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Is FrSky Taranis arguably better than Futaba?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Khudson7, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    I have a taranis…yes, so you will probably say mine is a very bios opinion. Although I do not own a Futaba, I have read extensively about it’s features on this and other forums. In particular, Ianwood’s posts really opened my eyes as to what can be done with a programmable radio like Futaba. But I went with a FrSky Taranis and have been able to duplicate everything he and others have reported being done on the Futabas, without any problem and in a number of cases even easier because of the excellent MAC/PC computer program used to program the Taranis. And in the 7 months now that I have been working with it, there are several BIG advantages I found over the Futaba.

    Advantages of taranis( over Futaba):
    1. Voice programable activation and warnings verbally let you know what switch you just clicked, any warnings programmed, timers, etc. It also will tell you when you turn it on of any switches or dials are not set to your pre-determined starting point.
    2. Has RSSI(this is the signal strength of the radio to receiver in a % number. You will know and can set up voice warnings if your signal strength is approaching a lost signal(less than 40%), so you can head back before letting it go to RTH and having to depend only on that.)
    3. Uses openTX. This comes with a free MAC or windows compatible computer program as I mention above, that lets you do all the programming and testing with a simulator on the MAC/PC and then transfers the file to the radio...much better than trying to fiddle with programming on a tiny screen, and the simulator in this program is excellent, allowing you to test your programmable changes before you put it into the radio, thus eliminating quite a bit of running back and forth to the field to test it. Also last I checked Futaba only worked in windows which was a showstopper for me as I am a Mac guy.
    4. Uses openTX. What does this mean…besides providing all of the same programmable features as the Futaba it’s software is openTX which is open source, there are a number of programmers out there that are extending it's functionality. For instance, (I am not a programmer) I found a Lua program that someone wrote that I just plugged into my taranis that sets the pitch of the camera to 3 different speeds via a 3 way switch, and then uses a knob to move it evenly up and down(yes I know this can also be done on the futaba) but THIS program also adds a ratchet up and ratchet down to the movement so no matter where I set the dial at the start and end of this even movement it speeds up and slows down, does not stop/start the movement abruptly. Also there are a number of other useful programs out there that extend the use of the taranis with additional added screens of information etc. There are more useful programs being added everyday by a number of LUA programmers out there...

    EDIT: Here is link to how to set this LUA program up that I refer to above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htn64XRH558

    5. Programmer timers that I have set to start when I put the two sticks in the down and center position, in other words, when I start my phantom, a timer starts as well and verbally tells me each minute I am in the air. And when I stop the phantom with the throttle stick down, the timer stops and resets itself without any further input from me.

    I am sure there are a number of others but this is just off the top of my head.

    OH and I almost forgot,the BIG one....HUNDREDS of dollars less than Futaba. The Futabas are WAY WAY overpriced in my opinion, and I firmly believe the taranis offers all the same programming abilities as the Futaba with an number of additional features as listed above making it arguably BETTER than Futabas in my humble opinion.

    OK, one argument I keep hearing from some Futaba owners as it relates to a phantom is you do not have to change the receiver in the phantom as you do have to do with the taranis...something that scared me at the beginning with my limited experience then, but with plenty of help here and now in retrospect, it really is a VERY simple task.

    OK Futaba owners, if I have mis quoted or are wrong, here is your chance to offer a rebuttal. Please do not get me wrong. Although it may sound like it, I DID NOT MEAN FOR THIS TO BE A BASHING of Futaba as I know they are well proven to be a very fine programmable radio as well. But if there is something out there about the Futaba worthwhile that I have missed, I would really like to hear it. Heck, if it turns out to be THAT good, maybe I might even switch...
     
    dougmckenzie likes this.
  2. GhostMaster

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    Re: Is FrSky Taranis better than Futaba?

    I would say that are about the same, only Taranis is cheaper... A futaba at 500$ or less would not havê the same functionality as the Taranis but maybe better external quality, the Taranis outside is only plastic, but inside is a great machine with a advanced firnware.
     
  3. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Re: Is FrSky Taranis better than Futaba?

