Thursday, 29 March 2012

Review: JR DSX11

I had a chance to try out a friends JR 11X 2.4 today and was very impressed. It comes with just about everything you would expect in a high end radio, like a very extensive list of programming options, 30-model memory, a big hi res, backlit, grayscale display and an eye-catching case.
The 11X was also surprisingly easy to use for an advanced radio. Accessing functions and programming settings is simple with the intuitive roller button interface and big LCD screen. It also has an SD card slot for model storage, memory expansion and software updates. 
It uses Spektrum 2.4GHz technology. As well as the manufacturer Rx's, there is also a range of compatible 6 to 9ch OrangeRX DSM2 comapaible receivers available for between $6 and $25 for those on a budget.
It is very comfortable with excellent moulded hand grips, and the location of the two sliders on the back of the radio are placed so you don't need to take your thumbs (or fingers) off the sticks. Even the sticks themselves are ergonomically angled slightly outwards, which makes the unit even more comfortable to hold and did not require me to shift my grip to reach any position. I might even consider using one of these over my Turnigy 9x! The FrSky JR module would also be an easy addition if you prefer this protocol to DSM.

  • Ultra-smooth, dual bearing stick assemblies
  • 2048 resolution
  • AutoAssign™ switch selection
  • Programming for planes, helis and gliders
  • Fastest-response processor, for an unprecedented connection with your model
  • All 11 channels function at identical speed and resolution
  • Backlit, high resolution, 4 gray-scale display for optimum clarity in all light conditions
  • Easy access, back-mounted levers
  • RF status light; Blue—RF on, Red—RF off, Green—warning
  • SD card slot for expanded memory and future software updates
  • 30-model memory expandable with SD Card slot
  • 3+1 Digital/Analog Trims
  • Rolling selector for data input

Monday, 19 March 2012

Turnigy 9x Custom firmware

A nice easy to follow instructables on how to add the hardware mods required to install custom firmware to the Turnigy 9x:

More information on the custom firmwares available and modifying the 9x can be found at 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

FrSky telemetry DHT-U

Frsky recently released the DHT-U, an all-in-one universal telemetry module for module-based radios. It has a built-in DHT Tx module and telemetry display which can be clamped to the transmitter handle. Real time in-flight data such as Rx voltage and signal strength can be shown by default. With the addition of sensors and the telemetry hub, data such as Battery voltage, cell voltage, temperature, nitro fuel levels, GPS data, speed, altitude, rpm and current draw can be viewed. One nice feature is the ability to set the fail-safe while in flight rather than estimating where the control surfaces should move to in case of signal loss - so for example you can steer the model into a gentle power off left-hand gliding turn, and 'set' this actual flight position as failsafe.

Soldering three wires (PPM, +ve and ground) internally in the transmitter is required but installation is fairly simple, as shown in this video. Considering the unit is sold for only $55 I think this is quite acceptable.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between JR and FrSky's telemetry hubs? They aren't exactly the same, but have a look:

I'm going to look into how compatible the sensors etc. might be, and report back.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

What I use

Well, lets start with the transmitter (Tx) I'm using at the moment.

I have a Turnigy 9x (also known as eurgle or flysky) with a FrSky module and recievers (Rx). I bought this setup because it is known to be reliable, have good range, and is good value.

The Turnigy 9x has 8 channels and surprisingly good build quality. The 9x comes with a 2.4gHz module and one 8 channel Rx which are quite serviceable, but are lacking a failsafe, antenna diversity and telemetry.

Upgrading with the FrSky can be done in several ways: FrSky DHT module ($55, including an 8ch Rx), DHT-U Telemetry System ($55 with mountable LCD telemetry display, but not including a Rx), or DIY kit ($25). These will give you built in basic telemetry for low signal and low Rx voltage warnings - definately model saving features -  and can handle low Rx voltage with a very fast reboot speed, which has saved me in the past too. You also have a better range of Rx to choose from, from 4 to 8 ch.

After using this setup for two years now, I would trust any model to it and have never had a glitch, brownout or issue. I have several times heard the beep-beep of low signal warning, when I had my antenna pointing directly at the model, but never loss of control. Turn the antenna side-on (as it should be) and the beeps dissapear. Very reassuring. I have flown models to the limit of vision, perhaps 1km, and with the antenna correctly oriented I don't even get a level 1 low signal warning, which kicks in well before the model will lose signal. In ground tests, failsafe kicks in immediately, the model powers down and control surfaces move to where I had set them (a descending left turn), and when the Tx is powered back on, reboot is almost instantaneous.

The 9x can also easily be highly modified and customised. Although it is fine in stock form and has the basics like mixing, expo and dual rates, the menus can be a little hard to get used to and have limited advanced mixes. The FrSky protocols are open source, and so a huge community is forming with various mods, including custom firmware and telemetry sensors. You can even buy 3rd party upgrade boards which increase the memory and proccessing capacity, and add usb, SD card and various other features.

I have compiled a list of links to how-to's and reviews below. I highly reccomend this Tx.

Video - FrSky 2.4GHz review

Video - Installing the FrSky DIY kit in the Turnigy 9x 



Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Welcome to TxRx RC Radio News!

I'm Sean, and I hope to gather together all the best info on the Radio Control systems available today in one place. If you have a good find or positive (or negative) experience, let us know here!