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Old 05-07-2014, 09:52 PM   #1
JetPlaneFlyer
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Default Taranis - first impressions

I've been interested in the Taranis for a while, it seemed to offer amazing features for a very reasonable price. While I'm totally happy with my Spektrum DX18 i couldn't resist the urge to pick up a taranis when i saw them in stock. i picked one up from BoltRc who are an Australian supplier who have just set up in the UK, I've got to say that their service was absolutely top notch.

Initial impressions on receiving the Taranis were quite favourable. The styling is far from cutting edge (the case is an old JR design) but in the flesh it looks fine, if not exciting. In the hand the Tx feels better than I expected, I thought I'd miss the rubber grips of the DX18 but while the grips are very nice even without them the Taranis still feels good in the hand and the sticks and switches are well positioned. the sticks also have a nice feel, I'd heard some be critical op them but to me they feel fine. I guess it doesn't quite have the same quality of feel and looks as the DX18, but it's not at all bad.

Here's the Taranis:


And next to the DX18.. note that the DX18 is quite a bit bigger:


Talking of sticks, the Tx was mode one because that's all that was in stock so first job was to swap modes. This was very easy, six screws remove the rear cover and actually swapping the spring return and throttle stick friction over was only a matter of turning a couple of screws, you don't even need to move any parts. Modes are also easy to select in the software.

First thing you notice on turning on is the voice "Welcome to Taranis" comes as a slight shock if you aren't accustom to talking Tx's. The Open Tx software user interface was what I was most curious about. To me it seemed like the Open Tx firmware could be the Taranis' biggest strength and it's Achilles heel, all at the same time. First impressions are indicating that I wasn't totally off the mark.

The software is not the most easy to get to grips with. The user interface lacks the simple template based screens that you get with Spektrum. The scroll wheel on the Spektrum is also quicker to use than the push buttons on the Taranis. The Taranis programming is highly configurable but probably because it tries to be totally customisable it's also a harder to get to grips with. However with only a couple of hours head scratching i have managed to set up a model, name it, set up all the sticks to the correct channel outputs, configure dual rates and exponential. Once you get your head around the programming it does start to make sense.

Where I really did find frustration is in connecting the Tx to my PC. To get full functionality from the Tx and to update firmware you need to hook it up to your PC and run Companion 9X software. Where the problem is, is in the flaky USB support. There is lots of help and tutorials available online but getting the Taranis connected to PC's seems like a recurring headache for many. In the end after trying all options I gave up on my PC and tried my wife's lap-top. Strangely it worked first time on the lap top So I did eventually manage to update the firmware.

The guys online tell me that there is new v2.0 firmware that will get around the USB problems, but no date when that will be available.

Anyway, frustrations about USB connectivity aside I really cant say anything too bad about the Taranis. Clearly it is a massively powerful Tx with numerous features that cant be found anywhere else at any price, I've not scratched the surface of it's abilities yet. The X8R receiver it came with is also a remarkable piece of kit, with it's built in telemetry and RSSI (received signal strength indication). I'm looking forward to testing the Taranis out on a model but I'll make it fixed wing first, I'm not quite ready to go about setting it up for a heli.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:49 PM   #2
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Is not Taranis with an A? LOL Sorry
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:00 PM   #3
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Myself, If all the Software is not already with the Transmitter, Then i dont want it, I am a Computer Dummy, and would never be able to down load software into a Transmitter and make it work, I am a baby Boomer, and all this Gizmo / software user interface, Computer stuff drives me crazy, I want Peace of Mind LOL, I Belive in KISS

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:03 PM   #4
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Default Taranis - first impressions

There's another complaint... FrSky cant even spell Teranis correctly

Well spotted!
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Myself, If all the Software is not already with the Transmitter, Then i dont want it, I am a Computer Dummy, and would never be able to down load software into a Transmitter and make it work, I am a baby Boomer, and all this Gizmo / software user interface, Computer stuff drives me crazy, I want Peace of Mind LOL, I Belive in KISS
I think you might not be alone in being put off by the complexity of the software Chellie. Truth is that you don't have to connect it to your PC. The Tx functions perfectly ok without updating firmware or such like.

Having said that. If you struggle programming (say) a simple mix into a Spekie or Jr Tx then you are really going to find the Taranis very hard going. The software has clearly been designed to be as open and flexible as possible but that does by definition mean that it's not as pre-configured as most systems.