    Yelp, you are exactly right...I even had to walk over to double check. It is plastic, yet it is a very hard durable plastic and to me, feels VERY solid. Not in the least bit flimsy and I have no fear that if dropped it would not break. In fact it feels so solid to me, I never considered that in my judgement. So your point is well taken. Thanks for your input.
     
  4. GearLoose

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    Re: Is FrSky Taranis better than Futaba?

    You are very persuasive -- but I'd like to hear more about the Taranis before I part with my Futaba. :)
     
  5. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Re: Is FrSky Taranis better than Futaba?

    "Very persuasive?" Thanks, I guess...I am sure you were kidding about parting with your Futaba. That would be laughable .

    Hey I can sometimes get very passionate about my hobby. Perhaps I came on too strongly above.

    About 7 months ago I was a newer-be learning more and more from here and elsewhere about this hobby. When it came to wanting to upgrade to a programmable radio, the vast majority here seem to be using and recommending to others the Futabas almost exclusively. I have no question it is a fine programmable radio based on so many opinions. Yet on the fringe I heard a few voices here mentioning there might be another solution, that of the Taranis. After doing my do- diligence back then, I did choose to go with the Taranis.

    7 months later, and with quite a bit of experience learning and using the Taranis, I do feel pretty strongly(can't you tell) that the Taranis capabilities as a programmable radio not only match those of the Futaba but as I mentioned above, makes it...(oh no, is he going to say it again?)...arguably better in a number of ways. The ones I mentioned above are not some little used, useless side features, but rather, items I have come to depend on everyday I fly, things I don't believe are available in the Futabas.

    But my real point of writing this was for all those that might be where I was 7 months ago looking to upgrade to a programmable radio, I am that...."fringe voice out there"...trying to let others know my experiences and there is an alternative and a very good one at that.

    And...again...(sigh, is he going to say it again :oops: ) at HUNDREDS of dollars less. The Futabas in my opinion are WAY overpriced.

    For anyone that has not yet upgraded to a programmable radio at all, be it Futaba, Taranis or others, you really do not know what you are missing.(My shameless plug for any programmable radio)

    So that's it...I will put my excitement back in it's box. No offense was intended to owners of Futabas. I'm done.
     
    dougmckenzie likes this.
  6. locoworks

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    Re: Is FrSky Taranis better than Futaba?

    im looking at getting back into 'normal' RC aircraft after 7 or 8 years and still have my old 9ZHP WC2, I can get a FRSKY module and receiver for £50 and basically update to 2.4ghz cheaply minus one switchable channel as the module only does 8 channels. with a few extra bucks I can have telemetry too :)

    the down side is that the tranny has none of the premixes for quad copters etc that some of the newer tranny's out there possess.
     
  7. GearLoose

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    "Hey I can sometimes get very passionate about my hobby. Perhaps I came on too strongly above."

    Not too strong at all -- in fact, I've been circling around the idea of switching to a Taranis after hearing similar comments from other pilots. I do like my Futaba T8J but as I gain more RC experience I begin to understand its limitations. Also, I like the open source approach, the lesser price, and the thought that somewhere out there a geek in a garage is probably putting together a Taranis hack that will blow our minds.
     
  8. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Thanks for your kind comment...
    Actually I believe the software on the Taranis, called OpenTX, which is constantly being improved upon with new updated versions being added every couple of months, as well as that excellent MAC/PC program with simulator I mentioned above, called CompanionTX, have been coded by what you call "geeks in a garage", so to speak.

    There appears to be a well organized group of RC programmer geeks worldwide, passionate about this hobby and committed to improving this OpenTX paradigm. All FrSky really has done, was to put out a pretty solid radio that conforms to what this OpenTX community was doing, and is letting this community do all the constant software additions, improvements and add-ons. These programmers have done and are doing some really impressive stuff already, IMHO....
     
  9. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    If you want bulletproof radio control, the consensus seems to be Futaba. That said, the stock P2 has pretty amazing range as it is. Whatever you choose, know that FASST is the more robust protocol compared to S-FHSS. FASST is what is used in the stock P2 and changing out the stock radio receiver will do nothing but reduce your range.

