Tuesday, 17 April 2018

FrSky Q-X7 - an F3F-ready transmitter for £100!

The FrSky Q-X7 may not have the looks - or the price tag - of a premium radio, but don't let that fool you! In this post I'll highlight key aspects of this transmitter, and explain why you should give it a further look.

FrSky Taranis Q-X7

Operating system and features

The QX-7 comes with OpenTx installed. It offers the same programming capability as the X9D, X10 and X12S - the only significant difference is in the number of switches and sliders provided.

FrSky's proprietory FrOS is not available for the Q-X7, but in any case FrOS is too limited for F3X models. OpenTx on the other hand, is a great platform. (Note: at the time of writing, the Q X7 comes with OpenTx 2.2.0. If you want to use my Pro templates then you'll need to flash OpenTx 2.2.1 or later.)

Other features include: external bay for JR-style modules, audio/speech output, vibration alerts, integrated telemetry, and data logging. Pretty darned impressive for a £100 radio!

Widgets

The Q-X7 comes with six switches and two rotary knobs, sufficient for most slope soaring applications. If you need more switches, or sliders (for example for my F3J and F5J templates), then you should be looking at the X9D+.

Batteries

The unit is supplied without batteries. On the positive side, it means you can choose your favourite chemistry (NiMH, or 2/3S Lipo) and use your existing charger. A battery hatch provides access for charging and swapping packs.

Menus

Due to the smaller screen, the programming menus are organised slightly differently compared with the X9D, X10 and X12S, however all the functions are there. A nice touch is the scroll wheel in place of the +/- buttons on the X9D.

Gimbals

The gimbals on the Q-X7 are ball raced and equipped with potentiometers. If you really must have the latest Hall gimbals, then you can replace the stock units with a pair of M7s. Alternatively go for the Q-X7S which has these pre-installed.

FrSky Q-X7S - similar to the Q-X7 but with Hall gimbals and angled switches

RF link

The RF link and supported protocols are the same as that of the X9D Plus.

Ergonomics

If I can find a weakness in the Q X7, it's the shape of the box. Many thumb fliers will find the angular form less than optimal, and pushing the stick in the corners is more of a stretch compared with the X9D.

Summary

The Q-X7 makes a fine transmitter for slope soarers. It supports my F3F template v5.0, as used by several F3F pilots in the UK and abroad. Adrian Chapman Law is planning a return to competitive F3F with this combo, here's his video:


Here's Ade again, this time dynamic soaring the Tango with the Q-X7 and F3F template:




The total cost of the Tango + Q-X7 is just £900. In conjuction with my free F3F template, it makes for an affordable and effective package for F3F - a fact which I hope will encourage more people to dust off their hiking boots, and try out this exciting branch of the hobby.

Links

F3F Template (OpenTx Clinic)
FrSky QX-7

No comments: