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Feb 14, 2016, 07:45 PM
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DSMX Module for Taranis


I am starting this thread due to the high interest in my module builds and to keep my PM box more manageable. Please post your inquiries here instead of sending PMs to me. I am reasonably flexible and in most cases will work with you to have your needs satisfied. Send me a PM when you are ready to place an order with your location so I can provide accurate shipped price. Payment is through PayPal.

References:
=============
Design - Post #2
Assembly - Post #3
Compatibility - Post #4
Warranty - Post #5
Price - Post #6
Shipping - Post #7
Taranis Settings. Using the Module with Taranis and OpenTX - Post #8
Video Feedback - Post #9
Ordering an Incomplete Module - Post #10
OpenTX Model Files - Post #11

Here's a short review (thanks Rob!!!) of the module:

DSMX Module for Taranis by IvanC (1 min 46 sec)


Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Mar 16, 2018 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Add reference to post #11
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Feb 14, 2016, 07:45 PM
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Design


Adapter Board
The module board is very loosely based on John Prikkel's adapter board. When I decided to make a module for myself I researched for a while and found John's blog. That's where I got the idea for the module but instead of using John's board shared on OSH Park, I decided to design my own - I prefer to make my own stuff as much as I can. I've been using SMD components for a while and prefer them to thruhole as the boards tend to be lighter due to the smaller components packaging, less solder and copper for the hole plating.

I also added an LED to provide a visual indication that the module RF board is getting power. This feature can be used for troubleshooting mostly when binding as the RF board can enter bind mode only at power up.

RF Board
I use DSMX capable RF boards from used Spektrum DX4, DX4e, DX5e and occasionally from DX6i. The DX4, DX4e and DX5e use identically marked as DX5e RF boards while the DX6i RF board is marked with DX6i. Both versions of the RF board perform identically. Coming out of 6-channel transmitters the RF boards are limited to 6 channels only which is also the channel limitation of the module.

On the positive side, the module uses a true digital protocol between the transmitter and module, not PPM and as such does not suffer from the high latency (delay in response).

Case
I'm using the Spektrum DM9 case with the integrated antenna. In my opinion this is the best solution for a plug-in module as there are no antenna connectors which can go bad. I get the cases straight from Horizon.
Update 03/03/2020: The DM9 case is no longer available and as a result I can not offer it any more.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Mar 30, 2020 at 01:03 PM.
Feb 14, 2016, 07:46 PM
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Assembly


Below are a couple of pics of the module. On the outside the module looks like a regular Spektrum DM9 DSM2 module:




But if you open the case, the inside reveals my original board design and the DX5e RF board:



If you get a complete module from me it will be complete so you will not have to do any assembly or take it apart. On the other hand if you already have bought a case and you are ordering the adapter board and RF board assembly you will have to carefully attach the antenna connector to the RF board. If you don't align properly the two connectors and/or apply too much force you may damage one or both connectors which will render them useless. Unfortunately this will also render the RF board or the case useless too, so be careful when performing this otherwise looking simple task.

I prefer to provide completely assembled modules ready for use as I can make sure the module is properly assembled and tested.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; May 16, 2019 at 05:59 PM.
Feb 14, 2016, 07:46 PM
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Compatibility


The module works with all transmitters which have the JR style module bay and support OpenTX version 2.0.13 and newer or ER9X and its versions. The module uses native DSM2/DSMX serial digital protocol between the transmitter and module. I'm successfully using such a module in a couple of Taranis transmitters (X9D Plus and Q X7) and in a Turnigy/FlySky 9X transmitter with the AR9x board and OpenTX 2.0.17. It will probably work in other transmitters like the FrSky Horus, Turnigy 9XR/9XRPro and the Turnigy/FlySky 9X with the 9Xtreme add-on board but I don't have these to test the module with so if you have one of these transmitter configurations, do your homework and research for compatibility before you order the module from me. You can check the numerous threads on RCGroups and online about details on compatibility with other transmitter hardware and firmware.

