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Turnigy 9x Questions

#1
Hi everyone,

I am thinking of buying a Turnigy 9x transmitter for my first RC Plane, which will be the FT-22 Raptor. However, I have a few questions about the Turnigy before I decide on it. I have tried to read manuals on it, and I have a pretty good idea on how it works, setup, etc. What I am unsure about is the PPM or PCM setting. What do they mean, which is better, and what would work for this build. Also, I have heard something about PCM only having failsafe, but what does this mean? I'm sure this is a very simple answer, but I am an absoulute beginner to computer radios.

Secondly, I want this to be a long term radio for me. During the winter or rain here in Canada, I would like to fly a small heli indoors, like the Helimax 100 CX, or SS. Would it work?

Lastly, I have heard of the er9x firmware. Does anyone know if it is worth the upgrade, or should I stick with the stock firmware. Please remember that this will be from an absolute beginners perspective to planes, so if it is only advanced changes I am not interested. The only thing I have experience flying with is the Latrax Alias.

Thanks for any help,
Ethan
 
#2
Welcome to the forums Ethanator! The turnigy 9x is a great transmitter for the money. I have had mine two years and am starting to think about a Taranis because I am out of model memory. Which is about 13 models depending on complexity. That said, the stock software is clunky and not nearly as nice as er9x or open9x but it is still useable once you find your way around. Changing to the new software can be done by buying a smarty pants board or soldering wires to the transmitters board and flashing with a USBASP. Might be better to go with a 9XR (if you can find one) that already is flashed and has screen backlighting. Don't bother learning about ppm/pcm yet.

The problem with the small helis is that they usually have built in rx so make sure you get one that can bind to your tx. I switched everything I have over to work on the OrangeRx module which is dms2 and Dmx protocol. Lemonrx recievers are cheap and have held up better than the rx for the stock 9x tx.

Not saying you can't learn on the Ft-22 raptor but I would suggest trying the ft flyer or explorer first as they are a little more stable. Hopefully that way you get more flying time and less fixing time while you are learning.
 

rcwingman

being Ghetto since 2016
#3
I agree with PhenomPilot, a Turnigy 9x radio is great for the price and its even better with the openTX firmware.
If you want to flash the firmware smartieparts-upgradeboard is a "safe" way to get it done.
Here is the link:
http://www.smartieparts.com/store/en/9x-add-ons/380-smartieparts-9x-basic.html
If you are experienced with electronics and soldering you can go the cheep way and flash the chip with a 1,50$ USBASP.
Here is a manual:
http://www.rchacker.com/projects/turnigy-9x/open9x-and-telemetry
Just solder 6 Pads on the MCU and you are done!

The buildquality of the 9x is medium, but they are so many tutorials in the internet to turn it into a high end radio.
In the other hand, if you buy smartieparts + 9x radio + FRSky radio telemetry module+ life battery you can nealy buy a taranis for that price.
A Taranis is listed for 180 bucks with much better build quality more features and opensource firmware.

Don't start with the FT-22 Raptor. You will fly it only once even if you are a good simulator pilot.
Go for a Easystar, Bixler, Skywalker, FT-Flyer or FT-Nutball for example.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#4
The stock 9X firmware is a bit clunky, poorly documented and restrictive but probably more than adequate for a beginner

Re-flashing to OpenTX or er9x is tricky unless you buy a $25 add on. Not something you need to do immediately but the main reason to buy a 9X is to do stuff like that.

The PCM vs PPM is not relevant anymore since you will be using the 2.4GHz module an you will have to set PPM or it won't work. It was a big thing back in the AM/FM 72MHz days but now with 2.4GHz the actual radio transmission is proprietary. You will use the receivers that go with your transmitter or with the external transmitter module if you chose to use one. The 9X uses the FlySky AFHDS/Turnigy V2 protocol assuming you get one with a TX module installed. You can use other modules that allow you to use Spektrum's DSM2/DSMX, FrSky or others instead.

As to fail-safe PCM vs PPM is not relevant either. Failsafe is really a mis-nomer. It should be called, lost signal mode. It's what the receiver does when it loses signal. There are various different modes and different receiver's implement different ones the more sophisticated having more than one option. I'm not 100% on the FlySky AFHDS/Turnigy V2 lost signal mode but it is not selectable. It may be hold the last setting except for CH3 (generally throttle) which is cut but I don't know for sure. In any case it is important to understand what yours does in order to prevent your model from just flying away when it gets out of range of your transmitter. Some lost signal modes (eg hold all channels) will cause flyaways so if that is the default it is important to select a different mode if at all possible.

I have heard there are a few older small helis that use the FlySky AFHDS/Turnigy V2 protocol. I don't know what they are.

I believe some helis use the walkera protocol and there is a new Orange module that supposedly supports DSM2/DSMX/Walkera so that might be something you could use. I just ordered one but more to get spektrum DSM2/DSMX so I'm just pointing it out, not recommending it.

Another option you might look at since it may support your helis is the DEVO 7e re-flashed with Deviation. It's really in indoor TX and has shorter range so the full range DEVO10 is probably a better way to go but its quite a bit more money. I don't know too much about Deviation except to point it out to you.

