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Author Topic: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1  (Read 42781 times)

Offline quadfather

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One of the many new improvements of OpenTX 2.1 is flashing external (and internal) modules directly from the radio.  In this example I have flashed my X4R-SB with the new CPPM beta firmware.

A word of warning

scottflys made a good point further below that the voltage pin in the module bay puts out the battery voltage.  If you';re using a non-standard battery, e.g. a 3S LiPo, then make sure the device you flash can handle this voltage.  The standard battery will be fine.


What you';ll need

* OpenTX v2.1.x on your Taranis
* A firmware to flash (.frk file extension, .bin is not recognised or supported)
* An S.Port device (unless you flash the internal radio module)
* A custom cable if you';re flashing an S.Port device

S.Port pins are Signal-Positive-Ground (standard servo wire colour order).  The pins in the module bay are swapped, so we';ll need a custom cable.


The easiest way to make your custom cable is to use a servo extension lead and swap the ground and positive wires on the Taranis end.  For devices with different plugs (such as the X4R) you';ll need to be a bit more inventive.  Make sure to observe the correct pin order!


How to do it

Make sure your Taranis is sufficiently charged.  I';m not sure what happens to the device you';re flashing if the radio dies mid-flash.  The standalone FrSky firmware updater is known to brick devices if something goes wrong, this is probably no different!
  • Connect the Taranis in bootloader mode to your computer.  You should see two drives mounted, one is called Taranis (which we ignore) and the other is the internal SD card.

  • If you don';t already have one, create a directory called Firmwares on the SD card and place the .frk file(s) into it.  Strictly speaking you can name the directory whatever you like, but descriptive is best, IMO.

  • When you';re done transferring the file(s) safely remove (or unmount) the drives and turn off the Taranis.

  • If you';re flashing an external device plug it into the pins of the module bay now.

  • Turn on the Taranis.

  • Long press the Menu button to get into the Setup menu.  Press Page until you get to the SD Card browser.

  • Navigate to the Firmwares folder (or whichever you created) using the +/- buttons and press Enter.


  • Select the firmware file using the +/- buttons and press Enter.


  • Again using the +/- button select what you want to do, in my case Flash External Device, and press Enter.


  • A progress bar appears, and when it';s completed the device has been flashed.  You can then unplug it.

That';s it.  ~~
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 02:22:35 by Fletch »

Marty McFly

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 16:42:39 »
Thank you for that Tim,Marty and the borrowed doggie, :scotland:

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 17:54:38 »
can you give an example of what devices are s.port? I';m being noob here and have no idea what it is

Offline quadfather

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 18:25:01 »
can you give an example of what devices are s.port? I';m being noob here and have no idea what it is

I gave one example for an S.Port device, the X4R-SB.  Others are any of the X-range of receivers and S.Port telemetry modules, like the FLVSS voltage sensor.  Then there';s the Taranis'; internal radio module (XJT).

With this new method it makes it a lot easier for people to upgrade firmwares, for example flashing non-EU versions to the XJT radio module and X-range of receivers.  Until now you either had to buy additional adapters (FUC-3 and S.Port cable) or flash yet another firmware to your radio to use a maintenance mode.  None of that is needed anymore.

This does not work for the old D-range of transmitters, they are not S.Port devices.

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 08:19:30 »
Would you use the frsky update tool for d series? The one for updating the d4r-ii to 27ms firmware?
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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 08:27:36 »
This method worked for me;

http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/frsky-s-cppm-at-27msec-firmware-update-with-ft-prog-and-ftdi-cabl

But is quite involved and required altering an FTDI to output inverted signals.
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Offline bazzerh

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 09:09:13 »
As mentioned on other threads there doesn';t appear to be an eu firmware for d4r-ii so bit of a moot point i realise. Wonder if UK stockists will continue selling them if that';s the case?
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Offline teslahed

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2015, 09:26:07 »
I bet they do. People in the know will continue to flash the US firmware to get them working.

The X4R-SB is looking better all the time!
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Offline Fletch

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2015, 10:10:09 »
The X4R-SB is looking better all the time!

But is a bit of a faf to get working with a Naze

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 12:28:01 »
Works fine for me. The real problem is it needs a spare serial port. I use the GPS one on the RCinput pins because the other is used by the OSD.

I seem to get zero jitter with sbus as opposed to PPM which varies by a few points about the centre position which is nice.

The SPF3 flight controller has more serial ports which makes serial based receivers seem more attractive.

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Offline Fletch

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 12:33:58 »
Works fine for me. The real problem is it needs a spare serial port. I use the GPS one on the RCinput pins because the other is used by the OSD.

