Top 5 Radio Control Transmitters of 2017
If you are planning to build your own quadcopter from scratch, you will need to get your hands on a radio control transmitter. Here, we are going to discuss the top 5 radio control transmitters available on the market. We hope that we will be able to guide you regarding purchasing the most suitable transmitter in accordance with your needs and requirements.
You should keep in mind that transmitters only work with receivers. More often than not, when you buy a transmitter, you get a receiver in the same bundle. This is because most of the receivers are only compatible with their own transmitters. This is an important aspect that you ought to consider before you visit the market to purchase a transmitter for your quadcopter.
1 – FrSky 2.4GHZ ACCST Taranis X9D Plus and X8R Combo Digital Telemetry Radio System (Mode 2)
FrSky are the entrenched market leaders when it comes to developing top quality transmitters. The FrSky Taranis has upped the ante in terms of quality and reliability associated with RC transmitters. It utilizes the entire 2.4GHz frequency range. The Taranis Plus is an upgraded version of its predecessor and includes a backlit LCD that provides constant information about your flight.
The controller has been designed keeping in mind the OPEN TX software. It has 8 programmable switches, two twist knobs and two lateral slider pots. It also includes a SD card slot that lets you have access to lots of storage capacity. It is loaded with complete telemetry and RSSI signal. The three modes and receiver lock ensures that your quadcopter won’t crash before the wrong selection of the model. This is my favorite controller and you will definitely enjoy your time with it. Having said that, it is a bit high-priced so I would only recommend it to you if you are an intermediate to advanced dronie who has some flying experience behind his back.
It boasts tons of features that can only be generally associated with more expensive variants. It was designed in tandem with RC hobbyists which implies that actual FPV drone pilots have been involved in its development and they have integrated everything you need for a sensational FPV flight. The OpenTX software is open-source which means that developers from all over the world are always looking to update it. The controller has 3-way switches and supports 16 channels. The backlit LCD also comes with navigation buttons which make them very handy. On the whole, this is my favorite controller and it definitely is worth buying.
2 – Turnigy 9X
I have used this compact sized controllers for a number of multi-rotor devices. It provides a control range of a whopping 1500 feet (500 meters). Owing to its complicated menu, it takes some time to get configured. Having said that, as soon as you get a hang of it, it becomes a piece of cake. It includes an integrated 2.4GHz antenna and can be bought for just $60.
Nevertheless, this transmitter does has its downsides. The antenna wire is directly soldered into the circuit which means that it does not include a removable connector. So, you will have to unsolder it to add a different 2.4GHz module such as FrSKy one. The 8-cell AA battery holder is a really tight fit which means that one has to wrestle really hard to get the battery cover back on. The worst thing about it all is the beep that is sounded whenever you press any button. I got rid of the frustrating beep by cutting the wire to the speaker and adding a 220 ohm resistor. But keep in mind that this is an affordable transmitter and worth buying as well.
3 – Futaba T8FG Super
This is a 2.4GHz system that supports 14 channels. It boasts an attractive design and provides a nice comfortable grip. The switches and gimbals are of decent quality as well. The antenna can be folded which makes the controller easily portable. It includes a SD card slot that assists in enhancing its storage capacity.
Having said that, it does not support telemetry and the neck-strap with it can be really annoying. It is priced at the higher end of the price spectrum.
4 – Spektrum DX6i
It offers 6 channels, 10 model profiles, 6 two-way switches and utilizes DSMX technology. You must be familiar with the fact that you need four channels at the minimum to fly a drone for throttle, yaw, pitch and roll. The two extra channels in this controller let you add a couple of extra switches. For instance, you can add a switch to switch between rate mode and another one to trigger horizon flight mode. There are some downsides associated with this controller though as well. It has only two way switches which is highly impractical since we only have a low position and a high position. A three way switch would allow you to add another value to the same channel. Nevertheless, this controller is very easy to set up. Its selector interface is extremely intuitive and beginners can go through it with ease without having to connect it to a computer. It presents a nice feel in the hands while the finish is great. It does not boast telemetry, three-way switches, backlit LCD, audio speech output and additional channels.
Setting up the controller is a piece of cake. It comes with a selector interface that makes menu navigation very simple. The LCD screen is very small and is not backlit.
5 – Flysky i8 8CH Radio Control Transmitter 2.4GHz
This device has been designed for multi-rotor devices only. It comes loaded with 8 channels and boasts a build quality that is similar to APM and Pixhawk controllers. It is an easy-to-program controller.