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Old Sep 18, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Futaba T6EXA Assan Hack

I spent quite a bit of time looking at the Assan hacks and figured it wouldn't be that bad. It was really pretty easy. Here is how I installed the Assan hack module in my Futaba T6EXA. I assume it would be the same for the T6EXH as well. I will probably be doing this mod on my T6XA sometime this Winter if I like how this one works. I have not yet installed a receiver in an airplane to check it out, but it does work well with a power system I had removed from a crashed plane.



Items you will need include:
- Wires for extension. I used some servo extension wire which works out pretty well.
- DPDT locking switch. I know other people are not using a locking switch, but I definitely don't want to hit the switch while flying and lose an airplane.
- Soldering iron and solder
- Heat shrink tubing
- Drill and drill bits.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks



Remove the battery cover and battery.

Remove the crystal.

Remove the four screws that attach the back transmitter case half to the front case half.

Remove the back case half.

Once you have the case open, you will see the RF board sitting on 4 pins. It's the board with the trainer connector.

Pull the RF board off it's mounting pins being careful not to tear out the wires.

Find where the purple wire labeled Vcc is attached to the RF board and remove it. I just take my hot soldering iron and touch it to the solder pad while gently pulling on the wire. It doesn't take much to pull it off.

Find the other end of the purple wire on the main board and remove it. Make sure you remember where you removed it.

Add a red wire to the pad where you removed the from and attach the other end of the red wire to one of the center contacts on the switch.

Find the white wire labeled MOD on the RF board and remove it from the RF board.

Attach the end of the removed white wire to the end of the orange wire and attach the other end of the orange wire to the other center contact on the switch.

Attach a red wire from the red wire on the Assan module to the switch.

Attach an orange wire from the the orange wire on the Assan module to the switch.

Attach an orange wire from the RF board MOD pad (where you removed the white wire) to the switch.

Attach a red wire from the Vcc pad on the RF board to the switch.

When you are attaching the wires to the switch, make sure that the red wires are in one row and the orange wires are in the other row. Also make sure that you put the wires from the Assan module on one end of the switch and the wires from the RF board on the the other end.

Attach a brown wire from the brown wire on the Assan module to the GND pad on the RF board (black wire). Note: the black wire stays attached to the RF board.

Remove the LED from the Assan module and attach extension wires to the LED and the Assan module board. Make sure you mark the LED leads so that you don't get it turned around.

Remove the 72MHz antenna.

Drill a 1/4" hole in the front case half for the 2.4GHz antenna.

Drill a 1/4" hole in the front case half for the switch.

Drill a 1/8" hole in the front case half for the LED.

Install the 2.4GHz antenna connector in the front case half in the hole drilled for it. Make sure the antenna connector nuts are good and tight.

Install the switch in the front case half in the hole drilled for it.

Attach the 2.4GHz antenna wire connector to the Assan module.

Reinstall the 72MHz antenna.

Install the 2.4GHz antenna on the installed connector.

Temporarily install the battery and 72MHz antenna and verify proper operation. I used an airplane that I fly with that transmitter and then did the bind procedure in the instructions with the Assan module.

Remove the 72MHz antenna and battery.

Route the new wires where they won't interfere with operation of the transmitter.

Place the Assan module in the front case half near the top of the case between the case and the 72MHz antenna.

Hot glue the Assan module in place.

Put a small amount of hot glue around the base of the LED and push it into the hole drilled for it.

Put the back case half back in place and reinstall the 4 screws.

Reinstall the battery and put the battery cover back in place.

Hope other this helps someone else.

Tim
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Last edited by navionflyer; Sep 18, 2009 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Add schematic
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Old Sep 18, 2009, 11:16 PM
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United States, NC, High Point
Joined Jul 2004
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alternate method

You can do a simpler modification by:
Adding the signal wire from the Assan module to the MOD pad on the RF board

Adding the + wire from the Assan module to the Vcc pad on the RF board

Adding the - wire from the Assan module to the GND pad on the RF board

Then, when you want to run 2.4GHz, just remove the crystal. When you want to fly 72MHz, put the crystal back in. Make sure your 2.4GHz planes are off though, since it will be transmitting as well.

I don't really like this one since both transmitters are running all the time. Plus there is the possibility of starting up a plane that had the battery left in it.

Tim
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 04:39 PM
AKA Don
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United States, MI, Houghton Lake
Joined Dec 2002
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Thanks for posting this. I to have been watching the hack thread and thinking about converting my T6EXA. This step by step is just what I needed to get me going on this for a winter project.
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 09:40 PM
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Tim

Does the original mod allow you to switch between 72 and 2.4? Or on the alternate mod can the Assan be switched off with a switch on the + line when using 72mhz?

I don't want 2 modules on both of which are eating battery capacity.

Richard
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tellurian
Tim

Does the original mod allow you to switch between 72 and 2.4? Or on the alternate mod can the Assan be switched off with a switch on the + line when using 72mhz?

I don't want 2 modules on both of which are eating battery capacity.

