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  1. #1

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    Fr Sky Taranis for Telemetry Data On High Value Aircraft

    To those that aren't familiar with the Fr Sky Taranis, it is a 8 to 16 channel computer radio with full telemetry. The radio is capable of announcing any telemetry value as well as playing a built in or custom warning when any value exceeds or falls below your set value. It can display the values and or play the value over it's built in speaker or headphone jack. It's a great radio for $200 and although it may not be suitable for high value models it seems the telemetry capability would be useful even if you never connected a servo to the receiver.

    Probably the most unique and potentially useful feature of this radio is the fact that the software is open source. This means that the radio's computer software source code is openly available to modify so that new features can be added or current features changed. There are message boards where you can request features and perhaps pay someone to modify the software to your unique specifications.

    So my question is this.

    Suppose you had an extremely high value aircraft and needed some special telemetry capability not available with your current radio such as notification of engine failure, or perhaps voice notification of airspeed too low or too high etc. Could you use the Taranis strictly as a device to report and announce data via speaker or headphone? In this case you would fly the aircraft with whatever high end radio you have and use the Taranis only to monitor data parameters and report any abnormal condition.

    Perhaps a co-pilot/flight engineer to aid in monitoring the data via the Taranis?

    Useful or not?
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  2. #2

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    I use a Taranis as my primary radio. It would work the way you are describing. It's actually a pretty novel idea! with a little fancy wiring, you could even setup the Taranis as a backup transmitter (sort of like a buddy box). You would need a FrSky receiver in the plane to transmit the metrics (in addition to your 'normal' receiver). One of the metrics that I enjoy with the Taranis is the built-in RSSI sensor. This is built into the newer FrSky receivers. It tells you the signal strength between your transmitter and receiver... so you know if you're about to lose signal with your aircraft. With the setup you're considering, this metric may not be as reliable since your primary transmitter/receiver may not have the exact same range and transmission quality/protocol as the FrSky transmitter/receiver.

    What is the primary reason you are considering the Taranis for this purpose? Not to steer you away from the Taranis (I love the radio!)... but if it's not because of it being open source or the voice alerts, something like the Eagle Tree Seagull system may be a better option.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3

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    I have a Taranis and I love it! Way more capability than I will ever use! But the telemetry capability and the custom voice announcements is a game changer in my opinion. I flew my 2 meter glider yesterday with an variometer installed with voice announcement of altitude and rate of climb, man what a useful feature. Plus voice notification of low signal strength!

    Incredible combination of performance and value!

    A recent high profile crash of a unique model got me thinking of using the capabilities of the Taranis to help prevent another crash. The most useful and unique feature in my opinion is the open source software and the custom switches.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  4. #4

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    I have a Taranis and I don't understand why anyone would buy a 600-1000 radio that has less capability.
    That said I wouldn't use on a high value aircraft yet. Its too new.
    I have an aircraft (30cc Edge) set up with two receivers. a Flysky and a XPS.
    The XPS TX module plugs into the back of the Taranis transmitter. Thus I have two rf links. The FR Sky controls one side of the AC and XPS the other. Thus I have the telemetry with the backup provided by XPS.
    I haven't flown it yet. Its too hot here.
    I case of the crash the log file will tell me exactly what happened.
    RSSI and the logged control positions can tell you a lot
    dirty old men need love too.

  5. #5

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    Dirtybird

    Yes I agree that the Taranis is too new to use as a means to control a high value aircraft, but what if you were to utilize ONLY the telemetry, voice, custom switches and possibly custom software to provide just telemetry data to the pilot or co-pilot? Never even connect a servo to receiver.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  6. #6

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    Yes you could do that but the RSSI that you would get is what the taranis is receiving , not the controlling receiver. You would also get the battery voltage if you connected the FR-SKY to the other receivers battery. You could also add other sensors such as GPS position.
    dirty old men need love too.

  7. #7

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    The custom switches might allow a command such as:

    When throttle position is above 80% AND landing gear down AND airspeed less than Vmc ( minimum engine failure airspeed) then Compare the RPM of each engine and if any engine is less than 500 RPM of any other engine then announce "Thrust Critical". If airspeed is above Vmc but other items are true then announce "Thrust Warning".

    The custom features and open source software, offer capabilities no other brand name radio with proprietary software can offer.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  8. #8

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    Great programming. but you wont get throttle position if there is another radio flying the AC. Also air speed and rpm are not available on the Taranis as far as I know.
    A telemetry system is only as good as the sensors and my experience with the sensors I have seen, air speed is not accurate enough to be useful.
    Taranis is capable of many thingsbut you need the data first.
    Last edited by dirtybird; 07-22-2014 at 12:04 AM.
    dirty old men need love too.

