Review: Frsky Tandem X20 Radio Transmitter – Dual Band with EthOS

Review: Frsky Tandem X20 Radio Transmitter – Dual Band with EthOS

Frsky kindly despatched me their newest radio, the Tandem X20 for overview. At the time of publishing, Frsky continues to be engaged on perfecting the working system. I this publish I’ll share the principle options and what you possibly can anticipate from Frsky’s newest providing.

What I’ve here’s a pre-production unit, so issues may change within the last model, particularly software program. If there’s any new options or enchancment, I’ll let you recognize immediately by updating this publish.

There might be 3 variations, Standard, S, and HD. What I’m reviewing right here is the Standard model.

The following desk explains what options the S and HD variations could have on prime of the usual model. Note that the HD could have “built-in 0ms latency HD digital Video Transmission System (720p 60FPS)”, which is tremendous fascinating! It’s good to see some competitors for DJI 🙂

It might be utilizing the display screen to show reside FPV video too which could be very neat, and it’ll have HDMI output to different screens or FPV goggles.

  • Beautiful construct high quality – completely reside as much as its $300 worth level IMO
  • NO OpenTX! It’s utilizing a brand new system referred to as EthOS, developed by Frsky
  • Dual Bands: 2.4GHz and 900MHz are constructed into the radio
  • Supports exterior RF module with its Lite module bay (NOT JR), it would assist Crossfire sooner or later
  • Frsky claims the utmost vary is as much as 50Km to 100KM with extremely low end-to-end latency all the way down to 3ms
  • 800*480 Color Touch Screen
  • It has built-in gyro, you possibly can management an RC car by merely transferring the radio
  • Hall-Sensor Gimbals with CNC Metal Panel
  • Weight: 934g together with battery

Frsky is changing OpenTX on their new radios with a brand new working system, EthOS. You can be taught a bit extra about EthOS right here:

This is how the Model Setup Page seems to be like:

After utilizing EthOS for some time now, I discover it simpler to make use of than OpenTX, all the pieces has little good icon, and it’s very straightforward to navigate and perceive regardless that it’s my first time. OpenTX is a little more like Linux whereas EthOS is extra like Windows, the place EthOS is extra graphical.

Mixer tab seems to be like this:

The consumer interface of EthOS is tremendous clear, and both OpenTX and EthOS share lots of the similar options, and so the transition was really fairly straightforward.

System Settings:

However EthOS continues to be in its early stage in terms of growth. It’s working as it’s proper now, however definitely there are nonetheless many essential choices lacking. The builders are busy engaged on EthOS, and there’s virtually a month-to-month firmware replace – my radio was shipped with 0.0.12 (January), by Feb it was 0.0.15 and now it’s already on 0.0.17. 

The Tandem X20 is just about supposed for use with Frsky’s newest Archer and Tandem receiver households.

But it would additionally assist older receivers that runs ACCESS protocol, in addition to the ACCST 2.0 D16. Note that it’s ACCST V2! It doesn’t assist the older ACCST V1 (each D8 and D16). If you have to use ACCST V1, you will get an XJT Lite module and plug it to the again of the radio (which additionally helps L9).

The upcoming Tandem receivers might be utilizing each 2.4GHz and 900MHz frequencies concurrently, making them much more versatile. And the claimed most vary of this method can be as much as 50km to 100Km with extremely low latency, sounds very spectacular certainly.

Does it assist TBS Crossfire, now?

No, however Frsky is engaged on it as we communicate. Right now, the X20 helps the next exterior modules:

  • XJT Lite
  • R9M Lite
  • R9M Lite Access
  • R9M Lite Pro Accesss
  • PPM

TBS Crossfire will not be on the record but, additionally the Crossfire Lite module doesn’t match within the X20 module bay, as a result of the deal with of the radio get in the way in which of Crossfire’s SMA connector!

Frsky is conscious of this problem and hopefully it will likely be addressed by the point the X20 is launched. Personally I would like the X20 to assist Crossfire so badly as I’m so invested in it (9 out of 10 of my quads are Crossfire), if I needed to exchange all of the receivers, that might get actually costly.

The Frsky Tandem X20 seems to be actually skilled and the construct high quality is simply good.

The display screen is a 800×480 coloration contact display screen – it’s intuitive to make use of and responsive, definitely an excellent addition to menu navigation. It’s so good to have whenever you need to get to a specific choice immediately with out clicking by means of 1,000,000 different choices.

The show is vibrant and the viewing angle is great.

There are 8 switches on the X20, the configuration is strictly the identical as the opposite Frsky’s radios such because the Taranis X9D and Horus X10.

There are 6 “Quick-Mode Custom Buttons” subsequent to the menu buttons. The pink slider within the centre is simply an extra slider on prime of the 2 customary sliders on the perimeters.

The X20 has inside antennas for each 2.4GHz and 900MHz (hidden contained in the radio housing), and there are additionally SMA connectors if you wish to connect exterior antennas for higher vary. You can select which antenna to make use of within the RF settings.

Between the SMA connectors, there are extra connectors below the rubber cowl, from proper to left: Trainer port, S.Port (GoodPort) for flashing receivers/RF modules, USB-C port for charging and knowledge, micro SD card slot and three.5mm headphone jack. There are a few empty spots within the center, these are reserved for the costlier fashions, corresponding to mini HDMI port for video output.

Note that the Tandem I obtained didn’t include an SD card. See my suggestion on which SD card to get in your radio.

There are two momentary buttons on the again of the radio (subsequent to the module bay).

On the again, there’s an exterior “Lite” module bay (not JR). The radio comes with a 2S 4000mAh LiPo, which might be charged by means of the USB-C port.

The Tandem X20 has all of the anticipated options of a excessive finish OpenTX radio, corresponding to voice learn out and haptic suggestions (vibration). You can even use the sound pack designed for OpenTX such because the Amber sound pack within the X20, in addition to mannequin photographs designed for OpenTX radios just like the TX16S. The Telemetry display screen is simply as customizable as OpenTX.

Comparing the Radiomaster TX16S to the X20 facet by facet, the X20 is barely bigger. They each weigh round 935g together with battery, however the X20 appears like a extra strong radio in fingers due to the matte, rubbery end.

Also the X20 feels extra balanced when I’m holding it, as a result of the gimbals are positioned within the center, whereas the TX16S feels a bit extra backside heavy because the gimbals are positioned on the highest half of the radio.

Although the rubbery, matte end of the radio seems to be and feels actually skilled and top quality, it’s additionally a “mud magnet” 🙂 You’ve most likely seen how dusty the radio’s received after only a week of use within the photos.

They even offered add-on grips which you could slide onto the perimeters, it provides some thickness to the radio when you’ve got massive fingers and like chunkier grips.

I’d really feel extra snug utilizing the X20 as a thumber.

As a pincher, I really feel like there’s lack of area on the highest of the radio to relaxation my center finger. I may nonetheless pinch with the X20, however typically I’d accidently hit the switches on the highest with my center fingers, and it’s sort of awkward. Maybe it takes some getting used to.

You can modify gimbal pressure by eradicating the 2 rubber covers on the handles, with out eradicating the entire again housing. But it’s fairly arduous to see which screws you’re turning. And to eliminate the ratchet on the throttle stick (which is default), you need to take the radio aside to do it.

This is all I’ve to share for now. You can examine the worth of the Tandem X20 right here:

I’ll preserve coming again to replace this publish as I be taught extra about this radio, in the meantime when you’ve got any questions simply let me know.