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How to choose a radio / transmitter | Introduction to FPV drone for beginner

RadioMaster Zorro EdgeTX radio controller
Here is a summary of the basic information for choosing a radio / transmitter for Tiny Whoop / FPV drone for beginners.
If you want to start fly Tiny Whoop / FPV drone, get a radio (digital proportional transmitter) first. As long as you have a Controller, you can start practicing maneuvering using drone simulator on your computer. No qualifications or licenses are required to use the radio.

Choose Controller / Radio

The information required to select a Controller is the protocol used to communicate with the drone and whether or not a "TELEC certification" has been obtained, which indicates that it complies with the Radio Law in Japan.
The products of RadioMaster, Jumper and FrSky are famous as radios for micro drones.

Communication protocol

There are various protocols for control signals sent from Controller to Drone. You don't have to understand the protocol specifications, but you need to make sure that the protocol matches between Drone and Controller you want to fly.
Most Tiny Whoops use one of the "Frsky", "DSMX" or "Flysky" protocols. It is certain to get a Controller that supports these three. Nowadays, you can get a Controller with built-in multi-protocol module for about USD100. Alternatively, some Controllers allow you to add multi-protocol module to the module bay .
Among them, "Frsky" is the most popular protocol. When in doubt, it's a good idea to choose a drone and Radio that supports "Frsky."
Also, if you use a transceiver (protocol) called TBS Crossfire, Frsky R9M or ExpressLRS, radio waves can reach longer distances than usual (about 500 m).
In addition, "Frsky" is further classified as a subtype, and subtype "D8" is banned in Europe since 2015, and mandatory to use protocol called LBT (Listen Before Talk) in subtype "D16". For this reason, there are two models of drones / radios that support "Frsky", "Frsky Non-FCC / Frsky LBT" for Europe and "Frsky FCC / Frsky Non-EU" for other regions.

Confirmation of acquisition of 'TELEC certification' (in Japan)

TELEC certification mark
Radio transmits control signals over 2.4GHz band (2403MHz-2447MHz) radio waves. In order to use a device that emits radio waves in Japan, the device must have TELEC certification (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) . The certification is usually obtained by the manufacturer or importer applying to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and "TELEC mark" is attached to the product as shown in the figure.
Users must choose Controller with this "TELEC mark". Alternatively, although it takes time and money, you can apply for TELEC certification yourself.
Of course, even in countries other than Japan, it is necessary to use a radio that has been certified in accordance with the radio wave-related laws of each country.

Control stick / Gimbal

RadioMaster AG01 Full CNC Hall Gimbal for TX16s
Control sticks and unit of the sensor part that detects sticks movement are collectively called gimbal. Normally, radio has two gimbals on the left and right.
There are two main types of gimbals, depending on the type of sensor. One is called Hall Sensor, which uses magnetism to detect position of the sticks. The other is a method that uses electrical contacts, also called Potentiometer. Hall sensors generally wear less, so they run more smoothly, last longer, but more expensive.
Also, unlike aerial photo drones and game console controllers, stick used for throttle does not have a spring, and the stick does not return to the center even if you release your finger. Therefore, specifications of left and right gimbals are different. Right stick is the throttle gimbal for mode 1/3 radio, and left stick is the throttle gimbal for mode 2/4 radio. To switch modes, it is necessary not only to change the radio settings but also to change setting or replace the gimbal.

Module bay

Jumper T12 Pro micro module bay
Many transmitters have a module bay on the back where you can plug in an external transmitter module (sold separately). There are two sizes of module bay and external transmit modules that can be attached to them. MICRO module bay (JR / SLIM module bay) is prepared for normal size radio, NANO module bay (JR Lite module bay) is prepared for handy type radio. You can install transmitters like multi-protocol module or new protocol module such as TBS Crossfire (CRSF) (Team Blacksheep) , ExpressLRS (Official) there.

Firmware setup

Radio used for Tiny Whoop runs on open source firmware. Some settings need to be made before flight is possible. Depending on the product, it may be necessary to start by installing firmware. Various settings and adjustments can be made by connecting PC and Radio with USB cable, and using firmware companion software (Configurator).
In recent models, it seems that OpenTX, EdgeTX are often adopted as the firmware. For information on how to set up a transmitter equipped with OpenTX / EdgeTX, refer to How to use OpenTX / EdgeTX Radio page.

Bind

Controller and Drone must first perform an operation called "bind" that connects them to each other. You can bind multiple receivers (drones) to one Radio and switch between them for maneuvering, but one receiver can only bind to one Radio. When you bind to a new transmitter, it will be unbound from the transmitter you were using. (However, when using ExpressLRS(ELRS) protocol , one receiver can bind to multiple transmitters.)
To bind, first start the drone (receiver) in bind mode, then perform the bind operation on the Controller side. This procedure varies for Controller and Drones. Please read each manual carefully before operating.