  9. #9

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    Dirtybird

    Of course you are correct. Throttle position is essential in that example.

    I wasn't aware that some of the sensors are so inaccurate. I have a variometer for my glider and it is incredibly accurate, move it one foot and by gosh it's reported to the transmitter. I assumed the other sensors were as accurate.

    I wonder if the airspeed sensor accuracy problem is more a function of installation and not the sensor itself?
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
    Dirtybird

    Of course you are correct. Throttle position is essential in that example.

    I wasn't aware that some of the sensors are so inaccurate. I have a variometer for my glider and it is incredibly accurate, move it one foot and by gosh it's reported to the transmitter. I assumed the other sensors were as accurate.

    I wonder if the airspeed sensor accuracy problem is more a function of installation and not the sensor itself?
    What you are observing is resolution, not accuracy. From Wikipedia : In the fields of science, engineering, industry, and statistics, the accuracy of a measurement system is the degree of closeness of measurements of a quantity to that quantity's actual (true) value.[1]

    You need accuracy for the things you want to do
    dirty old men need love too.

  11. #11

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    Good info 049flyer. Unfortunately my last high value airplane was reduced to a low value airplane in a couple of milliseconds. I will be building a new one in the near future and might incorporate this system.
    RC Aircraft/ Three Laws Safe.

  12. #12

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    I'm sorry to hear about your plane.

    I don't know how much you know about the Taranis but I can tell you that I have been using mine for about 6 months in a variety of small planes and gliders. Prior to that I used their "Do it yourself" system to upgrade my trusty 1980's vintage Ace MicroPro radio to 2.4 ghz. Both have performed with 100% reliability so far. My glider system has been flown to the absolute limits of visibility without a whisper from the radio about reduced signal strength from the receiver.

    I am NOT an early adopter, for me something new must be far and away better than what I currently use to be worth my while. Having never been shot down in 40 years of modeling, I resisted 2.4 until a year ago when I upgraded my MicroPro.

    Therefore I was initially skeptical about the merits of telemetry, but after flying the Taranis I am a total "Fan Boy".

    Telemetry coupled with custom voice alerts is a game changer in this hobby, kind of like 2.4 ghz is to 72 mhz. Telemetry is useless without the voice alerts. When flying my glider 1500 feet away, an eye blink will cause me to totally lose sight of the aircraft. I can't look down to check the receiver battery voltage, no worries, flip a switch and the Taranis will tell me what the voltage is as well as my altitude and rate of climb or descent.

    Having a constant monitor of the receiver voltage is an eye opener. On one of my planes I under sized the receiver battery a bit. The Taranis warned me of low voltage whenever I moved too many servos at one time which caused a voltage drop and subsequent low voltage alarm from the transmitter. I upgraded the battery pack, prior to Taranis I flew along happy in a fools paradise.

    Range checks are a snap, put the transmitter in range check mode, walk 30 paces away and read the actual received signal strength on the transmitter or listen for the transmitter to warn of low received signal strength at the receiver. Cool!

    I can't imagine why anyone flying an expensive aircraft would fly without telemetry with voice notification. Being warned by voice commands of impending disaster is priceless.
    Last edited by 049flyer; 07-23-2014 at 06:55 AM.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  13. #13

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    Dirtybird-

    Thanks for the info. I guess until the sensors are calibrated and tested the info they provide is suspect. Still, for modeling use I think a lot of useful information can be gained from their use.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
    Dirtybird-

    Thanks for the info. I guess until the sensors are calibrated and tested the info they provide is suspect. Still, for modeling use I think a lot of useful information can be gained from their use.
    I am currently coresponding with the designer of the airspeed device sold by Aloft Hobbies for Taranis.
    He says the accuracy of the device is + or - 1/4 percent. Thats wonderful if true.Much better than the devices I have had in the past
    dirty old men need love too.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtybird View Post
    I am currently coresponding with the designer of the airspeed device sold by Aloft Hobbies for Taranis.
    He says the accuracy of the device is + or - 1/4 percent. Thats wonderful if true.Much better than the devices I have had in the past
    That is incredible if true. I guess the question is then how to install it for minimum error and how to calibrate. Then again how accurate do we really need to be for model use? Within a few knots at the low end would work, not sure the high end is as critical.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
    That is incredible if true. I guess the question is then how to install it for minimum error and how to calibrate. Then again how accurate do we really need to be for model use? Within a few knots at the low end would work, not sure the high end is as critical.
    I am not conserned about absolute accuracy for my application. I just want repeatability. What I want to do is use it to determine stall speed then be able to use the Taranis to warn me when I get close to that while landing.
    I have ordered one for trial.
    dirty old men need love too.

