There are various suppliers and protocols out there, but recently FrSky Taranis has been growing in popularity thanks to the good blend of features, reliability and price on offer. The Taranis X9D Plus has become arguably the most popular transmitter used by FPV drone pilots because of its solid features and fantastic price. The transmitter has a range of features which are very useful for FPV drone pilots, particularly those not using an OSD.
- Operating band: 2.4 GHz (internal module)
- Channels: 16 (more when combined with external module)
- Audio Speech outputs
- Haptic Vibration Feedback System
- Adjustable Screen colors (White to Blue)
- 60 Model memory (expandable via an SD card)
- USB and SD card slot for unlimited memory, and firmware upgrades, sound editing.
- RSSI alarms (warns you of reception problems before it becomes an accident)
- Large back-lit display
- JR Style module bay for additional RF modules
The Taranis feels really good in your hands and is comfortable to hold, having the same form factor as most transmitters currently available and a similar weight . The switches and knobs are easy to reach and use and the transmitter has a quality feel to it with multiple 3 position switches, where you might normally find just one or two. The gimballs have a reasonable quality feel to them, in-line with the price point. The backlight makes the screen easy to view in low light as well as sunshine and allows you to view reasonable amounts of menu information or telemetry on the 212x64 pixel display.
The customisation/settings available on the Taranis make the radio very versatile and mean that tweaking the radio to do exactly what you want is almost always possible. For example, using telemetry the radio can provide you with a voltage readout at the flip of a switch, or provide a warning when voltage is below a set value. This is invaluable if you are not using an OSD and means you can throw away that annoying battery warning beeper! Timers can be set up to time your flights or provide a countdown if you prefer to fly for a set time period. The menu system however is not friendly and will take some getting used to.
There are a large number of pages to navigate and buttons to press short or long for different functions. For an experienced user who is familiar with the radio, changing the settings will not be a chore, but for a new pilot unfamiliar with the menu system, the Taranis could take a while to master. This also means that you are unlikely to be in a position to bind and immediately fly, as there is some setting up to do.
Taranis a viable option:
The JR style RF module slot allows you to install external modules, giving you the option to run on other protocols and pair with models you already have, not running FrSky receivers. However, unless you are regularly flying a large number of models, the low price point of the FrSky receivers should mean you can swap over to FrSky without spending huge amounts on receivers. Where this does become very useful is for flying toy grade models or things like the Inductrix/Tiny Whoop, as a compatible receiver can be installed into the Taranis, meaning you no longer have to use the typically low quality transmitters that come with them. This makes the Taranis a viable option for people who prefer to fly mostly micro quads.
Taranis provides strong signal:
We have been using the Taranis for a few months now after making the switch to FrSky from a Turnigy 9X transmitter. The Taranis provides a reliably strong signal when flying in areas that the Turnigy system had lost signal, such as behind trees and at longer range. On top of this, the Taranis provides the backup of giving audio warnings when you have low signal strength. We have been very happy with the change to the Taranis and the features it provides.
One of the first modifications recommended for the Taranis is to switch from the stock NiMH battery, to a LiPo or LiFe battery. The stock battery takes a very long time to charge and does not give very much flight time in comparison to a LiPo.
- Great radio for the price
- Audio/Voice and vibration feedback
- Customisation options
- Open TX software allows updates and further customisation
- NiMH battery that comes with the radio does not last long
- Menu system is difficult to navigate for beginners
- Balance arm blocks easy access to the power switch
The FrSky Taranis is a well designed and built radio, with a feature set and performance normally reserved for much more expensive models. We love the telemetry and customisation options available, allowing us to run without an OSD but still with the comfort of knowing that we aren’t over discharging our LiPos. After replacing the NiMH battery with a LiFe battery (an extra $10 if that), the radio is very much satisfying. There are some minor downsides to the radio and we feel that the biggest is the menu system, but this is just a side-effect of the huge number of customisation options available. Setting the radio up with basic settings isn’t an overly onerous task and it is to be expected that when doing something more advanced a level of research and time will be needed.
It is clear to see why the FrSky Taranis is such a popular radio, the level of quality and functionality provided for the price make the radio a clear choice for a range of different users. Whether you intend to use it for racing drones, micro quads or larger more advanced craft, the FrSky Taranis deserves some serious consideration and comes with a recommendation from us.