Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by MikeB » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:32 pm

No it doesn't have a DAC. It does, however, have timers that may run at up to 72MHz. These are able to provide PWM output (driven by DMA), so better audio with fewer filter components needed.

I'm not sure whether any work could be offloaded from the main processor. To add another RF module output itself may not be too difficult, but then you need the menu code to allow it to be configured.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:53 pm

MikeB wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:32 pm
No it doesn't have a DAC. It does, however, have timers that may run at up to 72MHz. These are able to provide PWM output (driven by DMA), so better audio with fewer filter components needed.
Nice :)
I'm not sure whether any work could be offloaded from the main processor. To add another RF module output itself may not be too difficult, but then you need the menu code to allow it to be configured.
Yes of course :) probably only viable on the m128 and m2561? What about RAM on the m128?
If this could be made even easier to build than the current ArduVoice, it could probably be a good option, now that there aren't any replacement /addon boards for the 9x radio, and it seems that the 9x radio is still being produced and sold..
At least it could allow some of the ersky9x features on a Er9x radio.. I wonder if stuff like for example the Audio player could be achieved.. Of course, I have no idea of what I'm talking about :) :D

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by MikeB » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:29 pm

I've considered before whether using a second processor could help with the 9X, but I've never found a way to split the functions between two processors to reduce the flash/RAM requirements on the AVR processor.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB (9Xtreme-2)

Post by bob195558 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:10 pm

Could a Raspberry Pi be used ?
Last edited by bob195558 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RE: Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:43 am

MikeB wrote:I've considered before whether using a second processor could help with the 9X, but I've never found a way to split the functions between two processors to reduce the flash/RAM requirements on the AVR processor.

Mike
That would be more or less what the 9XT is doing? The difference is that it does all the work. The 9x mainboard just operates the LCD and a couple pots and switches. This means that the addon board needs all the extra hardware on it..

But for the ArduVoice purpose the STM32 board would be more than enough and would allow new features..

The ArUni board was perfect for upgrading all kinds od radios. Shame that is not available anymore :(

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Marcos » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:02 pm

This is very interesting conversation. Is there even any good reason to make simply new voice module with benefits? Would it be reasonable to make new open-source update board with all the bells and whistles? Gerbers in GitHub, so everybody could make their own boards, and we would not be dependant of a manufacturer. IIRC Elecrow(probably others have too) has this some kind of designer program where they manufacture and sell your design and you get small percentage of the profits.
Maybe we could design a new board and make some kind of deal with them for manufacturing. The profits could i.e. go to server costs here or for OpenTX/ER9X/ERSky9x. I would argue that the manufacturing cost benefits of simple voice module compared to full replacement board would be so negligible that it's not justified.

Using the existing board and it's MCU for the UI buttons and LCD should not be that difficult. Why we could not just re-use the LCD code from existing FW's and just send the display buffer and UI button states between MCU's. This should not require much of resources from the original boards MCU. All the critical controls (i.e. sticks and switches) would still be connected to the update board.

IMHO it would be great if these old and somewhat obsolete transmitter could be sprung back to life. I bet many beginners and people that don't want/can't spend hundreds of euros for their transmitter would be very happy to have an option for feature rich transmitter with affordable price.

Edit: Could/should we use the 9Xtreme, that was recently released to public, as a starting point?

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:40 pm

Yes, you can send the 9XT board to be made, buy the components, and build it yourself. I believe Steven released all the needed files to the public. But it would be very expensive I think..
there were a few boards in the past. Skyboard, Ar9x board, ArUni board, 9xtreme board. I think all schematics for all these boards and also for the 9XR-PRO were released.
So, nothing really stops people from building the 9xtreme for example. but how many of us could actually do it? :)

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by AlexLmm » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:47 am

Hi Mike!
What is the final decision on this module?
Should I order it?