I've personally tested the modules and they work with the following transmitters:

  • Taranis X9D Plus with OpenTX 2.0.13 and higher
  • Taranis Q X7 with OpenTX 2.2.0 RC8 and higher
  • Turnigy 9XR with OpenTX 2.0.13 and higher - requires the module pins in the transmitter to be replaced with longer ones and 1K resistor added - please let me know to add the resistor when ordering!
  • Turnigy 9X with AR9x board and OpenTX 2.0.17 and higher - also requires the module pins in the transmitter to be replaced with longer ones


Note on the FrSky Horus transmitter:
Several RCGroups users have bought the module and use it in the FrSky Horus transmitter and they have posted in this thread - see posts 150-153 and 183. I do not have a Horus so the modules are tested with a Taranis transmitter. If you have questions on how to set up the Horus for use with the modules, please ask those users or directly in the thread here - I hope they'll be kind enough to reply.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Aug 28, 2018 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Fix post numbering
Feb 14, 2016, 07:47 PM
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Warranty


I guarantee my original product - the adapter board - to be free of defects. Unfortunately I can not provide any warranty on the RF board as it comes from a used DX4e/DX5e transmitter. When I receive the donor transmitter I'd bench test it including a short-distance range check but I don't have the ability to perform a complete range check with the donor transmitter and after the module is assembled. I've caught one dud transmitter so far which had issues binding with the receiver I use for testing and after I managed to bind the receiver on the third try, the receiver will lose the signal when I put the transmitter in range check mode and make 5 steps away from my bench on top of which the test receiver is laying. Needless to say that donor transmitter was rejected as an RF board source.

If you are going to use the module to fly larger models, please do a proper range check before flying it. If the range check fails - do not fly the model! The range check is a simple GO - NO GO test.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Mar 11, 2016 at 04:26 PM.
Feb 14, 2016, 07:47 PM
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Price


The price of the complete module - assembled, tested and ready to use - is based on the parts used: adapter board and its components, Spektrum DM9 case and RF board. The cost of all parts with the exception of the RF board is mostly constant while the RF board cost changes based on pricing and availability of donor transmitters. Based on that, the current price of the module is $76.50 shipped to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.

Price update 04/25/2016: Currently the cost of the donor transmitters has gone way up and the RF boards are averaging around $42 each. Based on that, the current price for one complete and ready to use module is $88 shipped to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.

Price update 01/11/2017: The current price for one complete and ready to use module is $86 shipped to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.

Price update 04/20/2017: The current price for one complete and ready to use module is $83 shipped to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.

Price update 09/10/2019: The current price for one complete and ready to use module is $87 shipped to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.


Price update 03/03/2020: The current price for one complete and ready to use module is $89 shipped to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.

The price is subject to change, based on components cost and more specifically my cost of the DSMX RF module. I maintain this post current so the latest price above is valid as you read this.

As mentioned in the first post, I'm also reasonably flexible and willing to work with you to meet your needs so I can provide partially built modules: base board + RF board or base board + DM9 case and my least preferred version - populated base boards - see post #10 "Ordering an Incomplete Module".

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Mar 03, 2020 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Price is current as of March 2020
Feb 14, 2016, 07:48 PM
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Shipping


I ship with USPS both domestically and worldwide. I usually include shipping to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail in the module price. If you live outside of the USA and/or want a different USPS service, like Priority Mail for example, let me know and I will provide a quote from the USPS. I add 3% to the shipping cost for domestic buyers and 5% for international buyers to offset the PayPal fee which is imposed on the module total, shipping included. I don't do bulk shipping with the USPS so I don't get any special discounts from them and the shipping cost is based on retail shipping pricing.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Feb 20, 2016 at 12:35 AM.
Feb 14, 2016, 07:49 PM
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Taranis Settings. Using the Module with Taranis and OpenTX


To set up the Taranis and OpenTX to work with the module you need OpenTX 2.0.13 or later. I've found some earlier OpenTX versions to work with the module but can not guarantee that 100%.

