Quick Start Guide

The following steps will get you setup and ready to fly quickly. It is a condensed version intended for experienced pilots/builders. Each step is elaborated in more detail in this manual if you are new to this. 

You will need to charge and mount the battery, bind the R/C receiver, configure the flight control, and potentially adjust VTX channel.

This section requires the following equipment.

  • Depending on the version you have, 5-channel Spektrum, FrSky or Futaba S-FHSS R/C radio transmitter with one of the supported protocols (Check page 3)

  • 5.8 GHz FPV receiver system/display/goggles

  • BetaFlight on a computer (PC/Mac) for detailed configuration

Let’s go!

  1. Charge the battery with the supplied JST adapter cable on 1C/600mA rate using a LiPo charger

  2. On the radio, hold the bind-button while powering on the transmitter

  3. Plug in the battery on the frame and within 10 seconds the Spektrum receiver should bind to the transmitter, the red LED should stop flashing

  4. On the radio change the end-points for all channels to 130%, if needed, to reach the approx. range of 1050 to 1950, connect to BetaFlight (SiLABS VCP drivers) and check under the “Transmitter”-tab to verify

  5. Next, to set the video transmitter channel and power setting, hold the menu button for 3 seconds and use the table later in the manual to change the settings

  6. Lastly, power on your vrx/goggle/display (default channel 5860 MHz) and spin up by holding throttle down-right (mode 2) and turn off by holding throttle down-left or turning off the radio (failsafe)

Setup

Getting set up and ready to fly is a quick and simple task, as mostly everything comes pre-built from the TBS factory. When using TBS equipment, it is plug & play to get ready. Follow these easy steps and you will be shredding the sky in just a few minutes!

Charging battery

The supplied 1S 600mAh battery is charged for storage and transportation (50%). It needs to be charged at 1C, 600mA, before being used. You can still setup and configure the XRACER but it is not recommended to fly without charging the battery fully first.

 DSC_3178_edit_web_raw.jpg

The kit comes with a white spade type male plug to JST male plug adapter to make it easier to connect to a LiPo charger (charger not supplied). You can use any regular R/C LiPo charger or a simple USB stick charger. The size of the battery is x x x mm.

Mounting battery

Getting the battery mounting is easily done by connecting the two spade connectors (always check the cable polarity, red-to-red) and slipping the battery into the black battery strap on the underside of the XRACER.

Changing video transmitter settings

On the underside of the XRACER is a slot to access the menu button and two status LEDs for the VTX.

In the menu there are categories and setting entries. Pressing the button for 3 seconds will toggle between categories, pressing it for a short (1 second) press toggles between settings. To enter the menu, hold the button for 3 seconds. LED colors will signal the state of the menu, for an overview see the following table.

Channel select mode 

Enter menu by pressing the button for 3s. Red LED will flash 1 time. Select channels by simple short presses.

Band select mode

Press the button for an additional 3s. Red LED will flash 2 times. Select band by simple short presses.

Unlock and power select mode

The default VTX power level is 25mW and is fine for all close proximity flight where there are no other FPV pilots around. To change this value you need to unlock the VTX.

(FOR HAM USERS ONLY!) To unlock, press button for 20 to 25 seconds. The Red LED will flash 3 times to confirm. You have unlocked the video transmitter for use with all frequencies (see frequency table below). 

The power select mode is now accessible. Once unlocked, you can select the power level according to the table below. To lock the transmitter, go back into band select menu and press the button for 20 to 25 seconds again. 

Saving settings

Press button for 3 seconds. Blue LED will turn on, settings are saved and it will exit the menu.

LED flash codes for channel, band and powerUntitled-1.jpg

The TBS UNIFY PRO 5G8 signals selected channel, band and power levels using a startup sequence of LED codes. The same sequence is also repeated in the menu to make it unified. First the RED LED flashes to indicate the item being shown. One flash for channel, two flashes for band, three flashes for power level. Subsequently, the BLUE LED will indicate the value.

