So now some comments about the FlySky / ER9X conversion. Overall, a nice project for the serious / experienced R/C hacker. For beginners the stock radio is fine and the hack(s) should not be attempted without some hands-on help from a skilled electronics tech. First, here's a video of a pretty girl showing it off:
But like the six million dollar man, we can make it better, faster, stronger. That's the purpose of the ER9X project. And the reason for my interest in a cheap Chinese R/C system. Frankly, the open source ER9X
project looked too interesting to pass up for a hacker like me.
My plan was to get the FlySky FS-TH9X
($89 US), install the FrySky 2-way telemetry kit, and flash the Tx with the ER9X software. I'm still waiting for the FrySky telemetry parts, so I've worked around that for now. Just so there's no confusion, FlySky and FrySky are NOT the same company. I guess the Chinese suppliers copy everything, including their own country's brand names.
I won't go into the details on how the ER9X firmware is installed. But to summarize the task, you open the Tx's case (6 screws), solder 6 tiny wires to delicate copper pads on the microcontroller's board, attach the wires to a low cost USB programmer, and then reflash the radio with custom code designed by very gifted programmers with a passion to make something better than intended. They are constantly adding new features too.
One very cool thing is that the new firmware is loaded into the Tx using a custom (and Free!) application called eePe
. I was surprised by how professional and polished it looked. Besides performing the memory flashing, it also allows you to edit and back up your model settings. The user interface makes setting up new models a real joy. I did one model manually through the Tx's LCD and then another using the PC. The LCD interface works well, but it is tedious and slow going compared to the PC interface.
So far I have hacked the FlySky Tx with the required PC interface, added the haptic vibrator, and changed the beeper to a piezo speaker (for future wav audio support). Although I don't have the FrySky telemetry hardware yet, I'm running the software version for it. So far I like what I see.