FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Cant get your radio to work? General Hardware issues?
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FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:07 pm

I'm installing M9 gimbals in a FlySky 9x.
So I will share some photos, in order to help those thinking about a similar upgrade.

Feel free to ask questions (if any), I'll do my best to get you an answer! :)


Image


First of all, the M9 gimbals have Hall effect sensors in them. These sensors work at 3.3v (2.5v to 3.5v according to the specs provided by FrSky) and will very likely fail if fed with 5v. This means that such an upgrade is easier to those who have AR9x or SKY9x or 9Xtreme boards installed (these boards already work at 3.3v). In fact, using M9 gimbals on the stock mainboard with some simple level converters will likely cause the loss of resolution, so I don't think this upgrade is feasible on the stock board. I personally will have AR9x fitted into this radio, so I'm all set for this upgrade. Some more details about the electrical connection will be added later.


Now, the physical installation.
Unlike "traditional" Taranis gimbals (PR10), the M9 requires some more mods in order to fit a 9x enclosure. The metal plate of M9 binds trim switches in the 9x (both horizontal and vertical) and doesn't let the gimbal to sit properly. The solution here is to cut some metal off the plate - so get your Dremel ready!

Photo below shows the areas where binding happens (on the right gimbal) - marked with red:

Image


I was a bit too optimistic and started to cut and trim the plate without taking it off the gimbal...

Image

It sort of worked, but there's a lot of dust and the metal gets very hot. So I found it's much better (and safer!) to remove the four screws holding the metal plate (see the very first photo) and then work on the metal plate alone. Here's the result:

Image

After the plate is trimmed (and tested to fit the enclosure), put the gimbal back together.
Note that I didn't have to trim any other part of the M9. It's just the big metal plate that needed some corrections.

Now the trims buttons are out of the way, but ... the gimbal still won't fit:

Image

Image

There are stands in the enclosure that work well for the stock gimbals, but do not do anything good in case of M9:

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A closer look:

Image

We need to sand the upper (thinner) part off completely. I used my Dremel here, too.
Don't forget about the upper right stand. There's no thinner part there, so just cut it to about the same height as the other three.

Image

Take care not to cut too much!!!

Now the gimbal fits nicely:

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Here's a photo of my 9x with FrSky PR10 gimbal on the left and the M9 on the right:

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The height of the stick itself is pretty much like the PR10. Of course, the height can be adjusted to your liking.

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Inside the radio, the M9 gimbal is noticeably lower and shouldn't cause any issues to close the back cover.

Image



A few words about electrical connection of the new gimbals.
I didn't want to solder the new wires in. Instead, I installed MW-3M connectors on the trimmer boards.

For the right gimbal:
Image

For the left gimbal:
Image

This allowed me to carefully pull the wires from the long connector it came with and put them into an MU-3F. No crimping is needed, the stock pins get into the new connector perfectly fine!

Image

An important thing to remember: trimmer PCBs are made in a way so that the connectors can only be installed "mirrored" to each other. It means that the wires from each of the Hall sensors should be plugged into the 3-pin connectors differently: one should be red-brown-orange, and the other one should be orange-brown-red. Just be careful and give it some thought before you proceed.
Also, take care not to swap the vertical and horizontal sensors when you connect them to the trims PCB. Otherwise reverse polarity will likely damage the sensor.

Image
Last edited by andrewju on Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:22 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:08 pm

M9 sticks are hollow, which (potentially) allows for some interesting mods, like stick ends with integrated switches / buttons.
It also means that if you had some custom stick ends - they likely won't fit the M9.

Turnigy / Taranis PR10 sticks come with an M3 thread:

Image

M9 sticks are thicker and come with an M4 thread:

Image


Stick ends are also different. In M9 there is a little hex screw (M2.0) at the top (there's a similar one in FlySky / Turnigy stick ends):

Image





An important point as mentioned elsewhere on the forums.
Stick throws on M9 are about 10% less than the throws on PR10.

A rough measurement (with only a ruler) gave me the following results:

FrSky PR10: about 34mm

Image

Image


FrSky M9: about 30mm

Image

Image


I guess this is done to improve the linearity of the response of magnetic sensors. I'm not yet sure how noticeable the throw difference will be in real life. (For comparison: FlySky stock gimbals also have a throw of about 34mm, similar to PR10)



There's a tiny screw shipped together with the gimbal. It's for the throttle (for those of us who don't need throttle to get back to the center each time). You need to lift the corresponding arm and put the screw in like this:

Image

Image

Ratchet and brake can be adjusted the regular way - just like on other gimbals.
Last edited by andrewju on Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:57 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:08 pm

As noted later in this thread, the new gimbals will require you to reverse the vertical axis on the left gimbal (Throttle on Mode2 radios) and horizontal axis on the right one (Aileron on Mode2 radios). This is very easy to do.

