How to Setup Switches in OpenTX Mixer/Inputs (Taranis, Nirvana, T16)

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

In order to activate flight modes and features in Betaflight you need to setup the switches in your radio first. I will show you how to do it in OpenTX which is the same system used in the Frsky Taranis X9D, QX7, Horus X10, X-Lite, and Flysky Nirvana.

How Many Switches Can You Setup?

I know there might be a lot of switches available on a radio transmitter, you might not be able to use all of them due to the limited channels. You have to choose which ones you want to use.

Because we use 4 channels for basic controls like Throttle, Yaw, Roll and Pitch, only the rest of the channels can be used for switches. These are called auxiliary channels or AUX channels. Each switch will take up a channel.

There are 8 channels in PPM, so you can have at most 4 AUX channels. For SBUS that’s 16 so you can have maximum 12 AUX channels.

How Many Switches Do You Need?

You really don’t need that many switches. I normally only use 2 to 3 switches at most on a mini quad because there really aren’t too many things I need to control.

For example, I need a switch to arm the quad, another one to activate the buzzer when we lose it in the bushes. Perhaps another one to switch to Angle or Horizon mode.

How To Setup Switches in OpenTX?

It doesn’t matter if you are using PPM, SBUS or FPort, the process should be the same. I will show you how to configure one switch as an example.

All you have to do is to configure Mixer.

Mixer is used to assign inputs or sources to the channels, so you can send it to the receiver (and flight controller).

The first 4 channels are already occupied by throttle, roll, pitch and yaw, so we will have to use the next available channel, which is CH5 (Channel 5).

Scroll down to CH5, press the Enter key, it will take you to another screen.

In here, enter a name in “Mix Name”, you can enter anything you want. In this example I will just call it “ARM”, because that’s what I am going to use it for – arming the quadcopter.

In “Source”, pick the switch you want to use, in this case, switch “SD”. You don’t have to go through the list to find it, if you flip the desired switch, OpenTX will automatically select it for you. Pretty convenient huh?

No need to change any other setting, just leave them at default.

Missing Switches? If this is a new radio, there is a high chance they are not added to the system yet.

  • Enter “System Setup” (Long press the MENU button)
  • Go to the HARDWARE tab (press the PAGE button)
  • Scroll down to “Switches” and change “none” to “toggle/2pos/3pos”

Repeat the same for other switches you want to setup, in my case, I created 3 more switches for “Mode”, “Beeper”, and “Free” (my spare switch just in case). This is my usual setup, I normally only use 8 channels – because for SBUS, using 8 channels has less latency than using 16.

If you also decide to use 8 channels like me, you have to change “Channel Range” to “CH1-8” in order to take advantage of the reduced latency. If you want to use 16 channels, then select “CH1-16” there :)

Switch is configured successfully!

Double check that the switches are working. Check in the Betaflight Receiver tab that the AUX channels are responding correctly when you flip those switches, AUX 1 is CH5, AUX 2 is CH6 and so on…

If it is then you can move on to setting up Betaflight modes tab :)

Edit History

  • Sep 2018 – tutorial created
  • Sep 2019 – updated (removed input setup, no need for switches)

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DARBY 7th August 2021 - 9:30 pm

Help me please!!! Thanks for your help for fpv Community
I broke my arm switch and also my USB connecter lol. Any way I can change my arm switch to a different switch? I try go into the arm SWITCH edit the source to a different one and then it still don’t arm? Any tricks?

Luovahulluus 4th August 2021 - 9:07 pm

Took me quite a while to understand why I only saw 4 AUX channels on Betaflight after configuring one of the buttons to CH9. My channel range was only 1-8, duh! The switch on CH5 was unused, so I put the prearm momentary button there.

Jared Fischer 8th July 2021 - 2:34 pm

Can someone point me in the direction of a tutorial that explains how the Source is linked to a specific Output? In Oscar’s example, he sets Channel 5 to Arm. He then names it and flips a switch. How does OpenTX know that the desired Output is Arm? How EXACTLY do Channels 6,7, and 8 become Mode, Beeper, and Free? Simply naming them and selecting the Source does not produce the desired result. All the tutorials I can find gloss over this. I watched an X-Lite setup video where the guy says, “now I’m going to set up turtle mode,” and then cuts away from the video to do it. WTF. Can someone please explain this very non-intuitive step?

