Review: Taranis Q X7 Radio Transmitter

This is a review of the Taranis Q X7 by Frsky, a RC transmitters (TX). It’s just been released, and it’s the younger sibling of the Taranis X9D – probably one of the most popular TX among FPV mini quad pilots.

The Taranis Q X7 was provided by Frsky for this review. This article is written by Artur Banach.

The QX7 is available from

Hall Sensor gimbal upgrade is also available now for the QX7 – Link.

Features Compared to Taranis X9D

  • Quad ball bearing gimbals (not hall sensor)
  • Supports up to 16 channels
  • Supports Telemetry
  • Speech Audio Output
  • Supports External TX modules
  • Memory Supports Up to 60 Models (more allowed via SD card)
  • 128×64 pixels LCD screen with backlight
  • 6 switches (4 of which are three-positioned), 2 pots
  • Input voltage: 6-15V (2S and 3S LiPo compatible)
  • Model configuration files compatible with Taranis X9D
  • OpenTX Firmware Pre-installed
Taranis QX7 Taranis X9D Plus
Price $110 $182
Number of Channels Up to 16 Up to 16
Input Voltage 6V-15V (2S, 3S LiPo compatible) 6V-15V (2S, 3S LiPo compatible)
LCD Screen Resolution 128 x 64 pixels 212 x 64 pixels
Model Memory 60 (extendable by SD card) 60 (extendable by SD card)
Number of Switches 6 8
Number of Sliders 0 2
Battery No battery included 2000mAh battery included
SD Card No SD card included 2GB SD Card included
Current Consumption 210mA max 260mA max

Quality & Handling

The Radio comes with a neck strap and a manual. There is no battery or charger included.

The Taranis Q X7 offers two choices of colour: white and black. Comparing to the Taranis X9D, it’s around 15mm wider, around 10mm lower in height and 10-15mm thinner. It weights 619g without a battery, about 70g lighter than the X9D.

It has a futuristic and minimalistic shape with sharper corners and not so much of ovality like the X9D. In every aspect, the QX7 looks like a totally different TX.

Both gimbals come sticks spring centered. That means some adjustment is required to turn one of the 2 sticks into a throttle stick: simply tighten the screw on the gimbal. This allows the users to switch between Mode 1, 2, 3 and 4 easily.

There are rubber grips on the back of the TX, and it feels very good when holding it in my hands. It is a big improvement from the X9D in my opinion. It’s ideal for “thumbers”, but “pinchers” and “hybrid-pinchers” should also find it very comfortable (meaning of these terms). Distance between the 2 sticks is 5mm longer than that on the X9D, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it fits well in your hands.

One little thing I noticed was: when hybrid pinching there is a chance of hitting the top right switch when it’s in low position. Of course it depends on how you hold the radio, it might not affect everyone.

There is a SD Card slot and mini USB socket in the bottom of the TX, along with a TF port. According to the manual, TF port is used for the future development. Ports are under flexible rubber cover, similar material/design you can find in some digital cameras.

USB socket in the bottom doesn’t stop you from connecting the TX to a computer and simulator, but you may find the location a bit inconvenient.

Build quality is good. It feels solid, no squeaking sounds, case elements fits well together. Rubber grip at the back feels good too. Battery cover is a bit flimsy though and I find it hard to get it open. X9D battery cover is much more solid.

There are 6 switches and two pots on the radio. Taranis X9D has 2 extra switches and 2 extra pots on the side. There is no name labeling for the switches on the TX. That information can only be found in the manual and the orientation is visible on the screen.

What’s new here is the multi-color LED light status in the centre of the radio. Depends on operation status, warning or switch positions etc, the LED goes Blue, Red or Green.

There is no more tiny buttons like those on X9D. Instead we have 3 much larger pads/buttons and one spinning wheel with button built into it. The wheel button allows us to scroll through menu and options, change settings and enter EDIT option. For those familiar with DSLRs for instance, it should be instinctive. Spinning wheel is much faster than buttons and that’s a nice feature.

To power down the radio simply hold down the ON/OFF button for 3 seconds.

