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 be fooled - it's a remarkably capable device which is fully capable of driving an F3F model to the extremes. In this post I'll highlight key aspects of this transmitter, and explain why it offers such ground breaking value.

FrSky Taranis Q-X7

Operating system and features

The QX-7 comes with OpenTx and offers the same programming capability as the X9D, X10 and X12S - the only significant difference is in the number of switches and sliders provided. (Note that if you want to use my templates you'll need to flash 2.2.1 as this contains some bug fixes over the 2.2.0 supplied.)

It's perhaps worth mentioning that FrOS is not available for the Q-X7, it's purely an OpenTx platform - and all the better for it in my view. The lack of servo curves and cascading channels makes FrOS clumsy and awkward to program for F3X applications. OpenTx on the other hand, is a great platform for the kind of sophisticated mixing needed on F3X models.

But I digress... other nice features include: external bay for JR-style RF 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 the X9D is the better option.

Batteries

The unit comes 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.

Summary

The Q-X7 makes an excellent 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:



Lowering the bar

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 boots, and try out this fascinating branch of the hobby.

Links

F3F Template (OpenTx Clinic)
FrSky QX-7

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