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Nov 04, 2015, 07:03 PM
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Devo 6S with Deviation and Extra Switches!


I recently picked up what may have been one of the last Devo 6S transmitters produced by Walkera. I plan to use it as my primary transmitter for my larger Quads and Helis, so I'm modding it out!

I like the smaller form factor and color screen, and since I'm basically a park flyer it has nearly every feature I need. And it runs Deviation software! The Deviation software is great. I'm a fan. Since I bought the Devo 7e, I've used it flying about 20 different helicopters and quads, and it works and feels great. So when I saw that the last of the 6S would be sold out, I picked one up. I really like the improved gimbals, fully enabled CYRF transmitter module power, and extra switches. With Deviation I will have three or four transmitter modules, more than covering the different receivers and protocols I foresee.

And working with MWM and other deviation users, we found that we can add two sets of trim switches and two additional 2-way or one 3-way switch without making serious hardware and software changes... The 6S is basically a Devo 8S transmitter in a smaller package and I think they just ran out of switch space.

Here is the working version of my 6S with two sets of trim buttons and a 2-way switch I'll use for Throttle Hold. The supporting software is essentially a matter of enabling the switches in Deviation and we're running it through the testing now.

So what is in the plan? I am holding off on the second 2-way while we test some additional functionality. I have a Deviation Multimodule to install and I'll add a vibration motor, too.

Name: IMG_0959.JPG
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Description: Walkera Devo 6S transmitter running Deviation software, which enables additional switches and up to 12 channels.  All this in a small form factor with a color screen!
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Nov 06, 2015, 03:42 PM
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Adding Switches and Trims to Devo 6S - Updated


Adding new switches and trim buttons to the Devo 6S turned out to be pretty easy. The Devo6S is a smaller version of the Devo 8S, and it seems to have all the capabilities of the 8S. Obviously some things were left out due to size restrictions. Since the deviation software for the 8S and 6S are almost the same, it is relatively simple to enable this update immediately!
NOTE: I LABELED the illustration incorrectly, so this is the corrected version.
Name: Devo6S Proc Top sm.jpg
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Description: Devo6S Processor board, naked.  The V-shaped pieces are clipped to the bottom side to support the end. Name: Devo6S Proc Solder Pad Details Corrected.jpg
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Description: This illustration updated 2/2016 to correct HOV-T labeling.
After a very close examination of the processor and I/O boards, we found that there are two solder pads labeled HOV-T and HOV-P at the top of the I/O board. They're obscured by the plastic mount for the CYRF TX module, but if you remove that you can clearly see the labels P23 and P24. These solder points are part of the button matrix that provides the trim buttons as well as the navigation buttons around the screen. We simply need to connect momentary switches and the hardware is ready.

We also noticed a pad P-19 underneath the CYRF TX module. It is connected to two processor pins, so it is really like another two switch points!
Name: Devo6S HOV Solder Tips sm.jpg
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Description: Solder from the Top of the board, and use low heat!  When finished, remove the plastic from the header and ensure that the pins ends are flush with the bottom of the board.
The connectors are challenging to attach to these solder points. The solder pads are on the "top" side of the board, and you can only apply solder on this side. So the 2.0mm header needs to be adjusted to fit. I moved the plastic header to the farthest end of the pins so that they would stay in the right shape, then soldered, then removed the plastic. I also had to bend the pins slightly to allow for the connectors from the switches. I can understand why Walkera didn't install these! Also, for the HOV-T/P pins, you need to make sure the ends are flush with the "bottom" of the board or you'll be unable to put the V-shaped plastic spacer back onto the board.

Note I don't recommend soldering your switch cables directly to the board, because you'll probably have to mount the switches on the back shell. I could not locate switch or button parts that were small enough to mount in the limited space on the front shell.

After I attached these connectors I found some 2.0mm right angle headers that will work very well for this, and you can do the soldering without removing the plastic. I've included that in the photos.
Name: Devo6S Switch Connectors.jpg
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Description: Devo6S with newly installed trim buttons and extra switch header.  The switches and buttons probably wont fit on the front of the shell; I placed them on the back half and used better connectors than this photo shows.
Aside from the fiddling, this is a relatively easy mod. We are testing the Deviation changes, so if you do this you'll need to be sure to use a supporting version. See the Devo6S Extra Switches thread on DeviationTX.com. EDIT: These switch changes have been tested and integrated into the Deviation Nightly Builds as of end of January '16.

