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FrSky X4R-SB and XSR, SBUS and Telemetry

FrSky X4R-SB and XSR Setup

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The FrSky X4R-SB has been out for a while but the XSR was just release.  What makes these two receivers so great!  Let’s take a look.

frsky sbus

The XSR-SB and XSR both use a newer technology SBUS vs PPM (CPPM) on the D4R-ii.  SBUS is digital where as PPM is analog.  Since PPM is analog, the error checking process takes longer because it has to check values from 0-100.  SBUS has a delay of about 10 – 20ms where PPM is around 60-80ms.  50ms doesn’t sound like a lot but if you are flying 80 mph it could mean the difference between clipping a prop or smashing into a tree.  Game over.

The good thing is that Telemetry (RSSI, battery…) info is still sent in the SBUS stream just like PPM.  So if you are using something like the OSDoge everything works the same.

How to setup SBUS on the X4R-SB AND XSR

Setting up SBUS on the Naze32 is very easy.  The Naze32 rev6 has a built in SBUS inverter so it’s nearly plug and play.

Connect the negative and positive from the RX to the GND and +5 on the Naze32.  The SBUS signal goes to pin 4 U2RX/4 on the Naze32.

frsky sbus

In CleanFlight on the configuration tab, select RX_SERIAL in the Receiver Mode.  Select SBUS on Serial Receiver Provider and hit save.

frsky sbus setup

On the Ports tab on UART2, change RX to Serial RX.

frsky sbus setup

Bind the Taranis to the X4R-SB or XSR.  Make sure you select Mode “D16” in the Model Setup page 2/12, not D8 like for the d4r-ii.  Select “Bind” and the Taranis will start beeping.  Hold the FS button on the rx while powering up.  Unplug the power and exit out of binding on the Taranis.  When you power the RX back up, the LED should turn green.  Binding done and SBUS setup is done.

If you are upgrading the RX from PPM on the D4r-ii to SBUS on the X4R-SB or XSR on one of the kits from the store, all the RSSI and VBAT monitoring will work the same on the OSDoge.  The setup is in CleanFlight and Taranis.  Changing the RX doesn’t effect anything.

Smart Port and Telemetry

If you want to setup a ultra low profile quad or just a simple setup without OSD but still get RSSI and battery voltage warnings, using the Smart Port is the way to go.  By using the Smart Port on the X4R-SB and XSR it will send telemetry (rssi, vbat, altimeter…) to the Taranis.  From there you can set up the Taranis to alert you in a sexy woman’s voice when the RSSI or battery voltage drops below the threshold.

The Smart Port Telemetry setup on the X4R-SB and the XSR are the same.

Connect the RX using SBUS procedure above.  In addition, connect the Smart Port wire (yellow wire) from the RX to input 5 and 6 on the Naze32.

frsky smart port telemetry

Important: On the Naze32 the yellow Smart Port wire must go to pins 5 and 6.  The easiest way to do this is to put a solder bridge across pins 5 and 6.  If this is not done, telemetry won’t work.

In the configurations tab, enable SOFTSERIAL and TELEMETRY.  Hit save.

frsky smart port telemetry setup

On the Ports tab on SOFTSERIAL1,  select SmartPort on Telemetry.  Hit Save.

frsky smart port telemetry setup

In the CLI tab, type command “set telemetry_inversion = on” then hit enter, type “save” enter.

frsky smart port telemetry setup

Now the physical hookup and software is done, time to setup the Taranis.  It will take forever to explain everything here so just watch the video.  It will show you how to setup the Telemetry screens and setup voice alerts for low RSSI and VBAT.

Taranis Logical Switches

taranis telemetry

Here’s a quick explanation of how I have the Logic Switches setup

L1 – When RSSI value drops below 75 in the SD up position (my arm switch) for at least 2 seconds

L2 – When Vfas (VBAT) drops below 13.6v in the SD up position (my arm switch) for at least 3 seconds

L3 – When Throttle timer reaches 1:30 min in the armed switch

L4 – When Throttle timer reaches 3 min in the armed switch

Taranis Special Functions

taranis telemetry

This is where you setup the voice prompts in the Taranis.

SF4 When the Logic for L1 is true, Play Value RSSI once every 3 seconds.

SF5 When the Logic for L2 is true, Play Track “batlow” once every 5 s.

SF6 When the Logic for L3 is true, Play Value 1:30 min once.

SF7 When the Logic for L4 is true, Play Value 3 min once.

UPDATE, 6/13/16 – I’ve confirmed that you can have the Telemetry from the SmartPort wire and OSD from the OSDoge working at the same time.

