Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

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Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

Postby Captain351 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:11 pm

I recently purchased a couple of Turnigy 9X Radio's from Hobby King! I am a tinkerer and figured they would be good for some bench top fun and a good replacement for my aging 72 MHz radios. I have done a few mods to each, installing Frsky DIY modules and replacing the charging diode's with a polyswitch's so my Intelligent chargers can charge the battery's.

I also purchased a slew of Frsky receivers and have been replacing the old 72 MHz recievers in my planes with them. I a single day I worked on 3 planes installing receivers, Fixing problems and teaching myself how to program the 9X radios with very little in the way of a manual. The last plane I setup was a Stryker which required an Elevon mix. I spent better than an hour getting it to work properly and then went to set up dual dates and expo. This is when I discovered I had a problem I couldn't get the aileron channel to do anything all other channels worked just not the aileron channel 1.

Another hours testing brought me to the conclusion that something was wrong with the radio. So I opened it up and started poking around I quickly found the problem the white wire attached to the channel 1 POT was broken off. The white wire is the center tap on the POT so It stopped working in both directions. I stripped the white wire and discovered that gauge of wire they used is so small it only seems to have like 3 or 4 strands. While trying to solder the wire back on I managed to also break off the red wire and had to fix it too. Why were these breaking (other than the fact the wires were really small). I operated the sticks while watching everything from the back and noticed that every time I pushed the elevator down the wires for the aileron POT would hit the joystick housing and bent the wires sharply. There is small PC board attached to each POT and it is obvious that the board was supposed to lay flush against a plastic support mine was at a severe angle from what it should be. I was able to melt the solder connections to the POT and make this board lay flat which also solved the wire interference problem.

I examined all the other connections really well. I had to make a few more fixes and use some hot glue to resolve wire stress issues but all is working again. I found much the same thing with my second 9X and had to perform almost exactly the same fixes on both. I would be satisfied at this point and say hey its a $40 dollar radio but the incredibly small gauge of the wire used has me convinced that it will probably happen again. I now have almost no faith in this radio and am going to have to think long and hard about flying with them.

I want to make a few recommendations to those thinking about purchasing one of these radios:

1. If you are not proficient with a soldering iron look for a different radio. Even if you are going to use it the way it comes out of the box you need to open it up and fix any instances of shoddy workmanship you may find or you are likely to have an in air failure.

2. There doesn't seem to be a manual for Turnigy's V2 software and the manuals you can find for the older version have such horrible translation errors you are better off just looking at the pictures. If the idea of setting up the radio with no instructions is daunting to you you should buy another radio.

3. There are many things this radio should be able to do that it cannot because the firmware doesn't support it (or can't be figured out without a manual). Buying the hardware to enable you to load better firmware will about double the cost of the radio which would probably still be worth it if it wasn't for the reliability issues with the internal wiring!

I suspect I will at some point point I will have to get some higher quality wire and replace the wiring to all the pots before I will be satisfied and trust the radio's again. I don't have a problem with the wire in the rest of the radio because it doesn't have to move. The wires for the pots have to move while you are flying and I just don't think the wires they used will hold up to that!

I would really like to hear from anyone who has a similar experience with this radio. They may have just recently started using different wire so this may just be a problem with single batch. We all know how reliable Chinese quality control is!

Ron Safranic
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Re: Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

Postby Sid Sideslip » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:08 pm

Thankfully I've had zero problems with both of my 9x radios.

I wouldn't dream of using the 9x with the original firmware or battery pack though, especially as er9x is not only free, but turns the 9x into one of the best systems out there (though you do need a programming board of some sort of course). You can mix anything you want with er9x firmware and what's more do it on your computer using eePe software (instead of mashing buttons and fiddling with menu screens on the Tx) and then use the inbuilt eePe Tx simulator to see if it all works as intended.

Still, it IS a cheap radio, so it pays to check things over carefully when you have the back off. So I'll keep that pot wiring issue in mind...haven't heard anyone else have that problem yet, but you never know.

Meanwhile people using far more expensive 2.4GHz gear do seem to keep losing planes at my club due to Tx or Rx problems...which is why so many have switched to FrSky modules and receivers.
What goes up...better bloody stay up (until I say otherwise).
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Sid Sideslip
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Re: Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

Postby Shotglass » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:54 am

first of all its a 40$ chinese radio what exactly did you expect?
secondly youre the first ive heard of whos had problems with the wiring and mine thus far has been holding up perfectly fine
and lastly for the price of a 10$ish programmer off ebay and some wiring you can turn the thing into what might be the most flexible tx on the market today
including the isp progammer and a frsky module youll still be cheaper by a factor of at least 5 compared to radios with similarly powerful firmwares
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Re: Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

Postby Captain351 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:56 am

I guess I didn't make my self clear enough about the whole $40 radio thing. I do get that it is a really cheap Chinese radio I really do. My intent was to see if others have had this problem and to warn others who may have just bought or are thinking about buying one. I was surprised by the wire thing mostly because I hadn't read about the problem before and didn't expect it!

I never meant to imply that the radio isn't wort the money you pay for it but I know plenty of guys who can't solder connectors on their own batteries and this radio is not for them! What I expect is a radio that won't crash my planes or endanger others!

I will probably upgrade the firmware and get a backlite for the display but only after I replace those tiny little wires!
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Re: Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

Postby ergocentric » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:41 pm

many stranded wire are the most flexible, and every solder joint is a point of failure waiting to happen

best would be crimped wires, a little long, with many strands
unconcerned but not indifferent - MAN RAY
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Re: Turnigy 9X not really as good as I hoped!

Postby _H_K_U_N » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:34 pm

Thanks for the heads-up about the wires... Mine is still waiting in China, but when it get's here I'll be sure to check the wires....
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