Here are some of the parts I used for this mod:
Frsky Taranis 2-position Long Toggle (Aloft Hobbies)
Vertical PC Tail Pin Header (2.0mm) (Digikey)
3pos 2mm IDC Connector (Digikey)
3pos 2mm JST PH Connector (Digikey)
Momentary Pushbutton Switch 275-1547 (pkg of 4, Radio Shack)
Name: Devo6S Connectors.jpg
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Description: Frsky Taranis 2-position Long Toggle (Aloft Hobbies)
Vertical PC Tail Pin Header (2.0mm) (Digikey)
3pos 2mm IDC Connector (Digikey)
3pos 2mm JST PH Connector (Digikey)
Last edited by JW57RC; Feb 14, 2016 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Correcting HOV-T Labeling; feature now included in Deviation Nightly Builds
Nov 21, 2015, 06:22 PM
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Devo 6S with Deviation Multi-Module


I completed the installation of the Deviation multi-module in my new Devo6S. This will allow me to use up to four transmitter modules: the built-in CYRF6936 TX module, which with the Deviation software allows use with Walkera DEVO and DSM/2/X (Spectrum), an A7105 to use with Flysky (WLToys), Hisky and Hubsan models, an NRF24L01 to work with a lot of small quads, and also the CC2500, which is used by FrSky. The assembly process went very smoothly and I think the module is very clean. Installation was a bit tricky given the space we have to work in.
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Description: The fully installed Devo6S running Deviation and using the multi-module for a broad variety of protocols.  I can fly my RC inventory with one transmitter.

I assembled the Multi-module by soldering wires to the board; in the normal multi-module assembly you would use a socket or solder the TX modules to the board on header pins. Using typical stranded 26-gauge ribbon cable I had to allow for room to bend and fold the wires so that they came out the end of the board. All of the wiring is soldered onto the same side of the board as the ATTiny processor, so I had to map out the pin numbers carefully. I terminated most of the connections with Amp connectors so that it would be easy to make changes later; in retrospect the connectors take up a lot of space, so I think next time I would only use them if I really want to make changes later. In any case it turns out to be a nice portable package. I kinda guessed about the length of the module wiring but in the end everything seems to fit.
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Description: For the Devo6S (or 7e) the Deviation Multi-module must be assembled using ribbon cable rather than sockets.Name: Devo6S Mult-module Closeup.jpg
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Description: The Deviation multi-module close up

I love working on the Devo 6S. It has two boards, so I had choices as to where to attach to the SPI signals. Also, the power, ground and select signals are neatly placed in a row of easy-to-reach solder pads, to which I attached a right-angle header. Attaching the multi-module is easy and quick.
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Description: The Devo6S main board with sockets for the multi-module.

It wasn't so easy and quick to place the multi-module board or the TX modules. The Devo 6S shell is very tightly filled without extra stuff, much like the Devo 7e, but there is room at the back of the shell. I have seen where others have removed part of the battery case to get more room, but I want to continue to use NIMH batteries, so that was out. With shrink-wrap tubing over the MM board and TX modules, I have used double-sided foam tape to place them in the back cavities.
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Description: The Deviation multi-module fits into the back shell of the Devo6S (or 7e) using double-sided foam tape.  Route antenna lines so they don't touch metal or foul the gimbals.

The tricky part was getting the wiring in place. With the lengths I used of ribbon cable, I had to make a few folds but it fits. Not too tight, but it doesn't rattle when I shake it! And I took care to avoid tangling with the gimbals so that I wouldn't have any sticky controls. It's a bit fiddly to put it all back together but it works nicely!

Name: Devo6S Multi-Module Cabling.jpg
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Description: In the Devo6S there isn't a lot of room for extras, so the Deviation multi-module must be placed carefully to avoid fouling the gimbals.
Nov 22, 2015, 09:03 PM
Registered User
Two questions, is it just the sticks that are different, the 7e also has bearing mounted for it it's gimbals?

Does the multimodule use only one antenna?
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JW57RC
I recently picked up what may have been one of the last Devo 6S transmitters produced by Walkera. I plan to use it as my primary transmitter for my larger Quads and Helis, so I'm modding it out!

I like the smaller form factor and color screen, and since I'm basically a park flyer it has nearly every feature I need. And it runs Deviation software! The Deviation software is great. I'm a fan. Since I bought the Devo 7e, I've used it flying about 20 different helicopters and quads, and it works and feels great. So when I saw that the last of the 6S would be sold out, I picked one up. I really like the improved gimbals, fully enabled CYRF transmitter module power, and extra switches. With Deviation I will have three or four transmitter modules, more than covering the different receivers and protocols I foresee.

And working with MWM and other deviation users, we found that we can add two sets of trim switches and two additional 2-way or one 3-way switch without making serious hardware and software changes... The 6S is basically a Devo 8S transmitter in a smaller package and I think they just ran out of switch space.

Here is the working version of my 6S with two sets of trim buttons and a 2-way switch I'll use for Throttle Hold. The supporting software is essentially a matter of enabling the switches in Deviation and we're running it through the testing now.

So what is in the plan? I am holding off on the second 2-way while we test some additional functionality. I have a Deviation Multimodule to install and I'll add a vibration motor, too.

Attachment 8396284
Nov 22, 2015, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sonic_boom
Two questions, is it just the sticks that are different, the 7e also has bearing mounted for it it's gimbals?

Does the multimodule use only one antenna?
Thanks.
At my level of flying I can't tell the difference in touch between the sticks on my 7e and 6s, and both are far superior to the RTF TXs I've used. I've added the blue aluminum (they come with silver aluminum) to match the blue light. I'll take some closeup photos next time it is open so I can compare.

