TBS Crossfire Beginner Guide (2023 Update)

By | January 9, 2023

Uncertain about what to buy? Check out THE ULTIMATE FPV SHOPPING LIST:


THIS IS MY FULL TIME JOB. Here are other ways that you can support me:

00:00:00 – It's time for a new Crossfire setup guide!
00:00:22 – Update the firmware on your module

TBS Agent Web is at:

00:03:59 – Receiver wiring to FC
00:07:14 – Configure Betaflight to recognize the receiver
00:08:54 – Download TBS Agent Lite script

Download the script from this link:

00:11:22 – Configure controller for external module
00:12:28 – Bind receiver to module
00:15:51 – Crossfire options: Region
00:17:33 – Crossfire options: Frequency
00:18:26 – Crossfire options: Max Power
00:19:37 – Crossfire options: Dynamic Power
00:20:37 – Crossfire options: 8ch vs 12ch
00:21:24 – Crossfire options: RF Profile 50 Hz vs. 150 Hz
00:23:57 – Tracer options: Output power
00:25:10 – Tracer options: TX Antenna
00:25:34 – Have I earned your support today?
00:26:52 – TBS Agent M is not just for flashing
00:27:33 – TBS can control your video transmitter? Yup.

My tutorial about setting up TBS MyVTX is at:

00:28:14 – TBS Sixty9

For more information about TBS Sixty9:

00:28:49 – What if you brick your hardware?

How to unbrick your TBS hardware:

Things move fast in the world of fpv I First released a complete TBS Tracer Crossfire setup guide in January of 2021 And now it is just two years later and Most of the stuff in it is already out Of date so it's time for an updated TBS Tracer and Crossfire complete setup Guide I'm Joshua Bardwell and you're Going to learn something today the very First thing I want to show you how to do Is update the firmware on your module And you should always try to keep the Firmware on your module up to date Because it will contain bug fixes and Maybe feature improvements and the tool That we're going to use to do that is TBS Agent M or TBS agent web they're now Calling it it is a web-based Configurator you may remember if you've Been doing this for a while using an app Called TBS Agent X and TBS hnx seems to Have sort of been deprecated uh it seems Like TBS is steering everybody towards h M now and that's where the development Seems to be going so I would encourage You to stop using Agent X if you've got It and use this instead one of the Advantages of this though is that it Works on your phone it works on Basically any device with a web browser Well maybe a Chrome web browser this USB Stuff we're about to do I think it might Only work on Chrome or chromium browsers But anyway give it a try so I'm going to

Plug in USB to my module And I'm going to hear that sound that Means that I've my computers recognize The device and then I'm going to hit the Link USB device here and I should see TVs Crossfire or TBS Tracer when I hit Connect I will see the things that I can Interact with inside this device and Inside this module there are two of them There's the crossfire micro TX and then There was the crossfire Wi-Fi which is a Separate thing that we won't be talking About in this exact video Once I'm in Here I can go to the firmware section Down at the bottom and I can update my Firmware and I'm currently on 6.17 but I See that 6.19 is out so I'm going to go Ahead and update I'll click on that Firmware Check out my release notes if I wanted To see what's in it and then I will hit Update to 619. while you're doing this Don't navigate away from the tab it can It could mess up the flash at certain Times during this firmware update you May get the prompt to link USB device Again and now we can see it says TBS Bootloader instead of TBS Crossfire We're just going to proceed notice that While I'm doing this we have a fast Flashing green LED indicating that this Receiver think that indicates that it's In bootloader mode and that means it's Being flashed all right we have to link

USB device again Now we're back to TBS Crossfire now I'm Not going to make you sit here while I Do a firmware update on all of these Other devices but I just want to plug Them in and show you what happens just So you can see the similarities and Differences between them so here's the Tracer Device And If I link USB device I can see TBS Tracer here and connect and here is Crossfire Wi-Fi and Tracer micro TX and I can click Tracer micro TX and it's Much the same for the Tango 2 I'm going To want to turn the radio on and after The radio is booted up I'm going to plug In USB and I'll have the option to Select one of these options and the Option that I want to select here is TBS Agent parentheses hid once I do that I Should get a new USB device here on my Computer I'll just back out here and hit link USB Device and here is the tango 2. And I have the choice to select what I Want to flash now this is a little bit Confusing the first time you see it Because the option to flash the Tango 2 Will update the freedom TX firmware on The radio but what we're going to look At is the crossfire module inside the Radio which is a separate thing and we

