Is the Taranis for everyone

Hardware help and support for the FrSky Taranis
tintin
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Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by tintin » Fri May 16, 2014 10:23 pm

Hello all.

I'm struggling along with my taranis, but I'm finding it really hard work.

I love the frsky kit and the way it works.
I had a plug in module in my JR 9x for about 2 years and its been bullet proof.
I've now got the taranis but find even the most basic thing like having common trims on flight modes just outrageously difficult. It takes about 10 seconds to find on a JR 9x.

I've found myself refitting the V8 receiver and going back to the JR transmitter to get things set up and flying nice.

It's sort of working on my fixed wing planes, but I'm not even close to trying to set up a nitro heli or 4 servo wing glider ( along with camber mix , crow brakes etc)


As it is, I'm considering just moving on back to JR or Futaba as I can programme/setup a heli or glider in
no time. I wouldn't know where to start on a Taranis.

Is there any plan to overlay a more conventional programme format onto the taranis? I don't need to split the atom just need something more intuitive .

Timtin

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jhsa
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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by jhsa » Fri May 16, 2014 10:33 pm

Did you read the manual? Er9x and opentx are a completely different approach to model programming. But once you understand it you can unleash the power. It's like when you're on windows and change to Linux. There is a learning curve but at the end it is worth it..
Play with companion9x, and if you didn't yet, read the manual..
For questions you have the forum and they won't go unanswered ;) If I could learn to work with this firmware, anyone can.. believe me. :D
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dvogonen
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Re: Sv: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by dvogonen » Sat May 17, 2014 7:18 am

There are some plans for including a wizard setup in OpenTX for Taranis. You will chose a type of model and then answer questions about it. The result will be a ready made mix.
But this work is very much in it's infancy. No idea when it will be done. My guess is that it will not be included in 2.0

Your best bet is to use Companion to experiment with mixes and simulate the result. This is much quicker than programming the radio directly and you will be able to learn how to set up more complex mixes quickly.

Companion 2 will have a step based wizard. If you download the beta version you can use it directly to learn programming.

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tintin
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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by tintin » Sat May 17, 2014 8:48 am

Yes, I've read the manual

I've also watched the videos. Lots of times.

I think that for me certainly, I need it to function at a interface level more like a JR set.

I'm pretty well into it now ( committed)having bought a lot of receiver (V8) and now taranis compatible receivers, the problem is I just hit problem after problem, even with things that should be simple like having common trims in flight modes. On JR set you select common or individual trim and it works, no messing around.

I'm now looking at other system ( graupner ,JR, Futaba and Hitec) it pains me to do this.
I'm sort of hoping that they will ring out a Taranis 2 which has a better user interface.

Tintin

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Re: Sv: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by bertrand35 » Sat May 17, 2014 10:00 am

dvogonen wrote:There are some plans for including a wizard setup in OpenTX for Taranis. You will chose a type of model and then answer questions about it. The result will be a ready made mix.
But this work is very much in it's infancy. No idea when it will be done. My guess is that it will not be included in 2.0

Your best bet is to use Companion to experiment with mixes and simulate the result. This is much quicker than programming the radio directly and you will be able to learn how to set up more complex mixes quickly.

Companion 2 will have a step based wizard. If you download the beta version you can use it directly to learn programming.

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Have a first look at screens that Martin designed, it looks promising!
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Re: Sv: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by dvogonen » Sat May 17, 2014 10:31 am

tintin wrote:I think that for me certainly, I need it to function at a interface level more like a JR set.

... Cut...

I'm sort of hoping that they will ring out a Taranis 2 which has a better user interface.
Tintin
I do not know if FrSky has any plans for a Taranis 2 with a interface more in line with "normal" locked down radios. Who knows?

As far as OpenTX goes, the core of the interface, with completely free and user definable settings for everything, will not change. It is kind of the whole point of OpenTX. A wizard will be an aid in learning to use channel mixing. It will not replace the need to understand the functionality of OpenTX to use it.

And no, this is probably not for everyone.

But there is plenty of very good radios around with the features you want. I would personally look at Spektrum DX9. DSMX, Voice, telemetry and loads of receiver alternatives in all price ranges and forms. And the interface is just what you ask for.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by MikeB » Sat May 17, 2014 12:05 pm

tintin wrote:On JR set you select common or individual trim and it works, no messing around.
Is that all the trims together?

