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How to Get Started with ELRS – The Best New Radio Link, Modules, and Receivers for FPV

ELRS is a fast, long-range, and low latency control link for your FPV drone. More and more people are switching to ELRS even from trusted control links such as Crossfire.

This new control link is so great because ELRS is an open-source project. It’s developed and maintained by people in the FPV community, which allows for the fastest progress, best features, and lowest prices possible.

We’ve done the deep dive on ELRS so you don’t have to, so keep reading to find out all you need to know about getting started with ELRS, including the best modules, receivers, and radios to fit any budget.

Why ELRS is so Awesome

A lot of FPV pilots are swapping to ELRS because it solves three issues that no control link has provided before.

First of all, ELRS provides a rock-solid radio link to your drone that will rarely ever failsafe.

Secondly, ELRS is a fast control link and is great for last-second reactions and racing as well as long-range.

Finally, pilots don’t have to break the bank. The modules and receivers are also cheaper than any other control link. To put it into perspective, a crossfire receiver costs around thirty bucks, and a good ELRS receiver costs less than fifteen.

ELRS Control Link Downside

Since ELRS is open source, any company can make its own products based on the work done by the ELRS developers.

This does make choosing a module and receiver a bit tricky because not all manufacturers work closely with the developers when designing their products, resulting in performance issues

An important thing to note is that any ELRS module will work with any ELRS receiver, as long as they are the same frequency.

Different Frequencies for ELRS

Speaking of frequency, ELRS can be either 2.4ghz or 900mhz.

The FPV drone hobby seems to be leaning towards using 2.4ghz most often because it has lower latency than 900mhz and can fly farther than most pilots will ever need.

The only reason you may want to go with 900mhz is if you just need the most range possible for long-range flying. Otherwise, we’d recommend 2.4ghz to everybody else.

Check out our recommendations for the best 2.4ghz products below!

Best Full-Size ELRS 2.4ghz Modules

Here are the best modules currently on the market for full sized radios like the Radiomaster T16S, Jumper T16/18, or Frsky QX7/X9D.

HappyModel ESTX24Pro (up to 1 watt)

The Happymodel Pro has high power, is simple and well designed, and has good firmware support from the ELRS developers.

It also has a fan and heatsink to keep the module cool at higher power levels. There is no OLED screen, so you need a radio capable of running Lua scripts to set it up and use it.

The ESTX24Pro can be purchased from Amazon or Banggood.

Namimno ExpressLRS 2.4ghz (up to 1 watt)

The Namimno module has excellent design and solid build quality. There is external battery support, useful for powering the module at higher outputs and saving your radio battery.

It has an OLED screen, which means you can also use this module on some radios that don’t support OpenTX and Lua scripts. They still need to support Crossfire (CRSF) in order for ELRS to work, however. 

The Namimno module can be bought from Banggood or Aliexpress.

HappyModel ES24TX (up to 250mw)

If you don’t need ultra long range, 250mw is more than enough for most pilots on ELRS.

This is a DIY module from HappyModel, so you do need to assemble it yourself. It’s a great budget option for starting with ELRS.

You can buy this DIY module from Amazon or Banggood.

Best ELRS 2.4ghz Nano Modules

For radios with a nano-sized module bay, you need a nano-sized module.

This size of module can be found on radios like the Tango 2, Radiomaster T12 and Zorro, Jumper T-Lite and T-Pro, and FRSKY X-lite

HappyModel ES24TXPro Nano

The ES24TX Pro Nano has the same 1000mw power output as the full-sized version, but in a nano factor.

It doesn’t have a screen, and needs external power for the highest setting in some radios.

THe ES24TX Pro Nano is available from Amazon and Banggood.

ELRS module designed for Jumper T-Lite

If you have the Jumper T-Lite controller, this is definitely the module for you.

It’s a DIY module, so you need to assemble it yourself, and doesn’t have a screen like the other nano module.

This module is available from Banggood.

Best ELRS 2.4Ghz Receivers

As we’ve mentioned, 2.4ghz receivers are perfect for most people, so here are the best 2.4ghz ELRS receivers for micros, FPV drones, wings, and long-range!

All these receivers do basically the same thing, so we’ll quickly list them and give any great features they provide.

The best receiver for micro drones is the Happymodel ELRS EP2 Nano, a 0.44g receiver with a built-in ceramic antenna. Having a built-in ceramic antenna is nice for micros since it saves weight, and you don’t have to figure out a spot to mount an external antenna.

You can buy the Happymodel ELRS EP2 from Amazon or Racedayquads.

The best receiver for larger drones is the Happymodel ELRS EP1 Nano. The only difference between this and the previous receiver is an external antenna. Having an external antenna can be a better option for long-range builds if you have room for it since you can get more range and better crash resistance.

You can pick up this receiver from Amazon or Racedayquads.

The best receiver for wings and long range drones is the Mateksys ELRS-R24-D. This is a little more expensive but is a diversity receiver.

You can buy this receiver from banggood or Racedayquads.

Best Radios for ELRS

Two of the best radios for using ELRS are the Radiomaster TX16s with a full-sized module, and the Radiomaster Zorro ELRS version. You can read about these in our post on the best FPV controllers.

Another good radio to consider is the JumperRC T-PRO. It’s unique because it has a built-in ELRS module that can go up to 1 watt for some serious long-range flying.

How to Set Up ELRS

Here are some useful links to get your module and receiver setup once they arrive.

The ELRS website is a fantastic resource for binding, updating, and configuring your ELRS gear. If you get stuck, you can always join the ELRS Discord group and ask for help. There is a dedicated support channel with lots of people willing to help newcomers. Check out the link for the Website and Discord below.

ELRS Website – https://www.expresslrs.org/2.0/

ELRS Discord – https://discord.gg/B3QTgZBXHU

ELRS Github – https://github.com/ExpressLRS/ExpressLRS

Final Thoughts

ELRS is taking over the FPV hobby and it’s easy to see why. We cannot recommend swapping to ELRS enough. You get a more reliable radio link for less money – it’s a no-brainer! 

ELRS is constantly being developed and improved and the team behind it are passionate about providing the best quality radio link on the market. Remember, ELRS is open source and you even have the option of building your own receivers and modules with the help of the community.

Do yourself and your drones a favor and upgrade to ELRS today!

Drop a comment below and let us know what control link you are using on your drones!