Monday, 26 June 2017

Taranis, V8JT and V8R4 receivers

My shiny new FrSky Taranis X9D Plus SE Carbon arrived the other day, and since then it's been a mad scramble to learn how it works and get it attached to everything.
Previously I was running an old analogue JR PCM9X-II Transmitter and was using an FrSky V8JT transmitter pack to get 2.4G goodness. This has worked well, but it was time for an upgrade. I temporarily upgraded to the DJT transmitter pack so I could bind to my current-favourites, the Eachine QX95 Micro Quad, but immediately found that it wasn't backwards compatible with my old V8R4 receivers. (note: we're not talking about the V8R4-II here, that's a different receiver).

I worked around this, and when picking out my new Taranis I was aware that it also wasn't backwards-compatible with the original series receivers - they use a protocol that is no longer supported by any of the currently produced tech.

However, the original V8JT transmitter pack does talk to those old receivers, and it happens to be a supported module of the Taranis. This means if you have a V8JT and any old V8R4 receivers, or those of a similar vintage, laying around you can get them working with your fancy new TX rather than going out and replacing old RXs that probably work perfectly well.

One of mine survived a crash in the ocean. Bulletproof. They don't make 'em like that any more sonny.

Being able to use the V8JT with the Taranis is actually hinted to in the Taranis quick-start guide, but there isn't any additional info on how to set it up, and the internet wasn't much help.

I'm sure there are a lot of reasons to just buy new receivers and replace the old ones. You can pick up an FrSky compatible receiver with classic PWM servo outputs for as little as $12(NZD) on Banggood, so it probably isn't worth running out and grabbing a V8JT just to do this, but if you happen to have one laying around...

How to get it all working

Here's what you need to do to get your V8JT working with your Taranis. If you have a different receiver the process is probably exactly the same because that is just between the transmitter module and the receiver.
  • Stick the V8JT module in the back of the Taranis
  • Go to your model settings, disable the internal TX and enable the external TX
  • Set the mode to PPM
  • These are the default settings and they work for me. If your defaults are different perhaps try those, but these ones do work for me:
  • Bind the V8JT to the receiver normally, which is something like this:
    • Turn on the Taranis while holding the bind button on the receiver. Lights will flash.
    • Turn on the receiver while holding the bind button. Lights will flash.
    • Done. Restart both devices and test the connection.
Hopefully this helps, and you'll be able to dust off some old receivers, save a few $$, and fly some things that probably shouldn't have ever flown again.
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