“Binding” is the process of configuring a RC controller so that it can talk to the RC receiver installed inside of your quadcopter. It is a procedure you’re going to have to deal with before flying whether you bought an ARF quadcopter or you built one yourself. One frustrating aspect of binding RC systems to me is that the binding procedures for every radio system is different. Even different receivers on the same radio system can have very different binding procedures.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through the steps to bind FrSky Taranis systems (that’d be the Taranis X9D, Taranis QX7 and Taranis X-Lite) with every receiver you will find in miniquad. Let’s do it!
Before you can bind your Taranis to a receiver, you need to complete a few steps.
Install Your Receiver in Your Quadcopter
Some ARF quadcopters (termed “Plug and play” (PNP) or “Bind and Fly” (BNF)) will come with a receiver pre-installed and ready for pairing. If this describes your quadcopter, you can skip this step.
If you are installing your receiver in your ARF quadcopter, we are making the assumption that it is a RX with a S.Bus port like the X4R-SB, XSR, XM+, etc. Installing these types of receivers is pretty simple. You will need to locate and plug 3 wires from your quadcopter’s flight controller (FC) board into your receiver. On most flight controllers, these 3 wires are grouped together:
- 5V (+) from the FC needs to be plugged into a positive (+) pad or pin on your RX.
- GND (-) from the FC needs to be plug into a ground (-) pad or pin on your RX.
- UART RX from the FC needs to be plugged into the S.Bus pad or pin on your RX.
Some FCs will have multiple ports labeled “UART”. Look for a pad that is specifically labeled “SBUS” and use it if present. If not, you will need to do a little more research. Find out if your flight controller is an “F3” or an “F4” variant. You can use any pin labeled “UART RX” on “F3” variants. On “F4” variants you will need to consult the manual or a wiring diagram for the FC to determine which port to use for wiring your RX to.
If this is confusing or you want more details, check out our guide to common RC receiver problems. This page has many additional details on installing RC receivers.
Before you button your quadcopter up: you need to be able to physically access the “Failsafe” button on your receiver to complete the binding procedure. This generally means you will not install the top plate of your quadcopter.
Power Up Your Quadcopter
You will need to be able to power on your RX. Since your RX is installed in your quadcopter, this will generally mean plugging your quadcopter into your battery. Make whatever preparations you need to to get this work. We recommend you remove your props and use a smoke stopper the first time you plug your quadcopter into your battery.
A possibly easier way of doing this: Some flight controllers will power up all 5V accessories when you plug them into a USB port. Try plugging your quadcopter into your computer to see if the light on the RX comes on. If so, you won’t need to plug in a battery to do the binding procedure!
How to Binding your Taranis
The following steps are the actual binding procedures for the OpenTX Taranis series of radios:
- Power off your quadcopter (RX) and power on your Taranis.
- Press the Menu button on the Taranis to activate the Model Selection page.
- Select an un-used model and press Page.
- Optionally select and enter a name for your new quadcopter.
- Using the +/- buttons, scroll to the bottom of the menu to Internal RF | Mode. Select D16 for all miniquad receivers (which includes X4R-SB, XSR, XM+).
- Scroll down to [Bind] using the – button. Press the ENT button on your TX to enable binding mode. Your Taranis should begin making an intermittent chirping noise.
- Find the physical push button on your RX. It is most often next to the LED that turns on when it is powered up. On the XM+ it is very small and near the antenna. This is the Failsafe button.
- Press and hold the Failsafe button while powering up your receiver/quadcopter. This can take more than two hands, so you may need to have some help.
- When the receiver powers up, you should see a solid green light and a blinking red light. This indicates success. Any other light scheme means you likely have a problem, you should try the process again or consult the FrSky manual.
- Release the Failsafe button and disconnect power from the receiver/quadcopter.
- On the Taranis, press ENT to exit bind mode. Press EXIT several times to go back to the home page.
- Power your receiver/quadcopter back on. Verify that it is showing a solid green light, indicating that it is successfully communicating with the radio. If your RX supports telemetry, you should see radio signal telemetry show up on your Taranis’ screen.
Where to Go From Here
Now that your receiver is paired with your quadcopter, you are ready to configure your flight controller software. We recommend you check out our popular Betaflight Configuration Guide to walk you through this procedure. This process will double-check that your RX is properly bound and communicating properly with your FC. It will also check that your failsafe is working properly so your quadcopter will disarm if it loses a radio signal from your Taranis.