FlySky FS-i6 transmitter upgrade thread

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by e3_Scott, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    I didn't really want to start off a new thread with what was a bit of a failure, but perhaps by having this new thread others might be able to chime in with their experiences with any upgrades they have done to this very inexpensive transmitter :)

    I received my download cable for the FlySky FS-i6 from Banggood yesterday https://www.banggood.com/FlySky-Dat...982289.html?rmmds=mywishlist&cur_warehouse=CN
    2018-04-14 10.10.04.jpg

    I used this video to figure things out, was pretty straight forward


    Here is the link I used to download the upgrade firmware.
    https://github.com/benb0jangles/Fly...er_V1/10ch_MOD_i6_Programmer_qba667_hali9.exe

    Flashing the firmware went very quickly using the video above, then the fun started :(

    I found trying to figure out the values on the timer was a bit confusing and it only seemed to work when I use the AFHDS 2A receiver setup which kind of defeats the purpose for me as I want to use this transmitter primarily in AFHDS mode so I can use my single antenna receivers that I currently use with my Turnigy 9x and have lots available. I finally figured out how to get the timer to work, but couldn't seem to get it on a switch, but it would activate when I advanced the throttle. :)

    Then, however, I ran into an issue with being able to bind the transmitter to any of my recievers :( I even used the bind menu in the transmitter as I had read that once the new firmware was flashed, the bind button on the transmitter is no longer usable. I found this in the FACTORY menu which you can enter as shown in the video above by holding both sticks down and to the left and then turning on the transmitter.
    2018-04-14 10.19.58.jpg

    So now as my heart was racing a bit faster thinking I had just turned my transmitter into a fancy paper weight, I realized more research would be needed and that I might as well go back to the factory defaults. After some searching around and finding something my anti virus software was happy with, I was able to flash the factory defaults back using this file essentially using the same process as shown in the video above but using the FlashReset in the FACTORY menu. Here is the link to the firmware I used to reset the transmitter to factory default https://github.com/benb0jangles/Fly...riginal Firmware/FS-i6-Original -Firmware.exe
    2018-04-14 10.27.27.jpg
    So back to square one in my attempt to update the firmware in my FlySky FS-i6 :) Considering what I learned from this process, I might just bite the bullet and continue to use the countdown timer on my watch when I fly with this transmitter. It won't be my full time transmitter anyway, but is still a great option for a very low price.:)

    So if other folks have had better results or want to share their experiences with upgrading firmware, battery mods, etc for the FlySky FS-i6 hopefully this thread will allow that to all be in one place :)

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  2. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    It`s a shame it didn`t have a timer to start with. I bet it would have cost next to nothing to create one by flysky in the first place.
    You know in all the years of flying I have never used a timer:)
    Do you have one of those cheap battery volt meters.
    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbyki...-63caAmjGEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&___store=en_us
     
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  3. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    No. Not sure I see the purpose of having one of these when most ESCs start low voltage cutoff at 3.3V anyway, relying on one of these alarms would end up in me running my batteries far lower than I want to every flight. My purpose of using a timer is so that I don't regularly run my batteries below 3.7-3.8V per cell for long term health of the batteries after experimenting long ago and determining how long my flights should be based on my common power setups and flying style.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  4. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    Ok.
     
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  5. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    A video update on my journey evaluating and experimenting with the inexpensive FlySky FS-i6 transmitter


    I have not really had the time or inclination to research more fully how to get the timer working properly once the firmware upgrade described in the original post of this thread is flashed. Just using the countdown timer on my watch has been working quite well :)

    I do hope to have an update on interfacing this transmitter with my PC to have it working with a simulator in the next little while.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  6. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    I have done quite a bit more research since starting this thread and seem to have the timer working properly after updating the firmware on my FlySky FS-i6 transmitter :) Also in the video, I demonstrate how I found the "secret menu" that I needed to open to bind my receiver after the firmware upgrade.