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Marcos » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:11 am

jhsa wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:40 pm
Yes, you can send the 9XT board to be made, buy the components, and build it yourself. I believe Steven released all the needed files to the public. But it would be very expensive I think..
there were a few boards in the past. Skyboard, Ar9x board, ArUni board, 9xtreme board. I think all schematics for all these boards and also for the 9XR-PRO were released.
So, nothing really stops people from building the 9xtreme for example. but how many of us could actually do it? :)

João
I took little deeper look of the 9xtreme schematics and did some digging. The most expensive part is the MCU. It is 5-10€ pcs depending on amount (1-10 pcs) and location of purchase. Next expensive thing is the flash chip, around 1€ pcs. Rest of the components are under 0.30 pcs. Most are in the region of 0,01-0,02€ pcs. The PCB's would be ~27€+25%VAT for 10 pcs shipped. IMHO not so expensive to DIY.

With some modifications it could be done even cheaper. Shortening the PCB to 100mm would drop the PCB price to ~13€/10pcs inc. shipping (Under 20€, no need to pay VAT!). There are probably other optimisations that could be made, i.e. for manufacturing, leaving out the SD-Card slot should give some savings. The SD-Card module boards are cheap as soap and easy to source. It can be purchased by user if they require a SD-card slot.

In the end, it comes down to what kind of board we are looking for? Drop in board that has everything included, that does not require soldering is going to be expensive. Modular board that requires some easy soldering (Serial wires, programmer, few solder jumpers?) that can be updated with existing and readily available general modules (i.e. SD-card module/back light) would be much cheaper.

About building the thing. I don't know how skilled in general users here are. I don't consider my self an expert by any means, but I am confident that I could assemble the board successfully. I have designed and build several boards my self from start to finish. Some even with QNF chips. The QNF chips are PITA, even whit hot air station, but everything else can be soldered by hand with soldering iron. STM32F205 (The MCU 9xtreme board uses) can be purchased as QFP100 package that can be soldered with iron, so building the board can be done whit out any special tools.

Edit:Sorry if it seems I am all over the place, but just trowing out ideas. :D
Last edited by Marcos on Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:31 am

Ok, but you don't see normal users soldering the 100 pin processors, right? ;) Unless someone produces this, I don't see it being viable.. But of course, the files are there, if you can build it, it is already possible. You might be the only one though.. And add all the prices you just posted above. I don't think it comes out that cheap.. :)
Just my opinion of course.. :)

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Marcos » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:06 am

jhsa wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:31 am
Ok, but you don't see normal users soldering the 100 pin processors, right? ;) Unless someone produces this, I don't see it being viable.. But of course, the files are there, if you can build it, it is already possible. You might be the only one though.. And add all the prices you just posted above. I don't think it comes out that cheap.. :)
Just my opinion of course.. :)

João
Your opinions are very much appreciated, even though they are not always agreed up on. ;)
DIY clone of 9Xtreme would be under 50€ pcs in 10 pcs patch, so not so expensive. Of course if you only need one, it would be still 500€. :lol:
But in example, a small hobby club could source the components and with some moderate soldering skills they could have reasonably priced upgrade boards. Soldering the 100 pin processor is actually easier than you might think. There are plenty of videos in YouTube for good techniques. You don't have to solder the pins individually.

I am going to investigate this further. It would be great if we could make new board for all those 9X out there. It would be even greater if we could keep it affordable and open source. All ideas and opinions are more than welcome.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB (9Xtreme-2)

Post by bob195558 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:30 pm

50€ is about $62 + shipping + other components + soldering = more dollars and the skill and time to assemble.
Would the chip need to be flash too ?
(http://openrcforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=7182)
(http://openrcforums.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=126)
(http://openrcforums.com/forum/viewtopic ... 26&t=10531)

It would be good to have 9Xtreme-2 though !!!
Last edited by bob195558 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:02 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:57 pm

I still think someone would have to order it, assemble it, and sell it.
I can solder that chip, but I don't think that people without some experience will be able to do it without damaging the chip or the board.
Also, it would be very difficult to get a group of people together to build this, especially if we all live in different parts of the world.
Please don't get me wrong, I would love to see this or other board available again.. :)
This 9xtreme one would need some corrections also..