Option A - from the radio itself:
1. Enable the Hardware menu. For this, hold Left trim to the left while powering the radio up.
2. Go to Radio Setup --> Hardware
3. Scroll to the "Stick Reverse" option (it's in the very bottom of the list, you may need to scroll through a few pages to get to it)
4. Press MENU, then press RIGHT several times until you see the proper revers directions highlighted.
5. Press MENU again

That's it!

Option B - by using eepskye:
1. Download your EEPROM to eepskye
2. Double click "General Settings"
3. Under the Setup tab, tick necessary stick reverse options (it should be LV and RH).
4. Upload your EEPROM back to the radio

Now the gimbals should behave as expected.


Don forget to do calibrate again after you change the reverse settings!
Last edited by andrewju on Sat May 13, 2017 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:22 pm

Thanks for this.. It looks like a not so difficult mod.. I think I need a couple of these for my 9xtreme radio. I have a MultiProtocol mudule With STM32 installed inside the radio and had trouble fitting everything inside so it wouldn't touch the gimbals. The M9 being thinner would probably make things easier..

A problem (for me) is that they are still quite expensive :(

João

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by Kilrah » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:24 pm

I still have the button, it just has no icon (last on the right).


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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:26 pm

Ahhh, yeah, thanks.. Didn't see it.. I think Rob did a forum upgrade, but some things got broken.. The wiki for example..

João

Edit: the button works but it gives an error..
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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:37 pm

jhsa wrote:
Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:22 pm
It looks like a not so difficult mod..
Initially I thought it would be easier - something like "plug and play", since I had stock Taranis gimbals already fitted...
But you're right, it's certainly doable!
The M9 being thinner would probably make things easier..
Yes, I believe they will!
I think I need a couple of these for my 9xtreme radio.
...
A problem (for me) is that they are still quite expensive :(
if you find a way to get them from Russia to Germany, I would arrange you a couple at a dealer's cost! :)
Unfortunately, the regular shipping will be quite expensive and will make the total price even higher than offers on Aliexpress... :(

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:54 pm

yeah, I will wait..I can't afford them at the moment and the taranis gimbals are doing a great job, as far as I can see.. I believe the price will drop in the future.. But thanks a lot for the offer.. :) Really appreciated.. :)
Also I don't really want to buy from aliexpress unless they start accepting payment through PayPal.. I'm not giving them my card's number ;)

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:28 pm

2nd post updated with some more photos and additional info...

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:58 pm

The reduced stick throw could be a good thing if they could be made to fit a 9XR-PRO radio, because of the faceplate.. It looks like the older taranis gimbals hit the faceplate not letting the gimbal to reach 100% at the corners..

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:41 pm

You mean older Taranis gimbal (not radio)?
Yes, the M9 doesn't bind the 9x faceplate in the corners. Not that it bothered me much with the PR10 though... :)

Sorry, can't say what mods are needed to fit M9 into a 9XR case. I don't have a 9XR at hand at present, but will certainly have a look if / once someone will bring one for repair.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:14 pm

Yes, Taranis Gimbals, not radio :) Post corrected ;)

Thanks

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:04 pm

First post updated with some more photos (showing electrical connections).

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by michel49 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:39 pm


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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:13 pm

Yes, correct! This one here is a little cheaper: https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/High-Qua ... 49462.html

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by RCHH » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:27 pm

Perfect! Brilliant post!

Just been looking at the M9 gimbals, as I have had an original gimbal on my ancient 9X throttle stick pot fail at 5 years of age (still going strong otherwise!) and was looking to replace with standard Taranis gimbals!

Will the super looking M9's be voltage compatible with the SKY9X Rev.B boards?

TIA

(PS - I tried to give you a big thumbs up thanks for this post andrewju, but the forum server threw a large error!)
The simpleton asked "Hows about ErSky9X for Horus???". And the Genius from Dorset replied "Why not indeed? I shall get right onto it!" And then there was light on Horus! And it was good!

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:43 pm

The thumbs up is working despite the error.. Just have a look at your user name under the post you've just thanked..

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by RCHH » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:52 pm

Hheh heh! Thanks João - shows how long I have been away from here! Server errors really get up my nose, especially today as I have been working on a customer's website shipping module to permit it to take into account volumetric shipping ... grrr! More 500 errors and php slaps than a 'one handed' man can take in a day! LOL! Am getting there though!
The simpleton asked "Hows about ErSky9X for Horus???". And the Genius from Dorset replied "Why not indeed? I shall get right onto it!" And then there was light on Horus! And it was good!