  17. #17

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    Dirtybird please post the results of your airspeed monitoring tests. I too am interested in airspeed monitoring, for my glider. It would be nice to be able to maintain minimum sink airspeed.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  18. #18
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    Very interesting thread. I have been playing with the Eagle Tree tele stuff and so far love it. As for the airspeed sensor, where it is mounted is critical as to its reliability, I usually mount it in a scale location and so far get real nice results. I initially bought into tele because of a very expensive build and wanted to help protect my investment, but after playing with it on other models find it a very useful tool. I currently watch and record rpm, engine temp, airspeed, batteries, and servo voltage. I will probably add the altimeter before done with the expensive one.
    I have found the difference in what I thought was going on and what is actually taking place in the air astounding. Engine temps are much cooler, airspeed much faster, rpm movement vs attitude, and servo voltage much lower than expected. A really nice tool by any means.
    Last edited by acerc; 07-23-2014 at 07:38 AM.
    Robert
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
    Dirtybird please post the results of your airspeed monitoring tests. I too am interested in airspeed monitoring, for my glider. It would be nice to be able to maintain minimum sink airspeed.
    I will when it cools down a bit. Its going to be 116 today. Its even hot in the morning.
    dirty old men need love too.

  20. #20

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    Technology is great but what happens when you become dependent on it? I learned to fly both fixed and rotary wing models without the assistance of artificial components. I flew with a guy who could fly helicopters with out the assistance of a gyro on the tail. I'm all for the assistance of technology but it is headed toward a time were the model controls itself and you are only going along for the ride.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by flycatch View Post
    Technology is great but what happens when you become dependent on it? I learned to fly both fixed and rotary wing models without the assistance of artificial components. I flew with a guy who could fly helicopters with out the assistance of a gyro on the tail. I'm all for the assistance of technology but it is headed toward a time were the model controls itself and you are only going along for the ride.
    I agreed whole heartedly up until I started my current build. And with a model cost of 10K+ I wanted a little security in knowing what I thought I knew. Tele is simply additional information to aid in our efforts to keep our aircraft safe and airborne , not any type of pilot assist.
    Last year I lost an Ultimate and believe it was caused by a throttle servo. If I had the tele onboard I would have known exactly why it went nuts, or probably would have seen the amp spikes prior to and been able to have prevented the crash altogether.
    Last edited by acerc; 07-23-2014 at 01:36 PM.
    Robert
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  22. #22

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    I am 87 and blind in one eye. I need a little help in determining the speed while landing. I also sometimes lose sight of it in flight. I wish I could get a stabilizer to work with the vibration of a gas engine.
    With an electric I use the Guardian. If I lose sight of it I just turn on 2D and throw the aileron hard over. It will then just turn around where I can see it. G in 2D wont let you turn it over.
    I think technology is great. I expect to be soon fitted with a pacemaker. That way I will be able to fly a few more years. I dont expect to ever be able to remove it.
    dirty old men need love too.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by flycatch View Post
    Technology is great but what happens when you become dependent on it? I learned to fly both fixed and rotary wing models without the assistance of artificial components. I flew with a guy who could fly helicopters with out the assistance of a gyro on the tail. I'm all for the assistance of technology but it is headed toward a time were the model controls itself and you are only going along for the ride.
    It should be possible to program a microprocessor to do that today. They are small enough to be carried in the AC so you wouldn;t need telemetry. You could also program it to do various maneuvers on command. Then you could just sit in a chair,push a button and watch. I just might try it someday. I can handle the programming but I would need a technician to put it together. I dont have the eyesight or skills to do that.
    dirty old men need love too.

  24. #24

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    Hey guys, I have been reading this thread and just have to jump in. I am a Taranis owner and just love it. I fly quarter scale nitro planes on down to .28 powered quikies. That radio is solid as hello. Never missed a beat. I do not understand why you all are so worried , that ACCST system has been tested and proven to be as good or better than FASST, or Spektrum. Try it you will like it. I can remember when Futaba was the new kid on the block, I bought one and did I ever get the looks from the guys with Kraft and EK logitrols. Times are changing again guys.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenworthbob View Post
    Hey guys, I have been reading this thread and just have to jump in. I am a Taranis owner and just love it. I fly quarter scale nitro planes on down to .28 powered quikies. That radio is solid as hello. Never missed a beat. I do not understand why you all are so worried , that ACCST system has been tested and proven to be as good or better than FASST, or Spektrum. Try it you will like it. I can remember when Futaba was the new kid on the block, I bought one and did I ever get the looks from the guys with Kraft and EK logitrols. Times are changing again guys.
    The value of the dollar is changing and the Chinese have seized the opportunity.


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