Tag Archive: turnigy 9x v2


It was quite some time since I reflected on my Extra300 EPP indoor plane. The build was rather long and I had many questionmarks. I think this happened partly due to my inexperience in building and due to the manual being written by a very experienced senior pilot who mentioned only the most important aspects of the build. I am not even novice in building, so I would have needed a lot more detail in building instructions.

Anyhow, the plane is ready and it flies well. I tried to take a stepwise approach with flying. I knew that indoor flying would demand constant usage of rudder. While flying my Easystar I started to turn with rudder and aileron together. So I made some rudder practice to prepare myself for indoor challenges. However I knew that playing with rudder while having “the whole sky” to my disposal is rather easy. I was prepared for some crashes as I knew that indoor will be a lot more difficult.

To not ruin the plane within 10 seconds of flight I tried to practice on the ground first. That said applying a fraction of throttle and “driving around” in circles rather than lifting off. This was more difficult than I have thought it would be, since nothing was trimmed and I had a new radio system even. As result I had some occasional unintended takeoffs. These were aborted mostly, that said I crashed the plane nose-in to the floor. Like a warbird tip. I consumed propellers at some rate 🙂

Maiden flight:

2nd flight:

3rd flight, I started to enjoy high angle-of-attack slow passes. Not easy, but fun. Tried to mix directions, figure 8 and slalom flight. Very exciting to do, maybe not so exciting to watch, though.

4th flight, I tried to transition to hover.

5th flight, with hovering practice.

6th flight, more hovering and fun flight.

7th flight. I started to grow devil horns, had some “moments” of daredevil actions. Landed on the wall for instance.

8th flight, my first roll indoors. Scary but fun.

I skipped last weeks flights as I was fortunate enough to have my daughter born. She was born at 1:30 on the 20th of January 2014. A real miracle, 49 cm and 3230 grams of new life. Funny enough it is my birthday, I received the best possible present ever! I stayed home to help my wife and the baby, no flying right now. I will regain action soon, just need to sort out the first few weeks with helping around.

I am not sure what will happen to our outdoors flying. The flight club is going through a very difficult time period. The council announced that they will remove us from our flying field. As from 1st of February 2014 we are no longer allowed to use the field, we have to clear the area and cannot return. We haven’t received yet any other area to use, so the very existence of the club is in danger.
Our flight club and cross motorcycle (dirt bike if you like) club is removed from the area. The cause for this unfortunate decision is that an investment group tied to some politician tries to build a set of luxury golf flats in the area. It is rather interesting, since the golf club itself went bankrupt several times during the last few years. Besides that there are many issues around the build plans, as it seems politics and corruption got mixed up things quite a bit.

The club tried to apply for a negotiation, but the council does not really listen. So as for new it looks like that 1st of February is the end of our current flight activity.

I don’t know yet how we will do. There are some locations where I can fly, but the club itself will not be able to survive without a flying field. We will see.

An article from local newspaper.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


I am working on an exciting project. I am converting my Turnigy 9X radio to FrSky. In my other post I wrote about what parts were needed to do the conversion. Now I am trying to give a short summary of how I managed with the actual work.

As it turned out the DIY kit of FrSky is somewhat different of the one that RC Model Review tutorial uses. He used the old module, that was available by that time he made his review. The new kit has a switch for telemetry mode and firmware update.

FrSky DIY kit switch

I had to find some space for that switch. I drilled a hole on the back of radio under the metal support.

3-way switch (telemetry and firmware update)

3-way switch (telemetry and firmware update)

I faced some complication when I wanted to use my epoxy glue to fix the small circuit board with the bind switch and status light. The epoxy got wrong it the bottle, I had to discard it. Placed an order on new epoxy from local hobby shop but it will arrive only in a couple of days.

I followed the instructions when I installed the small programming board from Smartieparts. Rather easy to do. The small board that has USB connection has perfect fit in the radio back, in the battery compartment. Just slides into a cavity without glitch. This board enables even backlighting of screen, I haven’t ordered that though. So far I haven’t felt the need for lit screen.

Smartieparts USB connector 9X board Smartieparts 9X board Smartieparts board in place

Another important part was the battery upgrade. I left the original connector in the radio and cut the wire to the AA-battery compartment. Then I soldered on a servo connector to be able to use the matching connector on the Li-Fe battery pack. I not only double-checked but triple-checked the polarity. Did not want to perform inverse polarity failure.



