what are the differences between 'radios'

hello,  everytime I talk with 'professional', or 'uber experienced' hobbyist about my models and controllers and radio setup, I ALWAYS here a comment or two about my radio...

I have the turnigy 9xr PRO radio...I have never had any other brand... I bought it for the price, and reading sevearl discussions about it on other forums... *(which seem to indicate that the radio is 'better then just ok)

currently, I have my model in a local shop to try to get the pid's dialed in better and to add fpv and the techie really wanted me to switch to a spektrum radio, claiming it was easier, better, longer range... but when I asked a couple questions and got no real answer, I said no... as I didnt want to spend another $200-300 for something that seems to already work...

he really didnt seem to have any experience with my radio... but claimed the spektrum is easier... I am not sure how anyone can claim something is easier when they never tried my radio..

from what I can tell, the JR module system allows me to use different 'frequency'/brands of tx/rx as long as it plugs into the module location..

can anyone answer specifically what other frequency/brands I can be used in my 9xr pro radio? i.e. is there a spektrum type of reciever that can be used in my radio setup?

as far as I can tell the differences include that the 9xr pro has 24 channel capacity, but, getting the sbus to work with naza has been a problem as the radio doesnt have a d16 mode... if I want d16 functions/ability, it has to be done at the 'module level'...and not really in the menu system of the radio itself, (not sure that makes sense?)

before I ramble too much more.. can anyone help me or point me to a resource



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  • Btw the video from flight test was awesome but again it said I needed to use spectrum TX on a spectrum rx.

    That creates confusion for us module guys/radios.

    They also said something about resolution on the gimbal. Is there anyway to describe /detail what three resolution is on a radio?

    Is that listed in the mfg specs
  • I have both, d and x modules...

    One of my problems among the many is, in getting info over load. I'm forgetting more stuff is read more stuff... My head is full which is why I went to the shop.

    I have three models each is different flight controller and unique (to me). So I can't keep things straight and have to relearn.

    And then I get the shop tech telling me something that seems basic but yet not make sense about the radio.

    So I figured I would revisit the radio issue here
    • We've all been there!

      So I'll make these suggestions. You can pick the one that seems to fit best and I'll help as best as I can.

      1) Use 2 X8R's. This will give you SBUS on one radio, and PWM on the other. You keep telemetry, but now you'll have 2 radios on your model.

      2) Use any frksy CPPM-capable radio (D4R-II, D8R-XP, etc) and use the two gimbal outputs to control your LEDs. You keep telemetry and you have only one radio, but you only have 2 outputs to do what you want.

      Personally, I would do (and have done) #2. It works great on a 9XR. I thought there was a receiver that could do both, but I must have imagined it. Overload indeed!

      Forget about Spektrum for now :) everything you want to do can be done with Frsky.. it's just that a lot of Frsky is undocumented. Best way to learn is to ask around on the forums (like you're doing).

      • Replying to my own post (shame shame) but it looks like both the X8R and the X6R will do both SBUS and PWM on one receiver. Hard to tell for sure from the documentation, it might take some experimentation.

        • yea, the documentation says it is possible, but i think the 'issue/problem' is the 9xr radio... it doesnt have d16mode in the setup...according to frsky, as long as I jumper the module properly, then that is the d16 mode...

          i think I will end up going with your suggestion above, (#2)



  • I'm wanting more channels/functions. The basic aetr then the two or three flight modes, and then I want 2+ extra channels to turn off leds... During the day..

    From what I can tell, I can get 7 channels from sbus on 1-8 and then pwm or servo output on 9-16
    • Gotcha. I've looked into doing something similar. You have a couple options, but you will need an XJT module. Is that what you are running? Most of us Frsky users run a DJT module on our 9XR's.

      Do you only need one output? I can tell you some tricks to get servo output if you only need one or two channels. No XJT needed.

  • They're just trying to sell you a radio.

    Tell your hobby shop pals that I flew my FrSky-equipped-quad out 2 miles yesterday (a personal best). This was on stock equipment, no special antennas or boosters. I had telemetry telling me my battery and RSSI level the entire trip out. Ask them which Spektrum radio will do that (none) and how much they cost (about 2-4x more).

    Spektrum radios are not easier to program than your 9XR, but they are far less versatile. I burnt out several servos using my Spektrum radio when I tried to send the same input to two channels (on servos that were mechanically linked) before I realized that it just couldn't do it. This despite Spektrum's insistence that it was easy to do. It's a 5-second operation on your 9XR.

    What I'd love to hear is someone who ran OpenTX and went back to Spektrum. Once you understand the mixer, you realize how great OpenTX is. Hard to imagine anyone going back.

    I do like Spektrum for one thing: there are a lot of interesting parts coming out lately that have onboard Spektrum RX's.

    To your questions: there are Spektrum-compatible JR modules out there. HobbyKing sells one under the OrangeRX brand.

    I have no experience running FrSky w/SBUS.

    • Moderator

      It might be that if you ever want to fly commercially and if your authorities care enough the cheaper radios which do not have the appropriate FCC and the like tickets will not be permitted for use. In 2010 I flew at Farnborough airshow and OFCOM the UK FCC would not accept the standard RC permission for my JR radio. I had to ask questions of Japan. All was good once answered but don't expect the cheapest radios to be approved for C2 links.

  • Bill, there are two or three major things involved in radio choice. Basic operational features, both soft and hard, is obviously one, and some inexpensive radios such as the the Taranis and even your Turnigy have a lot of those - and generally the features needed for flying multicopters are not nearly as extensive as for many other aircraft.

    Another is the availability of more subtle features, that go deeper into controlling hardware, Things like exotic pre-set mixes, adjustability of servo speed and range, etc. Many of these are not of much concern when piloting most multicopters.

    Another is build quality. Why would anyone pay up to tens of thousands of dollars more for certain cars, clothes, watches, etc. when much less expensive versions are available? That gets into a whole new level of choices. You can spend several thousand dollars on some radios, and if you use them to anything approaching their capabilities you will feel differences between them and the cheaper ones in the gimbals, switches, etc. and possibly also in how "locked in" the connection to an aircraft feels. It's the difference between a generic soccer van  and, say, a 500-class BMW. Both will get you down the road, but ...

    Personally I spent $1300 on a JR 12X about four years ago, after buying a series of cheaper radios that always ended up lacking one or another thing I needed. I haven't regretted it. But I also have a Taranis for my Pixhawk. Not the easiest radio to learn but vastly capable. I just hope it doesn't fall apart if it takes a knock while I'm flying. 


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