Many of you might know the Sky9x upgrade board for 9x-model Chinese radios. It boasts an ARM Cortex M3 32bit processor and a whole bunch of additional features, such as audio out, SD card for saving configs, USB programming interface and so on. It runs on the very feature-rich and mature open source firmware Open9X. It has a PPM out, so with the right connector board, it can run with any TX module, may it be Futaba, JR, FrSky, Orange, Lemon, whatever...
The official feature list:
- Atmel SAM3S Arm Cortex M3 32 bit Microprocessor (256K EPROM , 48K RAM , 64Mhz)
- Built-in USB port for loading new firmware , and to access the SD card as a Mass storage device.
- Connector for LED Backlight , with software dimming control
- 1/2 Watt audio amplifier with 8 Ohm Speaker Output and support for a headphone jack
- 4Mb EEPROM provides on board storage for 20 - 40 models depends on software used.
- Support for Koycera 64x128 LED backlight LCD
- Two , internal RS232 Serial communication ports with support for external 2.5mm jacks..
- FrSky Telemetry can hook directly up to board (no convertors needed)
- Micro SD Card Socket for Sound , Model and Telemetry logging / storage.
- One , TTL Serial Port , for hookup to a Bluetooth Module , Like RN-42
- Hardware PPM , PXX output .
- Haptic Output connector
- AVR Co-Processor , ATtiny167 AVR , provides 12 more I/O channels and provides RTC
(Real Time Clock) functions , with on board 3V Lithium Battery
- On Board CR2032 Lithium Battery Holder
- On Board Current Sensor monitors the current being drawn from the battery, and stores
the amount of mAH used up.
- 5V Linear Pre - Regulator supplies the Main LDO 3.3V Linear Regulator. For better heat management, and a 5V Switching Regulator Upgrade is available for using 3S Lipo batteries
In my opinion, this board is great! It's way too good to be seen just as an upgrade for the 9x transmitters. It also makes a very nice base for every DIY-transmitter project - that's why I selected it as the RC core for my intergrated groundstation project.
Now, unfortunately, the board is in danger of dying out! Brent, the designer and the guy who makes those great boards as a hobby, wrote in the 9x-forums that problems in the last production run left him 25 boards short, leading to a loss of ~$2500. A pretty big sum for a hobby project!
If you have a 9x transmitter and are looking for more features, if you always wanted to build your own TX or if you are planning to build a version of my UAV Control Station, once my software is getting mature, have a look at the Sky9X-board! Brent wrote that if he gets enough people to pre-order for another production run, the board will continue to live. Otherwise, it will die...
Check the website here: http://www.ersky9x.net/