Beginner Series - Transmitters

by FliteTest | December 11, 2013 | (33) Posted in How To

The Flite Test Beginner Series is brought to you by Horizon Hobby

Episode 8: Transmitters


Transmitters (TX for short)

What do they do?

Transmit the control information to your plane.

Things to consider when you are looking for a transmitter are Frequency, Number of Channels, Modes, Advanced Functions, and Cost.

Frequency / Protocol

72 MHZ -

  • Older
  • Longer Range
  • Can interfere with others

2.4 GHZ

  • Most common
  • Shorter antenna
  • Frequency hopping
  • Proprietary protocols - Brand specific

Number of channels

4 or 5 Channel - Throttle/Rudder/Ailerons/Elevator

  • Less expensive
  • Not good to grow with
  • Usually come with RTF

6 or more - Throttle/Rudder/Ailerons/Elevator/Landing Gear/Flaps

  • 6 channels is usually all you need
  • More expensive radios have nicer gimbals


  • 1 and 2 are most common
  • Everything Flite Test does involves MODE 2
  • Different modes aren’t better… just different

Advanced Functions

  • Display Screen
  • Multiple Model Memories
  • Training features (Buddy box)

  • Expos - Gives you more precise control but still lets you use the full throw.
  • Dual rates - Makes the servo move less or more in relation to the stick.
  • Mixing - Example: Elevons

Cost - What makes the price go up?

  • More channels
  • Better quality
  • The price of the RX’s
  • Advanced features
  • Better resolution


  • Video explaining both expos and dual rates:

  • Makes the stick softer around mid-stick (or quicker depending on the direction!)

  • Comes from the exponential curve in mathematics

  • Negative values on futaba and hitec, positive on Spectrum

  • Gives you more precise control but still lets you use the full throw

Dual Rates

  • Video explaining both expos and dual rates:
  • Makes the servo move less in relation to the stick

  • Usually set up on a switch so you can switch in mid flight

  • Great for maidening new planes

  • Some people prefer dual rates over expos (We say use both)




Crashpilot1000 on December 14, 2013
Junk Spektrum stuff but nice episode.
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klaw on December 22, 2013
The episode was sponsored by Horizon Hobby, what did you expect?
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Kael87 on December 11, 2013
Loved the explanation about dual rates and expos, its the firts time i get that ! Thx again.
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hornerj99 on December 12, 2013
Same here. Great visualization and great series overall!
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Paulshort on December 12, 2013
can you guys do a review on the orange rx T6 from hobbyking as i would like to get a computer radio but am not sure which one to get
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klaw on December 22, 2013
The OrangeRx T6 is a virtual clone of the Spektrum DX6i. It has a very similar feature set, and even the menus are similar. They are basically interchangeable.

The Turnigy 9X is a better radio for the money though - -more channels, more functions for a similar price, and you can modify it to be far more powerful.
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FKreider on December 11, 2013
Awesome way of explaining dual rates! Great job as always!
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Christopher14 on December 11, 2013
At 3:00 there is a cool looking jet in the back ground, maybe a foam board viggen?
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cholfeltz on December 12, 2013
Hahaha! I love that video they said they leave stuff in the background. I was oblivious until then, now it's a game. Flitetest, you guys are the best!!!
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Christopher14 on December 12, 2013
In one of the podcasts (#7 I think) David said that he is working on a EDF jet, so my theory is that he is making a dollar tree foam board version of it.
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timbarnes on December 14, 2013
This has been a great series for me. I got interested in flying a few weeks ago, and have been through many of your videos. I just finished building my FT Flyer from a kit, and today was my first day flying! I was fortunate to get a bit of help getting going, but by the end of the day I find I can self-launch, and (usually) land, with some fun flying in between.

The plane survived several ouchy crashes, with only one hot glue operation required when I really pounded into the ground at high speed (split some bamboo, crushed the nose, pushed the motor pod back an inch). Glue, tape, back in business.

So thanks to all the flitetest crew for helping me get started. I'm looking forward to learning and flying a lot more!

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Royall on December 12, 2013
Thanks for the latest lesson!
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FluffyKittyMusic on December 12, 2013
Amazing, thank you guys. Learned a lot more about my new radio :D
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bentfork on December 12, 2013
This is a great series guys and I like the way you break down the terms that noobs understand!! Keep it up!
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WhiskeyJack on December 12, 2013
One thing you guys forgot to mention is that someone with a 4ch or 5ch radio, that does not have mixing, can still fly a wing or any elveron aircraft if they get a stand alone "V-Tail" mixer. It will do the same function as the computer radio without the cost of upgrading.
Great job on the "Beginner Series". I don't think of myself as a "beginner" but I always find something useful in every episode. WJ.
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Kamu on January 16, 2014
In summary: buy a FrSky Taranis.
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raptor on December 15, 2013
Amazing guys good show thanks.
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Noobi1951 on December 14, 2013
I just received a flysky fs-t6, can this tx be bound to a Dynam rx? If so, how is it done?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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klaw on December 22, 2013
I doubt it - your Flysky Tx will need a Flysky receiver. They are very cheap on eBay and many other places.

Note that Flysky gear is also sold under a couple of brand names, so you do actually get a little more choice. You can also use Eurgle v2 receivers and HobbyKing v2 receivers - all of them share the same radio protocol.
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Christopher14 on January 6, 2014
speaking of protocol, are ISM and FHSS different frequency protocols? So will a ISM RX bind to a FHSS TX?
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Noobi1951 on December 22, 2013
Thanks for your excellent information, it's people like you and the Flite Test gang that make this site so great. As a real noobie, and being old enough that this stuff is kind of confusing, any help is greatly appreciated.
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jpleaner on December 16, 2013
Awesome demo of rates and expo guys! Well done!
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Marker on December 12, 2013
Did I see a Viggen in the back?
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Kennu on December 13, 2013
Svara - när kommer JA 37:an???
Guys: Good show! Thanks a lot!
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Trippey on December 12, 2013
This one?
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Christopher14 on December 12, 2013
If you look at it closely you can see the sharp outlines that only foam board con make.
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Christopher14 on December 12, 2013

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abraham111 on April 19, 2014
can you tell me guys how i can make my own transmitter and receiver at home if it's possible?
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J47 on November 7, 2014
I'm new to this hobby. And I built a Tricopter, which has an APM 2.6, Ardupilot. (But I am having a problem programming the radio to make the Tricopter work.)

So I would like to know what are the exact setting for programming the radio, which is a Fly Sky, FS-THX9X transmitter, and the APM.

Also the "servo" that is used on output "pin 7" of the APM does not respond to any stick controls? I appreciate any help...
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Kdawgflight on August 18, 2015
Hey guys! Great videos and very helpful. I'm coming from glow to electric, and haven't flown for awhile but getting back into the hobby with my son. I have a JR Max computer radio, older but still useful (I think). Can I still use this radio to fly electric with the new ESC units? I don't want to have to purchase a new radio system if this will get us started. Keep up the great advice guys! Love this site!!!!
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Beginner Series - Transmitters