to be an excellent gimbal radio, opentx, with multi-module, lipo charging, same size as Flysky i6. Cheaper even than the Radiomaster TX16s. I’ve read good reviews of it. It is a smaller form factor than T16 etc, but for some, that is a plus, not a minus. If I were looking for a new Tx right now, it would be high on my list.

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Scott Baker 14th June 2020 - 9:05 pm

X-Lite Pro is a receiver compatibility nightmare; probably even worse for me since I’m a beginner. But most reviewers on YouTube seem to have the same complaints.

AVOID, AVOID, AVOID

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Hasan Sabri 11th December 2019 - 3:59 am

Hi Oscar,
just a quick recommendation for updating the list of popular radios,
the T6 is outdated and should be swapped for the i6/i6s/i6x.
the 9xr is discontinued, and maybe should be swapped for the 9x, as it now supports afhds 2a.
thanks.

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AJmoto 18th January 2019 - 12:42 pm

Hi, why does nobody ever talks about Taranis X9E? Is it not good?

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Mikyle 21st November 2018 - 5:16 pm

Hi Oscar. Do you think a Flysky i6X FS-i6X 2.4GHz 10CH AFHDS 2A RC Transmitter will be a good Tx/Rx bundle for a first time tx? Thanks

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Oscar 23rd November 2018 - 4:58 am

If it meets what you need then it’s a good combo :)

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Andy Goh 20th January 2019 - 3:17 pm

Flysky FS-i6x is an incredible value for money for beginners. It’s slim, light weight, supports 10 channels and uses only 4 AA batteries… For first timer, this is one of the best transmitter out there at around USD50?

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Sebalos 12th October 2018 - 2:47 pm

Hi,

What minimum voltage shall I set up on my taranis X9D plus, standard batteries Ni-MH AA2000 mAh 7.5V ?
I don’t want to drain and damage the bats cells. I know the rule for LiPo is about 3.5 volt per cell.
What about Ni-MH AA2000 mAh 7.5V?

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Oscar 23rd October 2018 - 4:33 pm

6V or even safer at 6.5V :)

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Oluebube 6th September 2017 - 2:01 am

Hello

please, is there any way I could upgrade my Fs-i6x to get a longer range? (not too experienced in this). If not, which other cheap Tx can I get that can reach a range of 1km or above.

Thanks

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Oscar 10th September 2017 - 8:46 pm

I am using Frsky Taranis and I’ve tested it can go 1Km+ with XSR or X4R-SB receivers.

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Amir 6th July 2017 - 3:48 pm

Im looking for a Cheap TX which has lots of Cheap and Tiny RX options for miniquads, FlySky FS – i6 okay?

Reply
Oscar 10th July 2017 - 5:58 pm

Yes both Flysky and Frsky have many RX options for mini quads.

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Arabinda 10th May 2017 - 3:06 pm

I dont know about electronics much. But i am making a small plane by using 2 12v dc motors. I want to control that plane by transmitter. So now what i hav to for. Please help me.

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Tom 26th March 2017 - 4:10 am

Hi , I came accross your site as I was googling for building drones. I am gettign into building a hexcopter / quadcopter. what are the max range of these transmitters in miles? Is there a way i can conrll through my laptop ? what software would I need?

Also, when i build a drone can I make it follow something automatically when making movies etc? and make it return to base when battery is low? how are those programmed?
Can anyone guide me on these?

Thanks
Regards

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Vladimir 6th January 2017 - 4:01 am

Hello!
Nice work! It was very helpful for me, when I decide to buy my quadcopter. I want to buy with F3 flight controller. banggood.com/Realacc-X210-4mm-Frame-w-F3-6-DOF-Racerstar-BR2205-2600KV-Motor-RS30A-V2-Blheli_S-5X4X3-Prop-p-1078119.html
But Taranis is much expensive for me. Can I use Radiolink AT9 for example? What do you think about that transmitter?

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Wayne 8th February 2017 - 10:12 pm

It’s good go for it

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Carlos Atouguia 31st October 2016 - 10:12 am

Hello,

i am looking for someone or a company that will be able to customise my transmitter. i want to put the throttle on a trigger button and not on the stick.

does any one know of any company anyone that is able to do that?

