FrSky Taranis X9D Plus, OpenTX Transmitter

I don’t know how long I’ve wanted a programmable transmitter, but being a beginner still, it seemed a bit overkill for my needs. But as HobbyKing had their big sale earlier this year, and they had Taranis X9D Plus in stock, I just couldn’t resist purchasing one!

After leaving a hole in my wallet, I waited about a week to receive my Taranis. In addition to the transmitter itself, I also bought a carrying case from Turnigy, and two FrSky receivers, and a battery voltage sensor for the telemetry function. Everything including shipping was $250, which is much less than comparable transmitter from the top brands, which often has less functions than the Taranis. After opening the package, and taking a quick look, the only thing I didn’t like was the poor quality clamp on the neck strap.

FYI: The screen and the FrSky logo has a protective film over them, so they are not scratched, which it might look like in the pictures, I just haven’t removed the protective film.

The gimbals on this thing are amazing. They look great, and feel very fluid and soft. The switches are also great, and a nice variety of them, so you can choose whichever you like for whatever function on your model. There’s also two slider knobs on the sides which feel excellent! These seem to have pretty much as good resolution as the gimbals, so they can be used for delicate controls on the plane, maybe pan/tilt camera? The only thing that feels cheap is the power button, which is a bit loose, but nothing that will come off, I just don’t like the feel of it.

At the back you have the battery compartment, with an included 2000mAh battery which is stated to last 15-20 hours, I have yet to document this. There’s also a JR-style module slot, so you can use other receivers than FrSky as well. F.ex. a $30 Orange module which will allow you to control BNF planes from Horizon Hobby. At the last picture you can see the charge LED. It’s a green light that’s on as long as you’re charging.

I played with the transmitter for a couple of hours, but then quickly ran out of power, so I used a 1.5A 12V power supply for the built-in charge circuit, which is much more than the needed 0.5A, but it’s only a power supply, and will only provide as much as the charger asks for. It took almost 6 hours to fully charge the battery which was almost fully depleted, so I guess an average of 4 hours seems likely when not fully discharging the battery.

The included firmware was OpenTX 2.0.9, which I upgraded to 2.0.15. This was a very simple process, the update took less than 5 minutes in total to perform, and I could do it with tools available for my Mac.

I yet have to explore the possibilities of this transmitter. I’ve still only played around with it, and not used it with a model. At this far I’m very pleased with my purchase, as the community is great for OpenTX, and if you can think of it, you can probably make your Taranis do it – it has so many possibilities!

I will keep posting updates on the transmitter as I get to know it better.

Please leave any questions in the comments if you want to know anything about this transmitter.

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2 thoughts on “FrSky Taranis X9D Plus, OpenTX Transmitter

  1. Anyone that doesn’t use this radio is a Nong; notice the capital N 🙂 This radio does things others four times the price only dream of.
    Also I was told the Channel order should be 1 Ail, 2 Ele , 3 Thr , 4 Rud . When reflashing with Companion, you only need to change the “default channel order” to AETR so as to suit right?

    • Hi!
      Yes, it’s definitely an excellent radio!
      The channel order is whatever you find suits you best. If you have an Orange module f.ex. and Spektrum BNF planes (bind and fly), they’re TAER, while Futaba is mostly AETR.
      The default channel order is what is applied to newly created models on your transmitter, so if you already have models stored with something else than what is your new default setting, you have to change it manually for each existing model.

      I think mine is set to AETR as default, but I have a couple of models that have their cables marked as TAER, so I followed the original setup from the model.

      This is all about preferences. You could switch the cables around on the receiver as well, and make all of them be AETR f.ex.

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