The multimodule requires one antenna for each tx module you add. Since the A7105 works well with a 31.25mm wire antenna, I'll have three external antennae when I add the CC2500 to get Frsky support. I order modules with IPX u.fl connectors whenever I have a choice.

The person responsible for the multimodule has developed a multi-tx board that does only require one antenna, but it isn't available yet. That will simplify wiring a lot.
Nov 29, 2015, 07:28 PM
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Deviation supports vibrating alerts!


I added a vibration motor to my Devo 6S and it's working very nicely. On DeviationTX.com one thread covers how to add a vibration motor to the Devo8, so naturally it should work on the Devo 6. It's a pretty easy circuit to source and assemble. Actually soldering it to my Devo6S processor was, well, challenging given the risk, but in the end it wasn't that hard. The end results are awesome. I don't understand why Walkera left out the vibration.
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Description: Here is the final product with the vibration motor and transistor circuit all tucked in.

Here are the pieces I used:
* Cell Phone / Toy Micro Vibrator Motor w/ Mounting Bracket / Cable / Plug- 3 V DC (http://www.ebay.com/itm/271913733382...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) This motor included a frame with metal "wings" that would normally attach to the processor board. I bent one of them out about 90 degrees and it fit comfortably on one of the mounting screws.
* BD237 Transistor (Digikey) - the E pin connects to ground.
* 1N4148 Diode - I connected the anode end and the black motor wire to the middle pin of the BD237; note the band (cathode end) should face AWAY from the transistor. On the cathode side of the diode I connected the red wire for the motor as well as Vdd (3.3v).
* 220 Ohm Resistor - I connected one side of this resistor to Pin 83 of the Devo6S processor, and the other to the Base of the Transistor.
* 30-gauge wire & shrink wrap

Name: Devo6S Vibrating Motor.jpg
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Description: How to attach the motor?  This motor had little wings to press onto a circuit board, so I folded them out a bit and attached using the board mount screw.  Neat and non-invasive.
I also made use of Kapton tape to isolate the Devo 6 processor pin (83) that I wanted to connect. This helped a lot and along with the flux paste probably avoided having a sorry ending.

The wiring diagram on DeviationTX.com is exactly right. Here's what it looked like for me. I've described the connections above.
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Description: The only difficult soldering is the connection to the processor pin 83.  The rest is pretty basic.
I edited the Hardware.ini file to enable the Haptic by removing the semi-colon (";") from that line "enable-haptic=1" and cycled the power on the Devo. However there were no vibrations. Then I remembered that you also need to turn on vibration in the transmitter configuration tx.ini file "vibration=1". This because in the Devo 6 and 8 there is no menu for Vibrate on/off and volume; the Devo 7e and 10 have the menu option because they have a native vibrator. The next time I powered on, I got good vibrations!
Jul 03, 2016, 04:00 PM
Team Armattan
Jon.M.Barter's Avatar
Awesome job. I figure at some point deviation will add voice as well.

How has it been working for you so far?

Have you ever come across a screen going blank issue? I have that on a defective devo 6s i bought
Jul 03, 2016, 06:55 PM
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It works great! I've not experienced the screen going blank... Well except for the timeout in Devo. I keep my screen dimming from a normal 6 brightness down to 3 or four, so it really only dims. I fly my smaller birds with this because I was testing various solutions to the voice alerts (an older build). But I recently moved to 5.0 and I'll see how it likes my big quads.
Jul 03, 2016, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JW57RC
It works great! I've not experienced the screen going blank... Well except for the timeout in Devo. I keep my screen dimming from a normal 6 brightness down to 3 or four, so it really only dims. I fly my smaller birds with this because I was testing various solutions to the voice alerts (an older build). But I recently moved to 5.0 and I'll see how it likes my big quads.
The latest deviation 5.0 nightly does not flow as good as the regular 5.0 and firmware version 4 in going back and forth from model menu to mixer menu. It does, however, present it better as an overview.

I am actually on the market for a new devo 6s or two, but they are so damn hard to find.

Wish i could figure out my screen issue, going to have to taake it apart and see if anything is loose or damaged or something.

By the way, the 3in1 module works great on it, 4 in 1 might be even better.

By far this is the best radio out there for people with small hands like me.
Jan 15, 2017, 02:55 PM
Registered User
thearne3's Avatar
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but...

I can confirm Jon's comment on the 4in1 module from Banggood - very easy...no need for extra antennas either! It does, however, use SWB tab in the P19 switchpad under the Tx module for one of the modules - the other connections are TMC and TCK. I wonder if there's an alternative way to hook up the extra switches - or the third Tx protocol?

I wish I could risk doing the vibrator mod...I don't want to brick my 6s by shorting the IC!
Jan 24, 2017, 10:13 PM
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I just added a 4-in-1 to my Devo 12e, and it could not be more simple. But with the 6S, there just isn't any way to get another input line without soldering to the processor chip.

One photo I did not post (and can't find, now) showed how I used Kapton tape to protect the components I wasn't working. After a couple of test runs on some old bad boards with SMT chips on them, I went ahead and did the soldering. It turned out great.


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