New Transmitters

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New Transmitters

Post by Armortek » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:57 pm

For several years now we have used Futaba and Spektrum transmitters as our reference systems in the factory.
We use these on our demo models as well as for all our testing and development. Given the vast range of Transmitter/ receiver combinations in the market place it is not practical for us to test more than a couple and so we have stuck with these two.

However, times are changing and often we get asked about cheaper and simpler radio systems on a regular basis. Therefore we will probably look to test at least two new transmitter/receiver setups:

1. FlySky FS-iA6X with X6B receiver (available from around £40)
2. Frsky Taranis Q X7 . Receiver still TBD (available from around £90)

Let us know in the comments below if you have any experience of these two - good or bad.
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Stephen White » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:10 pm

That's great news Kian. I've used a FrSky Taranis X9D Plus for a while now and it's very capable indeed, so I expect that the Q7 which has the same software is equally capable. I would say though that the OpenTx software OS is quite daunting to start with unless you're able to supply a plug and play configuration. There is however a very good guide to the software available commercially.

https://www.t9hobbysport.com/taranis-x9 ... ser-manual

The support resource online is also very good, here:

https://opentx.gitbooks.io/manual-for-opentx-2-2/

The Q7 is the entry level FrSky radio. It is possible to get the same capability as the more capable X9D at Q7 prices from another supplier, Jumper. The Jumper T16 is functionally similar to the X9d but has 16 channels out of the box and OpenTx software. In the model aircraft world, the Jumper T16 is getting a good press.

One potential downside concerns operation of the sound system. I've so far failed to integrate the Benedini 9 position rotary encoder. The hardware installation is as easy as on the Spektrum or Futaba but I have so far failed to get the Tx software to calibrate it successfully for all 9 positions. A 6 position rotary encoder is available elsewhere for the FrSky Taranis and I've just got one to try. All the talk on the internet relates to this 6 position encoder, so it may be that the OS doesn't recognise any encoder with more than 6 positions. I've yet to get a satisfactory answer from the OpenTx developers. I don't altogether think it matters because one of the joys of OpenTx is the ability to configure software defined switches, so it would be entirely possible to offload some of the special sounds onto switches. The software is infinitely configurable, so some very clever switch combinations could be set up to play sounds in sequence for example.

Can't speak for FlySky, except to say that in the model aircraft world, FrSky is very dominant.

Overall, it's clear Futaba has lost out big time, will poor quality control and sticking to proprietary software and Spektrum is losing ground to these newer radios which offer open source software. In effect it represents a change of generation from hardware configuration to software defined radios, progress which mirrors what is going on in the military radio market.

Good news all round, Kian, progress.

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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Adrian Harris » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:52 pm

I can understand the need for a simpler radio, though I find the Spektrum setup pretty straightforward now, but I personally don't see the point of spending £7k on a model and saving £100 on the radio, especially having seen at the weekend what happens when a model goes rogue when the transmitter is switched off first or taken out of range with the model still powered up.

I did buy a Spektrum DXe when they first came out and that was simply horrible.

I have a Turnigy 9X, which I believe is an early version of the X9D, and have never felt the need to swap over from my Spektrum DX8. I suppose I ought to download the latest OpenTX and flash this transmitter with it to see what it looks like now.

> OpenTx software OS is quite daunting to start with unless you're able to supply a plug and play configuration.

Are you suggesting there would be an Armortek generated config file supplied for these transmitters ? If so, would that need to be model dependant, OpenTX version dependant, version controlled ?

Having said all that, if they take off, then I'll be happy to learn these new transmitters and set up in business as a transmitter wrangler :lol: :lol:

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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Dennis Jones » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:43 am

I have been using Spektrum for years now mostly DX8's with no problems. A lot of our members are using FLYSKY 6 and 10 channel sets and not any problems as far as I am aware. I have fitted my own version of the encoder switch to them and never have had a problem. The only one make I have to change values and play about with is HiTech.

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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Christoffer Ahlfors » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:27 pm

I agree with Adrian. First class models deserve first class radios. So, Brixl or ScaleArt it is, if you ask me.
But I have also seen the light with open source. It is immensely interesting to see how it all goes! I know the Taranis is already a very capable system, indeed, totally configurable and safe if you know how to do it right.
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Gerhard Michel » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:29 pm

Our models are a little too heavy to be only a simple toy when used in public. In Hausen there are up to 50 models and this is true stress to some R/C systems we could see in this year. The transmitters don't find enough slices to communicate with their receivers in any situation. Here it is very important that the model stops immediately; controlled by an effective failsafe programming.

The ESC should also have a build-in failsafe component to stop immediately when the R/C connection ist totally down, e.g. caused by a breakdown of the receiver battery, when no failsafe programming can work.

A sound module which needs a rotary encoder signal for activating its functions is not state of the art in my opinion. Today even inexpensive R/C systems have channels enough to control all tank features with seperate switches and pushbuttons. Modern R/C systems may use combined (= bus) signals like SUMD or S-bus to avoid many channel connections between sound module and receiver.

Therefore it may be a good idea to collect first all wishes and requirements to control a certain model and then -in a second step- to check out which equipment parts available in our scene are able to satisfy these requirements best. I don't think that in all situations the same accessories are the best solution for every model.

