Build your own drone (pt 5) – The transmitter and receiver

When flying drones, as in life, communication is important. As long as your drone doesn’t fly autonomously (spoiler alert: this one doesn’t) you will need something so you can control it from a safe distance. That’s why a transmitter and receiver are necessary.

You’ll need

Amount Description p/p Total
1x Turnigy 9XR Transmitter Mode 2 61,29 EUR 61,29 EUR
1x Turnigy 9XR Safety Protected 11.1v (3s) 2200mAh 1.5C Transmitter Pack 12,80 EUR 12,80 EUR
1x 10CM Male to Male Servo Lead (JR) 26AWG 1,34 EUR 1,34 EUR
1x FrSky DF 2.4Ghz Combo Pack for JR w/ Module & RX 44,04 EUR 44,04 EUR

If your flight controller (e.g. the openpilot cc3d) comes with cables, you obviously won’t need the male to male servo lead cables.

As an alternative for the FrySky Combo Pack you could also (for example) go for an OrangeRX (OrangeRX DSMX / DSM2 Compatible 2.4Ghz Transmitter Module (JR/Turnigy compatible), but the transmittermodule that I was using is no longer available as I am writing this blogpost. 🙁

The pictures do still show that orange module.

The transmitter (Tx)

Before deciding on brand or pricerange, take a minute to think about your flightmode. The next video explains the difference between both modes

I kind of went loose when choosing my transmitter. You can definitely go for a much simpler (and cheaper) version as long as there are enough channels (at least 4).

Receiver (Rx)

It doesn’t really matter which receiver you choose, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Does this receiver work with my transmitter?
  • What is the reach of this transmitter?
  • Are there enough channels available?(min 4)
  • Price?

1. How do I install the receiver?

Attach the receiver securely to your frame. Make sure your antenna’s can’t touch your propellors.

Depending on what Flight Controller you use, you will have to connect the cables in different places.
If you’re using the CC3D, you’re in luck: as you setup the installation on your computer, it will show you a screen that will tell you how to connect everything.

FrySky Ontvanger

2. How do I install the transmitter?

There’s a big hole in the back of the transmittercase. That’s where you place the transmittermodule. Simply clicking it in place should suffice.

3. Binding

By now both your receiver and your transmitter have been installed. All there is left to do is telling both of them they are a couple. Kind of creepy if we were talking about humans, but luckily when it comes to technology we can just call that ‘binding’ and get on with it.

I could tell you all about how that works, but the next clip does a better job than I ever could:

Et voilà, everything should be up and running by now. Make sure you take it for a testrun without props before actually taking it out on a testflight!

Should you have any questions or want me to go deeper into some topics, leave a comment! I’ll try and make sure I address the missing information in the next post.

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