Arm / Disarm

Enabling operation of drone is called Arm. After binding and turning on radio and drone, turn on Arm switch on radio to enable operations such as sticks. If you feel a danger, you can drop drone on the spot by intentionally turning off Arm switch.
Normally, Arm cannot be performed unless throttle is set to zero and aircraft is level.

Multi-protocol module

Jumper JP4IN1 MULTI-Module
With a transmitter called MULTI-Module developed in open source, one radio can handle as many as 75 different transmission protocols. This is a collection of four major communication chips CYRF6936, CC2500, A7105, and NRF24L01, also known as "4IN1 MULTI-Module" , "4-in-1" , "JP4IN1". Originally open source for personal use, it began developing in 2015 and was later sold by several manufacturers as an external module product such as Jumper JP4IN1 Multi-Protocol Module (Jumper) . Currently, it seems that it is often built into the transmitter.
You can read the list of protocols supported by MULTI-Module on Supported Protocols page of MULTI-Module official site.

ExpressLRS (ELRS)

ExpressLRS transmitter in working
ExpressLRS (ELRS) is a new communication protocol for radio-controlled aircrafts that is being developed as open source. The first firmware (Ver 0.1.0 RC1) was released in January 2021, and has been actively developed since then. The bands used are 868/915 MHz and 2.4 GHz. It has a long radio wave range and enables high-speed communication with low latency. Can be used with transmitters that support OpenTX/EdgeTX LUA scripts or TBS Crossfire (CRSF). Each manufacturer is releasing compatible products one after another. However, since it is a specification under development, improved versions of each product and firmware are appearing one after another, and some research is required to master it.

Various radios / transmitters for Tiny Whoop / FPV drones

We explain how to use the following radios. Please click the image.

RadioMaster TX16S Mk2

RadioMaster Zorro

Jumper T-Pro

Jumper T12 Pro

  • RadioMaster Zorro 2.4GHz 16CH Hall Sensor Gimbals

    RadioMaster 2022/02 USD89.99

    On-board firmware:EdgeTX(OpenTX)
    Featuring an ergonomic design, large bright LCD screen in the perfect viewing position, travel adjustable HALL sensor gimbals, a nano size external RF module bay

    Buy at RadioMaster Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • RadioMaster T8 Pro

    RadioMaster 2020/12 USD89.99

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    T8 Pro is compatible with all CC2500 protocols supported by the Multi-Module project such as Frsky D8, D16, Futaba S-FHSS, RadioLink, Graupner HoTT and more! Just select the right protocol via the menu system with the included clip on OpenTX screen control unit and fully customize your model configuration with the full capability of OpenTX at your fingertips.

    Buy at RadioMaster Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • RadioMaster TX12

    RadioMaster 2020/10 USD105.00

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Supported protocols: Corona, Hitec, Futaba S-FHSS, Frsky D16 / D8, RadioLink, Graupner HoTT. External modules are also available: Compatible with JR / FrSKY / Crossfire. Frequency: 2.400GHZ-2.480GHZ

    Buy at RadioMaster Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • RadioMaster TX16S Mark II

    RadioMaster 2022/04 USD199.99

    On-board firmware:EdgeTX(OpenTX)
    Improved internal circuity and optimized power supply. New charge circuitry with integrated reverse-polarity protection. Optimized charge IC now allows up to 2.2A internal USB-C charge current. Rear mounted audio jack provided headphone output.

    Buy at RadioMaster Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • RadioMaster TX16S

    RadioMaster 2020/04 USD199.99

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Multi-Protocol OpenTX Remote Controller(Mode 2), Includes: Transmitter, USB Type C Cable, Foam Case(Battery NOT included)

    Buy at RadioMaster Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • Jumper T-Pro Radio Transmitter Hall Gimbal 2.4G

    Jumper 2022/01 USD129.99

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    JP4-in-1 Multi-protocol module included. DSM2/X, FrSKY, SFHSS, FlySky, FlySky AFHDS2A, Hubsan and more. OpenTX/EdgeTX firmware. Hall sensor gimbals. ELRS Nano / TBS CRSF Nano compatible module bay on the rear side. USB-C internal charging. Up to 16 channels of output (depending on the receiver).

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • Jumper T-LITE Open Source Multi-Protocol RC Transmitter

    Jumper 2021/01 USD83.00

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Internal Multi-protocal module. Full Size Adjustable Hall Sensor Gimbals. Internal USB-C Charging. Removable Antenna. Battery life up to 6 hours.

