Now that you have decided to go long-range and chosen the TBS Crossfire Micro transmitter module, you are in for a thrill ride. If you have not got it yet, this is where you can get one of yours. If you own a Taranis X9D and QX7, there are a few rather simple steps that need to be undertaken if you want it to work seamlessly.
Update the firmware
The firmware has to be updated to OpenTX 2.2.X in the case of both the Taranis X9D and QX7. In order to update the firmware, move onto the Nighty Builds section of this webpage and get any version downloaded.
Keep in mind that these are Beta builds and you are simply using them at your own peril.
You will also be required to download the contents of the SD card.
Once the OpenTX companion has been downloaded, open it and click the tiny gear button to open the preferences menu.
In the displayed screen, check the Lua radio box.
Choose the Applications Settings tab at the top and then choose the User Firmware nighty builds button.
It is time to get your transmitter and a USB cable.
With the horizontal trim switches held towards each other, turn on the power. The following screen will be displayed.
Get the Taranis and the computer connected via the USB and head over to the OpenTX companion. Now, click the button with the gear, radio, and red arrow symbols to write firmware to the radio. Follow the subsequent instructions to download the firmware and get it written to the radio.
With that, you have downloaded a version of OpenTX that is compatible with the TBS Crossfire Micro.
There are still a few more steps that you need to take from here on in.
Get the SD card content files extracted and get the contents copied to the SD card.
Keep in mind that the SD card will be depicted as a couple of separate drives namely Taranis which will have only two files in it and the other one will have a random name and will contain all the folders. Get the contents copied into the one with the folders and overwrite the already present contents.
Avoid copying any other LUA scripts or sound packs.
Now, copy the Firmware file that was downloaded by the OpenTX companion to the Firmware folder on the SD card.
We are done with the computer and the radio part. The Crossfire module will be updated later on. Get the Taranis disconnected.
It is time to get the Taranis restarted in the normal fashion. Once the radio has been restarted, press the menu button for some time to head over to the main radio menu. Press Page until the folders in the SD card are visible. Open up the Firmware folder and press the Enter button on the firmware file for a longer duration.
You will be prompted if you want to update the Bootloader. Press Enter to confirm.
Now, it is time we move over to the Crossfire.
Configuring the TBS Crossfire Micro
At the rear end of the Taranis X9D and QX7 is a tiny hatch that opens up to unleash a slot for inserting a module.
The TBS Crossfire Micro will be inserted into it until you hear a clicking sound of the tab. Attach the antenna that came bundled with the Crossfire and trigger the radio on.
With the radio switched on, press the Menu button just once to get to the list of models.
Move over to an empty slot and create a new model.
When you get to the model configuration screen, scroll down until you get to the Internal RF option. You can see something similar to D8 or D16 just underneath it. Press Enter on that option and scroll until you select OFF.
The option for External RF is enlisted below it.
Switch it on to reveal newer options. Press Enter on the Mode option and scroll down until CRSF is selected which is the TBS Crossfire protocol. You can choose the channel range as 1-8 or 1-16. But to be honest, a channel range of 1-8 is sufficient for a mini quadcopter.
Now, probably you would be looking to update the firmware on the TBS Crossfire Micro as well.
This can be accomplished by downloading the TBS Agent firmware utility from this link. Get it installed and get the Crossfire connected to the computer via the USB cable.
Fire the TBS Agent and follow the ensuing instructions to get the firmware updated. This step might take some time to wait for it until it gets completed.
Once the whole process has been completed, it is time to bind your Crossfire to the receiver.
Wire up the TBS Crossfire Micro Receiver
This is an amazingly small-sized receiver that is compatible with the Crossfire protocol and wiring it up is nothing but a piece of cake.
There are some accompanying wires with the receiver. I like to prefer the SmartAudio on my quadcopter, so I will be using the cable that has all the wires in it.
You can see the purpose of each wire on the receiver.
The first wire is GND that can be wired up to any GND pad on the flight controller.
The next wire is the 5V one that can be connected to the 5V pad on the controller.