If you are considering the 9x, you should probably take a look at the Turnigy 9XRPRO. I hate the way it looks but it has a much better feature set than the 9X, probably similar or better build quality and all the hacks, mods and upgrades are basically done. You get er9X (or openTX... not sure) already installed and there is a built in port to update the firmware. The main caveat is that you have to buy a TX module and receiver and a battery so it comes out a bit more expensive to start than the 9X. The advantage I suppose is that you can get the TX module you want - probably either the Orange one or the FrSky one depending and never need to bother with the FlySky AFHDS/Turnigy V2 stuff. I don't like this radio just base on its looks and wouldn't buy one but it is a good value. The FrySky Taranis Plus is better (I have one of these) but it's quite a bit more money.

Note: seems we have parallel answers. sorry for the duplication. I'm sure you can manage :) The FrSky Taranis is no longer available and the Taranis Plus is generally $200+ depending which options you buy with it.
 
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rcwingman

being Ghetto since 2016
#7
Go for FRSky X or D-System, its cheep & easy and it has telemetry.
Just google for D8R or X4R.

Telemetry is a downlink. That means your aircraft sends data back to your transmitter.
You can see informations like battery voltage, link quality (which is called RSSI), and a lot of other information depending on which sensors you have installed in your vehicle.

Every sensor will cost you extra money but is not essentialy needed.

Do your self a favor and buy at least a voltage sensor.
thats the most important one in my opinion. it about 2 dollars on HK.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#10
Can you please link me to these modules?
http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-djt-jr-transmitter-telemetry-module.html

http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-xjt-jr-graupner-type-16ch-duplex-transmitter-telemetry-module.html

http://alofthobbies.com/radio-gear/frsky-telemetry-system.html

This is a good receiver to get. Especially if you are thinking about a multirotor.
http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-d4r-ii-4-8-channel-receiver-with-27ms-cppm.html

I haven't tried using a voltage sensor with it yet. It probably works with this one...

http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-battery-voltage-sensor-fbvs-01.html

alofthobbies is a good place for FrSky gear in the US and probably Canada but you may have your own distributor so I'd do a search. You can get some of it from HobbyKing also.

Before you order the 9XRPRO take a look at the Taranis Plus. You won't need the module but you will need a receiver. I know you are just starting and its overkill and perhaps a bit more money than you were planning but if you want a "long term radio" it's worth considering...
 
#11
Honestly, these prices are really starting to had up. I was hoping to stay on a budget, so maybe I'll just stick with the original 9x since it comes with a receiver and I won't need another lipo for it. I know that you can have telemetry on the 9x, so would I just use one of these Frsky modules and recivers? And also what is the difference between the DJT and XJT modules?

Also, I'm trying not to ship from the states. Customs could be huge charges.

Sorry for all the questions, I'm trying to figure out what I want and need.
 
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pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#12
Honestly, these prices are really starting to had up. I was hoping to stay on a budget, so maybe I'll just stick with the original 9x since it comes with a receiver and I won't need another lipo for it. I know that you can have telemetry on the 9x, so would I just use one of these Frsky modules and recivers? And also what is the difference between the DJT and XJT modules?

Also, I'm trying not to ship from the states. Customs could be huge charges.

Sorry for all the questions, I'm trying to figure out what I want and need.
Guess I frightened you off :)

You can't really do telemetry on a 9X without upgrading to OpenTX and performing a very hairy mod which is often the last one people do because it goes wrong and they are forced to buy something else :)

You can use telemetry on a 9X without that using a FrSky module and the appropriate one of the FrSky monitors.
http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-fld-02-lcd-display.html
http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-dashboard-smart-port-data-display.html

the DJT is cheaper
the XJT is more sophisticated and thus more expensive.

I haven't really looked beyond that because I don't need one.

The 9X doesn't come with a battery, just some unreliable AA battery holder. Most people replace it with something like this LiFE LiFEs are make better TX batteries than lipos for a number of reasons. If you do this, be very careful to make sure you plug the battery in the correct way or you will burn out your circuit board. It is usually repairable but you have to get the parts and use a soldering iron. The problem is that the connector you use to plug the battery in is not keyed. I suggest modifying it so it is keyed with say a connector on a silicon wire tail but that takes soldering.

By the time you buy all that though the rig is starting to get up there in price and you've got a bit of a complex beast. Part of the reason I decided to just buy a Taranis and be done.

Of course you don't need any of that to get started... well the battery upgrade is a good idea.

On the customs thing I found a couple of Canadian sources for Taranis Plus but they seem out of stock. candadrones looks better since it comes with an RX and the "new" larger battery. Might be worth contacting them to see if they will be getting any stock soon. If not then I guess back to the 9X

http://www.nghobbies.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1141
http://www.canadadrones.com/FRSKY-TARANIS-Canada-p/frsky-taranis.htm
 
#13
Yeah, the only telemetry I would probably only need is the voltage sensor. In one of the 9X manuals I think I saw a voltage reading, so does that mean it has that telemetry?
 