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Zeeshan 21st August 2016 - 12:08 pm

HI,
I am new into quadcopter world and your article was a blessing for me. i have built a basic quadcopter that lefts off 30cm from ground….i made an adnroid app for this……moving ahead for more, its getting difficult as i was using arduino with gryo+accelermeter……very frustrated and challenging…..i had decided not to use receiver etc and build from core.
after 4 months trial, i was unable to make a perfect one and the cost on it was increasing day by day…..so no i decided to use receiver and transmitter….
can u help me answer few questions:
1. these receivers have built in gyro+accelerometer or we use external ones?
2. how do i connect my ESC to it?
3. do we need a flight controller as well?

sorry for such basic questions….but these basic things are needed by my small brain

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Weebly Reddit 4th April 2017 - 5:24 am

Your drone’s flight controller should have a gyro/accelerometer built in.

Yes, heck yes.
You need a flight controller/

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Amir 6th July 2017 - 3:44 pm

In theory you dont need a FlightController, you can just hook up Servo connectors of the ESCs to a PWM Receiver and viola, you control motors, but you dont have any sort of stabilization

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Siamak 6th September 2018 - 11:15 am

I would say that Oscars pages are among the most complete and comprehensive documents about FPV (and drones in general) I have seen. I recommend you have some patience and read these pages from beginning in order to acquire more understanding of drones in particular FPV’s and at the same time get your questions answered. It will take time (hence the patience needed) but believe me it’s worth it.

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David Frayne 22nd June 2016 - 5:16 pm

Hi I have a spektrum dx7 tx and RX will this work on the Eachine 250 racer I am well used to setting it up what are your thoughts
Rob

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Jonathan 17th June 2016 - 10:08 pm

Hi Oscar

Note that in the UK, and many other countries outside the US, 72MHz is illegal. The equivalent here, for aircraft only, is 35MHz.

There’s also 40MHz, but this is only legal for land-based craft.

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Oscar 19th June 2016 - 10:47 pm

good point guess i missed to mention that i will add a few words in the tutorial shortly! thank you Jonathan!

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justin 17th June 2016 - 11:31 am

Hey oscar i have a turnigy 9x with er9x. i was wondering if you ever setup throttle curves to reduce sensitivity when the sticks are a mid point? maybe you could write an article regarding mixes that you use?

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Oscar 19th June 2016 - 10:41 pm

I normally don’t setup curves on the TX, so I can have full resolution throughout the whole stick range… what you are asking is just rate which you can change in FC isnt it?

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Robin 14th June 2016 - 8:01 pm

No love for Deviation TX?
Surprised it doesn’t get a mention?

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Oscar 19th June 2016 - 10:28 pm

lol sorry not much experience with Deviation TX, neither from my editor Justin and people flying mini quad around me…

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Greg 22nd June 2016 - 12:05 am

Deviation is a replacement firmware designed primarily for the Walkera Devo series RC Transmitters. While Deviation is heavily influenced both by the Walkera DEVO8 firmware as well as by the Flysky/Turnigy based ER9X firmware, it has been written completely from scratch to be easily portable and extensible.

The supported transmitters are the DEVO 6/6S/7E/8/8S/10/12/12S/F7/F12E

The Devo 7e is one of the most highly recommended entry level TXs out there. The Deviation firmware is actively maintained and developed, a new major version, 5.0.0, was just released. There’s also an awesome user base and support community at deviationtx.com to help out with any mods or issues.

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Raihan 2nd March 2016 - 12:29 pm

hey guys, please help me ….I Need a flying Quadcopter hand Controller Wiring diagram..
<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

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Riaan Theron 1st February 2016 - 12:13 pm

Hi Oscar,

I got a Syma Drone for free with no remote and manual can i use any 4CH 2.4G remote control for my Quadcopter.Please can you help

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Robin 14th June 2016 - 7:56 pm

Have a look into a Walkera Devo transmitter and flashing DeviationTX to it
It’s an open source firmware and has been 100% solid for me and allows me to fly all my models
(from toy quads to 250 fpv quad …and a fleet of helis… from toys to 450 size…and a plane and a buggy.. :D )

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Abhinav 14th November 2015 - 7:07 am

Hi Oscar,
I have a 4ch transmitter of 2.4GHz freq and i want to connect it my laptop for which dsc port should be present in the transmitter but there is no dsc port. What can be done? plz help.
Regards.

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Fatemeh Hashemi 22nd October 2015 - 12:33 pm

Hi, Is there any way to control the Quadcopter with mobile phone?