Oscar 8th July 2021 - 5:06 pm

OpenTX doesn’t care what you name them.
Names I gave them in OpenTX is only for my own reference. You can call them whatever you want, or even not giving them a name at all.
Because I always assign Channel 5 (AUX1) as my arm swtich, and Channel 7 (AUX 3) as my beeper, that’s why I give those channels names in OpenTX which is not necessary, but useful if someone else wants to fly my quad and they can look at those channel names and know what controls to use.

Jared Fischer 8th July 2021 - 6:38 pm

Thanks Oscar. I get that part, but where is the logical connection that links the SD switch on Channel 5 to the Arm command itself? Stated differently, if OpenTX doesn’t care what you name them, how does it know that you want it to Arm on Channel 5? Are the AUX commands set in a different menu?

Oscar 8th July 2021 - 6:40 pm

In Betaflight, you can assign whichever channel you want to Arm. In this case it would be channel 5 (AUX 1).

Jared Fischer 8th July 2021 - 6:46 pm

Thank you! On to the next tutorial…

Thomas S 24th September 2020 - 7:37 pm

Hi Oscar, many tutorials on the topic talk about configuring the Input tab and then the Mixer tab. You don’t mention the Input tab at all. Do I have to set-up the Input tab for the switches to work? Can you explain the difference between Input and Mixer?

Oscar 29th September 2020 - 11:02 pm

Input is not needed for switches, only need mixer.

[email protected] 19th July 2020 - 11:22 pm

where can one find the ‘gain’ switch using an physical switch!

thanks for the time it takes,

Ben Hancock 8th April 2020 - 6:16 pm

If I change from 16 ch down to 8 ch on my transmitter do I have to rebind the receiver?

Luke Dillon 20th December 2019 - 7:26 am

I had no problem setting up switches on my x-lite using this great tutorial.

Then… I removed and recharged my transmitter batteries.

My quads no longer armed… so I checked modes tab. Arm slider value was set to 1200, switch value had changed… only traveling from 1500 to 1253.

I moved mode slider to 1300, but I feel this is not a good fix.

How do I change the switch endpoint?

Oscar 21st December 2019 - 5:01 am

Have you tried calibration?

balazs 23rd October 2019 - 5:57 pm

@Viktor Alvarsson, @Hunt I have the solution. Long press menu->press 5x page (hardware screen)->go down to switches and change “none” to toggle/2pos/3pos.

balazs 22nd October 2019 - 9:07 pm

@Viktor Alvarsson, @Hunt I have the same issue. Any solution?

Viktor Alvarsson 19th October 2019 - 7:05 pm

@Hunt Im having the same issue. When choosing source only S1 and S2 show up. None of the SA through SE lettered switches show up. Did you solve this issue? Any guidance?

Hunt 1st October 2019 - 6:11 am

hi oscar i have got my new tarnis plus when i go to input and on channel 5 there is switch option when i go there i only see maximum 2 switches se and s2 rest of the switches wont appear there what im doing wrong or is the any fault im worried im using it internal d8 protocol and another crossfire with 85x 4k whoop kindly tell me what do i do to get all my switches and be assure that the taranis plus is fine.

Oscar 6th November 2019 - 8:14 pm

Probably not added to the system. Go to system setup (long press Menu), go to the hardware tab, scroll down to switches and change none to 2pos or 3pos

Dylan 8th May 2019 - 2:54 am

Why do we have to create inputs? I have my switches set up only by mixer.

Acespace7 3rd January 2019 - 3:39 am

Thx! This helpful!

Rob Thome' 1st December 2018 - 6:51 pm

how can i set up my taranis to fly a SIM – my PC does not recognize it as a joystick

Oscar 8th December 2018 - 3:24 pm

Once you have connected the USB cable, go into model setup and change USB connection to Joystick.

Rob 12th November 2018 - 11:52 am

Hi I managed to screw up the configuration on my Taranis X9D plus. I was hoping this forum could provide some guidance.

The taranis is bound to the drone, however I cant for some reason start the drone. I reviewed your list above and that seems fine, however the drone doesn’t kick in the motors when using throttle. When I switch the drone off, the controller says lost telemetry so i believe it has bound correctly. Any ideas ?

Oscar 23rd November 2018 - 4:18 am

Sounds like you need some step by step walk through, please join our forum for prompt help!

.AleX. 23rd September 2018 - 6:15 pm

Another way to do it is to create a mixer with input source ‘MAX’, with the desired value in ‘gain’ (-100 = 1500µs and +100 = 2000µs).

Then, with physical or logical switch, you can active the mixer or not, changing the output value with it.
You can also use more than on mixer for each channel, to get for exemple 3 different values depending of the switch selection.