I seem to get zero jitter with sbus as opposed to PPM which varies by a few points about the centre position which is nice.

The SPF3 flight controller has more serial ports which makes serial based receivers seem more attractive.

I may order one for my thug 280 ...

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2015, 12:56:10 »
I seem to get zero jitter with sbus as opposed to PPM which varies by a few points about the centre position which is nice.

The SPF3 flight controller has more serial ports which makes serial based receivers seem more attractive.

Although it makes no difference to my flying, the jitter bugs the hell out of me.

No doubt in a bored moment I will insist on moving to s-bus (and regretting the expense)
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Offline quadfather

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2015, 13:13:24 »
Consider the CPPM firmware for the X4Rs.  It';s still jittery but at least you can use a current X4R with your Naze (and others).  Unfortunately, it doesn';t change the telemetry port as that';s still hardware inverted.

http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=14749.0

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 13:29:43 »
If you set appropriate dead zones for all control inputs on the naze32 then it will ignore the centre jitter.
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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2015, 13:51:17 »
If you set appropriate dead zones for all control inputs on the naze32 then it will ignore the centre jitter.

But I know it';s still there (the joys of coming from my hardware/software background) means even though it';s not visible, it';s simply annoying my subconscious
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Offline Hands0n

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2015, 22:23:46 »
Well I finally bit the bullet, mostly because of having to help a mate out with his X4R and tried this method also.

First I used the pukka FrSky USB dongle and cable. That worked okay.

But then I got to thinking, this method is so much simpler, no need for PCs or anything else.  So I made up a cable using a ESC extender cable and used the S.Port cable supplied with the X4R-SB.  Its a neat and tidy solution.

Three X4R-SB and one X4R reflashed with the non-EU firmware in minutes.  Nice. ~~

Thanks again Tim for the excellent help.
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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2015, 02:02:50 »
Thank you for this post! 

I keep getting an error after I  when I attempt to flash an X4R-SB (Firmware Update Error).  Can you confirm that this will work on a regular Taranis.  Do you have any other ideas why this might not work.  I can find the firmware files, and I';ve tripple checked the wiring.  The receiver has power and the S-Port signal wire is connected to the bottom pin.  I';ve tried jumpering pins 2-3 and not jumpering them.  No difference.

Also, one caution... The raw battery voltage is put on pin 3 when the Taranis is switched on.  If you';ve replaced your Taranis battery with a 3S LiPo (or any other battery above 10V), this procedure could cook your receiver.  At least the X4R is spec';d at only 10V input. 

Offline quadfather

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2015, 10:45:06 »
Thank you for this post! 

I keep getting an error after I  when I attempt to flash an X4R-SB (Firmware Update Error).  Can you confirm that this will work on a regular Taranis.  Do you have any other ideas why this might not work.  I can find the firmware files, and I';ve tripple checked the wiring.  The receiver has power and the S-Port signal wire is connected to the bottom pin.  I';ve tried jumpering pins 2-3 and not jumpering them.  No difference.

Also, one caution... The raw battery voltage is put on pin 3 when the Taranis is switched on.  If you';ve replaced your Taranis battery with a 3S LiPo (or any other battery above 10V), this procedure could cook your receiver.  At least the X4R is spec';d at only 10V input.

Excellent point about the voltage!  I did not know it puts out the battery voltage, that could potentially be fatal.  I just checked mine, and I can confirm that it, indeed, puts out the battery';s voltage.  I';ll amend the OP.

Firmware Update Error appears when the Taranis can';t talk to the RX for the flash procedure.  It';s a fairly generic error message, I don';t know under what other circumstances it would show up.  The only thing I can suggest is to check continuity between the signal pin on the Taranis and the signal pin on the RX.  Perhaps your cable isn';t working as intended.


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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2015, 12:33:42 »
Also, one caution... The raw battery voltage is put on pin 3 when the Taranis is switched on.  If you';ve replaced your Taranis battery with a 3S LiPo (or any other battery above 10V), this procedure could cook your receiver.  At least the X4R is spec';d at only 10V input.

Oh FFS Taranis! :o   

I';m going to re-make my cable up to insert a UBEC so that nothing more than 5V will ever hit the RX.  No doubt I won';t remember this bijoux point in months to come, after I';ve changed the stock NiMh for a LiPo.

Bah!

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX v2.1
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2015, 13:18:22 »
I can flash now, yay!  It was difficult for me to use the original battery because I had reused the connector for my lipo.  I think my issue may have been because I kludged up power from a 5V USB source and maybe this voltage is too low to flash (probably 4.7 by the time it hit the port).    Since I had made the mod that connects the power port directly to the battery for charging and running FPV equipment, I was able to unplug my lipo and plug a fatshark 7.2 lipo into the power port.  The 7.2V battery seemed to have done the trick. 