    As mentioned, the timer only seems to work in the AFDHS 2A mode which requires the receivers with twin antennae. There are certainly lots of other items that can be programmed with the update that I did which includes expanding the number of channels on the transmitter to ten from six. However, for now I am just happy to have a timer on the transmitter so I don't have to use the one on my watch, I can just flip a switch now and I am good to go :)

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  7. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    I use timers on my Spektrum 7, one for total flight time, the other as a count down, activated only when throttle on. The countdown warns me by voice at the beginning of the last minute, last 30 seconds, and expiration.

    I start by a rough estimation of powered flight time for a new plane, and then it is easy to tailor them to obtain the low voltage threshold I want to land with (3,8 v by cell, close to storage, so discharged battery can wait until next use safely).

    This feature has given me a great peace of mind when flying, and helps me plan my landings when other are flying with me at the club.

    Cheers.
     
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  8. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    Just realized another added bonus of doing the software upgrade mentioned above is now the inactivity alarm goes off after ten minutes rather than one minute with the factory firmware if none of the switches or sticks are touched during this time:) This gives plenty of time to change batteries and launch again without the transmitter constantly beeping like mad which other than not having a timer was one of my frustrations with this transmitter's stock programming!

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  9. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    I shot a video discussing my post flight impressions of the FlySky FS-i6 after making the software upgrade.


    Here is the video I shot discussing how I downsized my receivers to save a little weight and make it a little easier to fit things into my electronics bay as I downsized some of my planes.


    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  10. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    Based on a question that was posted in the comments section of my last video about my post flight impressions after doing the firmware upgrade, I learned some more about the timer setup in my updated FlySky FS-i6.:)

    When you set the timer for one plane, you end up with the same time set for all planes in the transmitter memory. Therefore, if you had more than one plane at the field during a flying session that might have different flight times, you would have to go into the menu and adjust the timer as you switch between planes.

    Also, when programming a new plane into the receiver, if you have set up a timer for any of the other planes, one of the first things you might do in the new plane is program how you will activate the timer, in other words what switch will turn it on, etc. Otherwise, as soon as you go back to the main page while programming the new plane, the timer will start itself.

    If you do "Model copy" in the System menu, it will carry over the timer setup and all other settings from the model being copied, for many of my planes that have quite similar setups, this is a handy option although I'm not sure it is part of the firmware upgrade, just something I learned.
    2018-07-15 06.41.38.jpg
    In this menu below, you navigate between the two models using the "OK" button, then the up and down buttons to select where you want the original model (which will be the top selection) to be copied. Since there is no "MENU" button on the transmitter, once you have made your selection on this page, press and hold the "OK" button.
    2018-07-15 06.38.59.jpg
    After pressing the "OK" button in the above menu, you get to this page, use the "UP/DOWN" button to select "Yes", then press "OK" again and the model will be copied.
    2018-07-15 06.39.34.jpg
    The "Model reset" function works quite slick as well if you happened to copy a model to a slot you don't want it or just want to delete a model from the transmitter.
    2018-07-15 06.50.50.jpg
    When you enter the "Model reset" menu, you can again navigate to what model you want to reset using the "UP/DOWN" buttons, then select "OK".
    2018-07-15 06.50.16.jpg
    Then as above, once at this page, use the "UP/DOWN" buttons to select "Yes", then press "OK" and the model will be reset.
    2018-07-15 06.50.40.jpg

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  11. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    I finally got around to getting my FlySky FS-i6 transmitter hooked up and working with a free online RC simulator, RC Desk Pilot. :)

    I used this video as a guide.


    I wrote this blog post which has much more detail on the process I went through including pictures of my computer screen showing the different settings I selected. It is hard to see these in the video above. RC Desk Pilot is free and pretty simple, but does the basics if you are just starting off or want to fly a sim. In keeping with the "beginner/inexpensive" theme of my journey with the FlySky FS-i6, free is good :) Also, I am not terribly computer savvy and I found this a pretty straight forward process that only required a little bit of adjusting to get things working properly.
    http://scottsparkjetblog.blogspot.com/2018/07/setting-up-flysky-fs-i6-transmitter-for.html

    You will find all the links to the cables I used, software, etc in the blog post if you are interested in trying it out. The cost of the two cables I picked up from Banggood and Ebay is just over $3 USD, so not a big outlay of cash to have a setup to use your transmitter with a simulator.:)

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  12. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    If you enjoy training with a sim, I suggest you try also CRRCSim and Picasim also free, that allow training for slope soaring with gliders.

