Overview: Radiomaster Bandit ExpressLRS 900MHz TX Modules

by Oscar
Radiomaster Bandit 900mhz 915mhz 868mhz Transmitter Module Full

RadioMaster’s recent launch of their Bandit ELRS 900MHz TX module marks a significant development in the world of ExpressLRS system. It operates on 868MHz or 915MHz depending on your region. The highlight of this new product line is its powerful 1W RF output, ensuring robust and stable connections over long range flights.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these affiliate links. This helps support the free content for the community on this website. Please read our Affiliate Link Policy for more information.

Learn more about ExpressLRS here: https://oscarliang.com/setup-expresslrs-2-4ghz/

Where to Buy?

There are 3 versions, the Standard version, Micro version and Nano version. The Standard version is the most expensive one, it has premium build quality and features, while the Micro and Nano versions are the budget versions. Each version in the Bandit Series offers up to 1W of RF output power.

Get the Bandit modules from these vendors:

The Bandit Series offers two antenna choices:

  • T-Antenna: An omnidirectional option suitable for general purposes and most pilots.
  • Moxon Antenna: A directional antenna for long-range flights, focusing the signal in a specific direction for enhanced performance.

With two receiver options, the Bandit BR1 and BR3, users can choose based on their telemetry power needs.

Radiomaster Bandit 900mhz 915mhz 868mhz Transmitter Micro Module Jr

Radiomaster Bandit 900mhz 915mhz 868mhz Transmitter Nano Module Lite

Radiomaster Bandit 900mhz 915mhz 868mhz Transmitter Module Full

900MHz vs. 2.4GHz

I go into detail comparing 900MHz and 2.4GHz ExpressLRS, but I will give a summary here.

The lower frequency of 900MHz offers better range and obstacle penetration capabilities, it also bends around obstacles more effectively, crucial for activities like mountain cruising. This frequency band is ideal for long-range. There are 2 frequencies you should choose depending on region. For EU, select 868MHz, outside of the EU, select 915MHz. That’s because 915MHz in Europe is used for GSM (cellular phone).

However, 900MHz antennas are significantly larger compared to 2.4GHz system, impacting portability and quadcopter mounting. The other downside of 900Mhz would be the slightly higher latency, as it has a maximum packet rate of 200Hz, while the 2.4GHz system offers up to 1000Hz. Finally, 2.4Ghz has a wider bandwidth and allow more pilots to fly at the same time.

Features

One of the key attractions of the Bandit Series is its use of the ExpressLRS protocol. This open-source protocol is known for its low latency and long-range capabilities, making it a popular choice among FPV enthusiasts.

The Bandit Series modules are compatible with RadioMaster’s range of transmitters, such as the TX16S, Boxer, Zorro and Pocket, as well as Jumper’s T16, T20, T14 etc. This compatibility ensures that pilots can easily integrate these modules into their existing setup without the need for additional hardware or complex configurations.

Each module in the Bandit Series offers up to 1W of RF output power, ensuring a strong and stable signal even in challenging environments. This power output is particularly beneficial for long-range FPV flights, where maintaining a strong link with the drone is critical.

The Bandit ELRS module features ESP32 MCU, SX1276 RF chip, and a built-in TCXO oscillator for temperature stability. These components, combined with optimized circuitry, offer efficient power consumption and a seamless user experience. The inclusion of high-contrast OLED screens, RGB light effects, and built-in accelerometers adds a modern touch to the hardware.

Its built-in accelerometer adds to its appeal. The module also features dynamic power settings, optimizing battery use and range based on the distance to the receiver.

Design and Build

The build quality of the Bandit Series is noteworthy, with a focus on durability and reliability. The full-size Bandit module (standard version), for example, features a CNC metal casing and a protective plastic cover, enhancing its resilience against the rigors of outdoor use. The OLED display on the modules provides essential information at a glance, and the customizable buttons add a layer of convenience and personalization for the pilots.

Each module also comes with different antenna options, including the Moxon antenna for long-range flights and a standard T-shaped antenna for more general applications. These antenna choices allow pilots to optimize their setup based on their specific flying conditions and requirements.

Both the Bandit Micro and Nano modules have UART solder pads on the PCB and may also be repurposed as a receiver. Perfect for ultra long range flights.

There’s a lack of PWM receivers at the 900Mhz range for ExpressLRS, however, the existing receivers can be used with PWM applications using a CRSF to PWM converter if you wish.

Different Modules

RadioMaster has released 3 distinct models under the Bandit series, each catering to different user needs. The full-size Bandit module (standard version), with its standard JR 5-pin socket and additional features like a G-sensor and XT30 power connector, is ideal for those needing a high performance setup. The Micro and Nano versions offer more compact solutions at lower cost without compromising on power or functionality.

Bandit Nano

  • Compact and Versatile: Perfect for smaller, nano bay-equipped radios like the RadioMaster pocket.
  • Features: Includes an OLED display, external power connection, and up to 1W RF output.
  • Unique Selling Point: Its size makes it an ideal choice for pilots seeking a minimalistic yet powerful module.

Bandit Micro

  • Budget Option for large radios: A great fit for standard JR bay radios like the TX16S, at a low cost.
  • Build and Power: Similar features to the Nano but in a slightly larger form factor, providing the same 1W RF power output.
  • Key Advantage: Balances size and power, making it a versatile option for a wide range of pilots.

Full-Size Bandit

  • Maximum Power and Versatility: Offers the highest functionality among the series, suitable for JR bay and third-party radios.
  • Enhanced Features: Includes color-changing LEDs, a protective plastic cover, and a broader range of connectivity options.
  • Ideal For: Pilots seeking the most robust and feature-rich module in the series.

Conclusion

In conclusion, RadioMaster’s Bandit module is a compelling choice for FPV pilots seeking a reliable, versatile, and cost-effective long-range system. Its range of features and competitive pricing position it as a serious contender in the FPV market.

Get the Bandit modules from these vendors:

Leave a Comment

By using this form, you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Note that all comments are held for moderation before appearing.