In the third part of the build log I would like to cover the setup and configuration of the Taranis RC with the TBS Discovery Pro. After covering the mechanical build in part 1 and part 2 of the build log, this part will be about the wiring and programming of the remote control. Due to a crash I’ve build the copter a 2nd time.
Detailed setup guide and model files to download after the break.
Together with the Discovery Pro I also needed to buy a new RC controller, as I did not have any. When looking around for 2.4 GHz controllers in summer 2013 the Taranis from FrSky offered very competitive features, for a very affordable price. Specs wise, none of the established brands (Futaba, Graupner) could offer anything comparable in the price range of 200$. On the other hand, the Taranis was brand new, hardly available and with questionable reputation despite positive reviews. Do I want to trust a cheap RC to control my expensive copter? Why Not! No risk no fun;) And so far, the Taranis is a very positive experience for me.
Wiring-up the components
The wiring on the Discovery is built into the frame giving it a very clean appearance. The X8R receiver can output different signal types. Simultaneously you can have multiple channels on the S.BUS in a single connection and eight channels as individual PWM signals. The Discovery pro needs up to 10 channels in total for three independent systems. I use the following signal types.
- S.BUS for the 7 channels of the Naza flight controller
- PWM for the 2 channels of the gimbal (pan/tilt)
- PWM for the 1 channel of the core to switch the camera
Before you can use the X8R receiver, you need to bind it to the Taranis. In order to use all the channels you also have to change the receiver mode to Mode 4 (D16). The factory settings is for 8 channels only. This procedure involves using 2 jumpers as described in the X8R manual or in my step-by-step instructions. In Mode 4, the physical PWM connectors labeled 1,2…8 are assigned to CH9,10…16. On the Disco you find eight channel inputs labeled 1,2..8. I connected the in the following manner:
- Discovery connector 1 to X8R connector S.BUS, for the Naza
- Discovery connector 5 to X8R connector 1, for gimbal roll
- Discovery connector 6 to X8R connector 2, for gimbal tilt
- Discovery connector 8 to X8R connector 3, for the camera switch
Programming the Taranis
On the Taranis I configured a very basic setup. It only covers the barebones needed for flying and controlling the gimbal. I have a mode 2 Taranis (throttle on the left), so the setup of the 2 main sticks are:
- CH1: Ail
- CH2: Ele
- CH3: Thr
- CH4: Rud
- CH5: …unassigned
- CH6: IOC (added in v1.1)
- CH7: Is for GPS/Atti/Manual (Fail Safe). Which I assigned to Switch SD.
- CH8: Is unused by the Naza. But S.BUS needs to transmit all 8 channels in bulk.
- CH9: Gimbal Roll on S1
- CH10: Gimbal Pitch on S2
- CH11: Camera Switch on SF
I don’t use the X1 Naza channel so far on CH5, therefore I did not assign it to any physical controls, but it only needs to be setup in the Taranis and the Naza in order to work. I chose the location of SD on CH7 on the top right similar to the DJI Phantom RX. I can not actively trigger fail-safe with a dedicated switch. However, when the RX looses connection, it does signal Fail Safe through some S.BUS feature. Please check if Fail Safe works with the Naza configuration software before your first flight. Confusingly, S.Bus is named D-Bus in the Naza Software.
Download my model file
Please feel free to download the model settings for your Taranis. I’ve prepared two different formats. Unzip them before use.
- [disco pro.bin.zip] This .bin model file can be loaded directly by the Taranis. It has to be copied into the ‘MODELS’ directory of the SD card residing inside the Taranis. Then you can navigate to an empty model slot, long press ‘ENT’, select ‘model restore’ in oder to copy the ‘disco pro’ from the SD card to the Taranis.
- [Disco Pro for companion9x.eepe.zip] This .eepe model file can be loaded by the companion9x software with your PC or MAC. I’ve tested it with version 1.51 which you can find here. This way you can first look at the settings in the simulation software and then flash it to the Taranis.
The model can also be found on rcsettings.com. Good luck and let me know how it works for you.
Changes in V1.1 (AUG-10-2014)
- Inverted ELE and THR to match the stock settings of the NAZA. If updated from v1.0, please change the settings in the NAZA (untick the ‘reverse’ on these two channels). If you use this model fresh with a Naza, do a stick calibration.
- Added IOC control (SA switch on top left)
- Added expo curve on Rud when SB is switched to center position. This reduces yaw angle movement and makes panning smoother during filming.