Richard


Hi Richard,

The first post allows you to switch between the 2.4GHz and 72MHz. I actually cuts the power to the one not being used.

The simpler one I believe will power both transmitters all the time. I'm not sure if the 72 MHz will be has power if the crystal is removed, but I think it will have some power consumption.
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 11:18 PM
AKA Don
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United States, MI, Houghton Lake
Joined Dec 2002
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Richard,
The original mod using the switch wired as shown in the PDF diagram assures that only one RF section is powered at any time. If you want to be able to use the transmitter as 2.4 or 72 then you need the switch. As others have said you want to be sure that switch is properly set before power up and does not get changed during flight.

I agree I would not want both RF sections drawing power all the time.

In fact I am thinking I will disconnect and remove the 72 RF board and antenna completely and just use it as a 2.4 radio. Once I have the 2.4 I don't plan to keep messing around with the 72 receivers. I'll sell them while they have some value.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for the infos

I'll hack my 6EXA soon but will keep the 72mhz side till attrition does away with my Rx s or that band gets absorbed by industry etc. I also have a Royal Evo and its a toss up between the Assan and Corona systems. If I should use just one system for interchangeability or two differing systems for economic survivability.

Richard
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Old Oct 08, 2009, 01:54 PM
AKA Don
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Got my module and three receivers Tuesday. Now to convert my 6EX. I am planning on removing the 72 MHz board and going to exclusively 2.4 G.
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Old Oct 11, 2009, 09:09 PM
AKA Don
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United States, MI, Houghton Lake
Joined Dec 2002
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Another Assan hack into a Futaba 6EXA

TJ gave me inspiration, confidence and knowledge to do this hack. Mine is slightly different than his in that to switch back to 72 MHz I would need to open the back, disconnect a three wire servo type plug and connect another. I would also need to remove the 2.4 antenna and reinstall the 72 antenna. This way I could always convert the transmitter back to 72 but I don't plan to do that unless the 2.4 system causes some problem down the line. With the availability of small 2.4 G receivers for less than $25 I am committed to 2.4 G and do not plan to ever go back.

Since the ASSAN Hack module comes with connectors installed that fit well in a servo plug socket I decided to use them. What I am calling the socket is the plug on the end of a servo extension where the servo is normally plugged in. The end other end of a servo extension I call a servo plug. That is the end that could be plugged into a receiver.

One nice featrure of this hack is that you can power up the module and link it to a receiver without doing anything to it that would void any warranty. Just plu it in and bench test it. Then the module can be modified to remote mount the LED.

To do this hack You will need:
1 servo extension at least 15 cm (6") long (Plug on one end, socket on the other)
Soldering tools and skills plus Heat shrink
a 3 mm drill for the LED hole (1/8 could be used with some glue)
Wire to allow mounting the Modules LED remotely


Lets get started:

1 Cut the servo extension in half.

2 Remove and discard the black (or brown) wire and it's pin from the servo plug end. This takes some careful work to lift the tiny plastic snap arm that keeps the pin from being pulled out the back. Don't fuss if you break it off. We will not be needing it any way. You can even leave the pin in the plug and just protect the wire end so it can't connect to anything else.

3 Remove 2-3 mm of insulation and tin the 5 remaining wire ends from the severed servo extension.

4 Remove the crystal.

5 Remove the four screws that attach the back transmitter case half to the front case half. As you open the case reach in and disconnect the battery. Just leave it in the back half of the case.

6 Once you have the case open, you will see the RF board sitting on 4 pins. It's the board with the trainer connector. Pull the RF board off it's mounting pins being careful not to tear out the wires.

7 Find where the red wire labeled Vcc is attached to the RF board and desolder that end.

8 Solder and heat shrink the free end of the red wire (desoldered in step 7) to the red wire on the servo plug socket.

9 solder the red wire from the now two wire servo plug on the Vcc terminal pad on the Futaba RF board. (Pad the original red wire was desoldered from in step 7)

10 Find the white wire labeled MOD on the RF board and desolder it from the RF board. Connect the free end of that wire to the orange (or white) lead of the socket. Use solder and heat shrink.

11 Attach the orange (or white) wire from plug the RF board MOD pad (where you removed the white wire).

12 Attach the brown (or black) wire from the socket to the GND pad on the RF board (black wire). Note: the black wire stays attached to the RF board.

13 Insert the servo plug into the socket. You can now reinstall the 72 antenna and crystal and temporarily connect the battery and test the function of the transmitter on 72 MHz. If all is OK. disconnect the battery and crystal remove the 72 antenna and prepare to test the 2.4 G system.

14 Disable the 72 RF board by unplugging the two wire servo plug. Connect the three leads from the ASSAN module to the pins in the socket. Match red to red and orange to orange (or white), and brown to brown (or black). Connect the 2.4 antenna to the module using the cable provided. Get a receiver equipped with the bind plug ready to power up. I used an old 4.8 V NiCad battery, but you could use the BEC circuit of an ESC. You should now be able to reconnect the transmitter battery and follow the binding procedure.

