Flying an FPV drone is lots of fun, but to do it right, you’ve got to understand your controller. It’s the main tool you’ll use to fly your drone. Whether you’re a beginner or already know your way around, it’s good to learn more about your controller.
We will help you pick the right one if you’re just starting or looking to get a new one.
Different Types of Controllers
There are two main types of drone controllers you’re likely to encounter: box-style transmitters and gamepad-style transmitters.
Box-style transmitters are large and may look a bit intimidating, but they offer a plethora of controls and are favored by many professional pilots. They often feature two gimbals, numerous switches and knobs for precise control.
Gamepad-style transmitters, on the other hand, are smaller and closely resemble video game controllers. This design can be more comfortable for pilots, particularly those accustomed to gaming. They are more portable but usually have fewer controls than box-style transmitters.
Protocols: Crossfire and ELRS
An important aspect to consider when choosing a controller is the protocol it uses to communicate with the drone. The two most common protocols used in FPV drones at the moment are Crossfire and ELRS.
Crossfire, developed by TBS, is well-established and has a large user base. It’s known for its robust performance and exceptional long-range capabilities.
ELRS (ExpressLRS) is an open-source protocol that’s gaining popularity for its low latency, high refresh rate, and excellent range.
It’s worth noting that a Crossfire drone will only be compatible with a Crossfire controller, and the same goes for ELRS. Make sure your controller and drone are compatible.
One controller that we highly recommend is the Tango 2, which works with the Crossfire protocol.
Gimbals, Switches, and More
Controllers come with a variety of features that enhance control and provide additional functions. Gimbals are an integral part of the controller and are responsible for the smooth and precise control of the drone. There are different types of gimbals, including hall sensor gimbals and potentiometer gimbals, each offering varying levels of precision and durability.
Switches are also important, allowing for on-the-fly changes to flight modes, activation of fail-safes, and other useful features.
Choosing a Controller as a Beginner
For beginners, choosing a controller might feel overwhelming due to the numerous options and factors to consider. We recommend starting with our simulator kit, which includes both the controller and the simulator. This is an excellent way to practice your piloting skills without the risk of crashing your first drone!
Setting Up and Binding Your Controller
Once you’ve chosen a controller, you’ll need to bind it to your drone. Binding is the process of pairing your controller with your drone so they can communicate with each other. The exact process can vary depending on the make and model of your controller and drone
Choosing the right controller is essential to an enjoyable and effective FPV flying experience. It’s important to understand the different types, protocols, gimbals, and switches, and find what works best for your specific needs.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your journey into the world of FPV, the right controller is the key to getting the most out of every flight