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Trick Out Your Transmitter

fliteadmin

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#1

Josh and Peter install new switches in their transmitters and show you step by step how to do it yourself.



What better way to void your warranty than by mod’ing your transmitter with some some switches or buttons!



We picked up some switches from Radio Shack, each with different functions and sizes.



Be sure to use a pillow to save your sticks while you 'operate' on your transmitter.



Using a digital multimeter you can check how each of your switches will work and you can match up the best switch for your installation.



Taking photographs as you open up your radio is a great way to keep track of what plugs go where, in case anything gets unplugged accidentally.



While your radio is open, it's a good chance to also check to be sure things like your antenna are plugged in!



Push button (on/off) switches, flip switches and and just about any other type of switch can be installed.



Reminder that opening your radio will void your warranty, but it's something that you can do if you want to modify or repair your own radio.



Thanks for watching! Be sure to share your radio mods, and other ideas!
 
#2

Josh and Peter install new switches in their transmitters and show you step by step how to do it yourself.



What better way to void your warranty than by mod’ing your transmitter with some some switches or buttons!



We picked up some switches from Radio Shack, each with different functions and sizes.



Be sure to use a pillow to save your sticks while you 'operate' on your transmitter.



Using a digital multimeter you can check how each of your switches will work and you can match up the best switch for your installation.



Taking photographs as you open up your radio is a great way to keep track of what plugs go where, in case anything gets unplugged accidentally.



While your radio is open, it's a good chance to also check to be sure things like your antenna are plugged in!



Push button (on/off) switches, flip switches and and just about any other type of switch can be installed.



Reminder that opening your radio will void your warranty, but it's something that you can do if you want to modify or repair your own radio.



Thanks for watching! Be sure to share your radio mods, and other ideas!
So this is like upgrading channels?
 

adamd

skunkworx hobbies
#3
also old ps2 controller gimbals are analog and can be used to make an awesome pan/tilt and osd page select. (or any proportional function)

IMG_20141217_114532.jpg
 

joshuabardwell

Senior Member
Mentor
#5
Surprised you guys don't have a continuity (beep) feature on your DMM.

If you are going to get momentary switch, definitely make sure you figure out whether the existing one is Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC). If you accidentally buy the wrong one... it's no big deal if you have a programmable radio, but it might be a little annoying. If you don't have a programmable radio, it'll be a PITA.

I know this is heresy, but I have occasionally considered replacing some of the three-way switches on my Taranis with two-way switches. I just don't need that many dang options all the time, and the action of a two-way switch is much more solid and satisfying than the little tweedly click-click-click of the three-way switches. For something like gear up/down, where the choices are truly binary, it just feels kind of wrong to go from up to middle, or up to middle-then-down. Waaahhh... first-world RC problems, I guess.

When desoldering, a little bit of flux can really help the industrial solder to flow. If you don't have a flux pen, dab a little bit of fresh rosin core solder onto the pad. I have had problems where I overheated stuff trying to get the factory solder to flow without flux.
 
Last edited:
#6
you should be using both desoldering braid and a desoldering pump. use the pump for the large volume first, then use the braid to soak up the remainder

this also saves you money, because the braid is a consumable item while the pump is not

from just looking at the video, either the braid you are using is bad, or you are not using it correctly. When I use my braid, it soaks up so much solder that it turns completely silver, whereas in your video, most of the braid is still copper,

if the braid is ineffective, soak it in flux before using it

also, any decent multimeter will have continuity function, the ones that can beep, which is much easier than using the resistance function, since you don't have to look at the multimeter
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#7
I agree with pump then braid. But I'd also caution to not even bother with braid unless you get decent braid. The stuff they sell at Radio Shack is all but worthless. I'm a HUGE fan of MG Chemicals desoldering braid, it's like magic it works so well. You don't need to suck first with it but it's still a good idea since you'll use less braid and sucking solder doesn't cost anything (once you've bought the sucker) while braid does.

The tip of adding some fresh solder is also a good one. The new lead free solders are a real pain to get to remelt - adding a bit of good old leaded solder really helps them remelt.
 

joshuabardwell

Senior Member
Mentor
#8
The tip of adding some fresh solder is also a good one. The new lead free solders are a real pain to get to remelt - adding a bit of good old leaded solder really helps them remelt.
Huh. I always thought it was the rosin/flux that was helping it flow. I never thought about maybe it was the lead. Whatever the reason, I totally agree--reflowing industrial solder is a PITA.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#9
The rosin probably helps as well. Before lead free solder became prevalent I never used to have much of a problem with reflowing or desoldering old joints....unless they were REALLY old (like 1950's era gear).

The other reason adding a bit of fresh solder helps is it helps transfer heat better than the bare tip of the iron.
 

Epitaph

Ebil Filleh Pega-Bat ^.^
Mentor
#10
And now you guys know why tray radios are totally FTW... they are made to be tricked out and have things changed or added on them!! Why else make a radio with 16 holes for switches and pots and only fit 8 switches in them (like in the case of most Robbe-Futaba FX radios, for example)???
 

johnmw

propulsion impromptu
#11
imho the (old) industrial solder harder to melt is due to its alloy content (Sn/Pb or tin/lead*) which is harder than retail solder (rosin/flux core). So depending standard and time they were made the ratios are about 50/50 whereas retail solder should be around 60/40.
Adding/melting new solder to old ones, naturally change the ratio towards the softer 60/40.
Melting tin coupled with flux, help better heat transfer and reflow the mixture respectively.

*) lead is toxic and being phased out, there are lead free solder available now
 

Epitaph

Ebil Filleh Pega-Bat ^.^
Mentor
#12
all this "phase out such and such because it's toxic" is a little over the top sometimes... yes, lead is toxic, and for that very reason I am going to solder the radio, not solder the Christmas turkey!!
 

adamd

skunkworx hobbies
#17
Wait... what radio do you have and how does that work?
i have a 9xr-pro

i took the the power/ground/signal from potentiometer 1 and 2 and power/ground from another switch.
the gimbals are essentially 2 potentiometers, one for up one for down and also the gimbal clicks down as R3 or L3 on the ps system and i have that wired as a NO switch

works great!

I'd upload pics but I don't have my radio at this current moment,there is tutorials on youtube to do the same with a 9x.
 

joshuabardwell

Senior Member
Mentor
#19
If you want to do this kind of thing without surgery, and without altering your transmitter, one way to go about it would be to create a PPM signal generator (probably using a microcontroller would be simplest) and then plug the accessory into your trainer port. This is how the head tracker on my FatShark goggles works, and it made me realize that you could really do that with any sort of accessory you wanted. I saw a person somewhere asking about single-stick controllers because he had lost an arm and still wanted to fly. So how does he control his throttle? Easy, I thought: foot pedal! Wouldn't it be great if he had a foot pedal that just plugged into the trainer port? Then you just program your radio to take TR1 and map that to the throttle. Bam! Done!

Pulling this off would require some work with an oscilloscope to make sure that the signal was formed correctly, but it would totally be doable. If you had a Futaba style trainer port, you would even have a 5v power pin on the harness that you could use to power your accessory.
 

Epitaph

Ebil Filleh Pega-Bat ^.^
Mentor
#20
hmmm... I can add that to a couple of my channels on my MPX, seeing as they are all proportional channels. Nice mod!!