Can see that it's very similar there and Likewise on the Mambo if I plug in I can Select USB agent parentheses hid link USB device there's the Mambo and we have The choice to flash the Mumbo Tracer Module exactly the same once you've got Your module updated the latest firmware The next thing you're going to need to Do is select a receiver and wire the Receiver up to your flight controller The receiver that you're most likely to Be using is going to be this Crossfire Or Tracer Nano RX and that's going to be The one that we're going to be Demonstrating in this video there are a Couple other receivers that you could Run into and we'll talk about some of Them a little bit later in the video but I think by far the Nano RX is the most Common one so that's what we're going to Use as the basis for this sort of Tutorial here's how to wire up a TBS Crossfire or Tracer Nano receiver to Your flight controller I want you to Notice that the pin out is identical Between the crossfire and the Tracer Receiver so the process of wiring them To the flight controller and configuring The flight controller is going to be the Same whichever one you're using and the Way to sort of identify the pin out is To First find the ground pad which is This Square pad here at one end right Here and here and then from there go

Over ground five volts output 1 and Output two the ground pad is going to be Wired to any ground pad on your flight Controller you may want to look in your Flight controller's user manual or Wiring diagram because there may be a Particular plug or place where they Expect you to connect the receiver just For convenience's sake but usually any Ground pad will do as long as it's Convenient to wire to the 5 volt pad is Going to go to a 5 volt output so here I've soldered it to the rx5v on the jbf7 Flight controller but there are other 5 Volt outputs here for example there's One here there are there are other five Volt outputs around the flight Controller that you might choose to use One thing to keep in mind is some flight Controllers will have a specific 5 volt Pad that is powered up from USB most of The 5 volt pads are not because if you Had a video transmitter camera LEDs all Running off the 5 volt rail you wouldn't Want those to power up when you plug in USB it might draw too much power hour And your computer might not like it but It's very convenient to have the Receiver power up from USB so you can Bind your receiver and work with your Controller without having to plug in a Battery and so in this case on the JB Flight controller the rx5v pad up here Is specifically designed for the

Receiver so you'll connect the Receiver's 5 volt to that on other like Controllers it may be labeled as 4v5 Instead of 5V or sometimes it might be Labeled RC although that's a little bit Less common if in doubt check the manual For your flight controller and wire the Receiver where they show you the Receiver being wired Channel 1 and Channel 2 are going to go to a TX and an RX pad on the flight controller once Again you can choose any TX and RX pad That you like as long as they are not Being used by anything else so you can't Put two things on the same uart number I Say uart uart is these TX and RX pads Are known as uarts uart and there are Places where you connect peripherals on Your light controller so in this case I Have selected T4 and R4 I could have Selected t3r3 T1 R1 it doesn't really Matter the channel one is going to go to The r pad and channel 2 is going to go To the t-pad for that uart number and That's the wiring of the receiver to the Flight controller next we're going to Configure the flight controller to Recognize the signal from the crossfire Receiver the exact way you do this is Going to differ depending on which Firmware you're running I'm going to Show you a demonstration using Betaflight which I think is the one that Most of my audience is going to use but

If you're using something else you may Need to look up a different tutorial to See exactly how to do it and the first Thing we need to do is tell the flight Controller what uart number The receiver was soldered to so in my Example I soldered to uart number four Tx4 and rx4 here in the ports tab we're Going to go down the serial RX column And we are going to make sure that Serial RX is enabled only For the uart number uart 4 where we Soldered the receiver to the TX and the RX wires and we're going to go across That row and make sure that everything Else in that row is disabled And then we'll hit save and reboot after That we go to the receiver tab And here we're going to select the type Of receiver is serial receiver and the Serial receiver provider is Crossfire And that's going to be true whether Using Crossfire or Tracer Crossfire and Tracer refer to the error protocol that Is used wirelessly between the Controller and the receiver But between the receiver and the flight Controller it's always Crossfire there's A Crossfire air protocol and a crossfire Wire protocol Just put Crossfire here regardless You're also going to want to enable Telemetry Crossfire and Tracer both Support Telemetry and it's very useful