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • Jumper T8SG V3 Multi-Protocol 2.4G 10CH Transmitter Radio

    Jumper USD115.00

    On-board firmware:Deviation
    Features a compact size and a host of protocol options all built in to one product. Four individual RF Chip modules are all integrated with the main internal RF Module. Various protocols can be quickly and easily selected from the model menu allowing you to bind the radio to just about any major protocol in today’s market.

    Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • Jumper T12 Pro Radio Transmitter Hall Gimbal 2.4G 16CH Open Source Multi-Protocol RC Transmitter

    Jumper 2020/03 USD129.99

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Comes with a R1F receiver, no need for you to find another compatible receiver, more convenient for fpv drone zealots like you. JP4-in-1 Multi-protocal module includes. DSM2/X, FrSKY, SFHSS, FlySky, FlySky AFHDS2A, Hubsan and more.

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • Jumper T18 Pro V2 Multi-Protocol RC Transmitter

    Jumper USD209.00

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Jumper R / C's latest work: Jumper T18 Pro V2 upgrade. The built-in 4IN1 multi-protocol module realizes long-distance control of 10KM or more. The combination of a touch panel with a 4.3-inch full-color screen and the full-featured OPEN TX makes it more intuitive and convenient to operate.

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • FrSky Taranis X-Lite S 24CH Radio

    FrSky 2019/03 USD179.99

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Ergonomic and compact design M12 Lite hall sensor gimbals Compatibility: ACCESS and ACCST D16 mode receivers. With installed ACCESS protocol Lower latency (down to 12ms) High-speed digital interface of internal and external modules.

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • FrSky Taranis X9 Lite Transmitter Access Protocol for RC Drone

    FrSky 2019/06 USD99.97

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    FrSky Taranis X9 Lite is a remarkable fusion of traditional radio design with the innovations of ACCESS protocol. The X9 Lite inherits its classic form factor from the FrSky Taranis X9D series remote control, along with completely preserving the comfort of the classic grip design, it also adds a program scroll button adding convenience when navigating the menu further improving the user experience.

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • FrSky Taranis Q X7 16 Channels Transmitter Remote Controller

    FrSky 2017/01 USD124.98

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    This is a lightweight feature packed reliable system and it comes in black or white color scheme. The radio includes a Haptic Vibration Feedback System which provides an alternative feedback system to the voice and sound alert warnings.

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • FrSky Tandem X20 Hall Sensor Gimbals

    FrSky USD430.00

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    The FrSky Tandem X20 Series is a dual-band telemetry radio system, its development has drawn on valuable feedback from FrSky’s extensive customer base, experience with previous radios and introduces many new features

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • FrSky HORUS X10 Express 24CH

    FrSky USD540.00

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Horus X10/S Express use the ACCESS communication protocol, it boasts 24 channels with a faster baud rate and lower latency equipped with a high-speed module digital interface

    Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • BETAFPV LiteRadio 3 Pro Transmitter

    BETAFPV 2022/04 USD89.99

    On-board firmware:EdgeTX(OpenTX)
    An open-source radio remote control that supports the EdgeTX system. It comes with the hall gimbals, featuring four precision bearings, adjustable spring tension, and ergonomic stick ends for an unparalleled feel. The OLED display screen on the top of the transmitter brings visually instant data and a controlling interface to users.

    Buy at BetaFPV Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • BETAFPV LiteRadio 3 Transmitter

    BETAFPV 2021/12 USD59.99

    On-board firmware:BETAFPV LiteRadio System
    This transmitter features an ergonomically designed handle and has superb performance in its working time, newly updated gimbal, and multi-protocol support (Frsky version). Besides, this version supports BETAFPV Configurator which is a utility designed to simply update, configure, and tune the radio controller.

    Buy at BetaFPV Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • BETAFPV LiteRadio 2 SE Transmitter

    BETAFPV 2021/11 USD59.99

    On-board firmware:BETAFPV LiteRadio System
    LiteRadio 2 SE is ergonomic and has the shape of a gaming controller. It's comfortable to hold, and the anti-slip texture on the handles allows for a solid grip. LiteRadio 2 SE Supports the Frsky / Futaba, pilots can easily change Futaba, Frsky D8, Frsky FCC D16, and Frsky LBT D16 mode via the radio transmitter.

    Buy at BetaFPV Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • BETAFPV LiteRadio 2 Transmitter

    BETAFPV 2020/05 USD45.99

    On-board firmware:OpenTX
    Designed for FPV racing starters, and supports Bayang protocol and Frsky protocol (D16/ D8). LiteRadio 2 is powered by OpenTX firmware. Totally 8 channels and has a hobby-grade gimbal.

    Buy at BetaFPV Buy at Banggod Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

  • Spektrum DXe DSMX

    Spektrum USD99.99

    high-end features the 7-channel Spektrum DXS radio can combine with a DMSX receiver of your choice to create the ideal system.

    Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)