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Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impression

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ton4, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Ton4

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    Ok, the Phantom does not really need another transmitter / receiver combination, but hee, let's try one.

    I never been any further as 200m, and even the stock transmitter can go very very far. The FrSky combination however, should be able to beat the stock tx/rx in range (reports have been 2,4 km and more).

    I also have a FLD-02 telemetry monitor connected to the (9XR/XJT, and this gives the RSSI. (Receiver (Reception?) Signal Strenght Indication) A nice bonus, if you are searching for limits. I just tried about 7 concrete walls, and 50 meters. That was the limit.

    I connected the XR8 rx to the NAZA on S-BUS / D-BUS, and followed the tutorial of Steve W here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIFX1RmBca8 to setup the 9XR (Note: I am on stock 9XR firmware)

    This worked quite well, although I adjusted some of the weight values to get a better match on the NAZA. I guess this is a bit tx dependent.

    A weird thing was that if I switched of the tx, the Phantom did go into failsafe, but when I turned on the 9XR again, the NAZA reported a rx-err. Searched the internet for possible causes, nothing to find. (Now there is :) ) It has something to do with the delay that splash screens, throttle warnings and switch position checks give if you start up the 9XR. When I removed all those, the NAZA elegantly came out of signal lost failsafe.

    Now, whats different when using the 9XR/XJT/XR8 ?

    First of all, you have more possibilities for setting the NAZA modes. You can have GPS/ATTI/MANUAL and FAILSAFE set on switches, while with the standard you can only have three. IOC is on two switches, one for on/off, and one for course lock / home lock.

    If you enter failsafe (correct me if I am wrong) with the stock tx, you have to switch to atti and gps to get control back. Not so with the 9XR combo, you get control back immediately.

    The location of the tilt knob. On the stock tx is on the bottom, and on the 9XR on top. I already imagined me adding slider pot meters to the 9XR, but actually I like the knob on top. It requires some practice, but then you can do it while still using the sticks.

    And nice is that you can change tilt movement on the 9XR...

    Although I have a self centering left stick I could put in the 9XR, I decided to try with a normal throttle first. Self centering is very handy ofcourse, let go of everything and the Phantom hovers. With the normal stick you have to get used to conciously center the throttle stick. I put in a curve for the throttle (curves are a bonus too of the 9XR) so the middle part is very gentle. That helps a bit for smooth altitude changes, but at the other hand if you get out of the smooth part, things change rapidly. I found it more hard to judge if the Phantom was changing altitude, because of the lack of resistance of the stick.

    I may want to program the 9XR to limt its throttle so it wont get into the danger zone of descending too fast, and assign a switch to get the throttle below 10% for engine shutdown. This would relieve some descend stress :)

    Normally when you power up the Phantom, it is in "ground mode" with the stock tx. It does not respond to aileron or elevator inputs, if I remember well. Not so with the tx/rx combination I have now. Power it up, and you have full control, so its in flight mode. A certain Mike reported on several forums about spontaneous take off of NAZA equipped multi rotors. This was because his sticks were trimmed of center, and this invokes the "receiver advanced protection" under the right conditions, the Phantom goes failsafe and takes off after 30 seconds. With an after market tx, this can happen if you don't pay enough attention to what you do. I turned it off in the assistant.

    I added a curve on the yaw channel (around center the yaw input is damped, so to say), so I could make some smoother pans. With some adjusting of the follow yaw speed of the 3-axis gimbal and practice this will work very well.

    I did a nervous maiden 9XR flight this morning, but it went rather well. Everything works fine, but I really want to get the throttle thing worked out.

    Telemetry.

    As of course the Taranis pilots know, this is nice to have. But whatever I did I could not get telemetry from the x8r to display on the FLD-02. I only have a variometer with smartport, and whatever I tried, no readout of height. Hope to get an answer soon on a FrSky forum, or maybe here?

    And if you don't see the practical use of a 9XR and Phantom, you still look more cool and smart, because of all that blink :)

    On the picture you see how I attached the fat X8R antennas, maybe not the best way, but very practical. Best reception with the tx antenna at 90 degree, not straight up, strangely enough.

    Suggestions and remarks for this setup are highly appreciated.

    Ow, Hi OI Photography, everything fine?
     