The Q X7 LCD Screen has lower resolution than Taranis X9D which is noticeable right away. It is also narrower, and more pixelated. There is no option to change backlight color – it is blue-ish green.

Audio speaker is very good. There is no annoying buzzing issue we sometimes find on the X9D, but during normal operations the speaker makes a very quiet white noise, which is noticeable when I put my ear next to the TX.

Haptic feedback is improved as well. It does work nicer compared to X9D where vibrations felt like the case was about to explode. It is more gentle with the QX7.

The gimbals are not the best, but they are okay. These are ball bearing gimbals, same as the stock X9D gimbals. They are not interchangeable with Taranis X9D gimbals (M9) because of the different size and mounting holes pattern (around 10mm smaller than on X9D). However Frsky will release the hall sensor gimbals upgrade for the QX7 soon – X7 gimbals (need to be purchased separately).

Taking Apart the Taranis Q X7

To open the Taranis Q X7, there are 4 screws to be removed. Unlike X9D, after removing screws the back panel can be detached completely because there is no electronics hanging off it.

SF and SH switches are attached to the front panel and after dismantling they stay on it. A 2.4GHz 2dbi antenna connects to the module board via a small connector, so it’s easy to repair, or do the 5dbi antenna upgrade.

Battery Options

Taranis Q X7 does not come with a battery and charger. There is no charging circuit inside the TX. It comes with an AA battery tray (6xAA) fitted in the back of the radio.

Battery bay dimensions are: 92mm x 59mm x 17mm (deep)

AA tray is removable but tweezers and a bit of force is required to get it out.

I found using AA batteries is actually the easiest solution. But that means you will need a separate charger and 6 or 12 AA 1.5V batteries. Also they don’t last as long as LiPo or LiFe in terms of battery life.

Connector inside the battery compartment is a 2S balancing socket and I decided to use my FPV goggles’ battery, which is a 2S 1300mah 20C LiPo. It is light and small and allows around 2-3 hours of constant use. However in my opinion it’s not an optimal choice because LiPo’s don’t like to stay fully charged for long period of time (shortened battery life). But it’s good enough for now.

Taranis Q X7 next to Taranis X9D

Range Test

I have tested this radio in various locations and conditions (park, underground car park) typically flown by some FPV pilots, and they have not noticed any difference in terms of range and signal strength comparing to the Taranis X9D.

This is what I expected anyway, because the internal XJT module is the same module found inside the X9D.

OpenTX Firmware on the Q X7

Taranis Q X7 came pre-flashed with OpenTX 2.2. OpenTX firmware is also used on other Taranis radios but this one is customised to work with Q X7 hardware specifically, which means some options might be omitted. For instance there is no backlight color change of the LCD screen nor model icon available. I believe this is due to the limits of the screen.

Also SWR parameter is also missing in the telemetry page.

SD card is required to get the radio to talk to you (in the lovely voice of a lady) and to be able to flash it with different firmware. Default SD card content is available for download on FrSky’s website.

Menus are shortened to accommodate the narrower screen but it’s still very similar to the X9D.

A few screenshots of the screen:

Positives about the transmitter

  • Cheaper alternative to Taranis X9D (around 30-40% cheaper)
  • Same internal XJT module as in X9D – similar range
  • Lighter and smaller
  • Good build quality
  • New, interesting, more futuristic shape
  • Two color options (reminds me of Star Wars – Darth Vader / Storm Trooper )
  • Antenna can be replaced (DIY solution)
  • Improved speaker without buzzing sound
  • Much more user-friendly menu navigation buttons and scrolling wheel
  • Feels great in hands thanks to rubber grip on the back
  • Doesn’t look and feel cheap despite lower price

Negatives about the transmitter

  • Doesn’t come with the battery and would be nice to have recommended battery as an optional purchase
  • Doesn’t come with SD card
  • It would be nice to have hall sensor gimbals instead of ball bearing gimbals
  • LCD screen is of low resolutions and smaller. Only one backlight color that cannot be changed
  • No model icons option
  • Battery cover is a bit flimsy and difficult to remove
  • For the simulator users: USB socket could have been placed in some other location for convenience

Conclusion

The price of a Taranis X9D is a bit steep for pilots with tight budgets, apart from getting a Turnigy 9X/9XR and DJT/XJT module now we have a new alternative! The Taranis Q X7 was made for those who want cheaper Frsky solution without compromising much of quality.

