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Sep 23, 2018, 06:38 AM
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Review: Jumper T8SG Lite Multi-Protocol Transmitter


After getting myself a new FrSky Horus X10 to enter the OpenTX world, I was offered to review the Jumper T8SG Lite Multi-Protocol transmitter which also runs on a open-source firmware.

The transmitter came few days ago. After playing with it for few days here's what I think...
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The Box and unbox:

The Jumper T8SG Lite comes in a small box and assuming the shipping company would handle the box normally it is unlikely to be damaged. In the box you don't get too much - the transmitter itself, a nice orange neckstrap with Jumper text and a mini-usb cable. The batteries are not included.
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After inspecting the transmitter I saw not problems whatsoever, just very small scratches on the display. Only after days I have realized there was a screen protector on the display.

Hands on:

The size of the transmitter at advertised 138x162x38mm is quite small. Definitely the smallest transmitter I've ever seen (except those coming with RC toys).
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Being so small, it sits nice in the hands. I found it perfect for thumb fliers while pinch fliers may experience some discomfort caused by the switches, especially when they are in down position.
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The antenna is not too long, which do look cool and doesn't hinder when storing the transmitter.

The Jumper T8SG Lite features a 43x22mm(48mm diagonal) 128x64px LCD screen and a total of 6 buttons, two on the left and four on the right, for menu navigation

The Gimbals and controls:

Transmitter comes with the gimbals configured for Mode 2 operation. The two gimbals are different from what we expect on a RC transmitter. They look toyish, they feel the same and they're not adjustable in any way. You can't adjust the tension of the springs, nor the physical travel limits.

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Speaking of limits, the opening in the transmiter case for the gimbal is round(circle). One will never be able to reach the "corners" defined by maximum travel on X and Y axis. The maximum limit on the diagonal is around 75-85% and depends on how hard you push the sticks.

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The potentiometers are 2.5kOhm with quite short travel, so the resolution is not the same you get in a high end transmitter.

Aditionally there are two short 3-way switches and two pots on the sides. The pots have a very big throw which is opposite of the one in the gimbals. I kinda like it because it gives more resolution for fine tuning things.

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The trims are well placed above the screen.

Auxiliary ports and features:

The transmitter has a mini-USB port on the top, used to flash the firmware and also acts as a USB Joystick with 8 axis and 4 buttons when connected to PC.

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On the other side of the antenna there is a 3.5mm jack for PPM output. Probably will not be used ever by anybody, still it can be used for different purposes, like Simulator, Trainer-Student radio, external module, etc.

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As a feature, it has an internal motor for vibration alers but unfortunately - not strong enough. It is easier to hear it than to feel the vibration.

Powering on and using:

First of all, the transmitter comes without batteries but that's not a problem since it works on 4x AA batteries. This might be good and bad at the same time. One can buy AA batteries everywhere and power it on in no time, but it will be quite hard to find a suitable LiPo battery to fit for extended run time.

Jumper T8SG Lite runs on DeviationTX firmware, which unless you are experienced with programming vairous transmitters running on different open-source firmwares, DeviationTX is not for you.

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This was my first experience with the DeviationTX and regardless the fact that I was able to understand most of the menus, there were few things which srewed my head. So I would be very happy to see another firmware running on this TX which is little bit more intuitive.

Why multi-protocol? Actually the multi-protocol statement is a little bit exaggerated. Yes, Jumper T8SG Lite supports more than one protocol, but not as multi as one expects from a multi-protocol module. Mainly it only supports different flavors of FrSky and Futaba S-FHSS, which limits the usage of the transmitter to Frsky, Frsky-V8, FrskyX, Skyartec, S-FHSS, Corona. PPM and USBHID (USB Joystick) if you like to consider them as a protocols too.

It doesn't feature an external module bay. The internal module runs on CC2500 chip and has advertised maximum power of 150mw. It is also capable of receiving telemetry.

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A good thig is that there are 4in1 modules available for DIY which adds a whole new bunch of protocols and it seems to be easy to mod the trasmitter.

The open-source firmwares changed the way on how the controls were tied to particular channels in the past. The number of the switches doesn't influence the number of the channels anymore. While the transmitter might look short on input controls, it outputs 12 channels. It remains only the matter of how many channels is the receiver. Anyway for flying most micro/mini "plug-n-fly" quadcopters running e.g. Betaflight - 8 channels are more than enough.

Another thing to mention is the Power-On/Off button. I just didn't like how easy it is to turn the TX on, which may lead to accidentally turning on the transmitter and drain the batteries while powering it off doesn't provide any feedback. This of course is the matter of firmware, not the electronics.

Internals:

Jumper T8SG Lite uses STM32F103RCT6 chip as main processor and SST25VF016B 16Mbit (2Mbyte) flash chip. The gimbals, switches and internal module are placed on separate pcb's, making it easy to replace. There are a lots of space for adding things and modding the TX if one would feel the need.

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What I didn't like at all, is how the antenna is placed. Even it has special enclosure, the antenna active element is bent inside. If one will encounter failsafes - try to reposition the antenna.

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My Pros
  • Small and light (maybe too small)
  • 12 channels
  • Telemetry
  • Relatively cheap (40$ - 50$ mark)
  • USB Joystick for simulators out of box
  • Good plastic quality and I like the color

My Cons
  • DeviationTX might be hard for begginers
  • Limited number of protocols
  • Toy grade gimbals

Conlusion:

For myself I clasify it as "toy grade" Tx. Would use it for simulator, micro quads/planes or RC projects which don't really require an advanced transmitter but would still benefit of some programming. Good for kids. However, would not trust or use it on a big plane.

For more information about the Jumper T8SG Lite please visit the RCGroups forum.

Bonus photos:

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Last edited by schumixmd; Oct 01, 2018 at 08:38 AM.
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