This page is regularly updated as new products come out. This page was last updated May 18, 2020.
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If this will be your first time ordering from Banggood, you should know a few things.
CONTROLLERS / TRANSMITTERS
The controller goes in your hands. The receiver goes in your quad. You move the sticks on the controller, and those commands are transmitted wirelessly to the quad via the receiver.
Different brands of controllers use a different protocol to talk to their receiver. So a Futaba receiver won’t work with a FrSky controller. When you buy a controller, you need to realize that you’re also locking yourself into which receivers you’re going to buy. This is actually way more important than many beginners realize. Some brands of receiver are 2x or 3x as expensive as others. Some brands don’t have a good selection of micro-receivers such as are used in mini quads. Some brands lack features like telemetry (so you can check your battery voltage and other stats while flying). One exception to this rule is the Jumper T16, which comes with a RF module that can bind to FrSky, FlySky, Spektrum, and more.
Remember, you’re going to buy one controller, but you’re going to put a receiver in every single quad or plane that you build, so a brand that has cheaper receivers is going to pay big dividends in the long run.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
FLYSKY FS-I6 & X6B
The FlySky FS-i6 is a cheaply-made radio that is totally redeemed by its software features and robust receiver selection. Once upon a time, you would have had to buy a much more expensive controller in order to get features like six channels, digitally adjustable channel endpoints, and programmable channel mapping. Today, even cheap radios are computer-controlled, and so its easy for manufacturers to add these once-premium features to a budget controller. If you’re interested, you can even install custom firmware on it to turn it into a ten-channel radio!
The down-side of this radio is that it lacks the build quality of other radios. The stick gimbals especially are not excellent, and since that’s the way you actually fly the quad, it matters more than you might think. But many beginners start with this radio and stick with it even after they could afford an upgrade.
Another advantage of this radio is that it uses the same FlySky receivers as the Evolution radio, and there are also higher-end FlySky radios. So if you do decide to upgrade, you don’t have to refit your whole fleet with new receivers.
The recommended receiver is the X6B. Don’t be tempted by the FS-A8S, which is smaller, but which has serious issues with electrical interference.
If you’re looking to get into the air at the absolute bottom price, the FS-i6 is the radio you’ll buy.
MY PERSONAL BUDGET PICK
The biggest selling point of the TX16S is its 4-in-1 multiprotocol module. This means that it can bind to most of the major receiver types: FrSky, FlySky, and Spektrum; it can also control many proprietary bind-n-fly aircraft. Get a “toy quad” with a “toy-grade” controller? The TX16S can probably control it.
The TX16S runs OpenTX. OpenTX is an incredibly powerful and flexible operating system for controllers. Pretty much anything you can imagine wanting your controller to do, OpenTX can do. Since I’m a real gear-head nerd, that makes it perfect for me. The down-side of this is that OpenTX can be a little complicated to learn to use at first. Some beginners struggle.
Other reasons to choose the TX16S include its huge, color touch-screen (touch-screen capability not active until upgraded with OpenTX version 2.4). It has full-size Hall Effect gimbals, something never before seen in a radio at this price. Like all OpenTX radios, it works with your PC simulator. It’s also got USB-C internal charging for 18650 lithium cells or a 2S lipo battery (linked below).
Yes, it even works with Crossfire. In fact, some stores are selling it in a bundle with a Crossfire Micro module.
Although the TX16S works with many types of receivers, my personal pick is the FrSky RXSR or XM+. The RXSR supports telemetry, while the XM+ does not, but is a little smaller and less expensive.
If you’re on the tightest of budgets, you can save a little money by buying the potentiometer-gimbal version of the radio. However almost nobody is carrying this version of the radio so your choices of where to shop are limited.
For this one, use the side-by-side link format for “basic” and “pro” version of the radio. Not all stores carry both versions. If a store doesn’t carry both versions, keep the text “Basic / Pro” but only have one be a link.
The Jumper T18 has many of the same features as the RadioMaster TX16S described above. This is because the business partners who invented the Jumper T16 together split up. One of them made the RadioMaster, the other made the T18.
