FrSky Taranis Q X7 2.4GHz 16CH Transmitter (White) Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Quad ball bearing gimbals
- Supports up to 16 channels
- Supports Telemetry
- Speech Audio Output
- Supports External TX modules
- Memory Supports unlimited Models
- 128×64 pixels backlit LCD screen
- 6 switches (4 of which are three-positioned), 2 pots
- Input voltage: 6-15V
- Files compatible with Taranis X9D
- OpenTX Firmware Pre-installed
- Most of the pros are in the Features
- BUDGET FRIENDLY!
- Solid Feel
- Tons of switches
- Elegant looking
- Very nice weight
- Easy to work on internals
- Variety of battery options
- Inexpensive receivers
- Compatible with many race quads
- Neck strap and balancer included YEAH!
- OpenTX is not intuitive
- Does not come with a robust manual
- No battery included
As many of you know, I am a Spektrum and Futaba guy when it comes to controlling my aircraft. Most of my smaller stuff is on Spektrum and my larger planes are on Futaba. As I expand this website, I wanted to get my hands on a FrSky transmitter. I had seen the popularity of the Taranis growing, but I didn't want to spend the cheese on yet another transmitter. When the X7 was announced, I loved the way it looked and loved the price even more! I got mine from GetFPV.com for $105 bucks! No other brand makes a robust transmitter like this at anywhere near this price point, so wondered, "Can this really be a decent transmitter?"
The X7 came nicely packaged with almost everything you need to get started. The only thing missing is a battery or batteries. It does ship with a battery tray for AA batteries. The good thing is tray is easily removed so you can plug in a Lithium battery in. I opted for a STRIX Li-Ion battery. Fits perfect and I won't have to charge that sucker for months. I was very happy that the X7 came with a strap and even a metal balancer so your transmitter doesn't flop around crazily while you move around with it on your neck.
What I found unusual, but I understand considering Taranis's market, was that both sticks come spring-centered. I thought it was going to take some major surgery to get the left stick to not be springloaded, but it was easy peasy. There are now about 5 different videos showing how this is done. I was very impressed at how easily accessible the guts of the transmitter are. With my other two transmitters (DX9 and 14SG), I'm pretty sure I would have broken something trying to access the insides. After I got the right tension I wanted, I closed everything back up and binded a new little quad I had gotten to test out with the X7.
Usually when a radio company comes out with a lower price transmitter, they tend limit the functions for the sake of making upgrade in the future. FrSky does not. The X7 has most of the features as the Taranis Plus, Taranis X9E and the Horus. They all have 16 channels, and can be expanded to 32 channels, FULL telemetry built in, speech, tons of mixing, expandable model memories, logic switches, the ability to base mixes off of telemetry data, external module bay. FrSky is able to keep the price down on the X7 by giving it a lower resolution LCD display, not including a micro SD card, lack of side sliders, no battery, and no battery charger.
Do you, like me, have a ton of cash invested in other radio system? Well, the X7 has you covered. The X7 has a normal JR style module bay on the back that will accept modules for other transmitting protocols. In the model setup you simply tell the system if you are using the external module, and it shuts down the internal FrSky module. Now you can use your UHF, Futaba, Spektrum, JR, Aisin, and other receivers if you have a transmitter module that fits in a JR style module bay.
The X7 ships with OpenTX 2.2 an open-source software that has been developed by hobbyist’s in the R/C community. The programmers of the transmitter’s firmware and companion software which will run on Linux, Windows, and Macintosh are very receptive to input and requests from users. I am told by more seasoned FrSky owneres, "If you can think of it, chances are the X7 (or any other FrSky radio) is capable of doing it.
Setting up my quad took about 5 times longer than it would have with my DX9. Mind you, this was my very first experience with a FrSky radio, so there was bound to be some learning curve. What was my only bother, was normal things are not labeled in the mostly universal way Futaba, Spektrum, Hitec and everyone else names their functions. Dual rates, endpoints, flaps, stuff like that does not exist by those names. Mind you, as I mentioned before, all of these things are totally possible, you just have to find out how. As I type, I have a manual on the way from ALOFT Hobbies. The guys there compiled a ton of info and wrote it down. There are tons of youtube videos for learning OpenTX, but I wanted something I could put in the car or in my flight back or have next to me while I program a new model. I am definitely determined to learn as much as I can with the X7. It is a very impressive radio and I am still dumbfounded by the low price point.
Flying and Conclusion:
Flying with the X7 feels awesome. It actually feels more expensive in my hands than the DX9. I also love the shape, the color and the button and switch layout. I absolutely cannot wait to get some more receivers and fly more aircraft with this badboy. If you are a tinkerer, or a quad guy and you want to move into your first nice radio, the X7 is an amazing value. Just know that there will be a semi-steep learning curve for a total newb. Don't expect to open your transmitter, bind it to an aircraft and get flying right away. Definitely take your time and get to know it before doing any flying. If you put the time into learning OpenTX, this radio is SOOOO worth it. Of course if you just want total ease of use, don't want to think too much, and are okay with spending a pretty sizable premium for an equivalent Spektrum or Futaba offering, then go that route. OpenTX can be frustrating at first, but the pay if is awesome. FrSky has a pretty huge chunk of the quadcopter market, I expect to see them take more of the airplane market also. There is just too much good stuff at a great price to ignore FrSky. My X7 will not replace my other two radios, but it will join the family and I will pretty much designate it as my drone and wing transmitter. Now go grab one!.