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pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#14
Yeah, the only telemetry I would probably only need is the voltage sensor. In one of the 9X manuals I think I saw a voltage reading, so does that mean it has that telemetry?
no. The FlySky protocol, AFHDS (aka Turnigy V2) has no telemetry. There may be a TX battery level.

To start you can use an on model battery alarm and possibly the timer on the 9X - seems to have one.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#15
I love my 9x. But if I was to buy a new TX today I'd save up and go with the Taranis.

The stock 9x firmware drove me crazy. If for no other reason because it beeps on every single freaking button push. I didn't last 24 hours with that annoying beep before I opened mine up, soldered in a flashing cable and upgraded to er9x (which at the time was the best option, today I'd go open9x)

The 9x is a good starter radio...if you're a hacker. A smartie parts board is a smart easy upgrade...but for the price you may as well just go wtih the 9xR or the Taranis. With the 9x you'll also want to modify the antenna so you can swap RF modules which is some delicate soldering. The stock FlySky protocol works...but really isn't great. There's no telemetry, there's no failsafe (critical if you're flying multirotors!), and it's known for dropouts and interference. Though I flew with mine at FliteFest using homemade RX's (since that way I do have reliable failsafe) and despite the admittedly lousy antennas I had on my DIY RX's I had no dropouts or other issues (I did have one issue at the end but I think it was a failed wire due to an earlier crash.)

If you're not comfortable with opening it up and doing some soldering...the 9xR is a better choice. But by the time you add a decent RF system (since the 9xR doesn't include a module) you may as well just get the Taranis for a little bit more.

Again, I love my 9x. It's served me very well. But it's not a great radio out of the box. And even after a bunch of work and upgrades it's still rather cheaply made. But it's cheap and easily modified which for me is a huge plus.
 

rcwingman

being Ghetto since 2016
#16
what kind of radio you have now?

On my opinion...

If you don't own a radio yet and can not afford a Taranis, go for a 20 Dollar HK radio with 6 channels until you get the dough. It's cheep and good enough for a ft flyer if you keep in 200m range...

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9042__Hobby_King_2_4Ghz_6Ch_Tx_Rx_V2_Mode_2_.html


I did nearly all modifications on my 9x i found on the internet and would highly suggest to get a ready made telemetry radio.
ITs like tuning a old car...

If you want all the extras that gives you more safety for your flights the Taranis (PLUS) is one of the best bang for buck. I don't own one myself, but tested this radio from a rc buddy on my local flying field. The radio is much better in terms of build quality and has all the features you realy need.


http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...o_Digital_Telemetry_Radio_System_Mode_1_.html
 
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pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#17
If you don't own a radio yet and can not afford a Taranis, go for a 20 Dollar HK radio with 6 channels until you get the dough. It's cheep and good enough for a ft flyer if you keep in 200m range...

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9042__Hobby_King_2_4Ghz_6Ch_Tx_Rx_V2_Mode_2_.html
If you do get this one make sure to order the programming cable. Maybe get two because they sometimes don't work.

and check this out...
http://www.sgr.info/usbradio/default.htm

Along the same line of thought but a bit more expensive, far less frustrating and far less cheesy radio is the FlySky/Turnigy i6. Here's a basic review.

It supposedly uses that same cable for firmware upgrades btw.
 
#19
Thanks for all the answers everyone!

Maybe I will just go with a really cheap transmitter. I guess I don't really need a computerized radio yet... I was kinda pulled in by all of the switches and screens and stuff, but I probably won't ever use most of the features on it anyway. As long as I can elevon mix for when I do get a raptor, I should be good. That's probably as advanced as I'll go for while. It seems like the flyer and the Raptor share the same electronics anyways.
 
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pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#20
Thanks for all the answers everyone!

Maybe I will just go with a really cheap transmitter. I guess I don't really need a computerized radio yet... I was kinda pulled in by all of the switches and screens and stuff, but I probably won't ever use most of the features on it anyway. As long as I can elevon mix for when I do get a raptor, I should be good. That's probably as advanced as I'll go for while. It seems like the flyer and the Raptor share the same electronics anyways.

Both the HK T6A (aka FlySky CT6) and the Turnigy i6 (aka FlySky i6) are "computer" radios. You can get something more basic but you will be missing out. You can't really go much cheaper than the HK T6A. Well you can but...

The important things you want and they have are...

programmable rates (and expo - i6 only)
servo control - sub trim, endpoints and reverse
some form of model memory (T6A is on the computer but there is at least one Bluetooth hack and app that lets you put them on your phone) .
elevon mix and free mixes
a few assignable switches.

One other point is that the T6A is apparently difficult to make work with a simulator That may be just DeskPilot. I was able to get the i6 working fairly easily, at least for sticks-only, on picaSim and ClearView. You need one of these for the i6. It may work for the T6A also but I'm not sure. There are sim cable packages and apparently some let the full 8 ppm channels through and some do not. Seems this one does not since the buttons didn't work.

Take a look at picaSim. Its free although worth a small donation. ClearView is inexpensive and has more available planes and fields.