FrSky Taranis X9D hardware hacks - RC Groups
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Jul 30, 2013, 03:34 PM
Proud to eat Kraut ;-)
Julez's Avatar
Discussion

FrSky Taranis X9D hardware hacks


Hi!

As I like to tinker with nearly everything I have, the Taranis is my latest victim.
Maybe some others have great ideas as well and want to share them here.

Some will remember from the main thread, that I do not like blue backlights.

So I ordered a bunch of white 0805 SMD LEDs to replace the 0603 blue ones.

The display needs to be removed first. This is done by disconnecting all the white cables, unscrewing the main PCB, disconnecting the flat display cable, and unsoldering the 4 "legs" of the display. These "legs" about 1mm x 3mm in size and sit in oval holes in the main PCB. They are hard to miss, as they are the biggest soldering joints on the board. On cannot desolder them at once. After melting the joint, one can lift it one mm, then go to the next one, lift this one mm, and so forth, until all are removed from their joints.

On the side, one sees the white PCBs with 3 LEDs on them. In the first picture this would be the top left corner. One has to lift the grey adhesive tape to see how the "nib" of the LED-carrying PCB is embedded in the plexiglass. After prying them from their joint with the plexiglass backlight spreader, one has free access to all diodes. The prying is done by forcing the tip of a knife into the material left and right to the nib.

I desoldered the old LEDs by holding the soldering tip sideways to them and adding a little solder to make a bridge to both soldering contacts at once. Then I cleaned the pads with desoldering wick, and soldered on the new ones. This is done by carefully placing them in the right orientation, and pressing them down. I did this with a little carbon rod placed in my third hands. Then I added a little solder left and right on the contacts. Some flux residues make the work look hideous, but functionality-wise it's alright. I glued the PCBs back in place and soldered the whole assembly to the main PCB. To do this, both the "legs" and the corresponding oval holes in the main PCB have to be cleaned from excess solder. I used desoldering wick and a desoldering vacuum pump. Soldering it back is much easier than unsoldering. After this is done, the main PCB is screwed it back into the case and the white cables are reconnected.
The result speaks for itself. The readability is now to my liking.

Here are links to some more hacks:

Backlight LED change (much better documented than I did)

Eneloop battery soldering.

Ratcheted potis for trimmers.

Pushbutton instead of switch.

Internal antenna.

Eneloop battery

Slider mod.

Silicone tube around handle

Advanced transmitter strap

Internal ceramic patch antenna (flyingmarquess)

Internal ceramic patch antenna (Julez)

JR Gimbal mod (installed superior Gimbals from Graupner MX12/MX16/Spektrum DX7)

M9 Hall sensor gimbal mod (superior wire routing)

DX-7 trim switches installed

RF shielding and "haptic beeper" installed.

Haptic wiring. (Cell-phone like vibration motor)
Thanks to "showmaster".
Needs rev 1.99 and up FW
Rev A board
http://openrcforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5374

http://openrcforums.com/forum/viewto...=haptic#p76661

Rev B board (Download opens PDF file)
http://www.frsky-rc.com/download/down.php?id=149

Taranis Gimbal Hall Sensors

(Now redundant as M9 gimbals are available)

Capacitor added.



Regards,

Julez
Last edited by Julez; May 19, 2017 at 01:38 PM.
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Jul 30, 2013, 04:59 PM
better at crashin than buildin
Would be nice if we could put addressable RGB LEDs in so we could adjust the color to whatever we wanted.
I was wondering what hacks people were going to do on these. I'd like to replace a couple buttons with one of those scroll wheels
Jul 30, 2013, 05:33 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julez
Hi!

As I like to tinker with nearly everything I have, the Taranis is my latest victim.
Maybe some others have great ideas as well and want to share them here.

Some will remember from the main thread, that I do not like blue backlights.

So I ordered a bunch of white 0805 SMD LEDs to replace the 0603 blue ones.

The display needs to be removed first. This is done by unscrewing the main PCB, and unsoldering the 4 "legs" of the display. On the side, one sees the white PCBs with 3 LEDs on them. After prying them from their joint with the plexiglass backlight spreader, one has free access to all diodes. I desoldered the old ones, cleaned the pads with desoldering wick, and soldered on the new ones. Some flux residues make the work look hideous, but functionality-wise it's alright. I glued the PCBs back in place, soldered the whole assembly to the main PCB, and screwed it back into the case.
The result speaks for itself. The readability is now to my liking.

Regards,

Julez
Hi Julez
Beautiful white light, is the same that I mount on my T9X.
Can you post more pictures for removing the display?
thanks
Jul 30, 2013, 06:55 PM
Registered User
Hey Julez,

Huge improvement. Nice job.

Nick
Jul 30, 2013, 07:48 PM
Snipe the Skies!
snipeworm's Avatar
Nice mod, any chance of more pics or more in depth explanation of the "how to" so I can link this on the "How to" thread?
Jul 30, 2013, 07:54 PM
Registered User
LittleMo's Avatar
Nice. I want red because it's easy on the eyes in the dark. Blue is one of the worst, I hate that trend.
Jul 30, 2013, 08:16 PM
Registered Adict
tignmeg's Avatar
Nice Julez.
As the others have requested can you take some more photos of the steps so that I can decide whether my skills are up to the job

Tig
Jul 31, 2013, 03:02 AM
Proud to eat Kraut ;-)
Julez's Avatar
Hi guys,

thanks for the interest. I did not take any more photos, but the steps are not difficult to describe. I will update the initial posting during the day.
Jul 31, 2013, 05:29 AM
Registered User
This is a picture that could tell you everything, from my blog post, about a bigger hack than this
https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/a...3-DSC00815.JPG

You have there all details you need: the mainboard, the oval pads where display is soldered, and one of the lateral pcb holding the three LEDs. The other display side is same story.
Last edited by renatoa; Jul 31, 2013 at 07:33 AM.
Jul 31, 2013, 05:39 AM
Proud to eat Kraut ;-)
Julez's Avatar
As always, renatoa to the rescue.
Thanks, man.
Jul 31, 2013, 06:32 PM
Registered User
Very fine mod Julez *thumps up*

Here is my first: Switched the positions of the SH and the SF switch. Some minor soldering required in order to extend the cables (bluegreen wire). Also saved myself some extra struggle - and soldered the extension directly onto the switch

@renatoa: I haven't taken out my mainboard yet (the locktite looks innocent still^^ and warranty is surely void, am i right?). But the size of the buttons looks quite promising, that there might be enough space for a rotary encoder and a jr9303 like scrollwheel.... what do you think? I know some of at the openrcforums have already thought about some extensionsboards/protocolls. But my thought was to figure out if its possible to use the lines from the switches for the rotary encoder. I know there is some rotary code in OpenTx already. Could it be possible to give it the switch inputs and disable the normal switch functions?
Aug 01, 2013, 09:22 AM
Registered User
No idea about the size of existing rotary encoders, to appreciate physical space available.
I can measure space on board only, not in case, not owning a Taranis.
Aug 02, 2013, 01:01 AM
Registered User
Nice mod, But as I gotta say, I really like Blue
Aug 02, 2013, 03:07 AM
Registered User
punkindrublik's Avatar

Charge LiFePO4 inside your Taranis


Nice Julez. I may have to tackle that one. I'm not so fond of the blue myself.

I guess I should include my hack. I wanted A LiFe battery in my transmitter and I wanted to charge it without taking it out.

Here's my solution -

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1966726



Latest blog entry: Independence Day Sale at MRM!
Aug 02, 2013, 03:11 PM
Mike
mmatheny's Avatar
Are there replacement pots of higher quality that can be put in this radio?


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