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Jonathan 26th September 2015 - 4:02 pm

Hi Oscar,
There are tons of transmitters out there, of which most are pretty useless when it comes to Multicopters or FPV.
There is absolutely no need to get into the high end computer TX with big color screens e.t.c, as all you will ever need to do is have a couple of AUX switches for stuff like flight mode, GPS modes. maybe a camera slider, and a switch for adjustment of maybe PID’s, if your FC supports this. But most transmitters are going to be loaded with features that you wont ever use.
Stick with a nice mid range 6 to 8 channel TX and as long as its capable of channel assignments and channel reversing, that’s all you are ever going to need.

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luisen 20th September 2015 - 7:51 am

Hi Oscar

after years of computer-flight-simming i am starting to get interested in the quadcopter “hype”, especially FPV seems like something i could enjoy very much.

i bought and played around with the FPV freerider game to get a feel of quadcopter controls and i am loving it. but i am concerned about one thing:

on a real R/C receiver device, can i have the PITCH/ROLL on the LEFT stick and the THROTTLE/YAW on the RIGHT stick? this is the only configuration i personally can fly properly with the FPV view and it feels completely natural to me. but now i see this completely different to both the 2 modes used in real life quadcopter flying.

so i guess my question, can you easily switch YAW and ROLL on a MODE 2 receiver? or do i need to look out for a special one to buy?

thanks!

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Oscar 21st September 2015 - 3:17 pm

HI Luisen,

I guess you mean you are more used to MODE 1 TX (Transmitter)?
Most TX are available in both MODE 1 and 2, so that’s not a problem.
It won’t affect your RX (receiver).

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Kenneth 4th January 2016 - 12:56 am

Oscar,

When you setup the receiver with your quad, you have to manually connect the receiver to the flight controller. You can simply plug them in whatever order or configuration you want. If you want the throttle on the right, you will swap the gimbals out on the transmitter for mode 1, then plug the channels into the flight controller to suit your needs! good luck!

Kenneth

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Darrell 3rd October 2016 - 10:01 pm

You need a transmitter that will do mode 3, Hitec Aurora9, Frsky Taranis both can do this.

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Aeromodelling 9th September 2015 - 11:31 am

Very glad to read your blog.Thank you for sharing this article.It is great! I will keep your article in my idea. Very happy reading.

rcbazaar.com

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Mike 25th August 2015 - 7:58 pm

Hi Oskar!
I have spent a lot of time reading your blog and it gave me a lot of tips. Thanks!
I’m trying to figure out how RC transmitters work.
1. RC transmitters are universal? meaning, a 2.4GHz RC transmitter can work with any 2.4Ghz receiver that I buy? if
not, what characteristic other than the frequency should I check to be sure that they will work?

2. Where can I find more information about the binding proccess between the transmitter and the reciever. What is the init sequence? How is it done? etc.

Thanks a lot!
Mike S.

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Oscar 26th August 2015 - 3:41 pm

Hi Mike
1. no… transmitter (TX) usually only work with RX of the same brand… or they should specify which one they are compatible in the product page. Quick google of the TX should also give you some options of what RX can go with it.
2. binding process might be slightly different from TX to TX… i suggest consulting the manual.

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Abhitosh 1st August 2015 - 5:05 pm

hello

can i control a quadcopter for laptop without any other transmitter…
what program requaired to controle it

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Oscar 6th August 2015 - 12:28 am

It’s best to have a transmitter for safety as it’s easier to control.

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Fikri 30th June 2015 - 3:59 pm

Hi, im a newbie at this. Can esc in quads be programmed in a way that only 1 side has throttle and no throttle at all on the other? this would cause the quad to flip i suppose?

With that, is there a way we can program the controller to like trigger a switch when we want the quad to flip? Cause i was thinking of doing a waterproof quad. So initially it flies in the air normally with the 4 channel, and thn i set it to float on water. After that, i was thinking of maybe triggering a switch on the controller so that this time its just gonna flip and nothing else. After it flips, i would trigger the switch back to normal operation. Is that possible?

Do help me out, thank you guys :)

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Zenaida Bonifacio 26th June 2015 - 8:27 am

Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was looking for! Being rich is having money being wealthy is having time. by Margaret Bonnano.

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Dario 31st May 2015 - 9:25 am

Hi Oscar,

Im referring to the last part in your article about the Transmitter and its hacking.

For a University project i plan to hack a transmitter and control my quadro with Data I generate in Arduino or Processing. have you come along with a transmitter that can be adjusted to to this?

Although Im not super experienced, i imagine the flow of communication like this: my input -> RC transmitter -> rc reciver -> flight controller -> AC -> Motor.

Can you help me some how?

Best regards

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rick 17th May 2015 - 12:14 pm

i have a hobbyking 6ch transmitter….it works complicated. does annyone know how you set the right settings for quadcopter?

