Upgrading Turnigy 9x with er9x firmware

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Turnigy 9x RC radio transmitter. This is a cheap but capable transmitter sold by HobbyKing. I’m very impressed by the quality of the hardware and the thing have more buttons, switches and channels than I’ll ever use, but I’m not really satisfied with the firmware.

Luckily there are a lot of custom firmwares for this radio and from what I’ve read, the one named er9x┬áis currently the preferred one. Guides on how this update is done can be found on many places (for example here), this is how I did it:

I used a USBasp AVR programmer, these can be bought off eBay for a couple of dollars. Since i generally prefer PIC processors, this was nothing I had so I ordered one. But I guess you could use any programmer supported by AVRDUDE.

When you have your programmer, there is a software called eepe that is a specially made AVRDUDE frontend for programming er9x firmware. I downloaded and installed that program.

Then you need to connect your programmer to the processor, this is the hardest part, but not really that hard. First unscrew the six screws on the back of the radio. Then disconnect the cable hold the two halves of the radio together.

Disconnect
Disconnect this cable

after that you need to locate the connection points where the programmer should be connected. These are all around the processor in the lower part of the radio. NOTE: I have the v2 version of this radio, the connection points differ on the older v1 of this radio!

Connection points
These are the six connection points that needs to be connected to the programmer. Note that I have the v2 version of this radio, these could differ on older versions.

To connect the USBasp programmer I made a custom cable like this

Programming cable
The programming cable made from a 10 pole flat cable and a 2×5 connector.
AVR connector
These are the different signals in the 2×5 AVR programming connector, with the connector in the same orientation as on the image above.

Note that the leads 3, 6, 8 & 10 are cut off and not used.

I soldered the cable to the connection points and followed the instructions for eepe. When I was done, I left the soldered cable inside the radio if I want to flash it again someday.

 

2 thoughts on “Upgrading Turnigy 9x with er9x firmware”

  1. the main chip in your radio is the “atmega64” or “atmega64a”? if is the “64”, can i do the same with the “64a”?
    thanks!

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