Double heat shrink Ready to connect

I had the most trouble with the radio antenna. In the original review from RC Model Reviews that old FrSky module does not have a small washer on the antenna sleeve. The new one has. It is there for having a better mechanical connection. However it was more difficult to push through the plastic feature of my radio. I think the reason is that my radio was already modified once by its previous owner, so some of it parts were already altered. It should work most probably fine on a brand new unit. After some gentle violence I managed to get the antenna in place.

When I made the holes on the top of the radio to be able to get access to binding switch and status light I did not use any template. I just drilled one hole, put the small unit there and marked the next hole by eyeballing it. Then drilled it. And it went all right. I did not use a battery drilling machine, I only have a big machine, so was rather careful not to drill too deep into the radio. Went OK.

I received my glue so I can finalize the position of binding switch. I need to do the most tricky part of the build, the actual soldering of the DIY kit connections. When that is ready I can proceed as RC Model Reviews shows in his tutorial and build together the radio.

Soldered and added heat shrink to protect leads

Soldered and added heat shrink to protect leads

Used velcro to secure module

Used velcro to secure module

Velcro to secure module

Velcro to secure module

Module in the middle to not block metal contacts.

Module in the middle to not block metal contacts.

Bind switch "spacers"

Bind switch “spacers”

Bind switch spacer glued into housing.

Bind switch spacer glued into housing.

When all the building part is ready on the transmitter I need to refresh the software to er9X firmware as well. That will be a major leap for the radio software interface. Then I also need to change the radio receiver to FrSky on my Easystar plane. A lot of work is left actually.

As for today I checked if the radio can be turned on. It works, I did not make any fatal mistake yet. Good news, I was afraid that the “magical smoke” might get out of the radio… 🙂

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


I was participating at Winter indoor flights earlier but never could fly for real. I made some practicing with my Lama v3 helicopter and watched the others fly with their special indoor planes.

Now the time has come for me to join as a flying participant. I ordered a nice indoor plane and some matching electronics.

The plane is an Extra 300 made from EPP material. Has 830 mm wingspan and a high visibility colour scheme.

ap-e300-epp-3_9628 ap-e300-epp-1_9626

According to the description this can take some crashes without being converted to confetti. In my case this is not only a good plus point, it is more or less a basic requirement. I think I will need to get some good practice in simulator.

I found a clip where a really expert level pilot flies such a plane indoors. Amazing piece of piloting.

I will be happy to just fly around without touching the walls or other hard surfaces.

As for the electronics I went for the following list of components.

Turnigy 19 gram brushless motor.

2S 370 mAh battery.

HXT900 servos.

10A ESC.

GWS propeller. A lot of them to have spares 🙂

I planned to use my existing Turnigy 9X v2 radio with it. I have 4 extra receivers, got them together with the radio. Then I have got some second thoughts.

I was watching a lot of reviews about FrSky radios earlier and started to be interested. Rc Model Reviews had some great reviews of FrSky. They just launched a new transmitter, it looks like a very capable piece of kit. Maybe a bit too much for me right now, but I keep it in mind as a possible upgrade for later. My current knowledge and experience does not really need such a high spec radio.

Then I came across a nice review of Turnigy 9X radios and how they can be upgraded to a much more flexible system and also software. The original firmware of 9X radios is a bit cumbersome to use. Rather illogical menu system and some limitations. The receiver is huge and heavy for a foamy plane (18 grams). However it is possible to modify it with some cheap items. The result is a very capable radio unit that still has an exceptionally low price.

With FrSky DIY kit you can actually convert your 9X radio to FrSky protocol. A more robust protocol with great range and features.

With a clever little programming card called SmartieParts 9X it is possible to reflash the radio to er9x firmware even.

This will enable unlimited swith mapping. Anything can be assigned to any switch on the radio. Also it extends model memory to 16 planes (originally 8 memories). And with er9x software you get a more logical menu system.

To be able to fly my Easystar with FrSky radio protocol I need to retrofit it with a compatible receiver. So I purchased a receiver with telemetry. A nice feature, I could for instance see the battery voltage while flying. As I understand I can set a warning even for low voltage. Will check how this works.

For the indoor plane I bought a small 5-channel receiver. It weighs only 2 grams (!!!)


This unit is so small that I will need to solder micro servo connectors onto the servos.

To really upgrade my radio I also bought a LiFe battery specially made for transmitters.

Transmitter battery pack

This battery will replace the current array of 8 AA cells. Charging 8 pieces of Ni-Mh AA batteries takes ages and they are hard to maintain on the long run. A TX battery on LiFe will give true voltage reading for the radio and it provides 10V against LiPo batteries which would overdrive the radio circuit board.

