Taranis Q X7 Review, Teardown and Setup
Taranis Q X7 Review, Teardown and Setup

The Taranis Q X7 is an awesome new radio from FrSky that is budget priced, just over $100 and stocked full of premium features like a backlight screen, audio output, an SDCard for tons and tons of models and not to mention, ever switch is 3-position.

This is a huge upgrade from my FlySky 9x and probably the best value radio on the market today. Not only is the FrSky protocol the best among many manufacturers, but the radio quality and features are outstanding.

That said, I pre-ordered as early as possible, so I assume I have one of the earliest versions. The hardware doesn't change, but the firmware mine shipped with was slightly broken. I couldn't change the channel order, but updating to version 2.0.0N366 fixed this bug. It's still early days in terms of firmware for this radio. I don't think there is a stable release yet. The nightly is working fine for me.

Unboxing

Cool box. I think it's fantastic when manufacturers save a few dollars on the box, while still making it look good, and pass those savings onto us!

Woah, what's that green thing?!

Module bay and battery pack cover.

Take off the battery pack cover and there's a AA tray.

But if you remove this, by pulling up gently, there is room for a lipo or the NiMh battery pack.

Oooooh, a battery!? I've heard these aren't usually included with the radio... not sure why I got one, but it's great!

Dust cover on the ports, on the bottom of the radio.

From left to right, smart port, micro sdcard slot, and usb port.

Teardown

Let's take it apart!

The main MCU is a STM32f205.

Setup

Out of the box, both of my gimbal sticks are centered. If this is the case for you, you'll need to open up your radio and adjust one of the gimbals. You'll want to loosen the screw that is holding spring taught, so it has as little friction as possible, then tighten the screw that holds the bar on the outside down, out of the way. Finally, tighten the screw on the clamp, either the smooth or clicky clamp, your choice.

Update Firmware

Download and install the latest OpenTX companion. I'll be using the Release Candidate (RC) 9 from here, as it's the latest version available as I'm writing this: http://www.open-tx.org/2017/01/25/opentx-2.2.0RC9. Scroll to the bottom of the post to find the software.

Open the OpenTX Companion, click the settings icon (gear) in the toolbar and pick the x7 option from the radio type drop down item. I'll also enable lua scripts and the sqt5font.

Under the application settings tab, enable OpenTX nightly builds.

Close the application settings and open the download dialog. Click Download FW and hit OK.

Star the radio in bootloader mode by pushing both trim buttons towards the center then pressing the power button. Don't hold down the power button, just press and let go.

Plug in your radio via the USB cable. Click the flash firmware icon on the left and click "Write to TX"

I did make a backup of my factory installed firmware. You can get a copy here, should you need it for some reason: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c47tn2xbg28cddo/original-firmware.bin?dl=1

SDCard

To enable the voice feature, download the latest SDCard contents here, it will be named something like sdcard-taranis-x7-2.2V0008.zip, unzip the file and copy the contents to an SDCard.

Audio

Overview: https://github.com/opentx/opentx-taranis-manual/blob/master/advanced-features.md#audio

Be sure to set the sample rate to 32kHz

Record wav files with Audacity

Once you've recorded the file, pick Tracks -> Stero Track to Mono otherwise the audio playback will be really slow and distorted.

I named all the files with a leading 0, so the file names are different than the default sounds. The whole name can't be more than 8 characters, not including .wav. Copy these files onto the SDCard into the sounds/en/ (or whatever language you're using) folder.

To play the file, open the model configuration (short press the hamburger button) and go to the special functions page. Add a row and flip the switch you want to use, putting it into the position it will be in for a given mode, then choose the Play Track option and pick your wav file.

Configuration

Configuration is a huge topic and could be a guide in itself. I'll just go over the highlights here.

Start by holding the hamburger menu button, scroll to the bottom of the first page and set the default channel order. I use the BetaFlight channel order which his TAER. If you have a model you created after this setting was changed or you want to switch a specific model to use a different channel order. You can always change this by going into the model's settings (short press of the hamburger button, instead of a long press) and setting it on the inputs page.

You'll also want to change the subtrims so that you get an exact 1000-2000 range when looking at the BetaFlight configurator. Be sure to do this for all channels that you use, including AUX channels.

Manual

If you've never used OpenTx before, you should skim through this great book, the operations are basically the same:

https://opentx.gitbooks.io/opentx-taranis-manual

Hope this was helpful. If so, feel free to checkout my YouTube channel, get updates when a new article is posted by following on Feedly and read the the other guides at nathan.vertile.com/blog
comments powered by Disqus