The Lumenier TX5GS is a high voltage, variable power video transmitter with quite a few great features packed in. Being the flagship VTX for Lumenier, it fits in the same category as the Team Blacksheep Unify HV and the ImmersionRC Tramp HV, but with some noticeable differences. For those looking for a VTX with good features, at a price well below comparable models, this might be the one for you.
- Input voltage: 7~27V(2~6S LiPo)
- 32 Channels: (US Legal) A/E/F/R Band
- Output Power: 25, 200, 500mW switchable
- BEC Output: 5V/1A redundancy for Camera or FC
- BFCMS (BFOSD & LUA Script) control via FC UART _TX (Use Tramp Protocal in BF)
- Power Consumption: 1W Max. @ 500mW
- Video Input Impedance: 75 Ohm
- Audio Subcarrier Frequency: 5 MHz
- RF Connector: MMCX
- Video Format: NTSC/PAL
- Weight: 5g (Tx only, w/o SMA cable)
- Size: 36*22*6.5mm w/30.5mm mounting
- Traditional Button + LED control of frequency and power
- Stackable or Double side tape mountable
- Firmware upgradeable
The Lumenier TX5GS is a US Legal, 32 Channel receiver. It can operate at three different power levels, 25mW, 200mW, and 500mW. These 500mW power level is an interesting choice, as usually VTX’s that are variable in this manner go up to 600mW, but for most people, the 500mW setting should be more than enough, if you even need to use it. There is no “Pit Mode” on this VTX, so when operating either in a group or race environment, be careful when plugging in. Being as this is a high voltage VTX, it can take up to 6S battery voltage directly, and provides a 5V BEC out for you camera power. I recommend using this, as it can prevent any issues with noise in you video from other components.
Initial Impressions of the Lumenier TX5GS
The Lumenier TX5GS looks to be a solid offering in the video transmitter category. The form factor is a good choice for most applications and has stack mount holes to include the VTX in your stack. The lack of a connector for the VTX makes installing it and removing it an exercise in soldering. However this does give the Lumenier TX5GS better clearance for inclusion in the stack if you so choose. Also, it is compatible with Betaflight OSD and LUA scripts, allowing you to change channels and power settings without having to mess with the buttons. For those that don’t use either, the buttons are there if you need them.
On the topic of the buttons, there are two of them, one to shift through the individual settings, and another to shift options within that setting. For example, you push the “A” button to select power mode, then push “B” button to set the power level. No more long press, short press dancing with this VTX. There are also LED’s that show all the settings right on the Lumenier TX5GS, so at a glance, you can see where it’s at. It also features a MMCX connector for your antenna, but more on that below.
One thing that does throw me a little is that the actual transmitter electronics are a secondary unit that mounts onto the main PCB. This adds a bit of thickness that could be avoided if those components were incorporated into the board. Also, it may be a failure point in a crash, though the component is mounts in multiple places that link it in to the main PCB. In the current era of shrinking components down, this was an odd choice.
TX5GS Frequency Table:
|Band 1||Boscam A||5865||5845||5825||5805||5785||5765||5745||5725|
|Band 2||E / Lu||5705||5685||5665||5752||5885||5905||5925||5866|
|Band 3||FS / IRC||5740||5760||5780||5800||5820||5840||5860||5880|
Betaflight OSD Compatability
When it comes to using it with Betaflight OSD, mind the following settings for power selection, as it may be different from what you may be used to.
- 25mw—VTX 25mw
- 100mw—VTX 200mw
- 200mw—VTX 200mw
- 400mw—VTX 500mw
- 600mw—VTX 500mw
BF3.3 Firmware, Please don’t choose 100 or 600 power level.
- 25—VTX 25mw
- 200—VTX 200mw
- 400—VTX 500mw
If you are running Betaflight 3.3 firmware, and you select the 100mW or 600mW, it will cause the VTX to power cycle as the Lumenier TX5GX is not able to run those power levels. You can upgrade the firmware to fix the power cycling issue, which I highly recommend, and is pretty easy to do. Follow the links below to start. You can do the update either before or after you install it, either using an FTDI adapter, or using Betaflight passthrough.
The Lumenier TX5GS features an MMCX connector, which is becoming an ever more popular option for FPV pilots when it comes to antenna connections. When compared to the SMA, mechanically it is on par, with both connectors offering an impressive 500 mating cycle life. The MMCX also offers a weight savings over the SMA style connector, and takes up less space on the PCB. However, when looking at how the connector is mounted on the board, the SMA does offer a more robust and durable mount solution, enhancing the security of the connector.
When compared with the U.FL connector, the MMCX stands out as the obvious choice. The U.FL is only rated for 30 mating cycles, which means that every time the connector comes loose or is removed, the security of the connection is compromised. Indeed, this is why the U.FL connector is often enhanced with a coating of adhesive. While the U.FL offers a higher weight advantage and a smaller footprint than the MMCX, it has proven to be somewhat fragile for our application, often requiring special treatment to secure.
The MMCX also offers an advantage in the field, enabling quick swap out of antennas for different applications or when one is damaged. The market is also being supplied with a host of direct connect MMCX antennas, eliminating the need for a secondary pigtail, such as the one that comes with the Lumenier TX5GS. These antennas are on offer in both straight and right angle connectors.
How Does it Perform?
In testing, the results were fantastic. I set the VTX to 200 mW, and was using a Lumenier AXII MMCX antenna. There were no lines in the video, and the picture was crisp and clear out to about half a mile with no static in the feed. Likewise, high throttle punch outs had no effect on noise in the video. I also happened to crash while testing, during which the antenna connection came loose from the Lumenier TX5GS. It was about a three minute walk to retrieve my model, during which time the quad was still plugged in. At this point, there are no ill effects from being detached from the antenna.
One thing I did notice is that the MMCX to SMA adapter that comes with the unit has a much snugger fit than the MMCX antenna do. Leads me to wonder about possible different standards in MMCX sources and tolerances, but not the fault of the VTX. I would like to test the power output of the VTX, and once I get my hands on the ImmersionRC Power Meter V2, I’ll update the results.
- MMCX Connector is lighter than SMA and more durable than U.FL.
- Betaflight OSD and LUA compatible.
- LED’s give you visual verification of your settings.
- Dual buttons remove the need for long press / short press.
- Three power settings give you versatility.
- Mounting holes for inclusion in stack.
- High voltage means not having to worry about power input.
- Transmitter is a secondary PCB mounted onto the main PCB. Increases weight and thickness, might be a point of failure.
- No “Pit Mode”
The Lumenier TX5GS is a solid offering for a budget friendly VTX with some robust options. Although, as a “flagship” VTX from Lumenier, I feel that one thing that could improve is to incorporate the transmitter components into the main PCB and to remove the tin shield. This would decrease both the weight and the thickness of the VTX, making it easier to include into the stack. The MMCX is a great option that I think will give it an edge over some other choices out there, and keeps the VTX from adding to much weight. Inclusion of “Pit Mode” would be great. However; for the specifications that are present, I would put the Lumenier TX5GS on my list of video transmitters that I would buy and use. It’s got versatility, robustness, and works with Betaflight OSD and LUA. Undoutedly, those are good options for the price.