    It sounds like the Taranis may have a higher degree of programmability.
     
  10. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Thanks ianwood for your input. First I sincerely respect your opinion and your posts have been very informative for me in the past.

    Having said that, I must question the inference here. I certainly am not an expert regarding FASST vs. ACCST(Taranis) protocols, but in my do-diligance way back when...I found a number of people with much more experience that me, having done the tests between the two and concluding the robustness of both to be about the same.

    Just a quick google and you can find a number of comparisons but here is one:

    Which protocol is the best? M-Link? DMSS? FASST? Others?

    Posted 19 June 2014 - 14:26 pm
    Well...

    I would say that these days all are pretty robust.

    However.... There are big differences in the end mechanic.

    ACCST and FASST seem to be the most complex, and possibly the most bullet proof.


    If you look at these on a frequency scanner, they appear pretty much like snow. Packets of data across the whole 2.4 spectrum.

    The others like DSM and FHSS tend yo use fixed channels. They choose 2 or 3 frequencies, and stick on them until such time as interference occurs - then they hop.

    I guess that's why FASST and ACCST have such fast rebinds!

    In a of noisy environment - I would think that FASST and ACCST are superior - just because they never lock to a frequency!


    To be honest, I am not a long distance flyer(too nervous for that) But I have on a number of occasions using FPV flown way past line of sight(my bad). I have NEVER lost signal and because of the RSSI I mentioned earlier, I know exactly how strong the signal strength is, between radio and phantom at all times on the screen. I also have verbal warnings set up to notify me if that signal strength ever gets below 40% the point I was told is where you are about to lose signal. In all my flying, I have never gotten a percentage below 50% and I have put it pretty far out there.

    Honestly, I am not trying to flame the Futaba(well maybe the price). And I would certainly agree from my findings with your statement as to the robustness of the Futaba. I just am not sold on the second part of your statement inferring all else is inferior.
    Regards
     
  11. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    I don't know much about ACSST or DESST (DJI's own flavor) but I've heard they are modeled after FASST.
     
  12. GhostMaster

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    Frsky will give you a better range, some got 5km with the stock Taranis and a full range receiver. With the new L9R receiver you can go to arround 10km! Yes its true...
     
  13. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    YIKES!! 10km...I had not heard about this newer L9R receiver. That would be amazing. I had heard that some have gone as much as 5km with standard taranis radio and their receiver , but alas, even that is way out of my range. But thanks for that info, GhostMaster.
     
  14. GhostMaster

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    FrSky for me its the better system out there for the <500$ value, forget any other brand, none of them will give you anything near in this price.
     
  15. GhostMaster

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  16. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Yelp, that video was VERY impressive. Perhaps(when I grow up and no one is looking... ;) :lol: )I might try a few longer distance flights. Thanks...
     
  17. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Actually, i was giving this some further thought...
    Yes, it is a further testament to the Taranis that it can handle that 10km range, but it appears from the video the pilot was using a plane. I would think a phantom would not be able to do that, mainly because I would not expect the battery to last long enough to do so. But it does say something about the signal strength in the Taranis.
     
  18. Paul K

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    +1
     
  19. PJA

    PJA

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    I have both Futaba 8J and FrSky Taranis...

    I went with the Taranis through the recommendation of an RC colleague from this site. I seemed to outgrow the Futaba and needed more channels to set up on my f550... I use the Taranis for both my Phantom and f550...

    The Taranis is a more advanced radio and is easier to set up than the Futaba, IMO...

    Voice programmable, Telemetry, Open TX, Plenty of 3 way switches, 4 pots, Cheaper price tag...

    It's made of plastic, but seems to be sturdier than my Futaba...
    My Futabas battery door hinges snapped off after a while, and I'm very careful with my equipment (cheaply made crap).

    Sorry... FrSky Taranis wins, HANDS DOWN!
     
  20. GhostMaster

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    So what? I didnt said it was with a phantom, i said its possible...

    No Futaba can reach 10km with stock receiver and transmitter.
    Change both antennas and 15km would be possible...