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Which version of S8R v2.1.0 firmware?

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Allan Bennett09/07/2020 10:45:13
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When setting up my Avro Vulcan model with an S8R receiver on v.2.1.0 firmware I was confused by a comment in the information tab of the Freelink configuration software which suggested that flying wing and v-tail models are configured the same. I had assumed that the _vtail version of S8R firmware was only for v-tail aircraft, so I asked FrSky in another forum. Here's their answer in full:-

"For users who intend to make a new model building and configuration, the firmware with added "_vtail" is recommended, this firmware fits all model types, not "vtail" model only.

Actually, the regular one (without "_vtail" ) is more convenient to use for the users who have already configured the model. With the added "vtail" firmware on a configured receiver, users have to re-configure the receiver again
"

I hope this is helpful to other users, though it does beg the question whether or not the regular version will work on already-installed v-tail models which are being upgraded to v.2.1.0.

Edited By Allan Bennett on 09/07/2020 10:46:20

Chris Bott - Moderator09/07/2020 10:59:16
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It's mostly great gear at excellent prices but FrSky don't do themselves any favours with "support" like this, do they?

Is there a version with and one without V tail?

Could they possibly just be talking about quick mode and the full mode?

Mike Blandford09/07/2020 12:46:05
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There are two versions of the firmware, one with "_vtail" in the name and one without (in both FCC and LBT, and for the S6R and S8R so 8 firmware files altogether!).

My understanding is if you have an existing model WITHOUT vtail, then you use the firmware without the _vtail and all works as before after the update.

If you are using vtail already, then the firmware without _vtail doesn't handle the vtail correctly. You need to use the firmware with _vtail, however, the existing settings are not compatible with this, some servo outputs generate stabilisation correction in the opposite direction to before, so you need to check carefully all works OK. They do warn then updating to the _vtail version my change/remove existing settings.

If you have an existing model WITHOUT vtail, then you may use the _vtail version, but you will need to check all the stabilisation settings to be sure they all work.

You will probably need to reverse some servo outputs on the Rx to get the stabilisation operating in the correct direction, then reverse output channels on the Tx to get the controls correct.

I'm not sure why they couldn't just release a vtail version that is compatible with existing settings.

With the ACCESS protocol (on other receivers) at least it auto-detects between FCC and LBT, FrSky should be able to do this on ACCST. With the firmware I've written to be able to use a D8 receiver in D16 mode, I auto-detect between FCC and LBT, and between V1 and V2.1, so it "just binds" to your Tx. My suspicion is FrSky (probably like other manufacturers) use software libraries provided by the processor chip maker, and end up including code that is not actually needed resulting in the firmware being much larger than necessary. This results in a lack of space to add such features. My code for the D8 receivers is only 18K, the V2.1 firmware for a X8R is 62K.

Mike

Allan Bennett09/07/2020 13:19:00
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49 photos
Posted by Chris Bott - Moderator on 09/07/2020 10:59:16:

It's mostly great gear at excellent prices but FrSky don't do themselves any favours with "support" like this, do they?

Is there a version with and one without V tail?

Could they possibly just be talking about quick mode and the full mode?

Actually I was quite impressed with the support -- my original post was yesterday evening in the FrSky sub-forum of RCG, and the reply from FrSky was there this morning.

Yes, for ACCST LBT there's two versions of SxR v2.1.0 firmware -- one has the suffix _vtail, the other doesn't.  As I understand it now the _vtail version can be used with all types of models, but in existing installations it will probably need a reconfiguration.  The non-vtail version won't need reconfiguring when updating an existing model, but I infer from FrSky's reply that it can't be used for v-tail models.  I've already updated an S8R in my TwinStar with the non-vtail version, and in ground checks (bad weather prevented flight tests) it's working correctly without any reconfiguration.

 

Edited By Allan Bennett on 09/07/2020 13:28:37

Allan Bennett10/07/2020 08:10:04
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49 photos
Posted by Allan Bennett on 09/07/2020 10:45:13:

. . . I hope this is helpful to other users, though it does beg the question whether or not the regular version will work on already-installed v-tail models which are being upgraded to v.2.1.0.

 

I asked a follow-up question on the other forum:-

"Does this mean that the regular version of v2.1.0 can also be used to upgrade existing v-tail models, to avoid having to re-configure them?"

And FrSky have replied, "Yes.".

So it seems that the two versions would better be named as "no reconfiguration required" and "reconfiguration required" since they can both handle v-tail models frown So what's the advantage of the _vtail version, I wonder? I used it yesterday on a new S8R setup, and the configuration process using Freelink on my laptop was basically the same as it had been when the receiver was flashed with the regular version the day before, though I did notice that all the default gains were zero, and all the directions were set at reverse.  I think previously they'd been 50% and normal respectively.

Edited By Allan Bennett on 10/07/2020 08:13:48

Chris Bott - Moderator10/07/2020 09:11:27
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I'm sure I replied here yesterday thanking you both for your answers. It's clearly that age thing again.

So, many thanks for the clarity. That's what's needed from FrSky.

Allan Bennett10/07/2020 12:03:35
1708 forum posts
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Keep taking the pills laugh

Clarity? I've followed up again on the other forum, asking why have two versions if the regular one (non _vtail) works for existing v-tails and doesn't require re-configuring after the update. It'll be interesting to see the reply.

Allan Bennett14/07/2020 08:12:00
1708 forum posts
49 photos

No reply from FrSky yet, but I think they've changed the notes on the download page, for it now states clearly that the _vtail version is for all model types but will need reconfiguring, and the plain version is "More convenient to use for the users who have already configured the model.". I don't remember reading that before.

Allan Bennett20/07/2020 20:53:10
1708 forum posts
49 photos

Well, it's ended badly frown After reinstalling the _vtail version of v2.1.0 S8R firmware, and reconfiguring it using the STK and software, everything seemed to be working correctly in the workshop, so I took it to the field yesterday. Pre-flight checks were 'nominal', including tipping it in every direction to check stability and self-levelling modes. But about 40-seconds into my flight, having taken off, climbed to the circuit, throttled back and joined the circuit, all without using stability mode, the model went berserk and headed into the ground. On retrieving the model, all controls were responding correctly to Tx inputs, and a range-check passed successfully.

Can anyone assure me that they've had a success with v.2.1.0 of the S8R firmware? Maybe my receiver's gone bad for some reason, but until I hear of successful flights by others I'll be sticking with my X-series receivers.

Denis Watkins20/07/2020 21:07:16
4544 forum posts
123 photos

Just for information Allan, did the stability work before the upgrade

As I am watching with interest

Allan Bennett21/07/2020 08:38:38
1708 forum posts
49 photos

Yes, with v1.x firmware, the same receiver in the same model, stability had worked well for several years.

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