Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Upgrading to Spektrum DX9 Transmitter

In writing this article I am trying to give those people not familiar with the advanced technology available in model radio control systems a simplistic view of what is available to the hobbyist.  I have been in the process of moving all of my airplanes from equipment on 72 mhz to 2.4 ghz spread spectrum equipment. My decision to choose Spektrum brand equipment was mainly based on what the local hobby shop was selling. For the most part it has worked well for me. The first transmitter I purchased was the DX6i that was limited to 10 model memory and developed a problem with the elevator trim switch. Another factor in choosing Spektrum brand was it has worked easily with the Bind-n-fly models I have purchased.

DX9 Works Great With my Bind-n-Fly Airplanes

I Struggled to Get All Wing Functions Working on Sailplane

Just over a year ago I decided I wanted to invest in a better transmitter for more advanced model sailplanes I might be flying. The voice capability of the DX9 sounded not only cool but practical to alert the pilot to the position of a particular toggle switch. It would also interface with telemetry which is something I wish to try in the future. I was hoping that programming the DX9 would be easier than the DX6i but it has me struggling on certain issues. In my opinion the manuals need to go into more detail with good examples.

Files to be Updated Downloaded to SD Card

SD Card Placed back in Transmitter

 With my new transmitter I should be able to fly all the airplanes I would ever want to with 250 model memory, right now I am up to 15. The DX9 uses a SD card to save information to for not only the models but the programming code and sound used with the transmitter. To update you logon to Spektrum website and download files to SD card and then replace the card into the transmitter and do an update process.  I just went through the process because I was somewhat behind in the update releases. From reading the update description there were a fair amount of bug fixes and enhancements.  The sound files update takes a few minutes, the code file goes fast.

Loading Firmware Code into Transmitter

It has been a little expensive buying so many receivers to replace the 72 mhz receivers but I had gotten myself into a situation where I had transmitters from several brands, and extra transmitter modules for different frequencies.  The rechargeable batteries in those old transmitters were having to be replaced so staying with the old equipment would be just as expensive.  Now every plane I fly has the advanced features of this deluxe transmitter available.

Bill Kuhl

Additional Resources

Spektrum Website 

Radio Carbon Art Video on 2.4 Radio Technology

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