the best rc radio transmitters

The best RC radio transmitters for Q2 2020

The last year was a good year in terms of new radio transmitters. It’s no longer a choice between FlySky and FrSky. We have new players and new products. Below is my, very subjective, overview of the most interesting radios on the market.

Still the best – FrSky X10S Horus

FrSky X10s Horus

In my very personal opinion, FrSky X10S Horus is the best option out there. Some might argue that the shape is not the best, or gimbals are not in the “perfect” place. Perhaps. On the other hand, I do not find those things an issue and I use my X10S for 2 years now. Amazing gimbals, good layout, great LCD and ergonomics. If I would have to find a real-life problem with the Horus, it would be a small battery. You really have to charge it after every trip to the airfield. Besides that, perfect! Read More

FrSky ACCST 2.0.0 “important” firmware update for all receivers, radios and transmitters

FrSky does not sleep, or rather woke up, and after years of not touching the topic, released an “important” update of ACCST 2.4GHz protocol for all the compatible 2.4GHz receivers, transmitter modules, and radios: X9D Taranis, Q X7 Taranis, X10/X10S Horus, X8R, X4R, X4R-SB, XM, R-XSR, XJT and so on.

What changed in ACCST 2.0.0? According to FrSky, they fixed some kind of a bug with uncontrolled servo movement in ceratin conditions (probably almost never) and improved “correction and verification”.

What does it mean in the real world:

  • ACCST 2 is not compatible with previous ACCST
  • if you decide to upgrade, you will have to upgrade receivers and transmitters. All!
  • any 3rd party ACCST compatible receivers and transmitters stop to work: including multiprotocol modules and 3rd party D16 receivers

Consumer advise? Do not update! There is no need to update from ACCST to ACCST 2.0.0. Looks like there is no gain for end users at all and the cost is substantial!

frsky r-xsr pinout

FrSky R-XSR pinout

FrSky R-XSR Pinout

  • GND – ground wire
  • +3,5-10V – positive voltage supply. R-XSR is rated up to 10V and powering it from 5V is the best option
  • SmartPort – inverted S.Port pin (standard) – can be used directly with STM32F3 and F7 series
  • SBUS – SBUS protocol output
  • SBUS Input – for redundancy function only
  • Uninverted SmartPort – uninverted S.Port pin (standard is inverted) – can be used directly all flight controllers on any serial port
  • Uninverted SBUS – uninverted SBUS protocol output (standard is inverted)

FrSky R9M vs R9M2019 teardown

I do not why, but FrSky does not want to keep things simple. Not only it’s migrating from ACCST to ACCESS, it also makes a mess with FrSky R9M system by releasing new hardware that looks like old hardware, has a very similar name and can run ACCESS but only on some radios, not on the other. The nightmare…. Today let’s compare the FrSky R9M transmitter module I own for last (almost) 2 years with a brand new FrSky R9M2019

Radio modules FS1000A and XY-MK-5V – pros and cons

When looking for radio modules for your next Arduino project, you might have come across the couple named: FS1000A and XY-MK-5V. At first glance, they might look like the next best thing, but it’s not that simple.

FS1000A and XY-MK-5V

Before you start hacking anything with FS1000A and XY-MK-5V, read the following pros and cons:

Pros:

  • simple – to send a signal you do not need much. Only to power them up and set LOW or HIGH on the data pin
  • cheap – true, they are not expensive

Cons:

  • pretty much everything else, including the same things that are their pros…
  • too simple – they are just too simple and offer no other functions than transmitting a wave through the void. No CRC, no packets, so SPI or serial, no bidirectional communication
    everything has to be done in the software, including encoding and CRC.
  • transmitting and receiving devices have to use the same libraries and support on some platforms like Raspberry Pi might be problematic at best
  • the frequency can not be changed!
  • no frequency hopping or spread spectrum
  • you have to get your own antennas
  • range is poor at best and depends on things like voltage of the transmitter
  • build quality varies a lot and you can not be sure that TX and RX are really tuned to the same frequency

Verdict? At leat be very careful when choosing hardware for your next Arduino RF project…

Manage your OpenTX trims like a PRO!

Almost all RC radio transmitters (Jumper, FrSky, Nirvana and all other OpenTX radios) have trims. When flying classical airplanes, their usage is obvious: you trim your airplane with trims. When using any flight controller or stabilization, they immediately become useless. Trimming has to happen on flight controller (INAV, Betaflight, Pixhawk, Ardupilot), not on the radio itself. Luckily OpenTX allows you do some tricks with trims:

  • disable trims so they will not accidentally break anything
  • use trims as 2 position switches and assign them to any radio channel
  • use trim to reset flight and timers in OpenTX

Jumper T16 Review – better than FrSky?

Jumper T16 RC transmitter messed around in the RC hobby in the last few weeks. FrSky wants to ban it since according to them it’s a clone of FrSky X10 (bullshit by the way). The question is: is Jumper T16 a good radio transmitter worth the money and what’s more important, is it a real competition for FrSky Q X7, X9D Taranis and X10. The answer is quite simple: Jumper T16 is a good radio but everything else is a little complicated. Let’s do the review then!