If you found this post helpful, it would be super cool if you purchased the components from my store or purchase items from my Amazon links.  These posts are expensive and take a loooong time to make especially this one!  Some of the segments in the video I had to reshoot 3-4 times because CleanFlight was messing up my screen recording and making the separate audio tracks not sync up.  The purchases make it possible for me to keep making them.  Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂

By | 2016-06-13T12:15:03+00:00 April 8th, 2016|Build, Review|63 Comments


  1. Patrick Haughton 04/08/2016 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    thanks for the info, will any of this work on the X8R Receiver?

  2. David 04/08/2016 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike, thanks for this info. Just one thing though, on my Taranis I don’t see vFAS in logical switches, and on the special functions page I already have SF2 as RSSI. Cheers

    • FlightClub 04/08/2016 at 5:25 pm - Reply

      Did you select select “FAS” as your voltage source in the telemetry page?

      • David 04/10/2016 at 4:19 am - Reply

        Hi Mike, I only see RSSI
        A1 – no value
        A2 – no value
        SWR – 17
        RxBt – 5.0V
        A2 (again) – 11.1V

        I have performed a discovery but neither fas or vbat appear


        • David 04/10/2016 at 4:54 am - Reply

          OK, I can now see vFAS, had to arm and wait whilst doing the discovery for some reason, but it shows 0.00V. Do I need to connect the vFAS port on the NAZE to something like the 5V output on the PDB? (Originally it was to be plugged into the OSDoge, which I’m not using).

          • FlightClub 04/10/2016 at 8:10 am

            In order to see vfas the VBAT on the naze must be connected to the battery.

  3. SREERAJ C 04/09/2016 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Nice write up! Really helpful for dummies like myself.
    One question, what pdb is the naze stacked on?

    • FlightClub 04/09/2016 at 8:14 am - Reply

      i’m making them. they will be in the shop soon 🙂

      • rholt51 04/19/2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

        Hurry with that, it looks like a great solution for me!
        Russ from Coral Springs, FL, USA

  4. Stu 04/09/2016 at 8:17 am - Reply

    I’m building my first QAV210 using your “How to build a QAV210 Part 1” video. I am using everything all the same parts in the video. I was going to use my trusty D4R-II but now I want to use X4R-SB. My question is when I am soldering my servo cable to + & – and the signal wire to pin 4 to the Naze32, I shouldn’t need to use the telemetry port on the X4R-SB because I am using a osdoge? Hope this makes sense?

    • FlightClub 04/09/2016 at 8:28 am - Reply

      no, for the x4r-sb with the Naze/OSDoge you only need +/- and sbus to pin 4. you can’t run telemetry and have OSD at the same time. the osd values will be incorrect.

      • Stu 04/09/2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

        Got it, that helps out a lot! Thanks

  5. Steve 04/09/2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

    “Only use the telemetry feature on the X4R-SB and XSR if you are not using OSD. The bad thing is that you can’t have telemetry on the Taranis and have OSD at the same time. It will work but the OSD values will be incorrect.”

    I have telemetry and OSD working at the same time with correct values. Using Naze32 Rev6 and OSDoge, Betaflight 2.6.0, X4R-SB flashed to X4R_LBT_build151118.frk and Taranis X9D+ flashed to opentx_X9DP_mode2_EU_2.1.6. X4R-SB S-PORT connected Naze32 pins 5+6. OSDoge outputs exactly the same RSSI, CURR, VBAT and ALT data.

    • FlightClub 04/09/2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      interesting. I’ll have to look into this more. my OSD values were different from the telemetry.

      • Joel 04/22/2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

        Any new information on this / did you have a chance to look into the fix for this? It would be great to be able to have OSD and Taranis telemetry both working correctly with correct data

        • FlightClub 06/23/2016 at 9:51 am - Reply

          yes, i’ve confirmed telemetry and OSD can work at the same time. i’m running my qav-r that way

  6. Romain 04/13/2016 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Very cool and interesting content again, Good job !! I am still using my expensive and pointless spectrum system, and am thinking about jumping into the Taranis world, but I hesitate with the new UHF Dragonlink V3 which look promising for people like me who have invested into high quality knobs and switches from Spectrum. Cheers to all !! Romain.

    • FlightClub 04/13/2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

      do it! come to the dark side…

  7. Romain 04/13/2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

    This solution is convincing, but I still miss the awesome osdoge. I hope they’ll continue the osdoge board..

    • FlightClub 04/13/2016 at 11:49 am - Reply

      don’t worry, something cool is coming in the OSDoge world 🙂

  8. Nick 04/18/2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Hi. Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into this. It is much appreciated. I’m following your qav 210 build (on my Qav-r) but using the x4r what should be done differently if using the sbus route!? Are all the connections to the OSDoge the same as in the build video still. And just swapping the x4r connections from this vid for those in the build vid?