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB (9Xtreme-2)

Post by bob195558 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:06 pm

Jun 01, 2016, s_mack: 9Xtreme V2? Or Discontinued ? (http://openrcforums.com/forum/viewtopic ... 126&t=8895).
s_mack wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:03 pm
I appreciate that.
Regarding the reverse polarity... you may be surprised at how many of the 1000pcs went to replacing blown up units :)

Regarding sales, risk, etc... it is an expensive product to make and the problem is that 1000pcs is kind of a minimum order.
If sales continued at the same pace we're at now (and that's unlikely), it would take over 3 years to sell them.
That's a long time to have product on a shelf.
In fact, that brings up another issue I hadn't mentioned previously: logistics.
The warehouse I use (and pretty much all similar services) expect fast moving stock.
They aren't there for long term storage needs.
"Stale" stock gets penalized. After 3 months it costs 2x as much to store. After 6 months it is 4x.
After a year it is 12x. Storage is cheap, but 12x cheap isn't cheap.

But... as timing has it, I just got an email last week from the LED backlight supplier asking if I wanted to re-up the order
and I told them I couldn't do 1000pcs.
They previously said 1000 was their minimum, but now they're saying they can do 500 at the same per-unit price.
Armed with that, I sent an email to the other suppliers asking if they'd be on board with the same terms.
The PCB assembly house got back to me with a quote and, while it is definitely more expensive per-unit, it isn't break-the-bank more expensive.
If the rest of them can do 500 then it might be a possible go. Anyway, thanks for your input.
s_mack wrote:
Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:21 pm
Sales are too slow.
There won't be another batch. I'm not even making the minimums that the warehouse requires, so I'm getting hit with significant storage fees now.
I suggest getting them while you can.
ps. "upgraded" was going to be a couple of very minor changes unnoticed by most, so not sure what you were expecting.
Last edited by bob195558 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Marcos » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:13 pm

bob195558 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:30 pm
50€ is about $62 + shipping + other components + soldering = more dollars and the skill and time to assemble.
We would have to flash the chip too.

It would be good to have 9Xtreme-2 though !!!
The under 50€ estimation includes all the components and shipping to Finnland for them and the PCB's. I would think shipping to other parts ot the wold would be cheaper, any how it's jus quick and very conservative estimation.

Anyway I have just applied for non-comercial licence for DipTrace Lite. The Freeware version has a 300 pin limit and the 9Xtreme has close to 500 pins.
I hope my application goes trough. I can't affor the 130€ for the normal Lite license ATM and I wish to keep the possible out come open-source anyway.
I have some money comming in month or so, so I could then order some components PCB's if I have some gerbers ready.

If I can get the free DipTrace lite, I will definetly take a crack at this.

Edit: @jhsa take look at this. Too good to be true?
Last edited by Marcos on Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by AlexLmm » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:15 pm

After Taranis Q X7 entered the market with the price of 115$ investing any more money to 9X looks pretty weired to me.
Adding a voice module for couple of bucks looks quite reasonable, but sure not for 60$.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:35 pm

AlexLmm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:15 pm
After Taranis Q X7 entered the market with the price of 115$ investing any more money to 9X looks pretty weired to me.
You know, having held Both Taranis flavors and Horus in my hands and played with them, I still prefer my 9x radios with upgrade boards.. and by using Ersky9x I have many more possibilities, specially as far as hardware is concerned..
So, yes, definitely a vote for an upgrade board for the 9x :) :mrgreen:

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB (AR9x board)

Post by bob195558 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:45 pm

The AR9x replacement board, when it was available, did cost much less: (http://www.ar9x.net/).
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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by MikeB » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:35 pm

AlexLmm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:47 am
Hi Mike!
What is the final decision on this module?
Should I order it?
To be able to use that board, I would need to get one myself, together with all the other items (SD card interface, audio amp etc.), then get the code to compile for it.
I'm not sure I'm going to get round to it for a while, if at all.

