Note: The difference between the X18 and the X18 SE are a higher quality screen with improved visibility in direct sunlight and the custom red paint job.
The FrSky Tandem X18 is a dual-band telemetry radio that features a color touch screen display, ergonomic design, Tandem dual-band RF system (2.4 & 900), and most importantly Ethos - Frsky’s newest operating system. It boasts an impressive end-to-end latency, ergonomic design featuring low weight and a thin profile, natural switch, button, and slider positioning, hall effect gimbals as well as built in mass storage.
The biggest innovation in this radio lies in its software, Ethos, which has been designed from the ground up to encapsulate the power and flexibility of OpenTX while retaining the ease of use and user interface of a menu-driven system. It features customizable elements such as sounds, model images, and splash screens, while also including an easy to use setup wizard, tips while programming, along with preset and complex mixing options and flight modes.
Ethos makes quick work of programming simple planes or something complex like a full-house glider. If you are familiar with OpenTX, Ethos will feel really familiar but faster and easier to use. If you are coming from a menu-driven system, Ethos is a supremely powerful and easy to learn software that will have you up and running in no time. We like to say that Ethos can do whatever you can think of for a radio to do! Yeah, it can do that.
The X18 also boasts some features new to FrSky radios. A crisp and responsive 480 x 320 touch screen that is easily visible in sunlight, backed by a more powerful CPU. If you prefer button navigation, full functionality is still available through the normal nav buttons, so no need to touch the screen.
USB-C charging (2A+), an included 4000mah LiPo battery pack, and FrSky’s robust telemetry system with a huge selection of receivers to meet any need.
For those that may be new to FrSky, you will be getting the most robust telemetry system ever built into a hobby level radio. From simple voltage and signal strength monitoring that has helped avoid countless accidents to advanced features like monitoring amp loads for an individual servo, fuel flow sensors, air speed, and so much more, you will not find a better telemetry system in the hobby.
Here are a few more highlights:
6 Quick-Mode Custom Buttons on lower front
2 Momentary finger tip Buttons on the rear
External Module Bay for other RF options, etc (Lite Type)
Haptic Vibration Alerts and Voice Speech Outputs
High-speed PARA Wireless Training System
High-Precision Hall-Sensor Gimbals with CNC Metal Panel
M4 Gimbal stick ends Sbus, S-Port and F-Port
Integral flash memory storage with SD card slot
Easy-to-reach top switches and sliders
Included in the package:
Soft Sided EVA Travel Case
Lithium Battery Pack
X18 Tandem Transmitter
Here's a link to the professionally written Ethos manual page.
To get to the manual follow the link, then click on one of the release links on the right. Most folks will want to click on the one labeled "latest." From there you will click on assets, and then the manual is in the item labeled "source code."
So far, I’m a big fan
IMO this radio provides pretty much all the flexibility of OpenTx and marries it to a user-friendly system that doesn’t require coding experience to program. So many things that help prevent costly brain-lapses: VFR alerts, RSSI alerts, rx battery voltage alerts, altitude alerts, you name it and you can program it. I thought having a photo of your model on the Home Screen was a gimmick until I realized that it really helps make sure you’re on the correct model. The radio won’t let you fly the wrong model anyway. I’ve skipped the CNC gimbals on the X18s and spent my dollars on receivers instead. Don’t regret it. The feel of the radio is quite splendid.
X18 - Fantastic radio
After 25+ years on my trusty Futaba 9cap I finally upgraded to this X18. The programming flexibility can feel intimidating depending on what you're used to, but I've actually found Ethos to be relatively intuitive. The included Tx "manual" from Frsky is sparse and basic but reflects the well laid out, uncluttered physical design of the Tx. I like how the screen and carry handle are positioned, they're functional and their placement also provides a little general handling protection for the switches, unlike my old 9cap where they are very vulnerable. Overall a comfortable Tx to hold and fly with. 4000mAh Tx battery is a nice touch too. The downloadable Ethos manual (see Aloft forums under Ethos) is detailed, logical and includes extremely helpful examples for a standard full-house power model, glider with butterfly mix, flying wing, and a flybarless heli. What took hours and sometimes several attempts on the Futaba 9cap, now take minutes.
Great radio software still work in progress I can work with Still different between it and the X20 So something are different
I am definitely learning how to operate this TX. Bought it because I needed more channels than my MX8 (which I also like) and couldn't pay $1,000+. Feels good in my hands and switch/button locations make sense. Menu system is pretty easy to navigate and I found a couple good Youtube people to help me learn how to program.