To have that on if you don't quite know At this point why it's useful that's Okay just turn it on and you may maybe We'll figure it out later the next thing We need to do is set up our radio to be Able to talk to the crossfire or Tracer Module and to configure it and Manipulate it and make it do what we Want it to do if you have a Tango 2 or a Mambo radio then this is already done For you here in the Mambo radio if I Hold down the menu key it goes to the Tools screen and we can see here TBS Agent light if I then just click the jog Wheel it will load the TBS agent light Script and that's the tool that we need To have access to on the Tango 2 I can Accomplish the same thing long press the Menu key here's the tools menu and TBS Agent light is right here on the other Hand this radio Master boxer radio if I Long press the sys key here here We can see that Oh TBS agent light is already there Well good for you radio Master just in Case you don't already have TBS agent Light there in your tools menu here's How to get it go to this URL which is Linked down in the video description Below and if you scroll all the way down You can find a link to TBS agent light Here it is TBS agent light where's the Download There's the download link and If I click that a zip file will download

If I open up that zip file we will see Inside that zip file Tbsagentlight.lua and TBS agent light Folder I'm going to plug in USB on my Radio and my radio is going to ask me What mode I want to be in the mode I Should select is USB storage and this Will give us access to the SD card Contents in the radio two new removable Drives will pop up on your computer one Of them will contain these firmware Folders close that window do not mess With it and the other will contain your SD card contents let me just move this Side by side with that zip file that I Downloaded I'm going to go into the Scripts folder And then into the tools folder and from There I'm going to grab the Tbsagentlight.lua and the TBS agent Light folder and I'm going to drag those Over and copy them into this folder now In my case the files are already there So you can just skip that but that's What you would need to do once you've Done that if you then long press the Syskey or long press the menu key on Your radio depending on which radio You've got then go to the tools menu you Should see the TBS agent light script There and you're ready to go if you've Got a radio like this boxer that doesn't Have an internal Crossfire or Tracer Module then you're going to be putting

Your module in the back of the radio in Its external module Bay afterwards you Should probably create a new model on The boxer we'll do that by holding down The model key to get the model select Screen scroll down one click the jog Wheel and create new model And then we page one time to this model Setup screen we're going to go down to Where it says external RF and we're Going to set that to Crossfire To let it know that there's an external Crossfire module in its module Bay once We've done that we can verify that this Is all working correctly by running the Crossfire Lua script I'm going to hold The syskey down or the menu key Depending on what radio you've got and Get to the tools menu and then Run TBS agent light And then if we choose XF micro TX bingo Here are the settings for our XF micro TX or Crossfire or Tracer if you've got Tracer the next thing we need to do is Bind Our receiver to our module binding Is the process by which this radio and This receiver know that they are Supposed to be talking to each other and Not any of the other quadcopters that People may be flying at any given time There are several different ways to bind But I'm going to show you the one that I Use most of the time what we're going to Do is go down in XF micro TX and we're

Going to find the bind option and so at The very top of the menu and we're going To hit bind And it says binding in progress so we're Just going to leave that if I show you The exact same thing on the Tango 2 I Press menu I get to the tools menu I Open up the TBS agent light Lewis script I run Tango 2xf And I hit bind notice that when I did That it says binding ready enter execute Exit close I'm not sure what maybe these Have a different version of the Lua Script on them but on this one you have To hit enter again to start binding I'm Not going to do that because if I have Two radios binding at the same time Things may get a little screwy and I Don't want to do that on the crossfire In the Tracer receiver the bind button Is right here and right here I want you To notice that on my Quadcopter it is Kind of being covered up by the antenna Because the way the antenna has been run It's common to run the antenna on these Receivers back over the receiver so that The heat shrink holds the antenna down And keeps that little plug from coming Undone you can see on this Tracer Receiver the antennas have actually kind Of been glued down this receiver is from Before Crossfire or TBS started doing That I'm going to get in there with a Little Pokey device and poke that button

