Horus: celestial god of the Egyptian mythology with human body and hawk head. But that's not all, FrSky has named that way the successor of the world renowned Taranis.
Our pilot @MIJABA has been lucky and is in the betatesting program with an early access to the Horus and is sharing with us all his experiences and sensations about this new and revolutionary radio that we think will provide people with a lot to talk about.
The analyisis will consist of two parts: in the first one we'll talk about it's technical aspects and hardware, and in the second one, about the software and the operating system, along with some live tests and other features you might find interesting.
Without further delay, let’s introduce all the details of this fantastic and innovative radio.
Horus packs a huge amount of changes and new specifications that might really interest any style or skill level pilot. We have to take into account that this unit is a testing one. Therefore, many of the hardware components might not be the final ones and some software functions might not be fully developed yet.
That said, let’s list the most important specifications:
- High resolution display (480 x 272 px): full colour screen where you can configure and monitor your saved models.
- New gimbals: CNC machined, equipped with 6 bearings to soften the friction, hall sensors and extensible ends. Delightful to the touch.
- GPS: Internal GPS module.
- Training System: new and revolutionary trainer system without the need to use wires.
- 6DOF Sensor: 6 axis sensor built-in: gyroscope and accelerometer.
- Customization: 3 kinds of finish to choose from between matte, textured and aluminium details on the front panel.
- Number of channels: 16 channels, ¡up to 32!
- Telemetry: communication channel dedicated to telemetry between the receiver and radio with real-time log capacity.
- Antenna: antenna detection and low SWR signal warning.
- Receiver bind: Capability to be bound with up to 64 receivers.
- Internal module:New Internal IXJT RF module with lower latency and higher stability.
- External antenna: The radio has an internal antenna for the RF module that is used by default, but it is possible to add an external one for the internal module to use.
- External module: You’ll have the possibility to add an external module on the back bay and select it on the model configuration.
- Power on button: The radio power button stays protected under the metallic support to hang the Horus. That will save you from turning it off by mistake. It even has a confirmation message for added protection.
- Training port: Two trainer port types to improve compatibility between radios.
- MP3 player: Practice your freestyle sessions ¡listening to music directly from your radio!
- Haptic feedback: The radio notifies you with vibrations.
- NiMH Battery: NiMH 2000 mAh integrated battery inside the radio with a built-in charging circuit.
- Encoder: New 6 position encoder. Now you can configure up to 5 flight modes in a single button.
- OS: The transmitter comes by default with the operative system designed by FrSky themselves: the FrSkyTX, but the transmitter is fully compatible with open source firmwares (in fact, OpenTX is currently working on a new firmware release for the Horus).
The transmitter’s carry case, of very robust aspect and crash resistant, houses our treasured transmitter. It can be firmly closed through a couple of dead-bolt locks.
Once you open the case for the first time you’re greeted with the transmitter itself, very well protected, with its protective films on the screen. We can also find the charger with a European plug (selected by the customer on purchase), and a 2-point neck strap, as well as the keys to lock the case. Everything is perfectly fitted in its foam slot. That will avoid any movement inside the case while transporting it.
The looks of it
Once the transmitter is in your hands it seems smaller than it looked in the first pics that appeared on the internet, even though it’s still quite bigger than the Taranis. Anyways, at first sight you can already tell this is not a Taranis, it’s serious business.
The sides of the Horus incorporate a rugged and slip-resistant rubber, right where we place our hands. Furthermore, at the back of the transmitter there’s a metallic support, which is ideal for when you want to put the transmitter on a table. Some small rubbers avoid scratching the transmitter when on the table. The already mentioned metallic stand can also be used to carry the transmitter more comfortably.
The front panel is made of perfectly mechanized aluminium with a matte texture that houses the two huge gimbals, surrounded by multiple controls, detailed below. At the top, a huge full colour screen with a 480 x 272 px resolution. Aside from the screen size and colours, this new screen positioning is an upgrade to the old Taranis, as you don’t have to look down as you had to do in the Taranis in order to see the info on the display.
Right in the middle of the front panel we can find a metallic strap base, where we’ll be able to link our neck strap. If we lift this metal part we can find the power button to turn on and off the transmitter, which was hidden at first sight!
The sticks are perfectly machined with a red finish to them, that goes together with the other details found at the front plate of the Tx. The stick height can be adjusted by simply screwing or unscrewing the sticks themselves. The rest of the assembly is perfectly fitted and adapted to the front panel thanks to the CNC machined parts.
Smoothness is omnipresent in this transmitter: the gimbals can’t be an exception. The Horus manages to do it through hall sensors and a total of 6 bearings, to minimize frictions as much as possible. An exquisite feel, as it deserves.
On both sides of the transmitter, at the top and in both sides we can find 4 switches (two in the front panel and two at the top). Six of which are 3 position and the other two are 2 position switches. The one on the right is sprung and goes back to its original state. But there’s even more: at the back, we can find sliders with a very soft and smooth feel to them.
Still in the top part, in the middle and under the display we can find three rotating buttons. In both ends we can find some pots with a very soft touch. The central one contains a surprise, as it’s a 6 position encoder that will allow us to configure, for example, up to 5 different flight modes in one and only button!
Under the rotating buttons we can find four other buttons: two for the vertical trimming and two that can be assigned to do custom functions. The trims are the black ones. Below them are the horizontal trims (also black) and surrounding the power button, two vertical sliders that might remind of a mixing console. And once again when moved all you feel is extreme smoothness.
To finish off, in the lower part of the front plate the Horus has some buttons, to be operated with your thumbs, to navigate through the configuration menus of the transmitter.
As it can be seen at glance, this is a transmitter with so many controls for every taste. It’s impossible to fall short in buttons!
The transmitter comes with an upgraded internal IXJT RF module. This module is connected to an internal antenna, but if you don’t want to use that one, you can always plug in your own one to be used with the module. To do that you just have to change the model config so that it uses the new one instead of the internal one.
Also, there’s the possibility of connecting any compatible module in the back module bay, so the compatibility with nearly every craft is guaranteed.
Charger and battery
The transmitter includes an internal 2200 mAh NiMH battery, which is a very good capacity for a stock battery. This is a plus; keep in mind that the power consumption of the Horus can be higher than a Taranis’, due to all the new functions, like the full colour screen.
The transmitter incorporates a built-in charging circuit, that regulates and controls the charge of the battery, and turns itself off when the battery is fully charged. That means that if you want to charge it it’s as simple as plugging in the power transformer included in the kit to the transmitter and waiting until the charging indicator LED goes from blinking green (battery level detection and charge beginning) to solid green (charging) to no led (the same LED turns off when the battery is fully charged), and our Horus is already charged and ready to fly!
At the back of the transmitter we can find various covers under which different things are hidden. Between them there’s the microSD port with the microSD in it, that has in it the operating system / firmware used by the transmitter. We can also find a USB port, which we can use to transfer files to our Horus without having to remove the microSD card.
In the microSD we can also store MP3 files to be used later, image files to customize certain models, voice warning tracks...
Under the cover right besides it we can find two different connectors, to use the transmitter in trainer mode. But not only that, let’s not forget that according to FrSky’s specs on the Horus, different Horus transmitters can be linked between each other wirelessly to use the trainer mode more comfortably.
And here is the first part, where we have analyzed the components and specs of the FrSky Horus X12S. As you can appreciate, this will be one of the most advanced and complete transmitters available in the near future.
Stay tuned as we will soon release the second analysis where the specific OS (developed specifically for the Horus by FrSky) will be explained, along with some tips, tricks and curiosities of this awesome transmitter.