On openTx (and er9x/ersky9x) you have complete freedom. Each trim (Ail, ELE etc.) can be common, or individual. But, common is not just common to 'normal' (or FM0). You can have a trim 'common' to FM0, FM1 and FM2, but another trim setting 'common' to FM3, FM4 and FM5.

Unfortunately, to have this flexibility, the user interface has to become a bit more complex to allow for all the possibilities.

The same probably applies to other settings, because of the greater flexibility of the firmware, the settings appear more complex.

Perhaps part of the problem is that the default setting is all individual trims. Perhaps the default should be all common to FM0, and/or an option to quickly set any flight mode to be common to FM0.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by bertrand35 » Sat May 17, 2014 12:40 pm

In OpenTX 2.0 the default setting is exactly what Mike explains in the post before.
And you can also have relative trims (relative to another flight mode).

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by deaconFlyer » Sat May 17, 2014 1:42 pm

I live (and love) in a Linux world so OpenTX and Taranis have been bliss for me. There was even a significant up-step from the 9XR's I still fly with bind-n-fly systems.

That said, you are not the first one who expected an out-of-the-box lock down radio and got a blank slate on which you write your own system. A friend of mine was about to return his Taranis because it didn't work. There was nothing wrong with it but when he threw the switches out-of-the-box nothing happened. I asked him what he wanted it to do and mimicked his favorite radio in about 5 minutes. Now he wants to know how I did that and how he can do things that with his previous toy were impossible ... so I told him about the software and sent him to some of R. Scott Page's videos.

The problem is that there are far too many options to get your head around at the first stage ... so go start simple. Program in the switches to give you three rates: full, 70%, 50% (your call). Set your servo limits, test it all out on the simulator and go and fly it. Sticks and Mixes ... maybe one Safety01 to provide a throttle kill. When you what to go to the next step add a Flight Mode or two. Remember ... test it in the simulator first! (I even pre-fly using RealFlight for some of my crazier ideas.)

When you get really hungry you'll be glade you have power under the hood ... for example ... scrap dual rates and expo settings and do it all with curves ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKIQEFnWo9w ... program in some custom functions. It is truly unlimited.

There are always those prepared to pay huge $$$ for Micro$oft Office and those who move forward at full speed using LibreOffice which is free. I have four laptops that were jettisoned by their owners all happily (and quickly) running versions of Linux. Yes, it took a few hours to get my head around the various operating environments, but once there, it was well, well worth the investment ... which was $0!

For me, I simply could not return to this hobby at the price-point of the radios used by the (dwindling number) of enthusiasts at our field. FrSky means I can fly again and the program-ability of the Taranis with OpenTX is a whole other part of enjoying the hobby. Look at Companion9X ... free and user supported ... do you believe for a minute that the makers of the $$$ machines don't have similar software which they use in private and will/have not released ... profit margin being a major concern ...???

So YES it is for everyone ... that is the key behind the GPL ... and NO, it may not be for you ... and that is a limitation we place on ourselves.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by tintin » Sun May 18, 2014 11:21 am

Hello all
Thank you for the honest and pragmatic replies.

I'm feeling a bit better about my Taranis this morning as I've just flown it for the first time without the telemetry alarm constantly my going off ( not inspiring confidence) I'm not going to flog that horse but if you are interested see the "telemetry lost and recovered thread".

I think it was a fault with my set which has now been put right. It now works, I'm moving on.

I'm going to re read all the manuals and then watch the videos again. I'm going to then rewrite my planes from scratch. I think my trim problem is because I've made a fundamental set up error.


Tintin

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by SAslinky » Thu May 22, 2014 4:05 am

One of the hardest things that I had to over come when I got my Taranis was to get my brain to think "what do I want to make the transmitter do" and not "what can the transmitter do"

I read somewhere on the net that you must think of the Taranis programming as a blank canvas and you decide how to do it. Yes it took me a while and I also got frustrated but I will never go back!

I also found that there is no right or wrong way to do programming on the Taranis, as there is usually more that one way of achieving the end result that you want the transmitter to do.