    • FlightClub 04/18/2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      yes, exactly. the only thing different is the way the rx connector is on the naze +, – and sbus to ch4. Then enable SBUS in cleanflight. Everything else in cleanflight and taranis is the same.

  9. rholt51 04/19/2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    I’ve modeled my 1st build after your recommendations – so far it’s a VERY durable (it HAS to be) qav250. you had me licking my lips at the XSR – (i’m using the X4R now (in your 3D printed case). I’d LOVE to have more channels, racing is a long way off – but here’s my question – you say that the S-Bus uses pin 4 on the Naze32, I have both OSD (coming off Tx/Rx AND GPS coming off pins 3 & 4 of the Naze32. am i out of luck with GPS if i use the XSR?

    thanks for all your stuff – keep up the great work!

    Russ from Coral Springs, FL, USA

    • FlightClub 04/19/2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry, I haven’t played with GPS on the Naze32 in a long time so I can’t tell you. It was such a headache and failure I gave up a long time ago.

      • rholt51 04/19/2016 at 11:43 pm - Reply

        tha’s ok – i’m finding most flyers are into racing – and i will be, too, after i learn how to fly FPV. i’ve used my GPS with my naze32 & F4R-ii with very good success. i like using GPS for now in order to help stablize my quad (position hold) while i get used to FPV. i’ve also started using the CleanFlight iNav which looks to be very promising with it’s RTH feature.
        Hopefully i’ll get some more feedback on this. itm, i’ve been looking around and read somewhere that they used pins 7 & 8 as tx/rx and had success connecting GPS that way. this is enough for me to go ahead and buy one of the xsr’s from ya.

        Russ from Coral Springs, FL, USA

        • FlightClub 04/20/2016 at 10:20 am - Reply

          I’m sure it can be done. Once you get use to flying you aren’t going to want to stay in one place 🙂

  10. Joe Ortega 04/21/2016 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Is the latest OSDoge board up on your site now for purchase? Noticed on Instagram,that your already testing and having more success over the earlier version. Please let us know!

    I’m looking forward to buying that from your site along with Naze 32 Rev 6, 4XR-SB and a 5v/12v pdb. Thanks,Joe

  11. Joe Ortega 04/21/2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Do you sell the board with the XT60 connector on it? How is that made if not. I’m looking to add that to my NightHawk 250.

    • FlightClub 04/21/2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

      that’s a prototype, i’ve got them coming soon

  12. ZeusDaddy 04/21/2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Will you be making 3D mounts for the new XSR receiver?

    • FlightClub 04/21/2016 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Yea I guess I should huh? I’ll get on it tonight. thanks!

      • Russell Holt 05/04/2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

        got my 3D printed xsr mount just the other day (along with my xsr). looking forward to implementing this on my QAV250. 8 channels were not enough. Still, I’m gonna be looking for a solution to GPS. I’m working with the branch of Cleanflight called INAV which uses GPS for Position Hold and a great Return To Home (RTH) function.

        Russ from Coral Springs, FL, USA

  13. Russell Holt 05/04/2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    oh… a bit off-topic to this thread (which was, again, well planned out, thank you, once again)… but i have mounted the 3D motor guards on my QAV250 and they are great, except that I’m finding it difficult to hold the motor still while tightening & loosening the props. am i doing something wrong? i cut back one of the mounts so that it doesn’t go 180 degees around and lets me grip the motor better. seems to work well.

    Russ from Coral Springs, FL, USA

    • FlightClub 05/04/2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

      Russ, are you using cobra motors? If so, contact me. I have a prop wrench for that problem.

  14. Takeo Ogami 06/13/2016 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    I’m using a naze32 rev 6, osdoge 1.5 ,xsr and taranis running 2.1.7. The naze32 will not arm with smartport selected, runs with it off or another setting such as Frsky. I am getting telemetry which is great but sucks that I can not fly it. I know the values on the OSD will be off. Wondering if it might be a failsafe issue, I am calibrating all the time on a flat surface. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • FlightClub 06/13/2016 at 11:59 pm - Reply

      that’s strange. what settings have you enabled in the ports tab?

      • Takeo Ogami 06/14/2016 at 12:34 am - Reply

        UART1 (DATA column) MSP (115200), UART2 (RX column) Serial R, SOFTSERIAL1(Telemetry column) SMARTPORT (Auto), SOFTSERIAL 2 . Also forgot to note I’m running a full naze board. Thanks for the help.

      • Takeo Ogami 06/14/2016 at 1:03 am - Reply

        I just loaded betaflight 2.7.1 and it is working. My motor responses are a bit weird but I’ll report more on that when I finish my build.

    • Pedro Cabrita 07/13/2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      I have exactly the same problem with the same configuration in Ports tab. Any ideas ? I will like to keep the cleanflight instead of betaflight. I also had the full Naze32..

  15. JP 06/13/2016 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching all your “build” videos and was wondering if you offer a complete build package for QAV-R? I’m thinking I buy you kit, add battery and transmitter to the order and I get a best-of-breed RTF, build to your build standards. Please copy back with any options. Thanks, JP

  16. Zgr 06/26/2016 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Hi, why did you set RSSI alarm at 75? Shouldn’t be some lower value?

    • FlightClub 06/27/2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

      yes, i have mine set at 55. I put it at 75 for the video demo. If I set it at 55 it would never go off.

  17. Takeo 06/26/2016 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Betaflight is arming but not working well, the motors spool up to half speed and are non responsive. I was wondering if the full board’s cpu can not keep up and it is failing. Any recommendations?

    • FlightClub 06/27/2016 at 9:40 am - Reply

      are you looking on clean flight? if you have air mode enabled it will do that. when you actually fly it will be fine.

    • Zgr 06/27/2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      I have the same issue (motor issue only in angle mode). If you change PID controller to MultiWii (rewrite) problem with arming will be solved. Motors will spol up slower and you will have full controll. I don’t know if in Betaflight, but in Cleanflight it will be as I have described.
      However, as FlightClub said here, even with Luxfloat PID you will have motors working well when you are in the air.

  18. Takeo 06/27/2016 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    I ended up replacing the fc controller with a naze32 acro and all is well.

    • Pedro Cabrita 07/13/2016 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      well that is not a good option 🙁 I also had a full naze32 and the same problem, telemetry but cannot arm the board. without telemetry I can arm the board.

      • Takeo 07/14/2016 at 2:50 pm - Reply

        I’ll save board and reflash using the bootloader method for another build. I think it’s the F 1 processor, I feel it might be over taxed (too much data) and causing errors. I’m looking to migrate to a F 3 board. I maybe wrong but these guys who build these boards are very smart but may not have the resources of a large company to make custom chips, which cause limitations.

        • Pedro Cabrita 07/15/2016 at 5:05 am - Reply

          Well the Cleanflight changelog says:
          “NOTE: Your aircraft won’t arm if the processor is overloaded. This normally only effects F1 boards (e.g. Naze, Flip and CC3D). If there is a problem with arming with one of these boards users should switch to the MWREWRITE PID or choose other features and settings to reduce CPU load.”


          Naze32 10DOF, with Telemetry enabled + SBUS + VBAT + (other feature) probably is too much overload to the processor ..

          • Toby 09/13/2016 at 9:44 pm

            i was wondering did you ever get it to arm if yes how i’m
            having the same problem it seems to me when i check the softserial tab in configuration it won’t arm but when i uncheck the tab it arms any help would be apreciated.

          • Takeo 09/13/2016 at 10:39 pm

            I ended up going to a Acro naze32 board and it worked out. The full naze with the magnitometer, barometer, etc I don’t think can handle the work load. I’m planning on using a F3 board on my next build and see if I can get all the telemetry back. Try shutting down the other functions to see if that helps also lower the loop times on the board, that could help too. I noticed miniosd micro screws with the board too when in cleanflight so power it down during setup. Good luck! If all else fails check your solder joints too to make sure there are no shorts.

  19. Damon 07/13/2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Truly Appreciate the time you put in for these videos. Your site is the first place I go for up to date info and easy to follow. I buy lots of your stuff. Always accurate, on-time delivery!

    • FlightClub 07/13/2016 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      thanks Damon! I really appreciate it. I’ve got a lot of cool new products coming.

  20. Russell Holt 09/14/2016 at 10:31 am - Reply

    xsr is now working great w/my QAV250 (used this site to learn how to build it) and SPRacingF3 FC (no need for inversion on most if not all F3 flight controllers.)
    Russ from Coral Springs, Fl usa

    • FlightClub 09/14/2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

      thanks Russell! Glad I could help!

  21. Manel 12/15/2016 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    My yaw is on roll, hellp plese.

    • FlightClub 12/17/2016 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      do you have the correct channel map selected? For taranis it should be TAER1234 on the receiver tab.

    • FlightClub 12/17/2016 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      do you have the correct channel map selected? For taranis it should be TAER1234 on the receiver tab. Make sure your taranis is set on Mode 2.

      • Manel 12/19/2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

        My throttle is roll, my yaw is throttle., my roll is yaw… pitch is pitch… Hellp

        • FlightClub 12/19/2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

          do you have the correct channel map set on the rx tab?

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