So why would you pick the T18 over the TX16S, especially because the T18 is more expensive? The T18 has built-in support for 900 MHz control. This has the potential to give tens of kilometers of range. In short: for normal use, forget about failsafes. However, people with a bit more budget are probably going to prefer TBS Crossfire for 900 MHz control, because it’s much more refined, tested, and reliable. Those people won’t put much value in the T18’s support for 900 MHz.
The Basic model of the T18 has Hall Effect gimbals, similar to the T16. The Pro model has Alps RDC90 gimbals, which are much higher quality.
The T18 has a 480×272 IPS screen, without touch screen capability. In the future, Jumper plans to release an 800×480 touch screen, once OpenTX supports it. This will be a hardware upgrade, whereas the T16 comes with the touch screen pre-installed, and will only require a software upgrade to enable it.
TOP OF THE LINE
FRSKY HORUS X10 EXPRESS
The Horus X10 is the best radio FrSky has ever made. It has real and significant functional advantages compared to the X9D or the QX7. It is so much more pleasant to use in almost every way. It is a joy to look at and to touch.
The gimbals in the X10 are significantly better designed and machined than those of the X9D or QX7. The X10 has an internal diversity antenna that some have reported gives even better range than the external antenna. It also saves you the worry of breaking off your antenna and makes it easier to store and transport the radio. The big screen on the X10 significantly improves the usability of OpenTX. You can customize the main screen on the X10 with specific “widgets” so that you see exactly what you want to see when you glance down.
Although the radio is beautiful, its ergonomics, to me, are worse than the X9D. I find the X9D to be more comfortable to hold. The sticks on the X10 also feel little further inward from the edge of the radio, so that it feels like my fingers have to reach just a bit more than on the X9D. The angular shape of the radio means that the switches are not placed exactly where your fingers naturally land. Finally, battery life on the X10 is shorter, probably because of its huge, beautiful screen.
If you buy an X10, I can pretty much guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed. This is a really, really good radio. The question isn’t whether the X10 will make you happy: it will. The question is just whether another radio would make you just as happy, and keep a fair chunk of cash in your pocket.
Here are my favorite receivers, to go with each of the controllers linked above.
The R-XSR has been my favorite FrSky receiver ever since it came out. It’s tiny. It has full range and diversity antennas. It supports telemetry. And it works with all of FrSky’s radios–the new ACCESS protocol ones and the older ACCST protocol ones.
The only feature that the R-XSR is missing is RSSI output. It supports reporting RSSI to the controller, but you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get that information into your on-screen display.
The XM+ is my second favorite FrSky receiver. It’s about $5 cheaper than the R-XSR. It’s a tiny bit smaller. It has full range and supports diversity. The main thing it hasn’t got is support for telemetry. So you won’t be able to get flight statistics like battery voltage on your controller screen. But since most flight controllers put that information in their OSD (on-screen display) then many people feel it doesn’t really matter. If you’re looking to save a bit of money and weight, the XM+ is the one you’ll get.
This is the new kid on the block, and it’s spoiling for a fight. This FrSky-compatible receiver has similar capabilities to the R-XSR, but it’s about $10 cheaper. It’s also got an RSSI output wire so that you can get signal strength in your OSD without jumping through any obnoxious hoops.
The Spektrum SPM4650 is considered by many to be the best Spektrum receiver for FPV mini-quad pilots. It’s tiny. It has full range and diversity. It supports the most advance SRXL2 protocol, which has low latency and telemetry. And…. IT’S GOT A BIND BUTTON! Finally you can bind a Spektrum receiver without going to the Betaflight CLI or pulling out a binding plug.
The 4650 is not available in all stores. Next-best are the 4651T (which supports SRXL2 but no bind button) and the 4649 (which doesn’t have a bind button and only supports SRXL1, but is still pretty good).
The Fli14+ is almost the perfect FlySky receiver. It’s small and light. Supports diversity. And it outputs RSSI as an Aux channel, which might be the simplest way of getting signal strength into your OSD (on-screen display). There are only two things I dislike about this receiver. Its antennas are soldered on, which makes it difficult to replace them when (not if) they get damaged. And it’s mostly only available from Banggood, so depending on where in the world you live, it might be a while before you get it.