Actually I use 5 models. Ok, my R/C equipment is the same (Graupner MC 32 transmitter with different receivers depending on the needed number of channels), but I use 2 types of ESC, 2 types of sound module, 3 types of power amps, 4 types of loudspeakers, 4 types of batteries and so on. So each model has an individual equipment and I can test some new components to stay up to date. :mrgreen:
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Stephen White » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:04 am

Gerhard you’re quite right in saying that we should define the requirement and then look for the most capable radio system to satisfy it. I also agree that you wouldn’t choose a rotary encoder when software defined radios are available. Some of us are prepared to spend frustrating hours learning new OS such as OpenTx and spend days setting up and testing new systems. I don’t think that’s for everyone though. There will be many customers who want simple plug and play systems and for some repeat customers, minimal change. That’s the challenge for Armortek. Spektrum, Futaba etc are being overtaken both on price and capability. Graupner is no longer the German company it once was. I think Armortek is quite right to be looking at the new generation of radio systems using open source software, which gives the flexibility to go for simple or complex installation and makes radios future proof. I do also agree with Adrian that the cost of the model justifies an investment in a capable radio but only, for some, if that doesn’t add unnecessary complication. There’s the challenge.

I can see a need for. Knowledge Base topic on OpenTx but I’m not volunteering.

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Re: New Transmitters

Post by John Clarke » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:58 pm

I'm hoping the new Armourtek "Red" system performs well with my old trusty futaba 10c Fasst. The older Armortek 2008 ish system did not like channel 3 + 4 while using the 10 channel receiver.

Yet it was fine using the 7 channel receiver :?: :?: . I never got chance to try the prequel to the latest "Red" system with the 10 channel receiver.

So I live in hope "Red's not dead" when it gets hooked up to the 10 channel FASST receiver.

With so many other models I own, it's sometime difficult to remember what switch does what on the transmitter. (That's why I don't fly models)

Using a sequential switcher, I can expand the outputs without having to guess to much.

I like futaba equipment, always have, from my first M series set (1973) they were always comfortable and reliable

If the worst comes to the worst, I always got the old bullet proof 15 channel (FM) F14, ready to be dusted off :roll:
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Armortek » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:29 pm

Thanks for all the input above and don't disagree with what has been said - especially the part about not losing control of your model !
There is a broad spectrum of customers that we must cater for - for some, this may be their first RC experience whilst others have been involved for decades and know the topic inside out.
This little "project" that we are embarking is targeted more towards customers that are , lets say, beginner or intermediate in the RC world. Plus with our growing stable of models in the factory we need some new radio equipment anyway, so might as well validate something new that everyone can use.

Stephen - what receiver do you use with your FrSky ?
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Gerhard Michel » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:41 pm

Hi Stephen,

maybe Armortek customers are a bit spoiled getting an all-in-one solution to bring their models ricky tick into motion after having spent hundreds of hours to complete it. :mrgreen:

Of course this is not a bad thing, but when I have done the large work to complete my model mechanically and paint it, what could me prevent from installing the most suitable accessories I mean to get it alive? Non-Armortek Customers and scratch builders anyway have no other chance than try and struggle for all the necessary moving parts, and this can also be a satisfying part of modelling I think. :wink:
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Stephen White » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:19 pm

Kian I use the X8R Rx with the Taranis X9D Plus Tx. It gives you 8 channels native but with an S-Bus decoder it will give 16. You can also use two X8R in parallel and they will distribute 16 channels between themselves.

I believe there is some relationship between FrSky and the OpenTx developers which gives them a significant advantage over FlySky as far as beta testing is concerned. FrSky are the market leader for OpenTx hosting but a lot of the model aircraft world are looking at Jumper as the new boys on the block. There is an interesting review comparing them with FrSky on Joshua Bardwell’s well respected channel here:

https://youtu.be/gnxLaJBE2UA

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Re: New Transmitters

Post by John Clarke » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:25 am

I only know what I've experienced and until I receive the control gear from Armortek, I will not know if it is compatible with the equipment I already have.

This has always been the case. and you have to deal with it.

I've just watched the clip and feel ................ :roll:

I suppose it's ok if you have a couple of models, a transmitter for each model is not uncommon.

But if you own more than ten models, I like many, I had and have a single transmitter and multiple receivers. It would have been silly otherwise.

Maybe established R/C manufacturers have had their day. 6 channel Programmable 2.4 ghz transmitters and receivers for under £35 inc P+P, unthinkable just a couple of years ago.

I only hope I can get the model to move, recoil and flash it's machine gun.

For now I'll cling to what I have.

It was claimed that 2.4 ghz equipment was relatively safe and would/could not be interfered with from other systems, with so many new systems being peddled, who knows. Glad I kept my old FM sets. 2.4 ghz doesn't work under water :lol: so my subs are safe...ishh.
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Stephen White » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:35 pm

Taranis X9D can store up to 60 model files, with more available on SD card.

The frequency hopping waveforms of these new generation radios is more resistant to signal interference than the early ones.

These radios support telemetry, including the ability to display RSSI (receiver signal strength indication in real time. That is significant for us where the Rx sits within a metal box which is itself electronically noisy.

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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Christoffer Ahlfors » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:22 pm

Stephen White wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:35 pm
These radios support telemetry, including the ability to display RSSI (receiver signal strength indication in real time. That is significant for us where the Rx sits within a metal box which is itself electronically noisy.
That's awesome! ScaleArt has an artificial horizon as standard. Handy for those using their models in real terrain and not wanting them to topple over.

Sounds like the challenge for Armortek is a tough one, trying to be compatible with all variants, closed source, open source, conventional, enhanced, special, super duper, El cheapo. :shock:
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Re: New Transmitters

Post by Gerhard Michel » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:38 pm

A single transmitter and several receivers are a good thing I mean. Modern transmitters can store more models than most of us own, and the look and feel of steering models is much simplier when only one transmitter is used. One backup system is allowed however...... :twisted:

Telemetry is a nice feature and I never will miss it in future. Especially when using lithium cells for driving it is necessary to have a reliable monitoring function for all the cell voltages to prevent damage of batteries.
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