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by ReSt » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:45 am

RCHH wrote:
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:27 pm

.... as I have had an original gimbal on my ancient 9X throttle stick pot fail at 5 years of age (still going strong otherwise!) and was looking to replace with standard Taranis gimbals!
You may get original 9x gimbals rather cheap from banggood for 6.86 US$
http://www.banggood.com/Flysky-FS-TH9X- ... mds=search

Reinhard

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:14 am

RCHH wrote:
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:27 pm
Perfect! Brilliant post!
Thanks! :)
Just been looking at the M9 gimbals, as I have had an original gimbal on my ancient 9X throttle stick pot fail at 5 years of age (still going strong otherwise!) and was looking to replace with standard Taranis gimbals!

Will the super looking M9's be voltage compatible with the SKY9X Rev.B boards?
Yes, they will!

As far as I know, AR9x is based on the SKY9x design, so they use similar MCUs and use 3.3v as main voltage.
First post updated to include SKY9x in the list of compatible boards.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by jhsa » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:03 am

The Ar9x board is based on a mix between Sky9x and 9XR-PRO. :)
It fits the 9x radio, but uses the same processor as the 9XR-PRO radio that is much better. One thing I do like on the Ar9x is that has most of the extra pins for hardware mods made available, but this is for another topic :) ;)

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by RCHH » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:33 am

ReSt wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:45 am
RCHH wrote:
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:27 pm

.... as I have had an original gimbal on my ancient 9X throttle stick pot fail at 5 years of age (still going strong otherwise!) and was looking to replace with standard Taranis gimbals!
You may get original 9x gimbals rather cheap from banggood for 6.86 US$
http://www.banggood.com/Flysky-FS-TH9X- ... mds=search

Reinhard
I have three of them on the way that I will now use to replace one that I cannibalised out of my backup AR9X boarded 9X, and the remaining two can be kept for posterity!

They are a very good price indeed though.

It seems Banggood are getting in a lot of FrSky spare parts. Just this last week or so they have even got in quite substantial spares for the Horus.
The simpleton asked "Hows about ErSky9X for Horus???". And the Genius from Dorset replied "Why not indeed? I shall get right onto it!" And then there was light on Horus! And it was good!

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:59 pm

Throttle! How could I forget?! :)
Added a few more photos to the end of the SECOND post.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by flexd » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:26 am

This is great, thanks! I will probably end up doing this mod sooner or later :) I was worried this would be as much modification as getting Aurora 9 gimbals in, but this looks pretty good!

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by RCHH » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:39 pm

My pair of M9's arrived today from HorusRC. That is this evenings entertainment taken care of. Lovely quality items.
The simpleton asked "Hows about ErSky9X for Horus???". And the Genius from Dorset replied "Why not indeed? I shall get right onto it!" And then there was light on Horus! And it was good!

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by RCHH » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:58 pm

I spent the evening fitting the new M9 gimbals.
Went about it ever so slightly different than andrewju did, in that I was not wishing to chop away any of the alloy plates on the gimbals.
All I did was unsolder the 8-wire blocks from the trimmer PCB's and resolder them on the other side. Very much as what andrewju did with the actual gimbal wire sockets. They fit 'almost' perfectly (the alloy thread bosses on the new gimbals would need grinding down approx 1.5mm to let the shiny bevel edge of the M9's to fit fully in the front case holes), without any cutting/grinding which then negates any risk of fine grindings getting in the works!

Also, the angular throw on the M9's is near as damn-it the same as on the original FlySky versions. I did not even have to recalibrate the new sticks, as the throws were no different.

Certainly a super upgrade. The sticks 'feel' every bit as good as the ones in my Horus! And all for under £35 the pair delivered!
The simpleton asked "Hows about ErSky9X for Horus???". And the Genius from Dorset replied "Why not indeed? I shall get right onto it!" And then there was light on Horus! And it was good!

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:54 pm

Well done! :)

Regarding the throw. I tested several gimbals (FlySky / Turnigy, FrSky PR10 and the M9). It appears that the stock FlySky gimbals have the largest throw (just a little bit over FrSky PR10), while FrSky M9 has the shortest. But I don't feel that to be an issue, at least my fingers had no complaints so far! :)

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by carlkelly176 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:26 am

Andrew:

My name is carl, and I woul like to know if you think the m9 gimbals will work in the x9e taranis?
your instruction video is spot on and very informative. thanks for taking the time to make it for the rest of us.

regards
carl kelly

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by andrewju » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:38 pm

Hi Carl,
Thank you for the kind words!
Unfortunately, I don't have an X9E. So I can't say whether these gimbals will fit. Judging by how FrSky positions the M9, I believe there should be another model that fits X9E without the need for modification.

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Re: FrSky M9 gimbals in a 9x - photos (traffic!)

Post by carlkelly176 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:04 pm

Thanks my friend

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