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New FrSky EU firmware - an unwelcome surprise

Taranis and X series receivers.

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Stuart Ord24/02/2015 11:50:46
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I'm hoping for some advice on how to proceed following the recent firmware upgrade. I'll try not to have a rant at the EU causing us trouble as usual....

I ordered 6 new Rxs late last year and the delivery was delayed "for EU compliant firmware". The first 3 have been delivered (X4Rs) and I await 3 X6Rs. I have about 10 X8Rs and an X4R, and lots of telemetry (GPSs, LiPo sensors, ammeters, varios) bought last year. All of that older stuff works fine, but the new Rxs won't bind. I am using version 2.0.15. The Tx is not the plus version. I only have SmartPort enabled equipment.

I gather I have 2 options - 1) to upgrade my Tx and all existing Rxs, or 2) to downgrade the new Rxs. I've been reading threads but I'm struggling to see a clear way forwards. Can anyone please tell me:

* If I upgrade, do I have to alter the firmware on all my sensors? I've seen some downloads on the FrSky site that make me think that I do, but maybe I misunderstood their descriptions.

* If I want to downgrade the new ones, where do I get the firmware from and how do I do it? I've seen an instruction sheet that suggested I need to strip the cover off the Rx and use some interface tool to connect to the Rx circuit board and the computer. (If this is correct, where do I get this tool from?)

*If I upgrade, do I do the Tx via Companion? I upgraded it last year soon after I bought it this way, and that went fine using a USB lead in the normal manner of using Companion.

* If I want to upgrade my old Rxs, I gather I can do it using the SmartPorts but again an interface lead is required. (Maybe I can downgrade the new ones this way too?) Is this the same interface as mentioned above? I see they tell you how to make a DIY one which is easy enough (only a single diode) but it connects to a "FUC-3" - what's that? And what does "TXD/RXD is RS232 level" mean? (I know it's some sort of comms protocol but they don't say what the relevance is).

I find this very frustrating - I spent ages learning how to program this excellent radio, so sold all my Spektrum gear in my wave of confidence, and now the EU bureaucrats ...... (sorry, mustn't do that!) and now feel the carpet's been yanked from under my feet. I want to use this radio, not mess with firmware any more than I have to.

Thanks for reading this and for any comments.

Edited By Pete B - Moderator on 24/02/2015 12:04:04

Pete B - Moderator24/02/2015 12:07:21
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Posted by Stuart Ord on 24/02/2015 11:50:46:

..... so sold all my Spektrum gear in my wave of confidence, and now the EU bureaucrats ...... (sorry, mustn't do that!) and now feel the carpet's been yanked from under my feet.

You're right....smile

I'm sure someone will be along soon to help unweave the birdsnest...

Pete

Chris Bott - Moderator24/02/2015 12:44:37
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Hi Stuart, I agree, the situation is not ideal. I haven't quite decided what to do with my gear yet.

A few quick answers though.

1. The Rx's should bind and work in D8 mode I believe? (It would be good if you could confirm this). Compared to D16, I think you lose the ability to set Failsafes from the Tx, and you lose modelmatch.

2. The telemetry gear isn't affected, this is purely an RF change.

3. Both new (EU) and old (Rest of the world) firmware is available from the FrSky site.

4. I believe that all firmware changes are done via the S.Port. I'll check on that and post again.

5. This is a FUC-3 (click on the pic) and you'll need the crossover cable too.

Stuart Ord24/02/2015 13:07:04
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Thanks for your help. I did try a new X4R in D8 mode when thrashing around trying to figure out what was wrong before I discovered the reason. I've just tried again and no, it won't bind in D8. I'm assuming I only need to alter the model setting to D8 and then bind as normal (Tx bleeping, switch Rx on with R/S button depressed). When I do this the Rx shows both red and green LEDs continuously simultaneously, no blinking to indicate bind mode, and it's not bound.

I gather these leads work for upgrades and downgrades. I've ordered them from T9,

Frank Skilbeck24/02/2015 13:34:25
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Why rant at the EU, the updated regs have been in discussion for a long time (required as a result of a US company wanting 2.4 for radio control banned) and were published ages ago, maybe your rant should be directed at FrSky for making a sows ear of the updates.

john stones 124/02/2015 13:35:44
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This has gone right over my head...nowt new there then wink

What is it you are discussing ?

John

GrahamC24/02/2015 13:49:24
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I5. This is a FUC-3 (click on the pic) and you'll need the crossover cable too.

That's helpful, what's a crossover cable? Can't find that at T9. BTW, might it be helpful for a Mod to add a subtitle to this thread? I clicked idly on it, and worked out it was a Taranis issue. Might be helpful to others for it to be clearly identified in the Thread title?

I'll have to check the X8R sat on my desk. Not sure if it has new firmware or not!

I presume this doesn't affect the older D8 mode receivers? [I have quite a few of them.]

Chris Bott - Moderator24/02/2015 14:09:26
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Graham, if you click on that photo, it takes you to the item at T9. In that item description somewhere, it details the other cable you need.

Stuart, I'll add a sub heading.

John, this is about Taranis (and FrSky Tx modules) and FrSky "X series" receivers.

Simply that Txs and Rxs bought before Jan 1st will work with each other. Txs and Rxs bought after Jan 1st will work together. But pre Jan 1st equipment won't work with post Jan eqpt

john stones 124/02/2015 14:22:32
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Thanks Chris

John

flight124/02/2015 14:23:26
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I have upgraded all my Rx's and the tx module, so once done no more issues all works, The smart port sensors will still work and don't need the firmware flashed.

for the Tx you don't need to upgrade the opentx firmware just the the Xjt module (transmitter bit built in the taranis) see the how to here all very easy just need the two items posted above.