    For 30 $ I also used Clearview (good for motor planes, no for sailplanes) before ever flying an RC plane (I enjoyed it so much I decided to build and fly real RC planes).

    I train on a sim during half the year I don't fly at all.

    I used CRRCsim to train before flying a 3D glider this spring (additional slopes in the Alps available for the sim for download).

    I crashed a lot with the Wasabi, she seemed impossible to fly at first, but after a while I got used to her. It helped much to improve my evaluation of the situation of the glider in the sky and relative to the slope, during inverted flight turns, etc. Was able to correct a fatal flaw I had when arriving in inverted flight against the slope and returning to normal flight (I rolled in the wrong direction loosing height, it cost me a full speed crash).

    When I flew my Vagabond XL for real I was at ease immediately.

    Cheers.
     
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  13. unclejamal

    unclejamal Ace Pilot

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    i would recommend this type of lipo checker/buzzer, because you can set your preferred voltage level you want the buzzer to go on:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pr...8e4bdfb&transAbTest=ae803_1&priceBeautifyAB=0
    note: actually you cant see the switch between the two big black buzzers, but i got one from amazon looking the exact same way

    so i put i at about 3.5V in order not to get below to 3.3V
     
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  14. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    This will be one of my last updates on my journey and evaluation of the FlySky FS-i6 for awhile unless I discover something earth shattering. I may do a battery mod at some time in the future to use a 2S Lipo or LiFe instead of the 4 AA batteries I'm using now, and of course after more time goes by my impressions on the durability of this inexpensive transmitter.


    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  15. Now if I only owned an I6 TX ;)
     
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  16. Splashballz

    Splashballz Ace Pilot

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    You should get one - it’s probably the cheapest 10 channel radio available that’s of decent quality.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  17. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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  18. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    I had posted these videos in another thread, but in an effort to consolidate my lessons learned using this inexpensive yet very capable transmitter, I thought I would put these videos below on this thread as well.







    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  19. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    A couple more minor lessons learned after doing the firmware upgrade on my FlySky FS-i6 transmitter as well as some thoughts about things I still want learn and accomplish with this transmitter now that I have upgraded it to 10 channels.



    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  20. e3_Scott

    e3_Scott Top Gun

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    Hi Everyone -

    I was doing a little "window shopping" on the Banggood site the other day and found this collection of sticker sets if you want to "bling" out your FlySky FS-i6 https://www.banggood.com/Colorful-D...094395.html?rmmds=mywishlist&cur_warehouse=CN

    I'm not a neck strap user with my transmitter, but you can also pick up an actual FlySky neck strap as well if you like everything matching :) https://www.banggood.com/Flysky-Nec...046809.html?rmmds=mywishlist&cur_warehouse=CN

    Over the coming months, I will be doing some experimenting to see if I can figure out how to use any of the extra channels I now have available since upgrading the firmware, primarily for park jet use to see if I can set up something like flaperons/spoilerons, v-tails, etc. I realized that I can use one of my 8 ch receivers that is compatible with my Turnigy 9x transmitter just to experiment with the settings before I spend any money on a compatible FS-i10 receiver https://www.banggood.com/FlySky-2_4...972207.html?rmmds=mywishlist&cur_warehouse=CN

    Currently I only use this transmitter for one of my planes, but over the winter I will be setting up a couple of my new build projects on the FlySky FS-i6 to further evaluate this transmitter from a standpoint of durability. So far I probably have about 400 flights using this transmitter and it is holding up very well.

    Although it does have it's shortcomings (what can I expect for a $40 transmitter ;)), I'm constantly amazed at how well this transmitter works, it's ease of setup and range of upgrades and mods that continually appear on You Tube if a person wants to experiment and further upgrade this inexpensive transmitter.:)

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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