ChasityWhite's Posts (4)

What is the FrSky GPS Module?

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In this article, we are going to cover some of the basics about the FrSky GPS Module and sensors. GPS that stands for Global Positioning System has gained its popularity from day to day life applications as well as many industrial applications. Moreover, it has rooted many applications in the Military sector where it is widely used. The applications of GPS is highly useful in RC hobby because of the same reason why it has gained popularity in day to day life.              

GPS can be highly useful in RC Hobby ranging from RC Airplanes from Drones or even RC Boats. It can be used to locate the precise location of Crafts if they are equipped with a GPS Receiver. If we know the precise location of our rigs at a specific time, it can be used to calculate some other highly useful data as well.

Having the Precise location of our RC craft can be used to retrieve it on the scenarios of crashes or failures. It can be used for autonomous flights or RTH (Return to Home) functions with the help of a Flight controller. Using the coordinates of the location at a specific time interval can be used to calculate the speed at which it is moving. Because speed follows the simple equation, distance divided by time.

When we know the coordinates of the location of our RC plane or other crafts with respect to the time, it is easy to calculate the speed at which it is moving with the simple equation. How cool it will be to know the speed of our rigs to have more excitement? I would really like it. That is how GoPro cameras (not all the GoPro cameras) are able to show the speed data on the videos as the camera has built-in GPS to calculate the speed.

GPS gives x,y,z (and time as well) coordinates which means it just not give the latitude and longitude but also the Altitude. Hence we can know the altitude without having the need for a Barometer sensor. In Short, We can get the location, speed, and altitude with the help of GPS of our RC Crafts. Let's cover more about the Frsky GPS module and sensors rather than talking about GPS and its uses.

FrSky GPS Module

Before getting to know about FrSky GPS Module, we need to understand the difference between a module and sensor in order to have a better understanding of the next section. A module is a part of a circuit or hardware (or software) that can be connected like auxiliary devices. But on the other hand, the sensor is more like a “raw module” which cannot be used like how you can directly use a Module.

The sensor is more like “PNP (Plug & Play)” where the module is more like “RTF (Ready to Fly)”. A module usually has extra circuits in it which makes it easier to use than a sensor where the wiring will need to be figured out.

FrSky GPS Module (or GPS-01) is a very old one released by FrSky. It was released before 2010 and that’s like more than 10 Years technology. I highly doubt if it exists today to purchase. This was supposed to use with the first prototype of telemetry released by FrSky. Smart port might be the first word to come to the mind when thinking about Frsky Telemetry.

But that wasn’t the case before 10 Years. There was no Smart Port telemetry and it required complex wiring to get Telemetry back in those days.  For Example, You will need a sensor hub in order to serve as an information collecting and processing center, monitor the model status, and feedback all data back to the receiver.          

                    

FrSky GPS Module 01 is a small module and its output gives longitude, latitude and speed. The wiring is pretty simple as there is only three wires coming out of it. They are Ground, 5v, and Signal (RX) to be connected to the respective pins on the FrSky receiver that have telemetry. If you want to use other sensors like voltage, accelerometer, or even a temperature sensor, then you will need the sensor hub as they won't work in series.

FrSky GPS Sensor V2 

This is a more developed and advanced version of the FrSky GPS sensor that runs on Smart Port Telemetry. The wiring is pretty simple. You can connect it directly to the smart port of the receiver. Moreover, you don’t need a sensor hub to connect more sensors. Instead, You can connect the sensor in series without having a sensor hub.

This is supposed to be an introduction to the FrSky GPS Module and sensors. Hence we will cover this topic in detail in another article including how to use it.

We have briefly covered the Frsky GPS Module and sensors. The GPS Module (GSP 01) is a very outdated product and the chances are rare you might find it on sale somewhere. Above all, this stand-alone GPS are outdated, and more advanced functions can be performed with the help of a Flight Controller. 

FrSky GPS sensor V2 is a little bit advanced and easy to set up, but we cannot set any RTH functions with it. Hence it is more suited to go for a Flight Controller plus GPS Combo which might be cheaper than the GPS Module and can be used for autonomous flights as well.

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Don’t worry, we haven’t stopped the FrSky GPS Module and sensor series here, We will be covering them in detail in the upcoming articles. Stay Tuned!