With the cost of the FrSky QX7 being as low as it is, purchasing a new 9X, then sorting an upgrade for it is not really cost effective any more.
Ersky9x for the QX7 supports adding 2 extra switches (2-position) to the QX7, and also supports the addition of a HC-05 bluetooth module.
I also have plans to be able to add more pots/sliders, and possibly more 3-position switches to the QX7.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by AlexLmm » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:44 pm

I agree that if audio module can't be connected directly it's a pity to waist time for it.

Does QX7 has soldering pads to add more switches and pots? It would be great to make it similar to X9D in terms of switches and sliders amount.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by flybabo » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:13 pm

MikeB wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:35 pm
With the cost of the FrSky QX7 being as low as it is, purchasing a new 9X, then sorting an upgrade for it is not really cost effective any more.
Ersky9x for the QX7 supports adding 2 extra switches (2-position) to the QX7, and also supports the addition of a HC-05 bluetooth module.
I also have plans to be able to add more pots/sliders, and possibly more 3-position switches to the QX7.

Mike
Aside from the cost effectiveness, the QX7 supports the LUA scripting.
This feature is critical for many Quad flyers as they can reconfigure/monitor many things on the FC by running various LUA scripts already available.
Sadly speaking, the QX7 is a true killer for the 9x upgrade products.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:04 pm

All Ersky9x radios support scripts.. :) Not LUA though, which is not bad at all.. Mike developed another script language for Ersky9x that is lighter and runs on all platforms ;)
Ok, maybe not so many available.....yet!! :)

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by MikeB » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:06 pm

The QX7 includes 2, 2-pin sockets ready for the addition of two extra switches.
With ersky9x, you have the "BASIC" scripting available.
Regarding extra pots/sliders, the QX7 has a three colour LED in the power switch (red, blue and green). I'm not sure this is very useful, indeed, on ersky9x, I only use the green LED. If the wires for the other two LEDs are disconnected, then those two signals on the connector are available as extra analog inputs, which seems more useful to me!

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:12 pm

MikeB wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:06 pm
If the wires for the other two LEDs are disconnected, then those two signals on the connector are available as extra analog inputs, which seems more useful to me!

Mike
Definitely ;)

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by MikeB » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:15 pm

I've got 1 extra pot working on a QX7, just needs a bit of sorting so it appears in the correct place for the mixer.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Neptune769 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:41 am

Hello All,

I found this post and am interested in building one of the boards from the 9xVoice Mod page. However all the board file links on Github are not working. I get a 404 error. Is Github just down at the mement or are the links bad? Here is one as an example. https://github.com/Nkawu/amod328/tree/m ... xVoiceV1_0. Any help would be appreciated as always.

Thanks,

Dennis L.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Neptune769 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:59 am

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever thought of making a new mainboard using the Mega2561 with the 100 pins? It has 86 I/O pins,twelve 16 bit PWM channels, 16 ADC channels and 4 USARTs. You could have a radio with all the pots, buttons & switches you want without having to take from one to make another. Oh course then Mike would have to put his magic to the FW. If I know more about electronics I would do it. I can make a board, just can't design it. :( Just a thought.

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by Kilrah » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:46 am

2561 was used 7 or so years ago in the Gruvin board if I remember well.

Today it would make absolutely no sense to make a new board based on an AVR chip. Been using much better ARM based ones for like 5 years...

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Re: RE: Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by jhsa » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:58 am


Kilrah wrote:2561 was used 7 or so years ago in the Gruvin board if I remember
I think the chip used on the Gruvin board was the 2560 and not the 2561?

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Re: Audio (voice) - Stock 9X PCB

Post by MikeB » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:38 am

Just to be clear, the 2561 and the 2560 are the same chip in different packages, the 2561 is in a 64-pin package and the 2560 is in a 100-pin package.

I also agree there is no reason to use an AVR chip in a new board, the ARM processors are MUCH more capable.

With the FrSky QX7 available at a very reasonable price, I'm not sure the effort in designing a new board is worthwhile or cost effective. If you want to scratch build a radio, then probably obtain the QX7 mainboard as a spare part, together with the display may be a good option.

Mike
ersky9x/er9x developer
The difficult we do immediately,
The impossible takes a little longer!

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