When the time is appropriate if you do That with a little Pokey device Definitely don't use anything sharp like A knife blade or a you know an anything Sharp a screwdriver tip be very very Careful because it's just a little piece Of film metal film and it you can just Sort of scrape it right off use Something dull flat ideally plastic so I'm going to power up the radio and if You've bound receivers before where you Had to hold the bind button down while You were powering up that's not how this Works don't do that just power it up if This is a brand new out of the box Receiver that has never been bound Before it will automatically enter Binding mode and the radio should detect That if it is not new out of the box Within one minute of powering up I'm Going to get in there and press the bind Button and you can see that the LED goes From solid red to blinking red Indicating it's in binding mode and on The screen of the radio it now says Update Nano RX what that's telling you Is that the firmware on the receiver is Not the same as the firmware on the Module and the module is going to update The firmware I'll just click the jog Wheel to accept that and we should see a Progress bar slowly go up from zero to a Hundred percent while the firmware is Being updated the LED on the receiver

Will start doing this double blink just Let it progress and when this finally Reaches 100 we will see the LED on the Receiver start to do a fast Flash which Indicates it is loading that firmware Once receiver has finished loading the Firmware it'll go from The Fast Flashing Green to a slower blinking green and Then if everything goes smoothly it will Automatically bind with the module I've Had situations where this took longer Than I might have thought and in some Cases I have to power cycle and try to Rebind everything but it usually sorts Itself out in the end after The Binding Is complete there are a couple of Options that I think you're going to Want to be aware of we're not going to Go through all of the crossfire options Here just the key ones that you need to Know about when you first set up the System and the first thing I'm going to Do is go down here into radio settings The safest thing to do if you're Interested in Regulatory Compliance is To choose the region that you're in Don't do that don't do it yet If you're following along you can choose The FCC region for the United States the Ctek region for Australia I think and CE For Europe what these options do is Manually lock the frequency and the Output power of the crossfire module to Match the regulatory requirements of

Your region so if you're in the United States Europe or Australia and New Zealand then you might think that you Would just pick one of these regions and You'd be good to go and that is what you Would do if you were most interested in Complying with all the possible Regulations what if you're outside one Of these regions like for example Russia Also uses the 868 megahertz frequency But does it have the same 25 milliwatt Max output level as Europe kind of feels Like it wouldn't but I don't know that's What the open region is for and by Selecting the open region you can then Manually select the frequency and output Power that you want and it is your Responsibility to comply with your local Regulations and the other reason to Select open region is if you are a Naughty naughty nerdo well who is not Going to apply with the regulations for Example if you're in Europe and you're Just like the hell with it I'm going to Use one watt output power which would Totally be illegal and you totally Shouldn't do that and nobody else is Doing that either The frequency is very important to get Correctly 915 or 868 and the reason it's Important is because in every country One of those frequencies is open for Crossfire to use and one of them is used By the cellular system and if you are on

The wrong one you will interfere with The cellular system you'll get very Short range you'll get dropouts Fail-safes and potentially you'll get in Trouble for interfering with the Cellular system which they don't tend to Like in the Americas basically all of These blue areas here you're going to Choose 915 in the purple areas you will Also choose 915 and then in the yellow Areas you would choose 868. this is Really important that you check this Because the Tango 2 ships in the 868 Region and if you're anywhere else in The world then those yellow areas then That's not going to be right for you and A lot of people are probably getting Short range and fail safes without Really even realizing why the next Option that I want to look at is output Power and it probably seems like it's Self-explanatory but it's got a couple Of little quirks output power is here in Radio settings and we can set the max Power here and the relationship is that More output power means more range not That complicated so should you always Have Max output power so you have mac Why would you ever turn it down and the Answer is twofold number one the higher Your output power the faster your Battery gets run down now this Particular radio has a pretty big 6 000 Milliamp hour 2s pack in it it could

Probably go for a little while at one Watt output power but especially if You've got a radio with a smaller Battery then you're going to see a lot Of voltage sag and you're going to see Your batteries get stuck dry pretty fast If you're always running at Max output Power the other reason to reduce your Output power is if you're flying with Other people such as at a race if you're At a race and there's eight or six Pilots in the air at the same time and They're all running Crossfire they will Interfere and fail safe if they're all Running at Max output power but if they All turn down to 25 milliwatts they'll Still have plenty of range for their Race but they will have less Interference The dynamic power option helps mitigate Some of this problem if we turn Dynamic Power on then what we'll see happen is That the radio will be at a low output Power when the quadcopter is close to You and then as you fly further away it Will increase the output power to keep Your signal good The only downside of this is that as Soon as you unplug the quad the radio Immediately goes to full power so if you Have your radio just sitting powered up With the quad unplugged Dynamic power Won't keep it from running the battery Down a lot of people choose to turn

Dynamic power off because they're a Little bit suspicious that like if I fly Behind a building and suddenly my signal Drops will Dynamic power increase the Power of the radio fast enough to Prevent me from having a little Fail-Safe well that's something you only You can decide in general it's pretty Reliable but if you want the maximum Possible reliability of your link then You'll turn Dynamic power off and suffer The decreased battery life as a result Next we're going to go into the XF Nano RX section that's your receiver and You're only going to see that if you Have a receiver powered on and bound to The radio so if that's missing that's Why Go into the general options and the First thing I want you to do is change The mode from 8 channel to 12 channel go Into from 8 channel to 12 channel gives You four more aux channels to play with And there is basically no meaningful Difference in the performance of the System as long as you're working with a Multi-rotor if you're working with an Airplane with a lot of servos and you Had servos on all eight of those Channels you'd want to leave it in a Channel but for a multi-rotor where Channels one through four are used for The main control channels and then Channels five and up are used for

Auxiliary switches and stuff just go Ahead and set that to 12 Channel and Never think about it again another Option that you need to know about is The packet rate and this is going to be Configured in the Nano RX section so You'll need to have your receiver bound And powered up in order to access it That option is going to be in the General section and if we go down to RF Profile we can choose either Dynamic 50 Hertz or 150 Hertz 50hz is a higher Latency packet rate that will also have More range 150 Hertz is lower latency but has Decreased range and dynamic starts you At 150 Hertz when you're close in and Then as you fly further away it shifts Down to 50 hertz so you'll keep your Keep your link strong It actually shifts to 50 hertz pretty Early it's surprisingly short distance You can put the packet rate in the Betaflight OSD and you can watch it Change as you're flying so some people Choose to fly at 50 hertz they'll just Lock it to 50 hertz and they'll say no Just forget about 150 Hertz I'm just Going to keep things consistent other People will choose to lock it at 150 Hertz and say well I'm going to keep That lower latency link even if it means That my lq goes down a little bit and I Get some dropped packets some of the

Time at least I won't fail safe and I'll Have a lower latency link The dynamic one is actually discouraged By betaflight developers as of Betaflight 4.3 betaflight 4.3 added a Whole bunch of RC link configuration That really tailors the response of the Flight controller to the exact Characteristics of your sticks and your Receiver and your controlling so if you Go in the betaflight presets tab there Are RC link presets for each of the Control links but the key thing is that Those RC link presets are tied to your Packet rate and if you have Crossfire Set to the dynamic packet rate then the RC link preset that betaflight uses will Be incorrect at least some of the time So betaflight devs recommend that you Just lock this at 50 hertz if you're Going to be doing further out stuff or 150 Hertz if you're going to be doing Mostly close in stuff and want the Lowest possible latency but they Recommend that you not use the dynamic Keep in mind that this option is saved Per receiver it's saved on the receiver So if you bind a new receiver you can Set that so if you've got like one Airplane for long distance flying you've Got it set to 50 hertz but One racing Drone you've got that set to 150 and It'll be remembered by the receiver now All of that was done with the crossfire

System for those of you who are using Tracer a lot of it's going to be the Same but there are going to be a few Differences here on the TBS Mambo which Has a built-in Tracer module I'm going To go ahead and press the menu key and I'm going to go down to TBS agent light And run it and we're going to choose Mambo Tracer as the device that we're Going to work with binding is identical And if we go down to radio settings we Can see one of the things that's not There is the region so Tracer operates In the 2.4 gigahertz frequency band and That is a global frequency band it's the Same the world over there's no region Configuration or anything like that we Can set the max power here and there is A single max power uh ludicrous is about One Watt and if you're using Tracer it's Tracer doesn't have as much range as Many people would want if used at 25 Milliwatts or 100 milliwatts a lot of People just run it at ludicrous all the Time although it will run your batteries Down faster if you do run ludicrous Power go ahead and turn on Dynamic power Which will allow the radio to bring the Output power down just a little bit when The quadcopter is close to you so that You save your battery a little bit the TX antenna setting can be changed Between internal and external that's Something that's unique just to the

Mambo radio and not an external Tracer Module which would only have a single Antenna the model has both an internal And the option to install an external Antenna and you can switch between them Don't don't change that to external if You haven't installed an external Antenna it could damage your module that Is the core of what I think you need to Know in order to work with this system There are a few more things I'm going to Show you before we close out the video But before we get to those things can I Take a second to let you know about my Patreon patreon is a website where you Can subscribe to me for as little as two Dollars a month or more if you feel like I've earned it the amount that you Subscribe at is completely up to you and You can stop anytime you want patrons Get access to my Discord server which is Full of helpful friendly people it's got A troubleshooting form it's got a buy Sell trade for them but mostly it's just A cool place to hang out talk about fpv And as you would expect from my Community get help with your problems Patrons also get access to podcast Downloads of all my live streams if you Prefer to listen to them in the car or Something like that but mostly what you Get is the good feeling of helping Support the work that I do here if the Videos that I make have entertained you

Have helped you solve problems or helped You save money then maybe today's the Day that you decide it's time to become A patron if it is there's a link down in The video description below where you Can sign up and if today's not the day That's okay I'm gonna keep making the Content I've been making this content For five six about seven years and Giving it all away for free and I'm Still here doing it I'm gonna keep doing It and maybe maybe the day will come the Next thing I want to show you is that TBS Agent M is not just good for Flashing firmware all of the stuff I Showed you that I was doing in TBS agent Or in the the Lewis script on the radio That's nice because you can do that in The field right but if we go into the XF Micro TX here you can see that the Options we saw in the TBS agent script On the radio are also here in the web Browser so if you're just working at Home and you just want to plug in USB And make the those changes here without Powering on your radio you totally can And if you just have trouble getting Lua Scripts to run on your radio for some Reason or just do you find that annoying You can just do it here we didn't talk At all about this video TX section TBS Crossfire and Tracer have the ability to Wire a video transmitter directly to the Receiver and control the receiver an

Analog video transmitter directly to the Receiver and control the output power And channel that the video transmitter Is on from the crossfire system this is Useful if you don't have a flight Controller like you're just doing a Fixed Wing plane and it's just got Servos and a receiver and it's also Useful because some people find the way That some flight controllers handle the Video transmitter to be cumbersome and They think it's easier to do it with the Crossfire system if you want to know More about that I've got a video about That and it will be linked down in the Video description below there are a Couple of pieces of Crossfire Hardware That I didn't talk about and I don't Want to let them go unacknowledged the First one is TBS 69 9 which is a TBS Unify analog video transmitter and Crossfire or Tracer receiver built into A single unit setting them up is Basically the same as I showed you here Because at the end of the day Crossfire Is Crossfire Tracer is Tracer but there Are a few little quirks such as how to Wire them up the location of the bind Button and so forth I've got a full Setup guide for that video here and it Is linked down in the video description If you get yourself into a situation Where your module your radio or your Receiver is bricked and just will not

Power up or will not bind on a receiver You can know it's done this if you get a Green red green red green red blink Sequence or a double green blink Sequence in any of these cases there's a Way to recover them it's called Emergency recovery or bootloader mode I've got a full video about that right Here here's what it looks like and it's Linked down in the video description