The EU has introduced an improved standard covering R/C transmitters called ETSI EN 300 328 V1.8.1 . This came into effect on the 1/1/2015 although there was quite a lot of warning in advance.
This change has a new constraint that a Tx that has just been turned on must first listen to any frequency before it broadcasts on that frequency. This helps to determine if the frequency is in use by another person – this seems quite sensible and makes the frequency management more robust. This is known as Listen Before Talking ( LBT ) and is in section 18.104.22.168.3.
The internal Taranis transmitter module ( not the OpenTx part ) did not comply and FRSky issued a firmware update at pretty much the last minute. Legally this is only required for new Transmitters sold after 1/1/2015.
But here is the rub : A Transmitter working in D16 mode ( the mode required for telemetry ) can only work with receivers that are using the same firmware.
So a pre 2015 EU Tx will not work in D16 mode with a shiny new receiver and vice versa. The quite useful chart below is floating about ( Kunde means user up-gradable ).
Note that it is not clear at this time if receivers and transmitters sold outside of the EU will have the “2014” or “2015/ EU” firmware – so if you have a pre 2015 Tx you may be able to buy receivers from outside of the EU to keep everything “Non EU”
So … if you want to use D16 mode ( more later ) and you want to buy more receivers you need to have ALL of your receivers and Txs either using the EU firmware or not using the EU firmware – but they must all be the same.
I choose to upgrade my Tx and Receivers. You need to purchase 2 cables and then make adapters. For the Tx the process is described here. For the receiver the smaller X4R receivers need a molex adapter ( the cable was in the packet ) but the X8R receivers do not.
My article on the X4R upgrade
Once you have made the adapters the process is not too bad. There is also work in hand by the amazing OpenTx Community to allow the Tx to be upgraded via OpenTx Companion – this is possibly in version 2.016. This will also allow the Receivers to be upgraded from a wired connection tot he Tx which will be useful for people without a Windows PC ( not sure how Mac users are affected ).
So if you are in the EU what are your options are :
=> Don’t but any new receivers and life is fine
=> Use D8 instead of D16 if you do not need telemetry ( including battery indication ? ). You may also loose the ability to bind a profile to only one receiver ( can anyone clarify ?)
=> Downgrade any new receivers to the 2014 firmware
=> Only buy receivers from outside of the EU ( not 100% sure on this being a fact )
=> Upgrade everything to the 2015 firmware.
A couple of last points :
1) make sure you get the latest 2015 firmware. The is the original 2015 firmware and there is a “bug fixed” version – I think it is highly irresponsible of FRSky to continue to allow the buggy software to be downloaded.
2) remember to reset your fail-safes after flashing the firmware – even if they are configured via the TX.
Please let me know if any of this needs improvement