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Esmyle 2nd May 2015 - 9:52 am

sir
i am using sunnysky X2208 1500kv motors and propellers 8×4.. what frame should i use?? recommend me cheaper one and suitable for my quadcopter.. and battery 1800mah 20c 14point smthng.V.. how about battery?? is good for my quadcopter?? openpilot,and transmitter flysky FS-T6.. please correct me if i am wrong anywhere.. and yes frame please

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Esmyle 1st May 2015 - 10:29 am

hi!!
quadcopter need 4ch mode 2..no matter what brand.. am i right?

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Oscar 1st May 2015 - 4:08 pm

yes, regardless brand, you need 4ch.

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Christopher Boyd 20th April 2015 - 12:05 pm

Hello Oscar
I am reading through all your blog/posts that are so informative. Thank you for taking the time to share you hard won knowledge and skills.
I have been dabbling in Quads for a few years and decided that I would be in it for the long haul, so……I bought a taranis X9D (Nov 2013). It is a very nice piece of equipment but very complicated for a novice user. I am now spending many hours to learn many basic things so I can actually use it for the first time. It has the potential to run in four “modes/configs” that allow you to use either, 8,12, 16 or 32 channels. It is enabled for telemetry as well.
I will be connecting it up to the first “serious” copter- a Quanum Nova (aka Cheerson Cx-20), initially using an 8XR FrSky receiver. I think that using different “flight modes” (which I can assign to the various toggle switches) I will be able to use the limited 8 channels for the four motor controls, one for GPS, 2 for the camera gimbal (2 axis only), one for camera shutter. This equals Eight. I am not sure how the telemetry data gets back to the Transmitter. Any one help with that?
If this is of interest to others I will post some more on it as I work my way through the maze.

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Oscar 21st April 2015 - 6:12 pm

Can’t agree more Chris! The Taranis is an excellent product.
I will write a guide on how to setup taranis telemetry in a week or two hopefully you can wait! :)

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christopher Boyd 22nd April 2015 - 10:50 am

Hello Again.
I just got back to your blog through another circuitous route. I was searching for “understanding flight modes” and “understanding switches” so that I can set up the controller side of my quad on the taranis. I do not understand these adequately yet. Any advice where to find a good tutorial that will give me the fundamentals of what happens when switching flight modes, how switches are used for this. I am not clear if I use a witch will it reallocate one of the radio channels to another function allowing me to effectively increase my number of channels (…..but I still only have 8 receiver channels that are hard wired to the assets on the aircraft…?)
Your somewhat confused pupil!

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Oscar 22nd April 2015 - 12:57 pm

Please join our FB group, lots of people can offer advice there, link on top left of the website.

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King Kaiju 11th March 2015 - 8:51 pm

Hey I just ordered a Syma X5C-1 (4-channel with a 4 channel remote), is there anyway I can upgrade the the transmitter/receiver? I also want to see if I can upgrade the battery life and flight distance. What do you think?

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Oscar 15th March 2015 - 6:32 pm

I don’t think you can upgrade the TX/RX on a RTF quad.

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Robin 14th June 2016 - 7:51 pm

Yep, certainly the TX benefits from a better one – if you google for Deviationtx if will give the lowdown
I’m surprised Deviation doesn’t get more of a mention on here TBH, electronics tinkering galore :D

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gerrypw 17th June 2016 - 3:56 pm

I am sure you have moved on to other quads by now but the x5c is a good way to cut your teeth in this field of play. You can mode your TX for longer ranger which you might have discovered already. Have fun.

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daristiz 14th February 2015 - 10:20 pm

Hi oscar. I bought a 9xr radio But I’m confused about what transmitter and receiver should I Buy.
Could you Give me an advise about this and Maybe give me some link? Thanks in advance.

Greetings from South América

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Oscar 16th February 2015 - 5:05 pm

sorry wish I could help, but I don’t have a 9XR so not sure what receivers are compatible. Try googling it.

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Hizzy 13th March 2015 - 11:52 am

hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14349__FrSky_DJT_2_4Ghz_Combo_Pack_for_JR_w_Telemetry_Module_V8FR_II_RX.html

This is the recommended module set up for 9XR.

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firdaus 2nd February 2015 - 7:47 am

Hi Oscar,
I have Esky Belt CP V2 Heli which is 6Channel transmitter and receiver. Can i use it for Quadcopter? I plan to buy ARF kit Quad.

Thanks!