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  2. OI Photography

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    :D Yes, in fact this is a perfect excuse to remember to tell you that soon you'll have a 40A current sensor to test with it as well...it shipped on Fri (maybe Sat), I'll get you the details in a bit. You may need that anyway to troubleshoot the problem with the lack of telemetry from the variometer. I had one FrSky component (an FLVSS) that wouldn't output data to the X8R (even though it displayed on the sensor's own screen), but the other smart port components I connected to the X8R all sent data so I concluded it was just the FLVSS that was bad. If you see RSSI on the 1st data screen but no altitude on the 2nd screen, you may just have the same problem with your variometer that I did with my FLVSS (i.e. the X8R sends telemetry to the Tx just fine, it's just not getting any data from the connected sensor)

    Btw, I just discovered that FrSky has finally released a smart port GPS sensor: http://www.shop.skywardhobbies.com/FrSk ... rt-GPS.htm

    I'm glad you posted that vid of the setup for the 9XR w/NAZA, I've been wanting to set up my 9X the same way (mainly with the double-switch combo for IOC) and that filled in the gaps for me. BTW, does the stock firmware on the 9XR let you use all 16 channels with the XJT?

    Failsafe has always worked perfectly for me with the 9X/DJT/X8R, and I do love how easy it is to regain control if needed.

    Did I understand correctly that you have a full self-centering gimbal to replace the left one in the 9XR? I wanted to do the same with my 9X due to the loose stick feedback so I recently bought a small part to install to make it happen... but now I need to find the correct spring to go with it. If you don't end up using that gimbal and it'll fit in the 9x I may be willing to take it off your hands. I had originally thought about doing the same with my Taranis, but once I got it and felt how nice the notched (ratcheted?) gimbals are (and since you can set audible notifications for centered stick) I don't think I'll bother

    R(ecieved)SSI is one of my favorite parts of the FrSky setup even though it's one of the most basic. I only wish I could rearrange the display on the FLD-02 so all the data I use was on just the first screen or two.

    Oh, can I get a pic of the curves you used for the throttle and yaw? That's another thing on my to-do list.
     
  3. Ton4

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    Curve 3 for throttle, Curve 4 for rudder. 16 channels it is. (I am in 8 chan mode however). Don't think the self centering 9xr fits into the 9x afaik, and I want to hold onto it....
     

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  4. OI Photography

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    No worries :) I figured you might want to just in case.

    Thanks for the pic, I don't think the 9X has the preset curves like the 9XR but I could be wrong. I really just wanted an idea of what the curves were like to use as a starting point (like just how flat/wide at the center point, etc). I'll tinker a bit with those and see what feels best.
     
  5. Ton4

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    Ok...

    Now to program the 9XR so full stick throttle down will give the Phantom max safe, as much wobble free, way above 10% throttle descend, and switch to get the throttle below 10% for shutdown.

    That will be a dangerous switch :geek:

    Pitty you can't do "if then else" with the 9XR :lol:
     
  6. Ton4

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    Ok, "safe throttle" configured.

    If there are smarter ways, let me know.

    First, on chan 3, throttle i set on offset of 22. This means the throttle cannot get below 10% (and you also can't start the motors too)

    Then I added a mix on the throttle cut switch of the 9XR, source half, weight -44.

    The mix basicly shifts the range of operation of the throttle, switch off, 11%-100% throttle, switch on, 0%-89% throttle, about.

    So, you cannot start the motors when the switch is off. So, switch on, MSC, switch off, ready to go.

    A pity that the neutral throttle point shifts also with the change of range, nah.

    For handcatching this means maneuver close, throttle down AND switch on. Need dry hands for that.

    Ok, test flight :shock:
     
  7. LeoS

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    Whoa. Can you hook this up to Phantom's GPS or do we need to add another GPS for this to work?
    With this, we can create audible marks responding to GPS value changes, right?

    audible announcement of speed, distance and height milestones, warnings, etc?
     
  8. rilot

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    The sensor is the GPS receiver. No need to hook it up to anything other than the X8R.
    What you say should be possible with custom functions yes.
     
  9. Ton4

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    Ok, test flight with "safe throttle" went well.

    Had to try two times however, first flight two propellers had secretly, without my knowing, shifted place and therefore the Phantom wanted to rotate along its horizontal axis. Without gravity this would have been a nice sight. But with gravity it means the end of CF props. :oops:

    Decided to switch between "safe throttle" and less safe throttle in flight, before the handcatch. Worked, just add a little throttle.

    Phantom is still able to shake on descend in "safe throttle mode", so maybe I should change a bit of the numbers.

    Still, "level flight management" is quite different form the self centering stick. If you have some altitude, it's difficult to get an idea if you are going up or down. Self centered sticks give you certainty you keep the same altitude.
     
  10. OI Photography

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    You can't adjust the centerpoint of the curve after you messed with the bottom end? Bummer...I wanted to try this too but that doesn't sound like a tradeoff I'd be willing to deal with.
     
  11. Ton4

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    Re: Turnigy 9XR, FrSky XJT, XR8 and Phantom - First Impressi

    Neither do I. So, self centering stick installed, removed "safe throttle" mix. Back to conscious piloting :)