15 If all checked out OK then you can desolder the module's LED and install some extension wires to a location of your choice for the LED. I chose center front just below the antenna. Make sure you mark the LED leads so that you don't reverse it's polarity.


16 Final assembly is left to you I trust you can tell what worked for me by looking at the pictures below.



EDIT: The text was revised to be sure the 72 MHz RF board is depowered when the 2.4 GHz Module is active. Originally I took power (VCC) from the purple wire. Following posts pointed out that appeared to leave power on the 72 MHz board all the time. After further examination of the board I think that is correct. The RED wire supplies power to the 72 MHz RF section. The purple wire supplies power to the trainer port. So I revised my hack and changed the text to now indicate you should get power for the Module from the RED wire that originally went to the 72 RF board. Solder the red lead of the servo PLUG to the VCC pad the red wire was soldered to. Leave the purple wire in it's original location. I revised the wiring Diagram but the photos still show the original wiring. Let me know if you need new photos.


Have fun!
Don
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Old Oct 11, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Good luck bz1mcr. I look forward to some pictures of your mod.

Tim
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Old Oct 11, 2009, 10:53 PM
AKA Don
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United States, MI, Houghton Lake
Joined Dec 2002
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It's working great on the bench. If every thin checks out good in the air, I'll be ordering another 7-8 receivers. Any body want to by a load of 72 MHz receivers?
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Old Oct 15, 2009, 02:30 PM
AKA Don
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I had a chance to fly my Futaba 6EXA with It's new Assan X8D Hack module yesterday.
It was too windy to seriously tempt the range limits, but everything worked beautifully at normal flying conditions. Control was always solid. I really like the short link up time. When you power up the receiver there is no noticeable delay before the ESC and servos start to react. That is very different from my Spektrum radios which have a very noticeable delay between power up and being ready to control. In fact with my DX6i and the spectrum 6000 receivers it is really annoying. Sometimes it takes well over 60 seconds for the Spektrum transmitter and receiver to link up. I'm not talking about the time to bind a new combination (though that can be long also) just the time from power up until the receiver finds the already bound transmitter.

BTW, the time needed to bind an Assan system is also much shorter.

I am thrilled with the Hack system, so far. I plan to buy another 8-10 receivers for it and sell my DX6i.

Don
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Old Dec 04, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Well I finally did my T6EXA but with a Corona DIY CT8Z module. If you are having any problems with the Assan then listen up, this thing drove me nuts for days before the solution appeared. It would not bind properly sometimes taking a dozen tries, it would run the motor if I touched the 2.4 antenna, it would do a song and dance with the servos and motor then settle down as it bound to the Rx. I tried different start up sequences at different distances, everything but no joy.

In desperation I scoured every post, pic and a .pdf or two when something different was noticed. What I learned was that the purple wire powers the trainer jack and does not disable the RF board. The red wire beside the purple on the main board that goes to the middle of the RF board is its power source. The assumption was made that the CT8Z was receiving interference of some sort from the RF section and I had velcro'd it directly under it. Also found in another pic was that the PPM could be taken from another spot other than the white wire MOD connection.

What was done was to take the red wire from the main board desoldered from the RF section to the center of the switch [DPDT] with one side going back to the same spot on the RF board and the other side of the switch is the red or +'ve of the CT8Z. Also feeling that the white wire to MOD may be speaking in a dialect the CT8Z had difficulty understanding, signal was taken from the gray wire marked out at the short edge of the RF board near to where the purple attached. Actually from the solder joint farther along the trace being easier the solder.

Oh joy! Oh rapture! It now binds without a hitch, nary a hiccup, every time all the time, as fast as I can connect it.

The Assan or other hack modules may not be affected by this issue but I thought I'd put this out there FYI.

Richard
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Old Dec 04, 2009, 07:54 PM
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Thanks for the update Richard. I have not gotten an Assan receiver in a plane yet. Did you happen to take any pics that you might post?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old Dec 04, 2009, 09:02 PM
AKA Don
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My Assan hack described in post #9 above has continued to work flawlessly.

I did find I had connected the LED leads improperly when I remoted the module LED. I had switched the two outer wires. That caused the LED to be green on startup and switch to red after the beep a few seconds later. I used it that way for some time until my new batch of receivers arrived. Then I could not get the transmitter to go into binding mode. It worked great controlling previously bound receivers, but just would not bind any of the new ones. When I posted for help, someone pointed out that the LED should be red on power up and switch to green after the beep. That got me thinking---- all the original receivers were bound before I remote mounted the module LED. You guessed it! As soon as I switched the two outer leads on the LED everything worked as it should. Great joy!

Other than that little mess up on my part the Assan system has been flawless! It probably has about 20 flights on it now and much of that is at our indoor flying site that has about 100 pilots and 20-30 craft in the air at all times. On that flight line you often have a pilot within ten feet on either side. Getting the picture----really crowded. NO Problems! just great solid control. I am very happy with the Assan system.

Don
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