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Oscar 2nd February 2015 - 9:16 am

Yes I think it should work :)

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Daniel C. 23rd January 2015 - 3:36 pm

Oscar please help me I have a ton of questions to many to ask just now. Text me please at 915-400-6422 ur blog helped so much I’m sure you can help even more.

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Pakal 19th January 2015 - 12:45 pm

“They are more expensive radios transmitter, but they do have nicer gimbals, maybe better resolution.”
What is the function of a gimbal in a transmitter? And how many gimbals there are in a transmitter and where is it located inside the transmitter?
Thanks for your reply.
P_

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Oscar 19th January 2015 - 1:09 pm

Hi, are you thinking of camera gimbal? it’s not what I meant there. Transmitter gimbal looks like this
https://oscarliang.com/ctt/uploads/2013/10/radio-controller-gimbal-transmitter-RC.jpg

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Pakal 19th January 2015 - 10:10 pm

I was actually thinking of the transmitter gimbals. And just when I hit the “post” button, I realized that those mysterious internal gimbals have actually been right in front of my eyes the whole time!
Thanks for replying anyhow.
P_

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alu 13th January 2015 - 9:58 pm

Hi Oscar,
Nice tut,

How do you think about the idea that we use other (separated) telemetry using 433mGhz rf modul for other control like switch flying modes, gimbal control or camera ctrl?

Thanks!

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Matthis 23rd December 2014 - 11:03 am

Hi, I chose the JR PROPO XG8 whith RG831B receiver and I’m building my own drone quadcopter . I would like to use the flight controller naze 32 but I saw on the net that it does not work with the DMSS modulation, is it true? is there any possibility to solve this problem? if there is no way, I will buy an other flight controller but It’s difficult to find informations about this so do you know any flight controller that i can use with my RC ?

I am sorry for my english I think it is not really correct …

have a nice day,
Matthis

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Oscar 24th December 2014 - 9:39 am

sorry i am not sure, i have never come across the JR PROPO XG8.

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shushant 19th September 2014 - 7:18 pm

Hello sir,
I am a beginner. ….u also can’t say me a beginner because I am very keen about quadcopters I just love them. I am just 14 I saw a video on YouTube on how to make a quadcopter. I am confused about the RC transmitter.

1) on the video it showed that u need a transmitter and reciever with 4ch……I live in india and there I found all other parts but I didn’t found the RC controller.pls help me with some indian sites selling 4ch transmitter
2) I am getting a 6ch transmitter at a low cost so should I buy it as I am worried tht I won’t have a 4 ch reciever as shown in the video and it won’t work.

Thank you
Shushant

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Oscar 19th September 2014 - 8:28 pm

Hi Shushant,

sorry i don’t know any India sites that sells RC stuff, but I do know a popular International site that sells them.
Check out this page: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=8992&aff=1195429

Thanks
Oscar

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Walid 17th August 2014 - 12:52 pm

I would like to know which RC transceiver i can use to reach more than 3 kms

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Ashade 9th June 2014 - 8:17 pm

Would you recommend the newer 9xr instead of the 9x or would you directly go for the Taranis.

Thank you in advance

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Nitish 2nd June 2014 - 5:58 am

Hello
I am a beginer.Is FR SKY CT6-B 6ch is fine for a quadcopter.In future I want to upgrade my copter. For quadcopter with GPS navigation how many channels(minimum) required.

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Oscar 2nd June 2014 - 10:39 am

Get 8 channel, you won’t regret it!
4 for basic control, at least 2 for switch modes, 1 or 2 for gimbal control, or/and FPV cameras switch (recording camera & FPV camera)

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prabhanjan 22nd April 2014 - 5:28 am

Hi,

i just had a basic doubt,I have a transreciever with 3 channels,but your blog seems to suggest that we have a minimum of 4 channels. Can I not send the data on same channel by multiplexing,which reduces the number of channel usage.Please enlighten me on this matter.

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Oscar 24th April 2014 - 9:46 am

no it won’t work, you need 4 channel at least for a quadcopter.

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Jaran 2nd April 2014 - 3:51 am

Hi,

I’ve been away from RC for some years and thinking about getting back to flying.

Can my many years old JR X3810 transmitter fly quadrotor? I’ve already upgraded my radio with a 2.4Ghz module (it’s frsky mudule). Which mode do I have to choose in the radio, heli or plane?

Thank you so much.

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Oscar 2nd April 2014 - 8:31 am

as long as your transmitter has more than 4 channel then it should be fine.
use heli mode, that’s what i am using on my Turnigy 9X.

