FrSky has released N number of radios and their FrSky Taranis X9D family of transmitters are the most commonly used radios in the RC community because of its versatility and features & low pricing compared to competitions such as Futaba, Spektrum, etc., FrSky has managed to stay at the helm of the RC community as a whole. In this FrSky Taranis X9D review, we will look at the Taranis X9D and see if it is worth purchasing after all this time and whether it is the right choice for you.

 

FrSky X9D Initial Impressions

The initial impressions of the X9D are quite strikingly similar to an old radio from another brand.

The Taranis X9D comes in a very jagged plastic casing in a silver colour and from its first look, doesn’t seem of high quality for me personally. You have a lot of switches and knobs along with the gimbals and a large monochrome LCD display to configure your settings etc. It is flanked by 6 momentary buttons which are “MENU/PAGE/EXIT/+/-/ENT”, these buttons allow you to control the settings etc from the LCD.

 

You also see the usual “trims” beside the gimbals for trim throttle, yaw, roll and pitch. In the middle is the big switch to turn on the device. Luckily, this switch is not hardwired but rather a software switch; so in case you accidentally flick the switch to the off position while flying, the transmitter will ask for a confirmation(provided you have a received bound and turned on) if you would like to turn off the radio. This is great to prevent accidental power off during usage.

 

The Build Quality

The gimbals on the FrSky Taranis X9D are the basic, traditional potentiometer based gimbals which are enough for beginners and for those who do not use their transmitter all the time because you lack the precision and the longevity of a hall-effect based gimbal system. You can however always purchase the upgrade M9 hall-effect gimbal for about 25$ from HorusRC or other hobby stores.

Coming to the switches, they are of decent quality and the switches are nice tactile ones with good ‘clickiness’. The switches are mostly 3 position switches

 

Features

The X9D comes with a lot of extra features that weren’t usually available at the price point

You have open-source firmware (Open TX) that runs on the TX and gives you regular updates with more features, a really nice LCD monochrome screen where you can change all your settings and options provided by the OpenTX firmware.

  • OpenTX Firmware
  • RSSI alarms (warns you of reception problems before it becomes an accident)
  • 16 channels with internal XJT module with ACCST firmware
  • 64 mixers, 9 flight modes
  • 16 custom curves with 3-17 points each, 32 logic switches
  • 60 Model memory which is expandable with the SD card (comes with 1GB SD card)
  • Audio Speech outputs
  • USB and SD card slot for unlimited memory, and firmware upgrades, sound editing.
  • Potentiometer gimbal
  • Super-low latency for ultra-quick response (9ms)
  • Big Display
  • Real-time data logging
  • Traditional JR Style module bay for external RF modules
  • Powerful processor

The back of the X9D has 3 ports, the JR module bay and the battery compartment with support of 2-3S batteries. Batteries aren’t included in the X9D when you purchase it. The JR module bay supports all the standard external modules that fit in the standardized JR bay, these modules include the FrSky R9M module, the Team Black Sheep Crossfire, Spektrum modules and others. You can even create your own module if you want ;)

Right under the JR bay, you find the mini USB connector which is flanked by two 3.5mm jacks. The USB port is for firmware updates and simulator use. The 3.5mm jacks are for audio out in case you need to use a headphone or external speaker, I doubt anyone would use this but it is nice that it is there. The other 3.5mm jack is for ‘buddy boxing’ or trainer port, this is for connecting another transmitter in tandem to help newcomers learn how to fly. It works in a master-slave configuration. This used to be a very well used feature back in the old RC days but nowadays it is rarely used.

 

Ergonomics

The Ergonomics of the FrSky X9D is basically based on personal tastes and feel. Personally I am not a huge fan of the size and feel of this radio but as you have probably seen, the X9D is the most popular radio used around the world (along with the FrSky X9D Plus). The gimbals are located in such a way that both thumbers and pinchers can use it very easily with full stick deflection. Another part is that the switches are a bit too crowded for me and I personally don’t use many switches, being an FPV pilot.

 

The FrSky X9D is an old and outdated radio as of now and has been replaced with the FrSky X9D Plus and many others and so it doesn’t make sense to purchase the X9D at this point in time but if you get a second hand one at a steal price, you could use it as spare radio or maybe use it to teach newbies and bring them into the hobby ;). With this FrSky Taranis X9D Review, I hope you have got an idea about this radio.