Red LED: 

Indicate item - Channel, band or power setting

Blue LED: 

Indicate value


For example, Channel 6, Band B, Power of 500mW, will have the following startup LED code:

  1. 1x Red and 6x Blue = Channel, 6

  2. 2x Red and 2x Blue = Band, 2 (=B)

  3. 3x Red and 3x Blue = Power, 3 (= 500mW)

Once the Video transmitter has successfully booted up, it will show a constant BLUE for locked state, and a constant RED + BLUE for unlocked state. For reference, see the following menu tables.

RED LED

BLUE LED


1x

2x

3x

4x

5x

6x

7x

8x

1x

Channel

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

2x

Band

A

B

E

Airwave

Race




3x

Power Level*

25

200

500

800






Channel

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8


Band A

5865

5845

5825

5805

5785

5765

5745

5725

MHz

Band B

5733

5752

5771

5790

5809

5828

5847

5866

MHz

Band E

5705

5685

5665

5645

5885

5905

5925

5945

MHz

Airwave

5740

5760

5780

5800

5820

5840

5860

5880

MHz

Race Band

5658

5695

5732

5769

5806

5843

5880

5917

MHz

PowerLevel

25

200

500

800


mW


The selections in orange requires HAM license to operate legally. The video transmitter ensures that you cannot select illegal channels or power levels by accident:

  • When controlled by the push button, you will need to confirm having a HAM license by following the steps described above to unlock your video transmitter

  • Through the CORE PRO, you are required to enter your HAM license number under the “Callsign” menu before you can access the high power transmission settings and the locked out channels

For further details on the TBS UNIFY PRO, see the official manual: http://www.team-blacksheep.com/tbs-unify-pro-5g8-manual.pdf

Radio channel setup

On the radio, especially on the DX6/DX7/DX8/DX9 models, you need to reverse 2 channels and extend the end-points 125% in both directions for all 4 main channels. In BetaFlight, the end-points should be in the 1050-1950 range.

Channel

Direction

End-point

Throttle

Normal

125% / 125%

Aileron

Reversed

125% / 125%

Elevator

Normal

125% / 125%

Rudder/yaw

Reversed

125% / 125%


Binding Spektrum receiver

The main controller board has a receiver on-board that is based on the either Spektrum DSM2(V1.0 & V1.1)/DSMX(V1.1), FrSky or Futaba S-FHSS protocol. To bind the receiver you need a compatible radio or transmitter module. 

To bind the XRACER to a Spektrum radio:

  1. Power on the XRACER, either by connecting the battery or USB power, and wait 10 seconds or longer for the receiver to enter bind mode, indicated by rapid red LED flashing

  2. Now, on the radio, hold the bind-button while powering on the radio (or what it takes to enter bind-mode)

  3. The red light on the XRACER should stop blinking when the bind is completed.

To bind the XRACER to a Futaba S-FHSS radio:

  1. Power on XRacer while holding down the bind button. XRacer is now in bind mode.

  2. For binding instructions with your remote control, please refer to the transmitter manual. For example, p.42, T10J manual

To bind the XRACER to a FrSky radio:

  1. Push and hold bind button while plugging in the battery. XRacer is now in bind mode. Orange LED is on, Red LED is flashing rapidly. 

  2. If you are using XJT module, dipswitch 1 is up and dipswitch 2 is down (D8). In FrSky Taranis, select “D8” protocol. Then press “BIND” on Taranis, or turn on XJT module with BIND button pressed

  3. Red LED is flashing slowly to indicate successful bind. Orange LED is on. Cycle power on both your radio and the XRacer to complete the binding procedure.


Flight controller setup

The main flight controller board comes pre-flashed with BetaFlight and proper settings for the XRACER already set up but you still need to configure the receiver settings. Also if you upgrade the firmware or reset settings, you will lose the receiver settings and need to set them up again.