First let's start with plugging the DSMX module into the Taranis. To do that you will have to remove the cover from the module bay, then line up the DSMX module with the bay and carefully insert the module. DO NOT FORCE THE DSMX MODULE INTO THE BAY!!! If it will not go in smoothly, check the pins in the transmitter module bay - make sure they are straight. On my Taranis I had an issue where the pins would not line up with the pin holes in the module and I had to use trial and error by gently bending the pins in one direction or another to get them to line up with the module. I never had to do that with a JR transmitter but unfortunately the Taranis is not designed by JR or made in one of their factories so we have to deal with that by aligning the pins with the module.

Here is a picture of the DSMX module installed in the module bay of the Taranis:




Alright, now let's get the Taranis programming set up for the DSMX module. Note that the settings are per model, so you need to do the following for each model memory which will control a model using the DSMX module.

1. To get the Taranis set up for the DSMX module, short press the MENU button - this brings you to the MODEL SELECTION MENU.

2. Press once the PAGE button to get to page 2/12 which is the MODEL SETUP menu.

3. Using the "-" button scroll down to "Internal RF" - if you are not going to use two receivers - one FrSky native protocol and a DSM2/DSMX at the same time, then change "Mode" under "Internal RF" to OFF. To do that scroll to the field to the right of "Mode" so it gets highlighted press the ENT button - the highlighted value will start flashing. Now press the "-" button repeatedly until the value changes to OFF. Press the ENT button to confirm the selection.

4. Scroll down to "External RF" and more specifically to "Mode" under it. Again press ENT to start editing the value and this time press the "+" button repeatedly until the value changes to DSM2. Press ENT to confirm the value.

5. Now press the "-" button once to get to the value to the right of DMS2 and press ENT to edit it. Use the "+" and "-" button to select between LP45, DSM2 and DSMX. The LP 45 works with the low power RF board which I do not offer. Both DSM2 and DSMX work with the DSMX module - DSM2 will force the module into DSM2 mode while selecting DSMX makes the module negotiate the best protocol between the module and receiver. I recommend that you use DSMX and if you have issues binding or operating the receiver then try DSM2. To confirm the protocol press ENT.

6. Now scroll to the value on the next line which is "Channel Range". By default the value is "CH1-6". You may want to leave like that if you are using a single DSM2 or DSMX receiver or you can select a different starting channel if you use the DSM2 or DSMX receiver with a FrSky receiver bound to the internal module. For example if you are using an 8-channel FrSky receiver and a DSM2/DSMX receiver, you may select CH9 as the starting channel. In that case the Taranis will send the first 8 channels (1 through 8) over the FrSky protocol and the next 6 channels (9 through 14) over the DSM2 or DSMX protocol. Channels 9 through 14 would be mapped to channels 1 (THRO) through 6 (AUX1) at the receiver.

7. Scroll to the next line - "Receiver No." - this is where "Receiver Match" is getting enabled or disabled. The first value to the right of "Receiver No." is exactly that - a specific number from 00 to 20 (a total of 21 values) which would make that model memory specific to the bound receiver. For example, if you assign Receiver No. 01 to one model memory only and you bind a receiver to that model memory, then the receiver will work only with that model memory, so you will not be able to fly an aircraft with the wrong model with the wrong settings selected.

On the other hand, if you want to experiment with different settings for the same model, you can set up 2, 3 or more model memories with the same main setup but with slightly different values, then assign the same Receiver No. to all 2, 3 or more model memories and the receiver bound to one of these model memories will work with all model memories using the same Receiver No.

8. The other two fields to the right of the receiver number are [Bind] and [Range].

8.1. The first field - [Bind] is exactly for that purpose to get the transmitter into bind mode. A-a-a-ah, some of you would say, "That explains why there's no bind button on the module!" and you will be absolutely correct - bind mode at the transmitter is initiated through OpenTX.

