The Taranis Q X7, best know as the X7 is closely based on the very popular Taranis Plus, a radio that has been very well received thanks to its features and low price point. For the X7, FrSky has taken a close look at what could be improved, and focused on reducing the sell price, The end result is amazing. With nearly all of the power and features of the Taranis Plus, but a much lower price point.
First off you will notice the modern case design. While about the same size as the Taranis Plus, the ergonomics of the radio are excellent. Upon first contact with the radio you will feel the large rubber grips on the back, and notice the gentle angles on the front. The switches and sticks are perfectly located for both small and large hands. Trims are easy to get too, and the power switch is flush, and must be held down an extended period of time to turn off, you will not accidentally turn this radio off in flight! The navigation of the radio is greatly improved with a rotary encoder on the right of the screen, and 3 buttons on the left.
We like to point out one of the cool things about FrSky as a company, typically when a radio company comes out with a new lower price transmitter, they we severely limit the radio. FrSky does not do this. The X7 has nearly all of the same features as the Taranis Plus, Taranis X9E and even the top of the line Horus. They all have 16 channels, and can be expanded to 32 channels, FULL telemetry built in, speech, tons of mixing, lots of model memories, logic switches, the ability to base mixes off of telemetry data, external module bay, and so much more. It is much easier for me to tell you what this radio lacks when compared to the Taranis Plus. The X7 has a lower resolution LCD display, no micro SD card, no side sliders, no battery, and no battery charger. That is about all I can think of.
How about the cost of accessories? We all know that a low price transmitter is not much good if you don't have a nice selection of receivers and sensors. FrSky now offers one of the largest selections, but if that was not enough, they also have excellent prices on them! You can afford to outfit your fleet, and you will be confident knowing your models are well protected as FrSky's RF system is rock solid with an excellent reputation. There is a reason people trust their large scale, turbine and competition aircraft to FrSky!
Let's talk a bit about the battery options. FrSky has always used NiMH based batteries in their radios. They are cheap, work great and have no shipping restrictions, but some folks complain that they rather use lithium based cells. Well, FrSky has listened. The X7 comes with a battery clip that you can drop in normal AA cells into, or you can remove the battery clip and use a 6 cell NiMH or 2S Lipo, Life or other battery pack. It just needs to fit in the battery compartment and have a 2S battery connector to plug into the X7. (These batteries will need to be charged externally from the radio.) All of the FrSky radios are very efficient, so regardless of what battery you select, you should be rewarded with long battery life.
The radio will be sold with different options. You may be able to select a NiMH battery pack at the time of purchase. Unless otherwise noted, it does not include a charger. You will need to use a smart charger to charge this battery.
Are you heavily invested in another RF system? No worries, the X7 has a normal JR style module bay on the back that will accept modules for other transmitting protocols. In the model setup you simply tell the system if you are using the external module, and it shuts down the internal FrSky module. Now you can use your UHF, Futaba, Spektrum, JR, Aisin, and other receivers if you have a transmitter module that fits in a JR style module bay.
The X7 ships with OpenTX 2.2 an open-source software that has been developed by hobbyist’s in the R/C community. The programmers of the transmitter’s firmware and companion software which will run on Linux, Windows, and Macintosh are very receptive to input and requests from users. If you can think of it, chances are the X7 is capable of doing it. (As of this writing, OpenTX 2.2 is not in full release, so the companion software is not yet fully compatible with older radios and only available in a beta build for Windows. We are told it is very close to full release.)
This is getting a little long, so here are the bullet points.
Included in the package:
In the video below we show you how to adjust your gimbals. When removing the centering on the throttle gimbal, you do not need to adjust that first spring they show in this video, and please be very careful when closing the case, the pins in the module bay need to be carefully aligned, do not force the case shut! You can easily bend the module pins, and this is not covered under warranty.