To configure the XRACER via BetaFlight:

  1. Open BetaFlight, hit “Connect” and check “Enable Expert mode”

  2. Open the “Ports”-tab and enable “Serial RX” for UART2, hit “Save and Reboot”
    2.png

  3. Open the “Configuration”-tab, disable “MOTOR_STOP” and set “Minimum throttle” to 1030 and “Maximum throttle” to 1970 for max. ESC throttle range.
    n5.png


  1. For V1.0, in the same tab, change “Receiver Mode” to “RX_SERIAL” and “Serial Receiver Provider” to “SPEKTRUM1024” for DSM2 or “SPEKTRUM2048” for DMSX, hit “Save and Reboot”. For all V1.1, please set the “Receiver mode” to PPM.
    4.png

  2. Now, power up the the radio and open the “Receiver”-tab, the stick movements should now show on the screen - the channel mapping is probably wrong, in the “Channel Map”-field, select “Spektrum TAER123” to change the channel order, click “Save and Continue”
    9.png
    For reference, see the Spektrum receiver channel mapping, aka. TAER123-layout:

Channel

Spektrum receiver

BetaFlight Spektrum map

Ch. 1

Throttle

T

Ch. 2

Aileron

A

Ch. 3

Elevator

E

Ch. 4

Rudder/Yaw

R

Ch. 5

Aux. 1

1

Ch. 6

Aux. 2

2

Ch. 7

Aux. 3

3


  1. Open the “Modes”-tab, assign one of the Aux-switches to Arm and another switch to command Acro, Horizon and Air-mode. Flip the switches and watch the indicator in the view underneath the slider move to activate the different modes, click “Save”

Finally, disconnect the USB and try to power up the radio first then the XRACER. Toggle the flight mode-switch, the green LED should blink momentarily when moving through the modes. Toggle the arm-switch and the green LED will turn on when armed.


Low battery warning

The green LED on the back will start to flash/turn off momentarily when the battery voltage is under 3.5V. This is a good time to land and recharge/change battery.

Accelerometer and gyro calibration

Before the first flight, the FC needs to know the absolute flat and level position relative to the earth’s surface. Calibrating the accelerometer and gyro is easily done using a bubble/spirit level on a flat surface.

Calibrate in BetaFlight:

  1. Open BetaFlight and hit “Connect”

  2. Put a spirit level on a surface and make it level, place the XRACER on the level surface

  3. In the first tab, click “Calibrate Accelerometer”

Using radio sticks:

  1. Power up the radio and XRACER, remaining disarmed for the duration of this process

  2. Put a spirit level on a surface and make it level, place the XRACER on the level surface

  3. For the accelerometer, move the throttle stick up-left and pitch down-center, you will see the green LED blink for confirmation 

  4. Now for the gyro, move the throttle stick down-left and the pick down-center

For reference, see this list for all the CleanFlight stick operations (credit CleanFlight repository):

Flight modes

The XRACER now has 3 flight modes to accommodate most flying styles.

  • Acro: full manual mode, simple but allows full acrobatics, for experienced pilots/racing

  • Horizon (recommended): This mode is very flexible, there is no angle limit, you can do roll and barrels but if you let go of the sticks (hands off the radio), the VENDETTA will stabilize automatically 

  • Angle: Easy mode, similar to DJI Attitude auto correction mode, the roll and pitch axis are limited to 45° angle

Status LED 

The LEDs on the main controller board shows the state of the system, according the following table. The red LED is located on the front while the blue and green is located on either side of the micro-USB connector.

LED Color

Description

Red slow flashing

No transmitter detected

Red rapid flashing

Bind mode (>10 sec. after power on if no radio detected)

Red solid

Bound to transmitter and active

Green off

Flight controller disarmed

Green solid

Flight controller armed - ready to fly

Green flashing

Gyro calibration (on power up) or low battery (when armed)

Blue off

Accelerometer inactive - rate/acro flight mode

Blue solid

Accelerometer active - angle/horizon/air mode


Ready to fly!

With the receiver bound to the radio, video feed set up, and battery charged, you are ready to fly!