There are lots of long-range control systems out there, so why have I singled out Crossfire for its own category on this List? Because Team Blacksheep is the first to have created a whole system that is robust, reliable, and (relatively) easy to use. They’ve even made a tiny little receiver specifically for us FPV racing and freestyle pilots!
Crossfire operates around 900 MHz, which means it has much… MUCH longer range and better penetration than the 2.4 GHz systems linked above. Even if you don’t intend to do long-range flights, the reliability and security of the Crossfire link gives you confidence to fly places you never would have dared. The real surprise is that racing pilots are also flocking to Crossfire. Why? They hardly need long range. It turns out Crossfire also has ultra-low latency, for the most responsive, connected feel.
If you’re just getting started in this hobby and are having a bit of sticker shock, let me make this easy for you: you don’t need Crossfire. If you’ve got the budget and you want an awesome combination of range, responsiveness, and ease of use… Crossfire is what you’ll buy.
If you want to learn more about what Crossfire is, I’ve got an introductory video here.
For most FPV pilots, I believe that the Micro TX Module is the right choice. It fits easily into the JR module bay of your transmitter. It transmits at up to 250 mW, which gives more than enough range to outrun typical 5 GHz FPV systems.
Here is what would make you want to buy the full-sized Crossfire module, which goes up to 2 watts. If you plan to do long-range flights with customized video equipment. If you are willing to pay a bit more for the assurance that you really, really will have the most solid link possible. If you have a Spektrum radio (which doesn’t have a JR module bay, and so requires the full-size module). If you prefer to use the joystick and LED screen on the back of the module instead of a “Lua Script” running inside your radio.
If you have a Taranis QX7 or Horus X10, you won’t be able to make full use of the Micro TX module unless you open up the radio and perform a difficult soldering modification. The full-size module avoids this, and is preferred by some owners of QX7 and X10 radios for this reason.
The Nano receiver will be the preferred Crossfire receiver for almost everybody reading this. There are larger receivers, intended mostly for fixed-wing aircraft, and there is a Nano Diversity receiver that comes with two antennas, if you intend to push really long distances. For a typical FPV racing or freestyle pilot, the one linked above is the best choice.
SPARE PARTS & ACCESSORIES
RDQ 2S 3500 MAH
BATTERY PACK FOR TARANIS QX7
If you’ve purchased the QX7 instead of the X9D, this is the battery you’ll want to use. It fits neatly into the battery bay on the QX7 and significantly extends its life. It’s a 2S LiPo, so I recommend using 8.2 volts as the top of the scale and 7.3 volts as the bottom of the scale.
THE BEST DAMN NECK-STRAP
I get super excited when I see a small thing done really well, in a way that I never knew I needed. That’s why I really flipped out with joy when I first saw this neck-strap.
Here’s what it does so well: it’s got a releasable clip so you can put your radio down without taking the strap off from around your neck. It’s a tiny thing, but it makes a HUGE difference. Especially when you have FPV goggles on your head, taking off the neck strap is a pain in the butt. But walking around with your transmitter dangling in front of you is so awkward. And an invitation to damage or even accidentally arming your quad.
This is literally the only neck-strap that I use.
These colored switch nuts are an easy way to add a little personalization and bling to your radio. Pay attention: the low-profile ones are for face-plate switches while the taller ones are for the shoulder switches. The nuts come with a specialized wrench for tightening them.
To be honest, I felt a little silly spending $10 on colored nuts for my radio, but I love the way they look, and it makes it easy to tell which radio is mine at the field.
COLORED SILICONE SWITCH COVERS
These are more than just a way to make your radio look great. They’re also nicer to touch than the bare metal, and give a slightly more positive grip.
The photo above shows the RAINBOW ones, but click through and you’ll see you can buy them in solid colors too.
This stand attaches easily to the carry handle of your Taranis. It folds flat when not in use, and folds out to hold the Taranis at an angle when you set it down. This is especially useful if you have a big external antenna or if you have a full-size Crossfire module attached to the back of your radio.