The Rx updates was straight forward too

just needed to rebind the TX and Rx's

Stuart Ord24/02/2015 14:38:06
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Frank, please let's not get into politics! I'm being purely self-centred - I'm not too bothered about the background, but it does seem to me that we have to jump through so many hoops in the UK and EU that the rest of the world doesn't have to, whatever the root cause, in many areas. Same in fullsize - EU pilot license interference has driven me close to chucking my UK pilot's license in the bin over the last few years. Maybe FrSky might have done it better and they certainly could make fixing things easier for the less techie people like me, but they (Chinese manufacturers in general) are better than they were years ago when you could have a good laugh at their English instruction manuals. What we really need is some simple English step-by-step guides and summaries of what we have to do instead of having to piece it together. I'm sure FrSky aren't wild about having to comply with EU rules which differ from the rest of the world, either.

Sorry, I omitted the subtitle, didn't realise it is important.

PatMc24/02/2015 14:40:02
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Stuart, the Frsky manual states that XR4 Rxs are not compatible with D8 mode. XR6 & XR8 Rx's are compatible with D8 but ch5 & ch6 signal pins need to be jumpered whilst binding.

There's another Taranis thread with a link I gave to a chart that shows the Taranis/Rx compatibility options with old & new EU firmware.

Chris Bott - Moderator24/02/2015 14:56:58
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This is the link for the "how to upgrade" document from the FrSky site.

Click here to download 4.9Mb of software to do the upgrade.

Look here to find the right firmwar to use in your receiver

Dave Hopkin24/02/2015 15:00:19
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Maybe the title should have read something like "why is Frsky so slow in adopting something thats been in discussion since 2008!

Other brands have been fully compliant for a long time.....

john stones 124/02/2015 15:55:34
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Thanks again Chriswink

John

Stuart Ord24/02/2015 17:02:46
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Thanks for these, Chris. I'd noticed that instruction leaflet before - it's the one that has you peeling off the Rx cover and connecting the interface directly to the board. I'd seen another one that uses the SmartPort - isn't that better or is it not correct?

I'm thinking it might be better to downgrade my new Rxs on the basis of "if it isn't bust, don't fix it" for my older stuff. Maybe when I have to I'll upgrade the lot. By then a lot of others will have found the snags! Does this firmware do the downgrade too?

Chris Bott - Moderator24/02/2015 17:18:02
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The instructions just say plug the adapter cable into the receivers S.Port, Stuart.

I'm just about to have a look at making a cable for the X4R

Phil Brooks24/02/2015 17:53:03
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Stuart, to downgrade the new receivers you'll need to do exactly the same operations as upgrading the old ones. I bit the bullet and installed the new firmware on everything as I intend buying more receivers that will already be upgraded.

Lets try to pull it all together. As Chris has said, you'll need to download the firmware to your computer from the link he gave Look here . You also need some software to load the firmware to the Rx via the USB port, again Chris has shown where to get this Click here . And you'll need one of these to connect the device S-port to the computer (Also available separately from T9Hobbysport). Then follow the steps shown on page 2 of the instructions. There is no need to open up the Rx cover or connect directly to the board, simply plug into the S-port when asked to do so. To upgrade the Tx module the instructions suggest modifying the FUC cable to allow it to plug into the external module pins of the Tx, but I preferred to keep that cable intact and modify a standard JR extension lead. Simply remove both red and black female connectors from the plug end of the lead (Pressing down on the exposed part of the connector with a pin allows the connector to slide out of the plastic sleeve), then cut off the red connector and insert the black wire into the centre slot on the sleeve, the one the red wire was in. When running frsky_update_Sport make sure the Tx is switched on normally, and plug the lead onto the external module. You'll find all details on the Tx upgrade here. Hope this helps.

Edited By Phil Brooks on 24/02/2015 17:53:38

Frank Skilbeck24/02/2015 17:55:33
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Posted by Stuart Ord on 24/02/2015 14:38:06:

Frank, please let's not get into politics! I'm being purely self-centred - I'm not too bothered about the background, but it does seem to me that we have to jump through so many hoops in the UK and EU that the rest of the world doesn't have to, whatever the root cause, in many areas. Same in fullsize - EU pilot license interference has driven me close to chucking my UK pilot's license in the bin over the last few years. Maybe FrSky might have done it better and they certainly could make fixing things easier for the less techie people like me, but they (Chinese manufacturers in general) are better than they were years ago when you could have a good laugh at their English instruction manuals. What we really need is some simple English step-by-step guides and summaries of what we have to do instead of having to piece it together. I'm sure FrSky aren't wild about having to comply with EU rules which differ from the rest of the world, either.

Sorry, I omitted the subtitle, didn't realise it is important.

Stuart, I agree lets avoid the politics, but the regs have been introduced to make sure that all 2.4 devices will work with each other and that has to be good for us all. In the US Spektrum introduced the DSMx protocol as the DSM2 could suffer in busy environments, so have a set of standards (just like we had on 35 mhz) is not a bad thing to my mind.

Chris Bott - Moderator24/02/2015 18:06:23
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Good luck choosing the right firmware for an X4R there are too many versions available on the FrSky website. I've gone by the ones with the latest dates.

These are X4R/X4RSB- EU- SBUS Bug Fixed and X4R/ X4RSB- SBUS Bug Fixed

So far I've loaded "X4R/X4RSB SBUS Bug Fixed" into my Rx and it binds fine with my Pre Jan 1st Taranis.

Edited By Chris Bott - Moderator on 24/02/2015 18:07:00

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