Turnigy 9X Review – 9 Channel RC Transmitter

turnigy-9x-radio-transmitter

The Turnigy 9X is one of the best RC transmitters out there at the moment for it’s price. For $60, you’ll get a 9 channel transmitter (8 usable), a receiver and a bind plug, but with no battery. I have been using this transmitter for over 3 months now, so I decided to share some of my opinions about this product. If you are not familiar with RC system or never own a RC transmitter before, you might find it a little difficult to use, because there is no user manual! However you will find it very helpful there are tons of Youtube Videos and instructions online.

Good things about the Turnigy 9X

I bought this RC transmitter primarily for my multicopters. Although we only need 4 channels to control a copter, it’s beneficial to have more spare channels in case we upgrad our hardware to allow GPS etc functionality in our system.

It looks nice, sticks have a nice smooth feel. There is no ratcheting feel to the throttle. The range is increditible with the original transmitter module and receivers. I tested 500m (around 1500 feet) and it’s still working great. I can’t go further because that’s how big the park is. I love the “profile” options, which allows you to program and save different settings in a profile. I believe you can have 9 profiles max. This is particularly useful if you have multiple planes so you don’t have to change any of your settings when switching in between.

The setup needs a bit of patience but once somebody gets to know how to use the menu it is a piece of cake. Even there are a lot of videos on youtube explaining how to program it. I have not had any problems or glitch from this product so far.

The Tunigy 9X I have is a version 2, there is now an in-built 2.4GHz antenna and the new system looks little different to the older version. The 2.4GHz side of things is vastly improved over the original system (pending flight tests to confirm that). It’s now a frequency hopper at an incredibly low price.

There are many modifications you do can on this transmitter, check out these posts to see how: Basic mods and Advanced Mods.

Emh, the down side

The transmitter module can be replaced but the antenna is actually hardwired to the module so you can’t actually “just” remove it or replace it with another. For some reason, they’ve soldered the antenna cable directly to the module’s circuit-board, rather than using a removable connector. This means that to fit another 2.4GHz module (e.g. Frsky), users are going to have to unsolder it.

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A negative is the awful 8-cell AA battery holder that comes with the radio.  it’s a very tight fit and getting the cover back on can result in the tags breaking off, worse though is that the battery holder is is far too tight in there, this prevents the batteries from sliding along to maintain contact (pushed by the spring) if the case is flexed, even by a tiny degree the batteries will lose contact resulting in your radio going dead. You can fix this by getting a purpose-built low discharge LIPO battery pack to ensure reliable operation and easier battery fit.

Second is the very annoying and loud BEEP!!! You get a loud beep every time you press on the buttons very annoying as it’s waken up my house mates a few times when they are sleeping. To fix that I cut the leg that goes from a transistor to the speaker and added a 220 Ohm resistor in between.

Third, the screen is a bit hard to see, you can buy a replacement screen with back light from hobbyking for this transmitter to fix this.

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Summary

In summary, it’s exceptionally good value for $60, I would recommend it!

You can buy it from here: Turnigy 9X RC transmitter and Receiver.

Pro’s:

  • It’s cheap!
  • 8 channels – enough for many planes and multicopters
  • You can choose Heli, glider and acro settings
  • Nice graphic LCD display
  • Decent smooth servo movement
  • Alternative Firmware available
  • Much Room for some powerful Modifications

Con’s:

  • Replacing modules difficult
  • Battery holder difficult to fit
  • No failsafe with the original module/receiver

16 thoughts on “Turnigy 9X Review – 9 Channel RC Transmitter

  1. Ken Kahler

    “Hi Oscar” I have a 7.4 battery pack I would like to use in my 9X will it operate at that voltage? If not I guess I’m stuck with the 8 pack of AAs.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Hi Ken
      not 2S, but 3S lipo! hobbyking sells one that is specifically for the 9X… 3S 2650mah i think it was? that’s what i am using at the moment!

      Reply
  2. Estefan Berman

    Oscar: From one teacher to another, you are excellent. I should have read your blogs before getting into the world of quads.
    I bought a simple RTF mini as a trainer in the meantime.
    That said, I need your advice. I built an Arris 250 quad kit and it set up well on open pilot. But I have been unsuccessful with getting the Turnigy 9x to set up. I can’t get past the flight mode switch. I might later on follow your modify ideas but I want another TX. How is the Walkera Devo 8S or the Devo G400 F7 with FPV (new model)? Or should I get a Taranis? I want potential for growth but easy set up.
    Also, can you recommend a good Lipo charger?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      sorry i am not familiar with openpilot GCS, I currently only work with Baselfight/Cleanflight…
      If you have difficulties setting up the 9X, the Taranis is not going to help you, because it’s even more complicated :)
      As for Lipo charger, I am using the Accurel-6 and I love it :)

      Reply
  3. Art

    Hello
    I am planning to build my own quadcopter and taking a look at the Turnigy 9X RC transmitter and Receiver. What is the range of this combo?
    Thank you

    Reply
  4. Marcelo

    Hi Oscar,

    Thanks for the very nice information.

    I am trying to decide on my frist controoler and say that now there is the 9xr pro.

    Is it worth paying the difference?

    What is the best value controller for you?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Hi Marcelo, sorry I haven’t used the 9XR before, so I can’t comment on it.
      I am using the 9X and it’s been great.
      In fact i have not used any other expensive high end controllers, but with all the upgrade and improvements i have done on the 9X, it’s been working like a charm for me, so I am not even thinking of getting another one yet :D
      cheers
      Oscar

      Reply
  5. David

    Hi, thank you so much for your really interesting blog that helps the newbies like me getting into the hobby. :)
    I saw a new version of this transmitter came out (Turnigy 9XR). What do you think of it? Is it more worthy than the 9x? Thanks. :)

    Cheers from France!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Thank you for the kind words David :)
      It is a new version of 9X, it comes with backlight, and programming pins (which you need to DIY on the 9X). It’s also got some other features I can’t remember. However, there are mixed reviews on this one, some people don’t like the ergonomics. There are reviews of this model on Youtube.

      Reply
  6. Guile

    Hehe, just had a look, those pages are realy nice and well done!
    You should emphasis on them in here!
    They are why we love the 9X ^^

    Reply
    1. Zella

      Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
      Very useful info specifically the last part :) I maintain such info a lot.
      I was looking for this particular info for a
      long time. Thanks and best of luck.

      Reply
  7. Guile

    “Alternative Firmware available”
    Too bad you did not explain a bit more on this part, because this is THE THING about this transmitter.
    I did not even poweed it once with the stock firmware.
    With the open source er9x firmware, it turn a *ok* transmitter into a 500$+ once.

    Something interesting
    It is the first transmitter to have an open sourceopen source firmware, and its success made its builder build a true native open source transmitter : the Taranis

    Reply

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