8.1.1. Now, before you put the transmitter in bind mode you first need to do this at the receiver end. To do so, follow the receiver instruction on how to get it in bind mode. If that would be an UMX aircraft with the so-called "brick" receiver which also incorporates an ESC, servos, gyros, stabilization system or whatever comes to mind, all you have to do is plug the flight battery into the connector coming out of the receiver. Wait for the receiver LED to start flashing rapidly. OTOH, if you are using a standalone receiver, with receiver power off, insert the BIND plug into the BIND port after which apply power to the receiver - the receiver light should start to flash rapidly - if the light does not flash rapidly STOP and DO NOT CONTINUE as the receiver has not entered bind mode successfully. Unplug power from the receiver and try to figure out what is wrong at the RECEIVER end - maybe power is connected backwards or the voltage supplied to the receiver is too low, or you may have a bad receiver. Rectify the problem and try again until you get a fast flashing light at the receiver.

8.1.2. With the receiver flashing rapidly, scroll to the [BIND] field to the right of the Receiver No. field and press the ENT button. Several thing should happen now:

8.1.2.1. The [BIND] field will start flashing
8.1.2.2. The transmitter will start beeping 3 times in quick succession followed by a pause then another 3 quick beeps followed by a pause and so on
8.1.2.3. The light inside the DSMX module will turn off for a short period of time then come on - if you were looking at/listening for the events from 8.1.2.1 and 8.1.2.2 then you've most likely missed the light on the module turn off for a while; next time when you enter bind mode you can flip the transmitter before hitting the ENT button to look at the module light behavior.
8.1.2.4. The light on the receiver from blinking fast will turn off then it may start flashing slowly and eventually will come on solid to show a successful bind. You may press the ENT button on the Taranis at any time after the receiver stops flashing quickly which will also stop the annoying beeping coming from the transmitter - note that pressing the ENT button AFTER the receiver light has stopped flashing quickly will not terminate the bind procedure, but if you want to be sure it is not getting interrupted you may wait for the bind to complete successfully before pressing the ENT button.

Once binding has been completed you can make sure the receiver responds to the transmitter - if you have had one or several servos connected to the receiver, wiggle the sticks and the servos will move or if it is a UMX aircraft - the control surfaces or rotor blades will move, BUT BE CAREFULL WITH THE THROTTLE!!! You do not want to start the motor unexpectedly and have the aircraft crash prematurely.

8.2. The other field on the Receiver No. line is [RANGE] - activating it puts the DSMX module in low power mode so you can do a proper range check - walk 90 feet or 30 meters away from the aircraft with the transmitter in range check mode and the aircraft should respond to the controls. While doing the range check mode, keep the aircraft at least 1 foot above ground, 3 feet or higher preferred and away from conductive surfaces like steel tables, carbon fiber surfaces, away from vehicles - definitely NOT on top of your car or truck hood!

Here's a picture of the Taranis with the DSMX module already set up - note that in order to have Receiver Match you have to select different receiver number for different model memories BEFORE binding the receiver:




Well, that's it - you should be able now to finish the model settings - control assignments, channel reversing, throws, mixing, etc. as required by the model.

For most UMX models the following mixer settings will work:

Ch1: Source: Thr, Weight: 78 (positive value), uncheck Trim for electrics, leave all other settings at defaults
Ch2: Source: Ail, Weight: -78 (negative value), leave the rest at their default values
Ch3: Source: Ele, Weight: 78 (positive), the rest at defaults
Ch4: Source: Rud, Weight: -78 (negative), the rest at defaults
Ch5: Source: select a switch of your preference, Weight: 78 (positive), the rest at defaults
Ch6: Source: select another switch of your preference, Weight: 78 (positive), the rest at defaults

For the Blade Inductrix CH5 will control the dual rate at the brick receiver. If the switch acts opposite to what you want, then enter a negative value (-78) for the weight. Ch6 selects between stability and agility modes - select a switch different from that for Ch5.