The Channel 1 wire is the Transmit Wire that is meant to transmit the radio signals that is to be connected to any free RX UART on the controller.
The Channel 2 wire is the Telemetry wire that is to be connected to the UART’s TX port.
For instance, if you are using the RX3 for Ch1, then use TX3 for Ch2.
If you intend to use SmartAudio, connect the Channel 4 wire to the SmartAudio wire on the video transmitter.
Bind the Crossfire transmitter and receiver
You can use the large button at the rear end of the transmitter module to get it bound to the Crossfire. You can also carry it out via the Taranis LUA script.
Let’s do it via the script.
Fire up the Taranis, select the model that has been set up to use the TBS Crossfire and press the Menu button for a long time to enter into the main transmitter menu.
Press Page until you come across the Crossfire folder.
Enter it to view the file named as Crossfire.lua.
Run the file by pressing the Enter button for a longer duration.
The Crossfire module should be detected and the menu should be displayed prompting you to choose either TX or RX.
Keep in mind that if you are working with the Taranis X9D and QX7, a message informing you that the radio is looking for the Crossfire module might pop up. In such a case, ensure that:
- The Taranis QX7 has the latest nighty builds firmware installed
- The TBS Crossfire Micro has the latest version of the firmware
If it still fails, then download these scripts and get the existing scripts replaced in the Crossfire folder with the newer ones. The process should work with the new scripts running.
You can see the Binding button in the menu.
The micro receiver contains a single bind button. Once the quadcopter is triggered on, a red light is lit on the receiver. Press and hold the Bind button for some time on the receiver until the light is illuminated.
Press the Bind button in the menu and the light will turn green as will the light on the receiver.
The receiver is bound to the module as soon as both lights are illuminated green.
If you are prompted to update the receiver, you might as well do it. You will have to wait for a few moments and off you go.
The region and frequency settings can also be modified here. Ensure that the frequency that is being used is permitted in the country you are going to fly the drone in. You can consult your fellow drone pilots to get to know the exact permissible frequency.
The receiver has to be triggered on and bound to the transmitter to configure the failsafe. Now, move over to the folder containing the Crossfire script and run it from there.
An option for XF Micro RX will appear there. Open it.
Scroll down to the Failsafe Mode and adjust it to Cut. The signal will be terminated as soon as the link is disconnected and the quadcopter will fall down.
Now, to set up the channels in the receiver, scroll down in the XF Micro RX menu until the Output Map options are displayed.
Channel 1 is to be mapped to CSRF TX and the Channel 2 will automatically be transformed into CSRF RX.
So, if you are using SmartAudio, the Channel 4 will have to be mapped to SmartAudio.
Setting up Betaflight to use Crossfire
Once you get to the Betaflight configurator, enable Serial RX in the Ports menu regardless of the UART that you wired the receiver to.
Press Save and Reboot.
Again after rebooting, head over to Receiver menu and choose Serial RX and under Serial RX Provider, choose CSRF.
Now, scroll down and select Telemetry.
Recheck the Receiver menu to ensure that all the settings have been done accurately.
Setting Raceflight to use Crossfire
The Raceflight might allow you to use the Auto Detect Wizard. So, move over to the console and type in:
Then type save.
To enable telemetry, type in:
The receiver should be recognized. You can ensure that the inputs work fine. This can be accomplished via the Radio Setup wizard.
Issues between Taranis X9D and QX7
There have been reports by some Taranis X9D and QX7 users as they keep getting the Telemetry Lost alert.
This can be fixed by soldering a small component to the inner part of the radio or carry out a tiny software modification to make it functional but it will be accompanied by a delay.
You have already got the upgraded version of OpenTX installed on your radio and the Crossfire module has also been updated. In the Taranis, press and hold the Menu button and then press Page to get to the Hardware page.
Once you get to the Hardware page, an option for the Max Bauds is displayed.
Alter the Baud Rate from 40000 to 115200 to slow down the rate of communication between the taranis and the module. This will get the issue resolved.
We are yet to carry out the hardware modification but the StingersSwarm has compiled this phenomenal video to carry it out the procedure of Taranis X9D and QX7.