Got me a FlySky 9x transmitter last week (same as the Turnigy 9x), bought a SmartieParts board, and started playing around flashing in different open source firmware, with an eye to full-house sailplanes, slope gliders, and DLG.
Which one is better? Which one to pick?
While all of them are very capable, and all of them have a following, I wanted to find out which one was best for me
. After several days, here's what I've come to in a nutshell:
- Original Firmware - Manual sucks. No complex mixes. Fixed number of models. Functional but a bit buggy (had trouble with one channel of the V-Tail).
- th9x - A step up from the original firmware, providing for some nice mixing. Number of models based on mix complexity (between 5-12 models, depending)
- er9x - Big step up in programmability and a nicer UI than th9x, while retaining the same core architecture.
- gruvin9x - Adds flight modes and FrSky telemetery (plus others) to er9x. New development focused on an (open source) upgraded main board.
- Open9X - Adds diferential and per-flight mode trims to gruvin9x. Active development on new features for stock board (or upgraded main board). Has the best mod support (telemetery, hapic, UI mods, etc.). This is my absolute top pick, not only for sailplanes, but also for power and helicopter.
- RadioClone - Insane, mind bending programmability and customization of flight modes, mixes, and UI. Completely different UI, codebase, and architecture from th9x and derivatives. Head and shoulders above the others. however, it only has room for one model on a stock Tx, so requires you mod it with an SD Card in order to support multiple models. Deal breaker. Also, does not have a simulator, like Companion9x.
So, again, for me Open9x is the clear winner. It makes for a killer sailplane transmitter, and still has all the support necessary to make a powerful airplane and helicopter radio, as well. Most of the others are also still under active development so that is subject to change, but for now I'm very, very (very!) happy with Open9x!
Spent some time with Open9x developing a set of four stock sailplane models: Full-House Sailplane, Full House with V-Tail, Flaperon, and Flaperon + V-Tail. The Companion9x simulator/programmer software for Open9x (and th9x, er9x, and gruvin9x) made this considerably easier than setting things up on the transmitter and getting everything bench-tested. Wonderful piece of software!
The latest eepe (eeprom) file with all four models can be found on the 9x groups link below.
And, here's the feature set for those models (subject to change):
- 5 Flight Modes: Launch, Catch, Land, Speed, Float
- Independent Camber and Elevator trim for each flight mode, common Rudder and Aileron trim
- Full-span Camber adjustment on separate sliders for Speed and Float, disable via single switch
- Full-span Ailerons in Float & Speed mode (Flaps follow Ailerons)
- Aileron and Flap differential
- Flaps/Spoilers on Throttle stick in Land mode, variable Crow when Trainer switch pulled
- Flaps/Spoilers (+Crow) on separate slider in Catch mode (rather than on Throttle)
- Snap flap (Elevator to Camber mix), disable via switch
- Flaps/Spoiler to Elevator compensation on a curve
- Aileron to Rudder mixing
- Timer 1 started via Trainer switch
- Sail-FULL - Full-house sailplane (6-channel) with traditional tail
- Sail-FULLV - Full-house sailplane (6-channel) with V-Tail mixing
- Sail-4FR - Independent aileron servos (4-channel) with Flaperon/Spoiler mixing and traditional tail
- Sail-4FRVT - Independent aileron servos (4-channel) with Flaperon/Spoiler and V-Tail mixing
FLIGHT MODES (in priority order)
- Launch (FP1: THR CUT) - RECOMMEND MOD FP1 TO !THR CUT.
Use for DLG launch by adjusting elevator trim to rotate-up right after release. Use on other gliders to adjust trim on tow, high-start, winch, etc. Adjust camber with throttle trim to top of airfoil for maximum L/D.
- Catch (FP2: RUD D/R) - enables flying from the left stick with reduced elevator & aileron D/R, to allow a DLG to be captured in the right hand for a quick turn-around launch. Adjust flaps/spoilers (100%) with HOV PIT knob. Elevator & aileron also controlled by right-stick at 100%. Tx emits a continuous warning in this mode. Small delay switching to/from this mode.
- Land (FP3: F MODE 2) - flaps follow throttle 100% with small delay. Small delay switching to/from this mode.
- Crow (TRN) - Instant Crow-mix on Throttle stick in Land or Catch mode: ailerons jump opposite from flaps for high-drag. Cancels Flaps to Elevator compensation while Crow is active.
- Speed (FP4: F MODE 1) - Maximum L/D. Adjust flaps with throttle trim to be flush with top of airfoil. Hit ELE D/R switch to enable ±25° camber adjustment on HOV THR knob.
- Float (FP0: F MODE N) - Minimum Sink (default flight mode). Adjust flaps with throttle trim to be flush with bottom of airfoil. Hit ELE D/R switch to enable ±25° camber adjustment on PIT TRIM knob.
- Enable D/R and Expo with AIL D/R switch. Currently no D/R or EXPO when AIL D/R is off.
- Enable Elevator to Camber mixing via GEAR switch.