Lionel

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by bertrand35 » Thu May 22, 2014 4:05 pm

The wizard work is started:
viewtopic.php?f=97&t=5510&p=78391#p78391

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by gruvin » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:21 am

tintin wrote:I think that for me certainly, I need it to function at a interface level more like a JR set.
My three cents worth, as I sit here waiting for my new Taranis to arrive ...

Possibly not enough is said up front in the marketing material to warn how different the programming model is on the Taranis, compared to most traditional radios. It's said in most the reviews I've read though, albeit briefly. Setting up a helicopter can be especially more complicated. In my view though, once you get your head around being in total control -- not to mention all the extra things you can do on a Taranis -- you'll never go back. Well, I wouldn't.

That said, sure. If you're not into all that and you just want to set up a model in a few minutes and go fly, then I guess your JR is the obvious better fit. But you knew that already. :-) Nothing wrong with JR radios, to be sure.

I doubt there would ever be a, "simple mode" introduced to opentx (was that a challenge? :-) ). Someone might do it. But what's the point, really? There are lots of those radios on the market already. I suppose some of them cost a bunch too much though, huh? Hmmm. Well maybe someone will write a sort of, "higher layer" some day, that sits over top of all the complexity, hiding the present system from the user. That would be better for this purpose than any wizard, IMO -- if it was sure to completely hide the underlying system and not let you in there at all. Otherwise things could get real messy. The option to select one or the other system for each model (with a system default) would be pretty cool. So ... copy the JR menu structure? I doubt they're be happy about that. Something though, maybe.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by Rob Thomson » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:29 am

I think the only real way to do a simple mode is for some rather more advanced lua functionality.

Essentially a lua script that allowed more 'knobs' and 'tweaks' than the current ones. This then simply edits the 'real' mixes below.
Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
...........if you think it should be in the wiki.. ask me for wiki access, then go add it!

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by gruvin » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:12 pm

Interesting idea.

I was thinking more, "less tweaks" being available. The code could (and should) easily be written into the main firmware. The point as I saw it was to reduce functionality -- to make things simpler -- whilst automating complex "input", "mixer" and "servos" set-ups. An entirely new menu system above the existing one, selectable on a model by model basis.

So, like on other name brand transmitters, you just select say, "Fixed Wing, Elevon" and set values for expo, high/low rates and choose a switch for those from a greatly reduced menu of the more common locations. No custom switches. Maybe some basic flight mode integration. Not much else. Maybe more, later. It seem like sacrilege in one sense. But so long as the reduced, simple mode was selectable on a model-by-model basis, I think a lot of newcomers would appreciate it.

The only real justification for the coding work as I see it though, is that the Taranis is a quality piece of hardware, which happens to cost a bunch less than other transmitters with these easier to use, yet less powerful menu set-ups. That may be justification enough. The instant those other brands get real with their pricing (IMHO), said justification goes away. Then we're left only with the Fr-Sky radio system as the major (arguable) advantage, which itself will surely be an ever moving target.

Remember RadioClone? Is that project still alive? If so, perhaps its author (sorry -- name escapes me just now) would be keen to do this work. Perhaps he already is?

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by MikeB » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:05 pm

Has openTx dropped the TEMPLATES menu? They provided (and still do in er9x/ersky9x) quick ways to set things like elevons.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by Kilrah » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:10 pm

It's gone, and replaced by the much more flexible model setup wizard. But it still requires you to go in the mixer to make any changes after initial setup.

What most are about on here however would be to NOT have to use any of the existing menus anymore, and be able to do everything from a "simplified" hard-coded function interface like mainstream radios.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by MikeB » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:38 pm

I understood that. I have a Hitec Eclipse, and I'm not at all sure the setup for that was much simpler than er9x/ersky9x. I'm not even sure I could have got it to handle my Mosquito as I now have it with the throttles on separate channels and the rudder (optionally) mixed to give assymetric thrust for turning on the ground.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by jhsa » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:55 pm

Kilrah wrote:
What most are about on here however would be to NOT have to use any of the existing menus anymore, and be able to do everything from a "simplified" hard-coded function interface like mainstream radios.
And go back to the point where we started? Throw all YOUR WORK until now away? Go back to everything we have been trying to get away from? We do know that the known brands have been following all YOUR work very closely..
You guys know what? We were all much happier when there weren't any commercial product involved. Just the good old 9x and the joy of hacking it like hell. I do miss those days

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by gruvin » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:10 am

jhsa wrote: And go back to the point where we started? Throw all YOUR WORK until now away?
João
I cannot speak for Kirah, but NO! Of course not! That would be silly and no one here is suggesting that, the way I've read them. It should be about ADDING MORE functionality (intelligence?) on top of what we have now.

