Review: FrSky R-XSR receiver

The FrSky R-XSR receiver is the latest telemetry receiver, with diversity, from FrSky. It has been on the market for a while now, but is still on the top of the receiver list. If you own a FrSky transmitter, and aren’t building a long range quad, then the FrSky R-XSR is the receiver for you.

With my recent Taranis X-Lite purchase, I needed to also pick up a new receiver, and the R-XSR is my choice for the best receiver option, because of its size, the diversity antennas and also its ability to provide Telemetry.

Size and Specifications

The FrSky R-XSR receiver is the smallest telemetry receiver that FrSky offers currently. The FrSky R-XSR’s dimensions are 16 x 11 x 5.4mm (L*W*H) and it only weighs 1.5 grams! This means that it can fit in nearly any quad, ranging from micros to minis to fill size quads and will shave weight off you AUW.

The FrSky R-XSR supports up to 16 channels, when connected via SBUS, and 8 channels when connected via CPPM. I highly recommend to use an SBUS connection to take full advantage of this marvelous receiver.

The FrSky R-XSR receiver has an operating voltage range of 4 volts to 10 volts. It is meant to be connected to your 5 volt line coming off your FC or UBEC. So, keep that in mind, as it will not run off of 3.3 volts.

The FrSky R-XSRT receivers comes shipped to you in a anti-static bag. The bag contains the receiver, the wiring harness, a firmware flashing servo harness and a manual. For help on flashing firmware onto your new FrSky R-XSR receiver, see my article here.

FrSky R-XSR Manual

If you lose your manual, and need to reference it, please find both sides of the manual below (click to enlarge).

Antennas and Diversity

The FrSky R-XSR receiver has diversity antennas which are 90mm in length each. The antennas are connected via IPEX connectors, which means they are fully replaceable. Replacement antennas can be purchased in bulk packages from Amazon.com or you can get single ones from Banggood.com.

Not only does the FrSky R-XSR have diversity antennas, but you can also connect 2 of them together to have full receiver diversity. This is done using the SBUS connection. Connecting 2 R-XSRs to a single quad also allows you to control your quad from 2 separate transmitters, if you so choose, giving you transmitter redundancy at the same time. All of this for a total weight of 3 grams from the 2 receivers. Just amazing!

Smart Port/F.Port and Telemetry

The FrSky R-XSR receiver also has a Smart Port. This allows you to connect it to an extra UART on your flight controller to get telemetry back to your transmitter. This means that you can now monitor your quad’s battery voltage and RSSI directly from your FrSky transmitter (like the Taranis X-Lite). The downside is that it does require an additional wire connection and you lose a UART.

FrSky’s answer to this issue was the F. Port. When connecting the FrSky R-XSR via F. Port, you only have to connect the Smart Port wire alone. However, you will need to flash your R-XSR with new firmware that is capable of an F. Port connection. If you own the X-Lite transmitter, this process is very simple to accomplish, read my instructional post here.

The Smart Port connection also has an added benefit. If you install LUA scripts on your transmitter, you can also control portions of your flight controller firmware and possibly even your VTX channel and power output (if your VTX supports Smart Audio).

Please note: If you own a F4 or F7 flight controller, your FC may not be able to connect directly with the R-XSR Smart Port. The FrSky R-XSR Smart Port uses an inverted signal and most F4 flight controllers do not have built in inverters, like the F3 flight controllers do. Never fear, however, as FrSky thought about this dilemma and now offer an uninverted SBUS and Smart Port connection on their newer revisions R-XSR receivers. Instead of using the wires from the plug, you will need to solder on to the pads located on the R-XSRs circuit board. The B is the uninverted SBUS and the P is the uninverted Smart Port.

Range

The R-XSR receiver has amazing range. Honestly, your VTX (unless you have a very powerful one) will most likely drop video before you ever run into a dropped in signal. I have only been able to test the signal about the length of 2 football fields. But, even at that length, I was nowhere near of getting a low signal warning or lost telemetry warning.

Your reception will greatly vary based on where you fly and also how you have your antennas mounted. I have found that the best reception is achieved by mounting the antenna off your back arms, facing towards the front arms. I simply use 2 zip ties, attached to the arms, and then use heat shrink to protect the antennas and keep them out of harm’s way from the props.

Where can I get one from?

You can pick up a FrSky R-XSR receiver from Amazon.com or from Banggood.com. I prefer to pay the few extra dollars and use my Prime shipping for faster delivery.

Final Thoughts

Unless you are building a long range quad, the FrSky R-XSR receiver should be the only one that you install in your quad. Its light weight, reliable, offers diversity antennas, has full telemetry, one wire F.Port capability, and is only a couple of dollars more than the older XM+ receiver. If you absolutely don’t care for telemetry or smart audio controls, then there is nothing wrong with the XM+ either.


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