The idea of a regulator sounds perfect.  I';m going to try a $2 (ebay) buck regulator that I have lying around since it has a screw to adjust the voltage.  Thanks for the idea!   

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2015, 15:39:47 »
Here';s my finished and tested regulated adapter.  I set the output to 6V.  The X4R port adapter cable plugs right in and I can just use a standard servo cable to connect to an X8R.  The micro regulator was purchased from ebay about a year ago.  This one is made to be small and light and it doesn';t have the best filtering on the output.  This was a good application for it.  I just checked and other slightly larger buck regulators are about $1, they probably produce a cleaner output voltage.



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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2015, 16:39:37 »
Nice job there @scottflys That looks really neat and tidy. Awesome.  ~~ 

I';ve got some of the larger bucks with mahoosive caps on them as well as these tiny little ones. I think the chance of noise is slim to none given that there are no motors involved in the Taranis flashing process.  Like you, these have been in my box ';o bits for simply ages.  The benefits of being a hoarder :rofl:
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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2015, 21:28:27 »
Great guide Quadfather. Just flashed an x4rsb with EU firmware easily following these instructions. Many thanks.

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2016, 23:43:15 »
I picked upa Taranis Plus this week and trying to get my head around the various EU/non-EU firmwares for this transmitter.

Firstly, I plan to only use X series receivers so assume I can stick to the EU firmware - is there any reason not to stick with this?

I would like to upgrade to the latest stable firmware, would this be the EU firmware from the FR-Sky site or should I go with firmware from Open TX ?

Related to the above, I would like to use Scottfly';s Teensy mod later, is this dependent on a specific firmware?

Sorry for all the questions but any guidance would be appreciated.

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2016, 12:20:55 »
Hi Spy,
I have a Taranis X9E with EU Firmware,  I would recommend using Open TX firmware as it will be updated more often than the FR Sky open firmware. also update the Sound file to the "Amber" sound file.
Also there is another update for EU Tx';s and Rx';s which is supposed to be more stable and sort the Range problems out that some people have complained about on the EU firmware.
Have a look at this,
http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=16800.msg152278;topicseen#new

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2016, 12:43:25 »
Thanks Rammy.

Still a little confused.

The EU firmware you refer to that you have, is that EU flavour of OpenTX 2.1 ?

The new update that fixes the range issues, is that only available if you use the official FR-Sky firmware or is it also included in the Open TX EU firmware ?

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2016, 12:43:35 »
If you';re intending to just use the X-series of receivers then there';s no need for you to flash any firmware.  The whole flashing debacle stemmed from the fact that many people were using legacy receveivers, in particular the D4R-II which is a favourite in the mini quad scene.

There';s now a new EU firmware called LBT which is supposedly fixing the range and stability issues reported by some users with EU firmware.  An initial report looks promising.

http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=16800.0

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2016, 12:46:16 »
OpenTX has nothing to do with EU firmwares.  The EU firmware is applied to the RF module (internal XJT) which handles the radio link.  OpenTX is "just" the operating software for the Taranis.  They are two independent things.

A more in-depth explanation here http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=14975.0

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2016, 12:53:51 »
Thanks Quadfather.

So to get this straight, I can do the following:

1. Upgrade the internal XJT module with the latest FR-Sky firmware in order to fix the range issues
2. Upgrade the Transmitter firmware to the latest OpenTX 2.1 so I can update firmware on the receivers through the Taranis (I believe this is a feature only available in 2.1+)

If the above is correct, then based on1, will my X receivers also need firmware updating to support the new EU firmware fixes?

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Re: Flashing S.Port Devices through the Taranis with OpenTX 2.1
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2016, 12:59:45 »
Thanks Quadfather.

So to get this straight, I can do the following:

1. Upgrade the internal XJT module with the latest FR-Sky firmware in order to fix the range issues
2. Upgrade the Transmitter firmware to the latest OpenTX 2.1 so I can update firmware on the receivers through the Taranis (I believe this is a feature only available in 2.1+)

If the above is correct, then based on1, will my X receivers also need firmware updating to support the new EU firmware fixes?

Yep, that';s pretty much it.  I would install OpenTX 2.1 first on the Taranis, then you can flash both the XJT and receivers using the same procedure.

If you do go with the LBT version, then all your receivers also need the LBT version.  FrSky said that the LBT version will be on all newly sold equipment.  There will obviously be a small delay depending on stock levels of sellers.  But even if you don';t get LBT on a new receiver it';s trivial to flash with OpenTX.