As an example of this, say you wanted to set up elevons. On most systems there would be a pre-configures programming option for elevons. You would just select elevon, plug the servos into the appropriate channels and hey-presto you would have working elevons. You might need to reverse a channel but other than that job done.
On the Taranis you wont find any pre-configured setting for elevon, flaperon, V-tail or anything else. What you have to do is individually select what sticks drives what channel. So to set up elevon you would have to select that (say) channel two was driven by both aileron stick and the elevator stick, then adjust +/- sign of both stick inputs to give the correct movement direction. Then you would do the same for the other elevon channel (say channel 5). Once you get the idea it's actually a very logical way to work, but I still think many will find it difficult.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Myself, If all the Software is not already with the Transmitter, Then i dont want it, I am a Computer Dummy, and would never be able to down load software into a Transmitter and make it work, I am a baby Boomer, and all this Gizmo / software user interface, Computer stuff drives me crazy, I want Peace of Mind LOL, I Belive in KISS
I hear ya girl friend......I to qualify as a boomer......I like the flexibility and enormous potential the Fr Sky offers, two fly buddies have that model.

Especially since the technology is no longer PC based like the older TX's....(owned a few early models for heli's). That said, although I am very competent in the PC environment, the lack of pre-assigned (or configured) ID'ers makes things hard (for me) to keep track of without a log book or set-up files (PC) to refer to every time I change a model confiquration or add another model....it's just me! The guys I know love this thing and their all under 50yrs....lol

The KISS attributes of Spektrum, JR and Futaba make life a little less error prone, and you pay the price for that convenience....I'm all for learning more and staying on top of technology......but some aspects of RC equipment (at least for me) are better left to the fresher minds and those who have the expendible time and curiosity.....

AMA 928214
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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I saw one first hand at our field last week. Looked very nice indeed. Much nicer than I had expected and at that price point? Wow ! Talked to the guy and he absolutely loves it. He is a programmer. Explains everything.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
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TARANIS ... I think the question arises because we naturally tend to say is TERanis .. using TERRRR instead of TAAA

Product names have for ages corrupted language.

OK onto pre-configured or Template use .. most of er9x and OpenTx PRE-config templates I have come across have not been usable for my models. Reverting radio to JR or another config away from my Futaba AETR config .. leaving out a command .. wrong commands etc.

So in such radios - clean user input is better way.

Second .. online are various sites collecting up mixes / user written templates to upload via the PC links .. templates that work !
Joining one or more solves that .. and in fact a person would soon not need to know how to write mixes / programming themselves .. it will be go online .. input model and type required ... download the file .. flash to the radio .. bingo.

It's already there for 9xr ...

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:19 PM   #9
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I have two of them. I got the first one when they first became available. Had major problems learnimg how to program them but they have been flawless for about a year now.
Henry
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Second .. online are various sites collecting up mixes / user written templates to upload via the PC links .. templates that work !
Joining one or more solves that .. and in fact a person would soon not need to know how to write mixes / programming themselves .. it will be go online .. input model and type required ... download the file .. flash to the radio .. bingo.

It's already there for 9xr ...

Nigel
Nigel,

This is why I dont like using model templates written by others. If you use them you dont lean how to program your Tx, then if you want to make any personal tweaks to the set up, or if you have problems you have no idea where to start.

Personally I prefer to do it the hard way and program the model myself. I'll then use that program as a template for future similar models, this saves time but means that I still know what's under the skin of the programming.

Each to his own though, it's just good to have the options.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Nigel,

This is why I dont like using model templates written by others. If you use them you dont lean how to program your Tx, then if you want to make any personal tweaks to the set up, or if you have problems you have no idea where to start.

Personally I prefer to do it the hard way and program the model myself. I'll then use that program as a template for future similar models, this saves time but means that I still know what's under the skin of the programming.

Each to his own though, it's just good to have the options.
JPF .. I didn't mean that to say I believe in that route of not learning. I use it because I am trying to learn it but as you see it takes time.

They can be good starting blocks to see how structure then sets commands out.

But there are those out there that do not want to do all the programming .. want to have a pre-config set-up ...

Bit like the RTF and Kit model

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Old 05-08-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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When I first saw this TX come out I chuckled at the product name. First thought was the planet Uranus as in: How's Uranus? There's been some real lulu's like the Ford Probe. They had a hard time selling to women.

Off topic and I digress but here's some more that were not very successful: http://www.teamjimmyjoe.com/2012/01/.../#.U2t82E1OVdg

There's no doubt the that the Frysky 9x and Taranis community is a strong force with a lot of talented people doing things their own way versus proprietary packages. Kind of like Linux users. Open source and shared.
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:05 PM   #13
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In Europe there was the Nissan that with certain option packages ended up with the letters added to the model name on body :

SEX

Car company's spend millions searching out use of names .. but the Japs and Chinese certainly hold the title for some of the best !