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Madeline 3rd March 2014 - 7:09 am

Keep on working, great job!

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Marco 27th February 2014 - 1:00 pm

Hi there,
as far as I know the Turnigy 9X can’t handle the fail safe: is that correct?
It would be a very best buy but I really need the fail safe feature for my esa and, even more, for my “flying cameras”: how to solve?
Any advice?
Best regards, Marco

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Oscar 27th February 2014 - 3:09 pm

Hi, yes, that’s correct, the 9X doesn’t come with fail safe feature.
to have that feature, you will need to upgrade to a better TX module, e.g. FrSky TX module.

find out more about how to upgrade TX on 9X.
https://oscarliang.com/turnigy-9x-transmitter-modifications/

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Ken 12th March 2014 - 1:55 am

One option is to use a flight controller with two way telemetry. That way you can trigger a RTL event if the RC transmitter or receiver fails.

I purchased a Turnigy 9XR from HobbyKing for under $60 US without a transmitter module. It has open source firmware available and can be configured from an application on your PC. You can buy a transmitter/receiver module on 2.4GHz, 430MHz and several others to suit your frequency and distance needs.

For the hacker (like those of us visiting Oscar at his Internet home here), OrangeRX makes a TX/RX module based on the Arduino that can be customized.

The Turnigy 9XR, OrangeRX TX/RX on 430MHz, a FlySky TX/RX on 2.4GHz and programming hardware together cost less than the JR XG8 we bought my wife ($450 US at a local hobby store). The JR feels like a higher quality transmitter, but I like to tinker. :-)

Oscar – Thanks for all your efforts with this site.

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Oscar 12th March 2014 - 5:08 pm

Yes, very good point.
One thing everyone should be aware of is, what frequency bands and signal power are allowed for personal use, before buying the equipment.
Although it’s unlikely anyone would find out or even care, but it’s important we fly safely and do not affect other people.
Some times i envy people living in the states, many frequencies are open to public.

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Sujith 22nd January 2014 - 5:55 am

Sir,

Should the RC transmitters , motors and ESC’s be of the same company.

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Jasveer 29th October 2013 - 10:17 pm

Hi there, I need to purchase a transmitter/receiver but I just not sure where can i get it for a better or cheaper price. My goal is to be able to fly my x quadcopter for at least 10 to 12 minutes and we are also looking for one extra channel for the landing purpose. Can you suggest me a better place to purchase it. Thank you for your time. Best regards.

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Oscar 29th October 2013 - 11:10 pm

Hiya,

try Hobbyking.com, they sell RC stuff at really low price. Another place to look for cheap transmitter would be ebay.
remember it doesn’t has to be expensive, for quadcopter, 4 to 6 channels would be enough. But if you are thinking about long term investment, Turnigy 9X is a good one (9 channels, and lots of potential for modification).

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Dj_Garfield 23rd December 2014 - 9:51 pm

Yep , Hobby King , right one : serious , listen to the customers , fast mailing , simply one of my favourite :)
( HobbyGaGa for the price too and banggood is multipurpose so I can joint Arduino orders with RC one )

I like :
“They are more expensive radios transmitter, but they do have nicer gimbals, maybe better resolution.”
If you search in Futaba , or something equal, yes it’s expensive and would like to try , on day , If the difference justify the price ~|:
=> Thought last month …

Today I can feel the difference between the HK-T6A-M1 , and Walkera DEVO12 , and the ration Price / Quality is sensable ( syntax ?? ) … ( HK-T6A-M1 :20.33€ / Walkera DEVO12E :148.99€ ), ok we have 6 channels more , but the stick linearity … The sweetness of the stick . All the type of “pilot” Mode : 1,2,3,4
BUT
the stickers and all serigraphy are for mode 2 , I fly in mode 3 :) Totaly reversed :) as My brain :)
If you plan to test at the beginning the HK is quiet what’s we must have … when virus propagates … it’s another story :) ( where are my pills ?? )

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Oscar 24th December 2014 - 9:43 am

thanks Garfield, yes most of the times we don’t have the chance to try every products, and many reviews on the internet isn’t always true. That’s why it’s good to meet people on the field, and try their gear :D

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suman hazra 14th November 2014 - 7:55 pm

Hi there, I need to purchase a transmitter/receiver but I just not sure where can i get it for a better or cheaper price. My goal is to be able to fly my x quadcopter for at least 10 to 12 minutes and we are also looking for one extra channel for the landing purpose. Can you suggest me a better place to purchase it. Thank you for your time. Best regards.

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