Transmitters/Receivers/Radio's

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Transmitters/Receivers/Radio's

Postby LeonD » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:59 pm

Hello All,

I'm sure this question has been done to death, but hopefully my question will have a bit of a twist to it!

I work within a university environmental research dept and my speciic project has been working on a UAV system to aid in peatland restoration. However, the uni dept have jumped into the UAVs for research with gusto and are intending on setting up a section dedicated to their use and deployment, along with teaching some of the undergrads about their use and potential.

Although I've learnt a great deal, clocked up a few hours flying time etc, most of my experience comes from big planes (think C-130's), but I've been trying to help out here and there and I've been asked about transmitters (and the associated receivers). I've already come to realise that it's quite a tribal area of debate, Futaba, Spektrum, Turnigy, Hitek etc (I'm currently using a Spektrum with my UAV), and whilst I've tried to delve through some of the semantics, I'm none the wiser, so my question is this;

If you needed a relatively low cost option, that could be used on multiple fixed wing airframes (hopefully will only need to buy one or two controllers but switch easily between different airframes), easily accesible (well stocked) and reliable modules/spares etc and with a good online community (the more open the better), what would opt for?

I have to consider that all the kit is likely to get broken/smashed/damaged in one way or another on a regular basis!

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Cheers,

Leon

PS I'm a member of the local flying club and I will be speaking with those guys too, but it's just a lot easier to get a wider opinion quickly on forums (and I'd like to be fore-armed with some knowledge on the matter, if possible).
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Re: Transmitters/Receivers/Radio's

Postby cynr100 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:58 am

The lowest cost option would be a Turnigy 9Xr controller mated to an Orange Rx module and Orange Rx units, using a USBasp you can access the wide world of 9X firmware programs see http://openrcforums.com/forum/index.php ... 28a1e7e849.
The next step up would be to use the FrSky range of Tx modules and Rx units, these come in 4 to 8ch with/without telemetry and are also available with SBus see here http://www.alofthobbies.com/radio-gear/ ... ystem.html
The next low cost level would be as in the last link using the Taranis controller and FrSky Tx/Rx.

These are all good reliable hardware options but the magic is really created in the 9X firmware, fish through the 9X forum link there is a lot of information to be had there and it will give you a better understanding of the programmability.

A Taranis/FrSky unit with er9x FM at USD250 will give you more options and greater flexibility than a high cost $600++ unit.
Not enough time in the day for all my crazy ideas, I'm not slow, I'm just pacing myself
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Re: Transmitters/Receivers/Radio's

Postby LeonD » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:35 am

cynr100 wrote:The lowest cost option would be a Turnigy 9Xr controller mated to an Orange Rx module and Orange Rx units, using a USBasp you can access the wide world of 9X firmware programs see http://openrcforums.com/forum/index.php ... 28a1e7e849.
The next step up would be to use the FrSky range of Tx modules and Rx units, these come in 4 to 8ch with/without telemetry and are also available with SBus see here http://www.alofthobbies.com/radio-gear/ ... ystem.html
The next low cost level would be as in the last link using the Taranis controller and FrSky Tx/Rx.

These are all good reliable hardware options but the magic is really created in the 9X firmware, fish through the 9X forum link there is a lot of information to be had there and it will give you a better understanding of the programmability.

A Taranis/FrSky unit with er9x FM at USD250 will give you more options and greater flexibility than a high cost $600++ unit.


Cynr100, can't thank you enough. I've just taken a look at the openrcforums and the open source development ethos will tie in perfectly.

Time for some reading I think :D

Thanks again for the excellent advice,

Leon
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Re: Transmitters/Receivers/Radio's

Postby LeonD » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:52 pm

OK, I've made my suggestion to the Uni and for the potential benefit of others I'll post it here.

Following on from Cynr100's advice, chatting to a couple of local flyers, reading through the various forums and subsequently watching some of the rcmodelreview videos on Youtube, I've gone for the FrSky Taranis and associated Tx/Rx modules.

The 9xr would have easily done the job on a more basic level, but it looked like the potential hacks were a little more finicky and with the Taranis, having the ability to bind to multiple airframes, but with inbuilt safety to stop you from flying with the wrong set up was a big plus. Bruce's teardown and the tidyness of the electronics was very impressive - anything that neat, short of PCB problems, should be pretty easy to fix. It also seems that some of the DiyDrone community are also doing pretty cool stuff with the radios, specifically with functions you can assign to the various switches and controls, that level of control over your device could be very useful and important for data collection.

The hard part now will be the purchasing, it appears that demand is easily outstripping supply!

Thanks again,

Leon
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