Note that fail safe with DSM2 and DSMX is set up during binding. So if you change channel reversing or center or end points you will have to bind the receiver to the model memory again so the new transmitter settings are stored in the receiver and be used as fail-safe settings.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; May 16, 2019 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Add UMX settings
Feb 15, 2016, 11:00 PM
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Video Feedback


Several videos courtesy of Rob:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob2160
Thank you Ivan, This is exactly the module I wanted for the Taranis.

Doing some additional testing it works beautifully with all my Spektrum gear and range testing proves equal to my genuine Spektrum DX7s which is a known good radio.

I love that it auto selects protocol when you change models - my Orange Module could not do that.
Range test - DSMX Module in Taranis vs Spektrum DX7S (1 min 5 sec)


DSMX Module by ivanc - testing DSMX and DSM2 modes (4 min 56 sec)


Auto protocol selection with Ivan's DSMX / DSM2 Module (1 min 55 sec)
Last edited by ivanc; Jul 09, 2016 at 03:35 PM.
Feb 17, 2016, 04:00 PM
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Ordering an Incomplete Module


In case you decide to order individual parts, I can offer just the adapter board populated (soldered) with all parts minus the RF board or the populated adapter board and DM9 case - again no RF board.

If you decide to get the individual parts from me (no RF board), please let me know if you want the connector for the RF board soldered to the adapter board or without the connector. The reason for this is that a soldered connection is more reliable than a pin-and-socket connection which relies on friction and cleanliness of the mating surfaces. With time the materials oxidate and the connection worsens. For this reason I personally prefer the RF board soldered to the adapter board. This of course is valid only if the solder jobs is of good quality - a plug-in connection is more reliable than a bad solder joint. I use double sided mounting tape (in 2 layers to get it to the correct RF board height from the adapter board) to attach the RF board to the adapter board then solder all 12 pins to the adapter board although only 3 are used electrically. This provides the best rigidity in the long term use of the module.

If you do not specify explicitly that you want the adapter board with the RF board connector soldered to it I will send you the board without a connector.


Pricing:

The current prices for the populated adapter board (no RF board) and DM9 case are:

Option 1. Adapter board only (populated with all parts minus RF board, no DM9 case) - $25 shipped.

Option 2. Adapter board (populated with all parts minus RF board) and Spektrum DM9 case - $40 shipped. No longer available due to the DM9 case being discontinued by Horizon Hobby. (Updated 03/03/2020)

For option 1 above you will need an RF board and a case and/or antenna.

For option 2 above all you will need is to add your RF board.

Included shipping in the above prices is to the lower 48 USA with USPS First Class Mail.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Mar 30, 2020 at 01:05 PM. Reason: Add pictures.
Feb 19, 2016, 01:30 PM
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OpenTX Model Files


Taranis X9D+ Model Files:

Blade Inductrix FPV - OpenTX 2.0.19


Taranis Q X7 Model Files:

Blade Inductrix FPV - OpenTX 2.2.0N361


Those are model backup files created from the transmitter. Do not use Companion, instead use the following procedure:

1. Copy the file to the MODELS folder on the SD card.

2. From the transmitter select a new model slot.

3. Long press ENTER (short press ENTER for OpenTX 2.2), select Restore model.

4. Select the model from the list of files and confirm with ENTER.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Mar 29, 2017 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Add instructions
Mar 01, 2016, 10:03 PM
Gilberto
I would like to buy these module from you. I can even send you my DX4e so you can get the DX5e rf module. Send me a PM I am interested on one
Mar 02, 2016, 12:48 AM
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One complete module I is sold to Vaqueroxtm.

Ivan
Last edited by ivanc; Nov 09, 2017 at 02:02 PM.
Mar 02, 2016, 12:41 PM
Telemetry Geek
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Hi Ivan,

Please put me next in line for the next complete DSMX Module for Taranis X9D+ that becomes available.

Thanks.
Mar 02, 2016, 01:06 PM
Equal Opportunity Crasher
I am very happy with the module I received. Packaging was great and the product arrived safe and sound. It bound quickly and easily to a nanoQX which is my most finicky model as far as binding goes. I would do it again in a heart beat. Ivans customer service was second to none.


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