Nigel

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Old 05-09-2014, 12:05 AM   #14
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According to wikipedia,Taranis was the Celtic god of thunder.
Nothing wrong with that as a name,but maybe it lost something in the translation from chinese.
It doesn't bother me,i still like the tx.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:45 AM   #15
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Once you have set up a plane with flaps gear etc, you can use that as a template to set up others and make minor changes if required.
I have set up 3 Quads, a glider with flaps and a T28 Trojan with flaps and gear and used the same template for the Glider as the Trojan with minor changes.
It becomes easy.
Chellie, I too am a so called Baby Boomer and there has been no need to upgrade my Taranis. It works fine as is.
I am loving the Telemetry side of it. I didn't think much about Telemetry till I got the Taranis. I have a couple of Varios now, one in a quad and one in my Glider and love them.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:22 PM   #16
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Can the Taranis be setup on the TX it self or does it need a computer to do everything?
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:08 AM   #17
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It is a stand-alone unit. You don't need a computer at all unless you want to upgrade firmware or use Companion 9X to make changes a bit simpler.
I just do my changes on the TX itself.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:52 AM   #18
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Want to get a punch in the nose? From about 10 ft away, ask an owner " How's your Taranis? "
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by propnut48 View Post
Can the Taranis be setup on the TX it self or does it need a computer to do everything?
It can be set up on the TX alone but being able to run Companion9x is really great. Complex mixes can be simulated and tweeked before they are loaded into the TX.

Like voice and telemetry, once you can set up a model with a full screen and keyboard, you can't imagine doing without then again.

Once it's in the TX however, I'll make adjustments to rates and expo, etc. in the TX at the field.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
In Europe there was the Nissan that with certain option packages ended up with the letters added to the model name on body :

SEX

Car company's spend millions searching out use of names .. but the Japs and Chinese certainly hold the title for some of the best !

Nigel

LOL
Before retiring, the company I worked for designed a high voltage, high current circuit breaker that used no oil for insulation, and vacuum bottle type high current contacts. (Those contacts can handle 38,000 volts, 800 Amps, and can clear 16,000 Amps on a fault)

We sold a whole bunch of them to Mexico. And found out our trade mark name of NOVA (No Oil Vacuum contacts) means something like doesn't run in Spanish.

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Old 05-23-2014, 04:00 AM   #21
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Denny,

Chevy had the same problem .
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Denny,

Chevy had the same problem .
Way off topic, but:
When I put on two 5 day classes on our circuit breaker controls in Mexico city a few years back, the guys kept talking about the Chevy cars in Mexico. I don't speak Spanish, so our agent asked them for more details.

Then, they showed me one of those Chevy cars in their parking lot. It's brand name, on the car itself was spelled "Chevy".

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Old 05-28-2014, 06:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
NOVA (No Oil Vacuum contacts) means something like doesn't run in Spanish.
Directly translated "no va" is "It doesn't go."

Chevy had a tough time selling the Nova in Mexico despite marketing seeming like it was the perfect car for like 80% of the demographic of car buyers in Mexico... Never sold a single one...

A linguist finally explained the problem they had trying to market the car called "It doesn't go" to consumers...

Another one was Gerber Baby Food could not even GIVE their baby food away in Africa... Why? Know the little pic of a cute baby? Well there were so many local dialects and languages in those regions that it became customary to put pictures of what is in the can or bottle...

The horror!!! A can of beets would conjure up a howl from the mothers looking at the baby food aisle...
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:09 AM   #24
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JPF. How are you finding your Taranis.
I have migrated nearly everything over to mine now (from 9X and Optic 6)
No problems whatsoever and loving it more every-time I use it.
I have used it mainly in quads, but also scale, sport and gliders.
I have some varios and due to get some voltage sensors soon.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:57 AM   #25
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Even though I don't own a Teranis, TX, I went through the programming instructions and concluded that the programming logic is very similar to my TX which is a Multiplex Royal EVO 9 . Basically everything is done with mixers ( definition of Mixer is different from the Mix definition of traditional receivers) . It is totally flexible . The difference is that the EVO 9 supplies several most common preprogrammed Mixer Templates to get one started. I can easily convert over to this TX . A flying buddy has one and he absolutely loves it.

The learning curve is a bit steep for those not used to programming but once the basic principles are understood it is very logical. This TX is fantastic for complex models like gliders with flaps, ailerons , air brake, crow .
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