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Review: FrSky X8R Pro Receiver

We will look into the FrSky receiver and answer the question as to whether you should get one for your craft or project over any other receiver. We will also look into the feature list, compatibility and other such details of this receiver and compare it with the FrSky X8R Receiver as well from the previous article. 

Hardware & Pin Layout of the X8R Receiver

The FrSky X8R Pro is identical in every way to the X8R receiver, physically.The FrSky X8R Pro is a receiver that is mainly targetted towards planes and larger size quads or crafts where size is not a constraint and where you need pure PWM pins than S.Bus or PPM. The X8R has a plastic cover to protect it from the elements (which you can remove to save space and weight).

The X8R Pro outputs 8 individual PWM channels and also has an S.Bus port if you want to use with modern flight controllers like the PixHawk or micro quad flight controllers. The 8CH PWM is especially useful when you want to control a lot of servos and systems especially on planes and such systems where PWM is mainly used.

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There is also a PWM RSSI output pin for getting Raw Signal Strength Indication for your Flight Controllers.

On the backside of the X8R Pro, there is a Smart Port pinout as well! This is great in case you want to connect external FrSky Sensors or provide telemetry data from your Flight Controller to your FrSky transmitter radio. It is weird that they have chosen to place the Smart Port pins at the antenna side of the receiver than on the right side where all the usual pins are situated; this will bring up an untidy wiring setup. 

Speaking of the antennas, the X8R Pro consists of 2 patch antennas(PCB antennas) instead of the normal dipole stranded wires. What does that have to do with the performance you may ask, quite simply, patch antennas provide more range than dipole antennas. In the case of the X8R, FrSky claims an additional 20% more range! So why not put patch antennas on all receivers? The reason is that patch antennas are highly directional with higher gain than traditional dipole antennas. Simply put, they receive signals very well in a particular direction ( parallel to the antenna orientation ) but have low signal strength in other directions.

This can be useful in some cases where the craft is moving parallel to the transmitter but once it changes its heading, it can lose some signal strength. In most cases, this wouldn’t make much of a difference, so you needn’t worry ;)

On the top side of the receiver, you will find the F/S (Bind) button as well as the two RED/GREEN indicator LEDs.

All the above-mentioned points are exactly as described for the FrSky X8R receiver. The only way to distinguish between the FrSky X8R and the FrSky X8R Pro is by checking for the “PRO” logo next to the R-X8R logo on the top of the receiver.

Connectivity

The R-X8R Pro from FrSky is an ACCST supporting receiver. We have already discussed ACCST & ACCESS in other posts, so we are not diving into that in this one.

The PWM as discussed is 8CH output and the S.Bus pinout would be perfect for stabilizers and flight controllers.

What differentiates between the R-X8R Pro and the X8R is that the FrSky X8R Pro version has higher precision and lower latency. Its deviation of PWM is reduced to 0.5us, and the delay of PWM output is 9ms less than that of the X8R in high-speed mode. A feature that deserves mention is the decreased effect of interference caused by the ignition process.

The Smart Port connector on both the X8R Pro also supports FrSky FBVS from with A2 port for simple voltage monitoring as well as other sensors and telemetry systems from FrSky like the TEMS-01 for temperature monitoring of your craft or engine etc. or another example would be the FSH-01 sensor hub, so you can connect multiple sensors to one board which then relays the data to the X8R Pro receivers for telemetry.

This feature is quite useful in helis and places especially the ones with a petrol or nitro engine where you have to monitor temperature and RPM along with other data.

You can use the S.Bus to output all 16CH from the receiver and in case you need to use 16CH PWM channels, you can get an S.Bus to PWM decoder which will translate the S.Bus signals into individual PWM channels for all your servos.

But that isn't all the FrSky X8R Pro receiver can do. It can also work in the D8 Mode to work with transmitter modules such as the DHT, DJT, DFT and DHT-U. In this mode, you have 8 channels and at the same time, you can use the Smart Port.

Specification:

Dimension: 46.5mm x 27mm x 14.4mm

Weight: 16.8g

Operating Voltage Range: 4V-10.0V

Operating Current: 100mA@5V

Operating Range: >1.5km (Full Range)

RSSI output: analog voltage output (0~3.3V)

Firmware Upgradeable

Servo Frame Rate: 9ms (HS—High-Speed Mode)/18ms (FS—Normal Speed Mode)

All 16 channels require the FrSky Taranis or the XJT module.

