FrSky Taranis Beginners Support Group
Welcome beginning Taranis users, experienced users and all others curious about the FrSky Taranis.
Recently on an RCU message board concerning Futaba radios, several fellow Taranis users agreed that the FrSky Taranis was under represented on RCU and a "Taranis for Beginners" thread might be helpful. So here it is. Of Course everyone is welcome but please lets keep it focused on basic programming and set up for the sport level modeler.
First let me say that I am not a Taranis expert! I'm just a long time sport modeler that started flying in the Kraft-Orbit-Ace days. I purchased one of these awesome radios about a year ago and love it!
Programming the Taranis was a little confusing at first but the basic concepts clicked pretty fast and it was only a few hours before I was out flying with my new radio. I am able to make the radio do what I need it to do, but it really has way more capability than I'll ever need. Still, it's nice to know I'll never be hampered by my radio when encountering something new. After a year I'm still figuring it out as I go, especially if I want to do something out of the norm.
So what is a Taranis?
The Taranis is an 8 channel, expandable to 16 channels (maybe even 32!), 2.4 ghz computer radio manufactured by FrSky and costs about $200 for the transmitter. Receivers run about $20 to $40 but usually when you buy a Taranis you get just the transmitter, battery and charger. Some dealers sell a combo package that includes the radio with battery and charger, spiffy aluminum case, receiver and neck strap.
Why is it unique? Or 10 really cool features.
1. The Taranis runs open source software called OpenTX. This means that FrSky does NOT own the software on the radio! The software is public domain software and constantly improved and modified by hobbyists like us that also like to program computers as well as fly airplanes. FrSky loads the software on the radio for you as a courtesy.
2. The OpenTX software on the Taranis has capabilities commonly found on systems costing many times more than the $200 or so commonly paid for the Taranis.
3. The Taranis is "Crowd Supported". That means that because FrSky does not own or produce the software. They do not support the software, instead the software is supported by enthusiastic users like US! There IS a Taranis manual but you won't get it from FrSky, you get it on line and it is written and supported by fellow users. So if you get stuck or have a question not addressed in the manual, message groups like this one are where you must look for answers.
4. Just about every Taranis part you can imagine is available for purchase from Taranis dealers. Drop your radio and bust the case? No worries, buy a new one for $20 or so.
5. The Taranis has an EMPTY slot in it's back for a Spektrum, Futaba or even another FrSky module! Have some "Bind and Fly" planes? Just buy a compatible module and now you are transmitting like a Spektrum, JR or Futaba radio depending on the module.
6. You CAN program the Taranis right on the radio, some even prefer it, BUT there is software available for your computer that runs on Windows and Macintosh systems that also allows you to program your Taranis, upload sound files, as well as update the Taranis software, and save all of your airplane files to your computer hard drive. This software also acts as a Taranis simulator allowing you to try different things out first on the simulator before loading to your Taranis.
7. The Taranis will talk to you! You can program the Taranis to announce in any voice (even your own voice), functions, settings, switch positions, flight conditions, battery voltage, signal strength, altitude, rate of climb, time of day, favorite song, or just about anything you want!
8. The Taranis has telemetry. Telemetry means that the RECEIVER has a TRANSMITTER that transmits back to your Taranis anything you want to know, depending on your installed sensors. Receiver battery voltage and received signal strength are built into most FrSky receivers designed for Taranis.
9. The Taranis & the computer software both have a "WIZARD" that assists you in setting up your radio by asking questions about your aircraft and then modifying the settings based on your answers.
10. If you have a module installed in the back of your Taranis, the Taranis can transmit from the built in Taranis transmitter system AND the module at the SAME TIME for 16 total channels and increased redundancy.
One more interesting note about the Taranis; It usually does NOT come packaged in a cool looking glossy cardboard box with an FrSky logo, also lacking is any sort of a useful printed owners manual. All that stuff costs big money and we want all we can get for $200.00, right? Besides you can download a manual, with color pictures, online that you can view on your phone at the field, your Ipad at home, even on your computer at work! Printed manuals are "Old School", everyone wants to be green these days!
A couple Taranis links to get you started:
A great place to buy a Taranis or Taranis parts and receivers: www.alofthobbies.com
Here is the manuals for OpenTX: http://www.open-tx.org/documents.html
Finally, the grand daddy of all Taranis message boards can be found on RCGroups, over 40,000 posts and 3.5 MILLION views! Hopefully our thread will be a bit more sedate and always sport flyer focused.
So that is it in a nut shell. Now you know a bit about the capabilities of the Taranis, why I have one, why this thread exists, and a couple Taranis links to get started.