9x TX Firmware + Backlight DIY Upgrade Kit with SmartieParts solderless programmer - RC Groups
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Jul 22, 2012, 09:09 AM
9x Transmitters Freakin' Rock
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9x TX Firmware + Backlight DIY Upgrade Kit with SmartieParts solderless programmer

I'm posting today to announce our new 9x DIY Upgrade Kit for the TH9x / Turnigy 9x radio, but first I want to share my epic love story with the 9x transmitter... the BEST radio for the DIY pilot. Well... it's not an epic story, but I do love my radio... (if not in the mood to read skip down to the bottom for links to the radio and upgrade kit.)

When I first got into RC, I immediately was attracted to the 9x transmitter. First, it was the price. You can't beat it. Absolutely the best bang-for-the-buck. Next were all the switches and knobs. This thing didn't look like a toy, and I was quickly realizing I would need quite a bit of functionality for my RC dreams. Then I learned about er9x. Most of you know about er9x, and it's cousin Open9x, but this is what makes the 9x the absolute best transmitter for the DIY pilot! Er9x/Open9x is open-source firmware that you can install on the 9x, replacing the factory firmware. It's written by RC pilots just like us, except they have mad programming skills. I would argue that you can't get the functionality that er9x offers in another radio... at any price. (Well, honestly, some of those ridiculously priced Futaba and JR radios may be pretty sweet, but now I have no need to know.)

The problem is that the radio was not designed to be upgraded by users. At the time, it required soldering six wires to tiny little pads on the mother board. This was not simple and there was a significant chance of ruining your radio. I also had to hunt down the parts and a USBasp programmer which ended up coming from 3 different stores. This took a month or so. Soon after, came the SmartieParts solderless programming board. This was (and still is) awesome. As long as you had a "version 2" motherboard, you could easily attach this board and it provided you an USB port to do all the firmware updating your nerdy self could manage. My brother was getting into the hobby, and I was like..."you HAVE to get a 9x." Hobbyking was backordered so he got one from HobbyPartz, as well as a SmartieParts board. Easy, right? No. The 9x he received was a "version 1" motherboard. It had the same functionality, but it wasn't compatible with the SmartieParts board. Bust out the soldering iron, we did. Did I screw up a microscopic resistor in the process? Yes.

This gave my brother and I an idea. Pilots obviously like this radio because no one can keep them in stock. Based on our trials and tribulations, we knew that far too few people were upgrading the firmware to turn this good radio into an amazing radio. With these two facts in mind, we starting working on a way to make this easy, and keep it affordable. We started an online store called ParkeFlyer (it's a play on my name, Parke), and began offering what we called the Flyer9x. This was a 9x radio fully upgraded with a LED backlight, nice thumb sticks, neckstrap, and of course... er9x installed. It was (is) a great solution, but now we're happy to announce the next iteration of our 9x offering.

Before I get into that, I want to acknowledge that this blog post is mostly an ad for my business. I feel good about posting this only because I really do feel that the 9x radio (with er9x) is the best radio for the DIY pilot. You don't have to buy from us, but regardless, we want to help this community get the most out of this radio.

ParkeFlyer is now selling a 9x DIY Upgrade Kit. This kit includes:
  • The new SmartieParts v2.2 solderless programmerwith LED backlight support. The programmer enables you to plug your transmitter into a PC or Mac computer through a standard mini-USB cable. Once connected it is easy to upgrade your firmware to er9x or Open9x. Additionally you can download model templates and backup your configurations.
  • LED Backlight Kit(white) - Everything you need to add a bright (but efficient) backlight to your 9x LCD panel. This unit is fully compatible with the SmartieParts programmer and the backlight software controls found in er9x and Open9x. Plug-and-play, no modifications are needed.
  • Thumb sticks- CNC milled aluminum and fully adjustable - adds style and feel to your 9x
  • Switch coversto color code. We find this helpful to differentiate the switches while concentrating on flying.

The 9x DIY Upgrade Kit is for sale at ParkeFlyer.com for $49.95. This kit is everything you need to easily and safely upgrade a 9x. We're working on a video that details the entire process. This video will be released soon.

If you need a 9x, we are happy to say that we have TH9x radios in stock. This is the best version of the 9x we have found. It is guaranteed to be upgradable with our kit and it also comes with a removable transmitter module, making it super easy to upgrade to FrSKY transmitter modules and receivers (which we also sell).

Along with the radio, we have a 9x Battery Kit that comes with a rechargeable LiFe battery, custom adapter cable for plugging it into the 9x, and a custom charging cable as well. Super easy and no "bricking" your radio by accidentally plugging in your modded battery the wrong way.

That's it for the sales pitch. Come check out our site. We've got several other items not mentioned here, and please let us know if you have any questions about anything 9x related. We certainly don't know everything, but we're happy to help where we can.


-- Parke

FS-TH9x Transmitter
9x DIY Upgrade Kit
9x Battery Kit
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---- Fly Now ----
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