Some people don't fly helicopters and don't care for the features centred around those. But we still have them. Some folks enjoy programming on the transmitter and not the computer. But we still have Companion. Some people want an economical, powerful radio that they can learn to use well over time, but just want to get flying today, with more confidence and ease. Why not ADD that feature for them? Well, that _is_ the question, aint it. Why indeed.

If it were done, it absolutely should never mean throwing anything away or removing stuff. It should merely be a user interface layer, atop of what is already there. A bit like X sitting on top of the Linux command prompt (or Windows on top of DOS -- only better! :-) )

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by jhsa » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:18 am

Then I misunderstood it. And I do apologise. But it did sounded to me that the idea was to change the firmware.. :)
If we all took the time to read manuals and make an effort to learn how to work with the fw, we wouldn't be having this discussion though..
Maybe a very light version of the fw then. Remove the mixer, allow for 3 or 4 free mixers, remove custom Switches, downgrade the use of telemetry and voice alarms, make a few hard coded mixes available, create model types like helicopter, acro, glider, etc... then change the name to openDX9 :D and get prosecuted by spektrum, Futaba and JR for patent violation :mrgreen;
Sorry couldn't help it :)
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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by gruvin » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:43 am

jhsa wrote:...etc... then change the name to openDX9 :D and get prosecuted by spektrum, Futaba and JR for patent violation :mrgreen;
Sorry couldn't help it :)
João
Yeah. But I guess we could take turns at being their moving target and/or go hide out in China. :-P

You may be right about your initial interpretation, technically. I just happened to read more into the intention than the solution offered. Naturally, I think my idea of adding a higher layer (model-by-model selectable) user interface on top of what we have now is better.

It's hard to know what to say about, "reading the manual". I personally find the whole system easy to handle and I've never read any manual. But I'm a programmer, who also read and understood most of the (original) firmware code. However, I do like to respect that for many, this simply isn't the case -- nor ought it to be. I remind myself that if I jumped into a modern farm tractor for example, I'd probably crash the thing and set the wheat field on fire, just trying to find first gear! (Do they even have gears?) First we perfect the machine, then we wrap it with safety guards and shiny paint -- maybe. :-P

As another probably uncommon, differing use example; I find using Companion more difficult than programming on the radio directly. I know people think that's crazy. But there it is. Companion is great. But for me, it's too abstract. I like to see my real servos working immediately, as I change things. I certainly do use Companion to take backups and do firmware upgrades though. Oh and I recently discovered copy/pasting between models and mixer lines, which is super cool. (Just wish it dynamically updated mixer sources as well, somehow.)

I also used Companion to migrate my existing models from my old '9X with G9X board and old-as firmware, but only because I don't have the physical Taranis yet. Courier tried to deliver it today, while I was at my doctor, of course! Grrr. Tomorrow then, finally. If only I knew there was a Plus version before we ordered the old model from HobbyKing, who do not appear to know about the Plus yet! D'oh

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by Kilrah » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:53 am

gruvin wrote: As another probably uncommon, differing use example; I find using Companion more difficult than programming on the radio directly. I know people think that's crazy. But there it is. Companion is great. But for me, it's too abstract. I like to see my real servos working immediately, as I change things. I certainly do use Companion to take backups and do firmware upgrades though.
+1, I always do everything on the radio. Companion is only for basic file manipulation, and using the simulator for checking things or troubleshooting user problems.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by jhsa » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:16 am

gruvin wrote:
As another probably uncommon, differing use example; I find using Companion more difficult than programming on the radio directly. I know people think that's crazy.