If you already have a Taranis X9D then you probably wouldn’t need the Q X7, because you already have the full package. If you’re a beginner or someone want to step into FrSky “ecosystem”, then the Taranis Q X7 is a great option.

FAQ

Is it still possible to flash external Receivers via Smartport?

Yes, It’s openTX 2.2 so you can do it.

Does it fit the Turnigy 2cell 1800mah receiver pack from Hobbyking?

From the dimension, it seems possible. This LiPo Pack Size: 64 x 50 x 14mm.

Is it “plug ‘n play” with FPV simulators?

Yes, it’s the same as setting up the Taranis.

Where to get it?

The Taranis QX7 is available from many stores such as

http://store.rotorriot.com/frsky-taranis-q-x7-transmitter-radio-fpv-drone/

43 thoughts on “Review: Taranis Q X7 Radio Transmitter

  1. Bannya

    Hi,

    i have a old DX6i, i wish to change it by Taranis Q X7, the DX6i is very powerful but very limited as an option and the receiver DSMx with PWM are very expensive and rare, is that the Taranis Q X7 support a big range like DX6i?

    Best Regards,

    Reply
  2. Erwin Stoerrle

    can a simulator be connected to the trainerport at the top or does the USB port at the bottom have to be used ? And what is the set up proceedure?

    Regards.

    Reply
  3. John Krug

    Range check? When I click on Range in the radio set up it comes up in a window and shows 0. What does that mean and can it be changed? If I click on the window nothing happens. I read that this number has something to do with range. I am lost. I have not been able to understand the range check. Could you also, describe how to set fail safe in detail? This radio is very powerful, but it is dificult for me. I used a JR 9303 for years. It was easy for me to program. But the Qx7 remindsolf the old HP calculator the used reverse polish logic. Ha Ha. These are the only area that are giving me trouble. I have booklet that is very good, but in these two area it is as if the assumed that there obvious. They are not to me.

    Reply
  4. Sharpeye

    Can q x7 bind to xsr reciever?. If yes, how to bind ? Or have some additional thread on how to bind xsr on qx7.. if no, what module should we buy? Just to bind xsr.

    Reply
  5. Tomas Avila

    Has anyone had problems with Amber sounds not working after transferring to X7? I’m using a SanDisk 32gb class 10. Do I need a smaller card. I see that sounds are on sd card but not available when trying to assign switches. Also I get no greeting when I turn on transmitter after transferring Amber sounds. Thanks for the help.

    Reply
    1. Enzo

      Hey bro, got the same problem after I transferred the amber sounds. Ive got no greeting aftrwards.
      But i figured out how to fix it.
      1. Find the sound labeled as hello inside the system sounds. (Sound>en>system)
      2. Change the file to something else (ex.hello_old)
      3. Now try to find the file label as welcome to taranis or welcome to open-tx.
      4. Change it to “hello”
      5. Now turn on the tx and see if it works

      -logan

      Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I have bound my TX to 15+ receivers, and had no problem getting them to work.
      Why you want to find out anyway?

      Reply
  6. Andy

    Do I need to load another firmware onto the radio other than what it came with (2.2) in order to get the voice sounds to work? I downloaded them from the FrSky website for the Qx7 but my radio says “no sounds on SD card”. When the card is opened on the computer there they are. Maybe it has a faulty card reader? What card format does the radio use?

    Reply
    1. Tomas Avila

      Did you ever figure this out? I have the same problem with mine. The Amber sounds are on the sd card but when I turn on radio I get no greeting and get “no sounds on card reader”. I’m using a SanDisk 32gb class 10 micro card. Do I need smallet card? Please help.

      Reply
  7. Fadrick

    I still new with this rc..I plan to buy 1st tranmitter for my tiny whoop..will it’s bind to acrowhoop , beebrain or beecore furibee f3 to taranis Q X7 or taranis x9d plus !

