More recently, Frsky released a new entry-level hardware called the Taranis Q X7, which many thought was a simplified version of the well-received Taranis X9D+ hardware. What are the real differences between them, besides the perceptibly low price, and why start when choosing one of the two.
Reasons why you should buy Taranis Q X7
- Hardware functionality is similar to Taranis X9D+ (running on the same OpenTX firmware).
- The navigation buttons and scroll menu are much more convenient to use than the X9D +.
- Slightly more ergonomic design with comfortable rubber grips on the back of the hardware (generally the dimensions of the Q X7 and X9D+ are identical).
- Two colors are available to choose from: Black/White.
- Connector for 2S battery
- The speaker is not annoying when alerting, unlike many X9D +
- Initial tests showed that both devices operate in the same frequency range.
- By default, it has a self-centering throttle stick (like on DJI remotes), which in turn is both a plus and a minus, depending on what type of UAV you will use it with (for example, a drone for shooting or racing). But in any case, if you wish, you can change the principle of the stick.
- Ratchets can be added to both sticks if desired.
- In general, excellent equipment for 95% of pilots.
Reasons why you should buy Taranis X9D+
- Higher screen resolution with adjustable backlight.
- Includes a large battery with the ability to charge from a simple power supply.
- Instead of a stock battery, you can use 2S or 3S LiPo.
- A default SD card is included (in the case of the Q X7, you will have to buy it in addition).
- The proven and time-tested design of the equipment, coupled with a wide range of fine-tuning and operating modes.
- The presence of additional buttons that you can bind to your liking.
- 2 × additional rotary sliders on the sides of the equipment (they are absent on the Q X7).
- The best USB port location for using equipment on PC trainers.
Power and Charging
As mentioned above, with X9D+ By default, it comes with a 2000mAh battery with a built-in battery charging circuit, so you just need to connect the included power adapter to charge. You can also ditch the stock battery and connect your choice of 2S or 3S LiPo batteries.
As for the QX7 hardware, the situation is as follows. By default, the manufacturer does not complete it with batteries, but on various Internet trading platforms, sellers themselves complete the transmitter with batteries, and as a rule, this is an 800mAh NiMh battery for an additional $10-15.
But again, no one completes the “memory” anyway, you should immediately add the cost of the charger (memory) to the amount for the equipment in case you do not have it. And it’s better to abandon the set of equipment with NiMh batteries and buy the 2S LiPo yourself, since the QX7 has a connector inside the battery compartment specifically for this.
The equipment compartment allows you to accommodate a battery with a thickness of 15 – 16mm, for example, a 2S 1000mAh LiPo battery is perfect for it and will provide several hours of continuous operation on a single charge.
Both devices run on OpenTX firmware with a built-in XJT module and both support the connection of an external JR type module. Therefore, the basic set of functions is essentially identical. This means that things like smart port telemetry work on the QX7 and you can also use the same receivers.
You can even use the smart port to update the receiver’s firmware, just like on the Taranis X9D. Also, initial tests showed that there was no noticeable difference in the frequency range between the X9D and QX7, so from this point of view, both equipment are the same.
X9D has a much better LCD screen, with the ability to adjust the brightness. Overall, the X9D’s display beats the QX7 in resolution, but you’ll hardly notice the difference even when you compare them in front of each other. The difference is noticeable only in the number of lines when you switch to the display with telemetry.
Self centering throttle stick
The Taranis Q X7 has the throttle stick always in the center by default, just like on the well-known DJI consoles. This option will come in handy if you practice autonomous flights shooting landscapes, but if you fly an FPV racing drone, then this position of the stick is extremely dangerous. But fortunately the manufacturer has taken into account the difference in flight, and you can always change the position of the stick by removing the spring, after which the stick will work like a regular R/C controller.
How to remove a spring loaded stick gas on the Taranis QX7
Both devices have a slot for an SD card, but only the X9D is equipped with a card by default. You will need a memory card to implement feedback between the equipment and you, since voice files (various warnings) are stored on it.
Maintainability and modernization
Since the Taranis X9D appeared quite a long time ago, at the moment there are a lot of “mods” and “hacks” on the Internet for a finer hardware add-on. The modular design makes it easy to change faulty elements or update them. This fact has a positive effect on long-term use of the product.
As for the Taranis Q X7, it’s just as good to see that Frsky hasn’t deviated from the fundamental rules of maintainability and upgrades. Although there are not so many resources on the Internet where one could find working “mods” for the add-on app, but this is only a matter of time.
Nevertheless, we can safely say that the QX7 will be better in terms of repair, for example, unlike the X9D, the antennas already come with a UFL micro connector, which already frees you from any soldering when replacing it. In addition, the top switches are enclosed in a shell, which makes closing the case itself much easier than on the X9D +.
What is the best equipment to buy?
If you are serious about FPV flying with drones, then your choice is exclusively Frsky. The equipment of this brand has the best firmware (OpenTX) and a huge selection of receivers for any platform.
But if the choice is between the QX7 and the more expensive X9D, then we tend to lean more towards the QX7. This opinion was formed only in the process of using both devices, the QX7 has a much better and more convenient design, it does not bother the sound notification like the X9D +, there is no piling up with additional buttons and, of course, the price is a weighty argument, despite the fact that you will additionally have to buy a battery and charger device. In addition, we can definitely say that 95% of all UAV pilots will be completely satisfied with the QX7 equipment.
Nevertheless, if you decide to assemble a serious multifunctional drone, then in this case only the X9D + will be relevant, since the abundance of add-ons, additional buttons and switches will come in handy.
Where can I buy?
Any of the presented equipment can now be purchased on various Internet trading platforms.
At the moment, the average price of Taranis X9D+ hardware is $230; Taranis Q X7 will cost – $135.