I don't think it is crazy, I think we are transmitting on the same frequency here ;) Keep on reading :)
Companion is great. But for me, it's too abstract. I like to see my real servos working immediately, as I change things. I certainly do use Companion to take backups and do firmware upgrades though. Oh and I recently discovered copy/pasting between models and mixer lines, which is super cool. (Just wish it dynamically updated mixer sources as well, somehow.)
Have a look at this.. It's not Companion. It is eepskye. I am using an arduino board (very simple, just 2 wires soldered to it) to translate serial to PPM.. On more recent radios like the 9XR Pro I use the bluetooth connection.
You can try it with your 9x (G9X) radio. Get the arduino code from here:

viewtopic.php?f=91&t=5476&p=77982#p77880

Just create a new model as trainer, enable extended limits, set the limits to -125/+125, and set the weight on the mixer to 80%
Or you can set the trainer input to 80% on the trainer menu.. Alternatively you can on the mixer do something like:

CH1 80% Rud
R 80% PPM1 Switch (RUD)

CH2 80% Ele
R 80% PPM2 Switch (RUD)

CH3 -100% MAX
R 80% PPM3 Switch (RUD) (On your throttle channel do this.. when trainer is disconnected the channel
will be pulled to minimum/idle)

CH4 80% Ail
R 80% PPM4 Switch (RUD)

CH5....... Just do thge same for the 8 channels.. This configuration is for the throttle on channel 3 if you use another order just change the programming on the throttle channel. If you remove your props, which you should, you can even program all the channels the same.. That little change is just for safety.
Ok, here is a video of me using it.. The problem of the servos being slow on the video was due to a wrong baudrate I think.. corrected now :)
Again, big thanks to Mbanzi that originally started doing this for companion but I guess the dev team apparently never had interest on this project ;), and to Mike a big thank you for implementing it on eepskye and eepe..
I know, I'm way OFF TOPIC.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
João

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by ReSt » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:21 am

I believe, a lot of questions can be answered with some templates, available on the radio.
Even as I can program a lot on the radio, I more than once have the question of 'how do I this or that?'

Therefore, as I have upgraded to the M128 processor that has enough flash (for the moment), I modified the code (ER9x, but similar also in OpenTx) to offer more templates as there are:

R-Tail
V-Tail
Delta with differential
Aileron with differential
Servotest with a physical channel
Heli setup
Gyro setup

and as add on to the previous mixes:

2 and 3-position switches with and without slow up/down
Throttle cut with a switch
Sticky throttle cut
Trainer setup

These are mostly full working model setups, but also to be used for "How do I do it?"

Reinhard

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by rdeanchurch » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:30 pm

If the topic is correct, this article summarizes the good and the potholes that some can mfall into pretty well
http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/pdfs/RCS ... 014-10.pdf
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Include a Tutorial/library CD with the Taranis

Post by fburden » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:29 pm

What would help a lot of new guys to this product, would be a CD or DVD that comes with the Taranis, that contains all the possible Templates, Pdf files of all user manuals, videos, ie. all the stuff which would help new users.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by gruvin » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 pm

jhsa wrote:Have a look at this. ...
Cool. Thanks. :-)

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Re: Include a Tutorial/library CD with the Taranis

Post by gruvin » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:39 pm

fburden wrote:What would help a lot of new guys to this product, would be a CD or DVD that comes with the Taranis, that contains all the possible Templates, Pdf files of all user manuals, videos, ie. all the stuff which would help new users.
Good idea. Only, CDs and DVDs are obsolete now, are they not? If not, then very soon they will be, surely. I haven't used one for a couple years at least now and don't even have a drive or DVD player anymore.

How about a nice short and easy to type URL to online documents -- and a QR code to scan with a smart phone, to go with it? Surely that's already in the box? I'll find out later today, when my Taranis finally arrives. Yippie.

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Re: Is the Taranis for everyone

Post by gruvin » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:44 pm

ReSt wrote:I believe, a lot of questions can be answered with some templates ...
They certainly can.

Beyond that of course, templates are a one shot affair. When it comes to, "how do I change this or that", then they are of less use -- especially for more complex mixer set-ups, like helicopters -- compared to what I think we were talking about above.

What are your thoughts on maybe one day adding an optional for each model, "higher level" user interface?

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