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Turnigy 9x upgrades. FrSky Telemetry and more.

This transmitter can be found under a number of different names: the Eurgle 9x, FlySky 9x, Imax 9x and Turnigy 9x.

Its cheap and one can be had for between $50 to $150. For that money you get 2 sticks, 3 pots, 7 switches and a 128x64 LCD screen. At its heart is a very nice Atmel AtMega64A.

As a stock unit it is probably the best bang for your buck until hobby king brings out its own 9ch system. However if you have some skills and are prepared to get down and dirty it can be modded to bring it up to the level of transmitters ten times its price.

There are several open source projects that have vastly improved firmware for this unit and many threads in the forums on the various hardware modifications. Even if the new HobbyKing transmitter turns out to be a 9x killer I am betting that the Turnigy 9x and clones will still be popular because of the excellent open source firmware out there.

After a bit of homework my choice was Open9x for the code and Er9x for its documentation. Open9x seems to be an amalgamation of the good bits of Er9x and Gruvin9x. I was attracted to it for its code that makes excellent use of the FrSky telemetry featured in its DIY and JR style module. Only issue is Open9x lacks documentation, but er9x does so just go with that. Remember the software is free so you can't complain.

UPDATE: Open9x has an online user guide available here.

The only minus is its bloody hard to get one. The cheapest place to get them, Hobbyking, seems to sell out within days of restocking. If you want one I would suggest putting one on back order. There are a number of variations available. If you are going to add an FrSky module and put Open9x on it just get whatever you can get. Unless your a complete neanderthal you don't have to worry about mode 1 or mode 2 as its an easy change.

Here are some HobbyKings links:

Turnigy 9X with module and 8ch receiver. Mode 1

Turnigy 9X with module and 8ch receiver. Mode 2

Turnigy 9X with module and 8ch receiver. Mode 1. USA Warehouse

Turnigy 9X with module and 8ch receiver. Mode 2. AUS Warehouse

Turnigy 9X without module. Mode 1

Turnigy 9X without module. Mode 2

RC Model Reviews has two very good articles on the Imax 9x and Turnigy 9x v2 version of this unit. Bruce has a lot of great info in there and I'm not going to try and repeat it all here, so please have a look before you go on.

Bruce also has a very nice $8 battery conversion tutorial. (also required reading but don't follow it just yet). Its not too hard and does require a little soldering of some very small parts, but in my opinion if you are going to do that you may as well jump in and put Open9x on it. Which is well worth the effort.
Keep in mind that if you intend on using Open9x it will make Bruce's board modification redundant as you can simply change the low voltage alarm in software. More on that later.

Here is my list of modifications that I have done. If you get just the necessary bits it will cost you just under $130 including postage from Hobbyking. This is even including the fancy 8 channel telemetry receiver.

Now on to the tutorials. There are loads of guides out there on what and how to do with the 9X. I have read and watched as many as I could find. I have even trawled the forums for the juicy bits. With the best of all the information out there and a mix of my knowledge and ideas I started building my uber 9x.

For the first four its best to do them in order.

These are planned, I might never write them up but you can always google them.
  • Speaker upgrade and haptic feedback.
  • 6 position mode switch for Ardupilot.
  • MCU control of LCD light.
  • Old school FM module.
  • Playstation 2 buddy controller.

For reference here is a list of stuff that goes well with the Turnigy 9x.