I will have a major upgrade when everything will be ready. First I need to get hold of the packages. Chinese celebrations mean that hobby parts are delayed. Now the celebrations are already over, so hopefully next week my package will get posted and travel to Sweden from Hong Kong. Exciting it is.

Weather is turning into Autumn, so indoor flight season is soon to be started. As I understand from 1st of November we can fly again at the school sports hall. Not much time left to build my plane.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


Please find 3rd part of my aileron mod here.

Last time I cut out servo cavities and made all reinforcements in wings. This time I finalize servo mounting and pushrods (also known as piano wires).

I received comments from my experienced RC colleague, he pointed out that rotation point of aileron should be close to servo bracket rotation point. This meant that I had to reverse bracket, now it points forward. This enables more deflection on control surface.

I glued in servos finally. First I put heat shrink on servo, so that I don’t ruin servo itself with glue. This makes possible to change servo if needed.

I added glue on two faces only, in front and behind servo. This is not impossible to remove if I might ruin one servo later. Hopefully they survive though. I have metal gear servos, just in case.

Healing of glue. Kitchen table looks like a small-scale disaster when I am doing my work there. In 15 minutes I can clean up everything and restore full functionality of table. Tested 🙂

In motion it would look like so:

I think that now the wings are ready for assembly, I can actually start building the plane now. Quite promising.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


I bought a new radio, great news. Currently I have a super-cheap 2.4 GHz radio from Hobbycity, the one that does not feature any menu system. You can program it from computer with USB cable and a dedicated software. It works fine but as it only features 6 channels I felt the need to have something bigger and better for FPV. I plan to use OSD and pan/tilt camera so 6 channels will not work.

I really liked the specs of some higher grade radios, like the Futaba T8FG. Quite nice transmitter, you can see the specs here. It is quite pricy to my budget right now, it remains on my dream list.

A colleague was selling his Turnigy 9X radio, this unit is in my price range, so I signaled my interest and asked him to consider me as a possible buyer. We made the deal and now I am a happy owner of an almost unused Turnigy 9X v2 radio transmitter. The v2 is important, this is a revised upgrade of the first 9X. It has 8 model memories instead of 5 (good feature) and can handle expo and dual rates without workaround solutions. V1 had problems with these settings. Not a major flaw for me, I think I will never use expo.

The radio is modified buy the first owner. He put some glue on the buzzer, this is good actually. It beeps at amazingly high volume by default. Either you tune it electronically (with some resistance) or you use physical methods.

I got 4 pieces of receivers with it, I think this will do for some years. I am not having more models than one right now. I am quite future-proof now.

I will do one mod on it, attach a transmitter Li-Po later. It runs on AA batteries (8 pieces). I have very good batteries for my Lama v3 transmitter, so this is not a hurry.

I was eager to try out my new radio, so I made some servo test. Works like a bliss.

I really like this radio, great price/performance ratio. Hard to beat. The menu system is to get used to, I don’t understand it yet, however I shall dig into the manual and comprehend it prior ti flying my plane. That is good to do, otherwise I get confused with all the switches. Quite capable unit this is.

As I managed to bind one receiver to the transmitter I continued with balancing my propeller. I took a screwdriver and balanced it on the edge of kitchen table. Rather unprofessional but works at some extent. I will never reach super accuracy with this method but helps a lot.

It turned out so that I had to cut away quite a lot from my propeller, you can see that later in the clip.

I made a motor test with the balanced propeller. My experienced colleague helped me to drill my wood propeller to right diameter, we even refit the plastic one. I learned the correct way to mount it, the text on the propeller shall point in the direction of flight. Good to know.

Please see my recording of balancing and motor test.

I was not sure if I shall teach the ESC to sense full throttle setting so I tried to do this routine. I pulled full throttle on the radio, switched in on and connected battery on ESC. Then I pulled down the throttle stick to zero gently.

What I thought that will happen is the ESC learns full throttle setting and will reset itself. Well, something else happened. The motor went up to full speed as I gently pulled the stick down to zero and I got rather surprised. If I weren’t Sir Crash a Lot I could even tell that I got almost scared. The motor revved up to full thrust and blowed my magnetic shopping list off from the fridge door. And knocked over the kitchen chair so it leaned against kitchen table.

As I placed then close to each other it did not tip over fully. And as I hooked around the motor several times in both diagonals with tape it did not get loose. However it wasn’t so clever thing to do, I think setting full throttle setting is better to do without the motor coupled to the ESC.

I do not have recording of that incident, the rest of the motor test is captured.

Next thing will be to start to build the plane. I will need to read through the manual and then “Get On With It!” (Monty Python excerpt).

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot