Taranis Prog. Review

OpenTX Transmitter Programming Basics

 Your instructor: Craig (Fig ArchmageAU on RCGroups and HeliFreak)


This is a quick recap as to how to navigate the OpenTX menus in v2.0 and, in all probability, any later versions. There may be minor differences, but this class will review the basics for you.  The purpose of this is to get you familiar with how OpenTX user screens are laid out and introduce a standard, simplified way of talking about them.

Lets begin.

Learning OpenTX Shorthand

OpenTX relies on the transmitter having a power button/switch, screen and 6 buttons programming buttons: “MENU”, “PAGE”, “EXIT”, “ENT”, “+” and “-”. Power is to turn the transmitter on and off, the rest are used for navigation. I’ll ignore the sticks, switches, knobs and sliders you use to control the RC model at this stage.


This, then, becomes our first simplification:

– “MENU” button is “M”
– “PAGE” button is “P”
– “EXIT” button in “X”
– “ENT” button is “E”
– “+” button is “+”
– “-” button is “-”


Each button can be operated by:

–  using a shortpress (tap and release immediately) or
–  using a long press (press and hold, and release after a second or so).


This leads to our second simplification:

“E” means “ENT” button short press.
“E”lo means “ENT” button long press.


So now we have some terms to help explain navigation. Lets cover the screen layouts, then I’ll get back to the button functions.

Menus and Pages

OpenTX has both Menus and Pages. Think of menus like chapters in a book. Pages, like well.. pages. As some of these pages are bigger than the OpenTX transmitter screen, some of these pages “scroll”, or must be moved up and down to see the entire page. Once in a menu (chapter) “P” goes forward one page, “P”lo goes generally moves back one page (except in Telemetry where it still goes forward).

The main menu is a special menu that links directly to all the other menus. It’s the one you see when you first turn on the TX after the initial splash screen and you clear any warning that might appear.

So, the three top level Menus are:

–  Telemetry (“P”lo from Main Menu): Allows viewing telemetry information returned from your plane.  It’s configured  from within the Radio Setup menu, but the results are displayed here.

–  Radio Setup (“M”lo from Main Menu):  This is where you configure the preferences used by your Taranis.

–   Model Setup (“M” from Main Menu):  This menu is where you tell OpenTX how you want your model to behave.

Each is made up of pages, and it’s within these pages that you get your work done.

Within the Main menu, the pages are:

–        Timer display
–        Sticks display
–        Logical switch display
–        Monitor display

Within the Telemetry menu, the pages are:

–        Custom screen 1
–        Custom screen 2
–        Custom screen 3
–        Battery display (A1, A2)
–        Flight display (Altitude, GPS, Signal Strength)

When you “M”lp from the start screen, you enter the Radio Setup menu. It’s pages are:

–        Radio setup
–        SD-HC Card
–        Trainer
–        Version
–        Switch Test
–        Analog Inputs
–        Hardware
–        Calibration

From the start screen, if you press “M”, you’re taken to the Model Setup menu. This is where you build your specific model profile.  The available pages are:

–        Model Selection
–        Model Setup
–        Heli Setup
–        Flight Modes
–        Inputs
–        Mixer
–        Servos
–        Curves
–        Global Variables
–        Logical Switches
–        Special Functions
–        Telemetry

That’s all there is to it, group!  If you’re not sure about what all of that means, check out any of the forums or groups listed below, or try OpenTX Documentation.

Navigating on a Page

Once in a page, “+” and “-” move the current selection (think line like in a book of pages and chapters). “E” selects the current selection for editing. “E”lo will bring up extra editing options (if there are any). When editing a text field “E”lo will change the character between upper and lower case.

One thing that gets confusing is that some selections may have multiple items (think word within a line: like in a book with pages and chapters). In this case, “+” and “-” will move between items in the page selection. “E” will edit the current highlighted item, “X” will go back to the previous level.

When editing an item, “+” and “-” will move between values. “E” will save that value.

One neat thing with OpenTX, if the item (word) you are editing is supposed to be a physical switch (like setting a flight mode), you can move the switch on the transmitter and it’s value will appear in the item.

“X” will always take you back one level. If editing an item (word), it will take you to the selection (line) on the page in a menu (making you at menu level – chapter). If on a menu page, “X” will take you to to the main screen.

There are other combination button shortcuts to set thing to the man, value, or the min value, or the inverse of a value, etc.. Those are for a later time. For this lesson I just wanted to introduce the terminology and menu navigation.  For a printable map of how to navigate OpenTX, see: Navigation Map 2.0.

Using the Conventions

Therefore, with this primer, it makes it easy to write out screen navigation. For instance, to increase the main timer by 1 minute, from the main screen (with the model selected) it is:

–        “M”, “P” (Model Setup)
–        “-”, “-”, “-”, (Highlight selection)
–        “E”, “+”, “E” (Edit selection)
–        “X”, “X” (back to Main Menu)

Now you can read other lessons in the syllabus and get your transmitter working quickly.

Pop Quiz:

1)      What are the 6 buttons for editing, not flying?
2)      What are the 2 types of button presses?
3)      What concept was used to highlight how the menu structure works?
4)      Which 2 “menus” only page forward?


1)      MENU : “M”, PAGE : “P”, EXIT : “X”, + : “+”, – : “-”, ENT : “E”
2)      Short and Long (lo)
3)      Chapter, Page, Line, Word
4)      “Main Menu” and Telemetry

Here are some links to help you:

“RC Groups” – Lots of discussion on RC aircraft and helicopters – http://www.rcgroups.com
“FrSky Taranis with OpenTX 2.0 and beyond” – http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2178865
“FRSKY Taranis ‘How to’ Thread” – http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1914834


Taranis Prog. Review — 3 Comments

  1. There are a BUNCH of background(to the beginner) codes in OpenTx like:
    and so on.
    There must be a list of these options and what they mean SOMEWHERE! When trying to setup a mix or whatever, you really don’t know what options are available or how to use which one.
    Can you advise on this please.
    This may be posted in the wrong place but your mentioning the shorthand and I thought they might go together.

    There’s a lot of magic in OpenTX and there doesn’t seem to be any resourses or key to the magic.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi Craig.
    In the test there is lo or lp for LONG PRESS. Could you accomodate the test so it refer only to one of them ?

    ps: thanks for your great work !!!

Leave a Reply