For 8 channels in D8 Mode, you can use the FrSky Taranis or XJT, DJT, DFT, DHT and DHT-U modules.

Compatibility:

The FrSky X8R Pro receiver is a great receiver for planes, helis and large drones where you need the full-range capabilities of the FrSky system and breaks out 8 channels of PWM and Smart Port connector with low-latency mode as well.

In the question, whether you need to buy this one, from my experience it is a great receiver with full-range capabilities but since the device runs on the ACCST protocol, I would personally resist from purchasing it, especially if you have the latest FrSky radios with ACCESS firmware. But from legacy builds and testing, this is a great receiver without a doubt!

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Long-range drones are increasingly present on the market, being used in military operations and agriculture, and the range of said drones is connected to its signal frequency, for example, a 900 MHz drone can reach a distance between 7 and 10 km. In general, the higher the frequency, the farther the drone can go. When operated in large centers that have interference from other frequencies, such as radio, TV, and cell phone, this distance can have a considerable drop. 

The combo with the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module and FrSky R9 MX Long range receiver is the best on the market for building a 900 MHz drone. The quality of these products, pioneers in the industry, provides long-range and more efficient flights when compared to other modules and receivers.

Both the FrSky ACCESS R9M 2019 Long Range Module System and the FrSky R9 MX can be purchased at HorusRC’s online shop (horusrc.com) for just $29.99 and $19.99, respectively.

Transmitter Module

The FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 consists of a module system with 4 RF power outputs, the R9M can also be used together with another receiver, which provides greater safety for the flight of your aircraft.

The different power output ports allow you to choose the ideal power for each flight situation. The RF power can be 10mW, 100mW, 500mW, and 1W, and at all levels, the use of telemetry is supported. An intelligent port is used for the transmission of telemetry data.

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Long Range Transmitter Module FrSky R9M 2019 900MHz

Long-range, low latency, and high precision are the characteristics of the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019. R9M's power supply is 6.5 ~ 13V. Modulations can be PXX or CPPM, being detected automatically. The R9M is compatible with all R9 series receivers. The frequency varies between 868 ~ 900 MHz. The operating range reaches 10 Km, perfect for the 900 MHz drone used on long distances.

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Pin-in and Pin-Out overview of the R9M 2019.

The Smart Port (S. Port) present in the 900MHz R9M is a digital transmission interface developed especially by FrSky. In all products that contain Smart Port, user data from the serial port and other user input and output devices can be connected without limitations for numbers or sequences at high transmission speed, which is very important for a 900 MHz RC drone. 

Fail-Proof

The module works with 3 failsafe modes: No Pulse, Hold, and Custom. In the first mode, when a signal loss occurs, the receiver does not produce pulses on any channel. The Hold function consists of making the aircraft maintain its last position after the loss of signal (when the failsafe mode is activated). In custom mode, the aircraft will move to the predefined position after a signal loss.

Receiver

The FrSky R9 MX, another product of great relevance for the construction of a 900 MHz drone, consists of an enhanced version of the other receivers in the R9 MM series, making it compatible with more external devices, providing an inverted S.Port output and supporting the use with other receivers. In addition, it has solder points to connect 4 PWM channels.

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FrSky R9 MX.

The improved design proves to be more robust, compact, and durable and, together with synchronization with the latest ACCESS firmware, can be used to the true potential of ACCESS. The frequency varies between 868 ~ 915Mhz. Its dimension is 18 x 12 x 3.2mm and its weight is only 3.2g. The operating voltage is 3.5V ~ 10V and the operating current is 100mA at 5V. The R9 MX also supports OTA functions.

The MX differential for other FrSky receivers, in the SX and Stab line, is in the inverted S.Port output, signal redundancy, and super low latency. The range of control and telemetry can reach an impressive 10 km. The compatibility of the MX is confirmed with the receivers R9M Lite, R9M Lite Pro, and R9M 2019 with the firmware ACCESS. This receiver can be obtained together with the R9M module or individually at horusrc.com!

Final Considerations

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Investment in these products is recommended. The combined use of the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module with the FrSky R9 MX receiver will provide a safe, long-range flight and will bring an upgrade to your drone. The installation does not require any secrets and its use is very intuitive. These products stand out among others found on the market.