    Reply
  8. Yoga Jitsu

    Ordered this after this review and others on youtube. Basically, it has the features I want from the X9 and working with the sbus frsky receivers, same transmission module & power, simplified and seems more functional. I think it looks better than the X9 also with all those tacky extras. In terms of things I can use it seems like it just doesn’t talk to you out the box, but can be added.

    This is going to be their best seller. I got this and 2 sbus frsky 4xsb receivers for a lot less than the x9 itself.

    Reply
  9. Paulo

    Hello, I have the QX7 EU LBT but I want to install the international or non-EU firmware. Every time I tried to do it I cant because it is allways the EU-LBT installed. I’m using the Companion9x 2.2.0 with the taranis qx7 non-eu mode 2. Can it be done? if yes how?

    Reply
  10. Motkó Béla

    I’m sorry but I’m not very strong in the world of RC. I have iris+ and need to change my factory RC (FS-TH9X). There is frsky D8 R XP on the board. My question about the compatibility between Q X7 and D8R XP. I see on the bangood that there are 3 mode optional (RX8R XMPF3E XSRF3E) according to the receiver (I think). Which is good for me? at last, do I have to buy separetely DJT modul as the case of FLSKY?

    Thank You

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      yes you can simply choose which stick you want to use as throttle, and in the settings you can swap the other 3 controls around… making it programmable for all 4 modes.

      Reply
  11. Roberto Rabe

    Hi..im new to this fpv hobby..and im loving it. My brother introduced me into it and he gave me one of his older racing drones…a Eachine Racer 250 drone. Im planning to get the QX7 as replacement for the Hisky radio controller. One issue is if will be able to bind with the Rx (a XS7000)? Or should i just get a new Rx for the QX7. I have been looking thru online and it seems the QX7 doesn’t come with a Rx out of the box.
    What can you recommend for a Rx that works best with the Taranis QX7. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      any RX that works with the Taranis X9D should be compatible with the QX7, as long as there is matching firmware (EU/non-EU)

      Reply
  12. Mikael Johansson

    Hi,
    Thx for a usefull review.
    I am using a Radiolink AT9 and RD6 for my racing quads (got that one with my first RTF, couple years ago)
    I,m looking at the Taranis X9D plus, but now thinking if I should go for the Qx7 instead? Price is not the biggest issue, but its tempting with the Qx7 if its almost like X9D. (Like the clean star wars look :-) )
    Would apriciate your advice on wich I should go for.

    Must i change all My RD6 or is there a module that fits? (Not My backyard..)
    (Maybe the XSR is better anyway)

    Thx
    Mikael

    Reply
    1. Artur

      You need to get FrSky recievers of course. Regarding the choice its your decision and your money but I think you cant go wrong with QX7.

      Reply
  13. Andrew

    Hello.

    “However Frsky will release the hall sensor gimbals upgrade for the QX7 soon – X7 gimbals (need to be purchased separately).”
    Is that confirmed? I am just afraid to buy new radio without a chance to replace gimbals…

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  14. Fly_High23

    I have about a dozen fixed wing aircraft on my modded Turnigy 9x running ER9X with a Frsky module since it was first introduced. I have no beef with my current radio but would like to purchase a new radio that can be somewhat future proof for the next 5+ years, so I’m thinking about the Q X7 but I like the more complex look of the X9D. I forgot to mention I’m getting into quads and plan on owning a handful with that in mind do you think the X9D is the better choice??

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      For the long run I think the X9D can offer a bit more in terms of features and capability… if you plan to use it for many years to come then go for it :)

      Reply
  15. Poopycahcahmeow

    The little bumpy on the switch if you pinch is 100% there on the X9D Plus. I can imagine that pinchers are snowflakes.

    Reply
  16. FPV.R

    Thanks for the awesome review! Mine should be arriving soon. Hoping I’ll be able to flash the multimode FW for the 4 in 1 module, I don’t see why it shouldn’t work? plaisthos.de/opentx/

    Reply

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