Quality technology, very well-developed features, and fail-safe are some of the benefits found in the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module combo with the FrSky R9 MX receiver. If your goal is to build a 900 MHz drone for large ranges, these two items cannot be missing. FrSky is a brand of extreme quality and trust and its products can be found at horusrc.com!

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Essential RC Airplane Telemetry Technology

 

When trying to perfect their performance, RC hobbyists, pros, and even amateurs will frequently rely on RC Airplane Telemetry devices and systems, since a capable pilot should learn to better use his/her physical abilities and available technology, searching for ways to not only develop their own skills with practice but also to get as many as possible useful information about their vehicle’s behavior while flying.

With that in mind, one telemetry essential yet basic product that is highly recommended is the FrSky Smart Port RPM and Temperature Sensor. Like many other sensors from FrSky, this one also works with the Smart Port interface and, when installed properly in association with an S.Port enabled receiver, it can send the acquired data to its respective transmitter ‘s digital Telemetry Radio System.

Get yours now for just $18.20 at horusrc.com and improve the safety and performance of your flights!

FrSky Smart Port System

So… what is Smart Port? For those of you that don’t have a clue or never even heard about it in the first place: the S.Port (Smart Port) is a signal wire full-duplex digital transmission interface provided by FrSky Electronic Co., Ltd. and it was developed for the 2nd generation of FrSky systems.

Every S.Port enabled device - sound modules, display modules, sensors (such as the one we are talking about here), and any other device that works with a data interface that is in line with FrSky S.Port protocol - can be directly plugged in and arranged however the user desires, making RC components/device setup much easier than conventional multi-wire looms.

To sum it up, the Smart Port system offers this flexible and superior possibility of daisy-chaining several different components with high precision and without the need of a sensor-hub or other dataset. It is smaller, easier, and faster (approximately 6 times more than a conventional “hub system”), perfect for RC Airplane Telemetry.

RPM and Temperature Sensor

The FrSky Smart Port RPM and Temperature Sensor is a two-in-one telemetry device for RC Airplanes that can measure the RPM of brushless motors and also read the temperatures of other components besides the motor itself, such as ESCs and BECs, glow and gas engine cylinder heads, batteries, mufflers, voltage regulators, tailpipes and even ambient air!

Considering how important it is to know your RC airplane’s motor’s RPM and the temperature of critical components (for performance and safety reasons), the functions in the sensor will prove to be very useful. The RPM reading range (for a 2-pole brushless motor) is 1,000-30,000 rpm and the temperature can range from -20°C to 250°C (degrees Celsius) - 4°F - 482°F (degrees Fahrenheit).

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One can notice in the image above that the sensor is small and lightweight (only 8g), which is ideal since it is a device that will not necessarily be used in every flight. 

Mounting and Setting up

As expected from a product made by FrSky, its users will find it straightforward and easy to install by following these steps:

Attach one end of the Temperature Sensor (TEMS-01) to your ESC and the other end to one of the two corresponding sets of pins (T1 or T2) that are mounted on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

Next, connect the sensor to any couple of wires from the brushless motor using the supplied JST connector.

Finally, connect the RPM sensor to the receiver (and/or other FrSky sensors) via Smart Port, then turn it on by linking your battery to the receiver.

Now to finish setting up:

Check the number of Pole Pairs in your brushless motor.

Enter Pole Pairs setting mode long-pressing the key until the Red LED is on.

Then, push the key repeatedly until you’ve got the correct number (in Binary) set on the little 4-digit display (0 to 3).

Power off the receiver after set.

Thus, as you can see, this entire installation and setup procedure is indeed quite simple and relies only on the push button and LED status indicator. For more detailed instructions and schematics, check the product manual on FrSky’s website.

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Operation Specifics

Do bear in mind that this technology was designed to work with FrSky’s Smart Port interface, meaning that it is only compatible with Smart Port enabled receivers, such as the X8R, X6R, and X4R. Also, before using, please consider that although it can work with motor wires’ voltage range of 7.4 - 44.4V, that is, motors that run on 2S to 12S LiPo batteries, this sensor was made to operate at 4 -10V.

 

This RPM/temperature sensor can also be used simultaneously with other FrSky Smart Port enabled sensors, including the variometer, airspeed, GPS, lipo voltage, and current sensors, since all of those can daisy chain with each other through their Smart Port.

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