How to update FrSky Receivers?

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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby pkt » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:12 am

Bodmer wrote:I have managed to upgrade the FrSky 2 way system to the V2 ROM. As noted by other users, in the absence of adequate "how to" instructions from FrSky it is not obvious how the Rx can be upgraded, however examination of the Rx PCB showed that there are 0.05" spaced plated through holes at the antenna end of the Rx that connect to the MCU UART pins. These lines operate at 3.3V so take care to treat them as 3.3V logic lines as they cannot tolerate an overvoltage...


Did you try flashing using the telemetry RxD input? I had sort of assumed that that would be how it is done? Probing onto pth's would be a scary process for many to try.
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby RCModelReviews » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:39 am

As soon as I get time I'll try to make a video of the process for those who want/need to make the upgrade
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby mr.sneezy » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:43 am

Here's a photo of where the connections are.
Green is signal ground, yellow is TX (from RX), orange is RX (from PC). Remember the signal voltage is 3.3V, don't connect the pads to a PC comm port directly !

Martin
PS. Ignore the rough soldering on the three pin header, I swapped things around a couple of times while getting everything working.
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby Bodmer » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:14 pm

pkt wrote:Did you try flashing using the telemetry RxD input? I had sort of assumed that that would be how it is done? Probing onto pth's would be a scary process for many to try.


No, I don't think this will work as the FrSky update software needs 2 way comms with the microcontroller. When the Rx is placed into the programming mode the Rx periodically sends out it's ID at 115200 baud. This can be seen in a terminal program with Hex display. The FrSky upgrade software needs this ID plus possibly message exchanges to complete the upload.

It would be possible to use the serial telemetry input in conjunction with the solder pad connections but the telemetry input is inverted with respect to the signal on the pads......

ATB,
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby Bodmer » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:56 pm

Here's a few photo's of my "hack" to the receiver..... I expect there are more elegant methods using a proper socket fitted to the board!

Short JR style extension lead soldered to programming pins, notice link off an old hard drive which is used to short channels 7 & 8 and also hacked case to give lead an exit hole:
1009082118583640234.jpg
Receiver hack
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Lead from receiver conveniently has the same pinout as the Pololu PGM02B UART to USB board aux header that I normally use to program Atmega microcontrollers. JR style socket has a red heatshrink sleeve fitted to cover the small area of exposed connector contacts.

This board happends to have the FrSky software compatible CP2102 controller on it:
1009082125444046218.jpg
Connected to Pololu UART<>USB board
1009082125444046218.jpg (132.6 KiB) Viewed 3237 times

Back of the Pololu UART board showing the Tx + Rx + Gnd pins which interface with the FrSky receiver:
1009082126474108703.jpg
Pololu board has aux connector has correct pinout!
1009082126474108703.jpg (135.1 KiB) Viewed 3237 times

Unfortunately the Rx does not appear to be designed for field upgrade but perhaps the channel output pins change function into UART I/O......... that would make life easier....

Regards,
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Last edited by Bodmer on Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby takilara » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:55 pm

I think i can manage to solder a connector to the Rx like you have done, however (since i have no MAX232 around). You guys mention that the inverter from the Protocol document will work.. that only inverts one line as i can recall. will i have to make two of them unless i can find a MAX232?

I was assuming that i could update it using the Telemetry input, just back from a very frustrating session of nothing helping much :P

A couple of question comes to mind:
- After powering up the Rx in "programming mode" by linking signal on ch 7 and 8, should this link be removed, or should it stay there untill after you power back down?
- Will the Rx give any indication regarding the flashing progress? (i.e. flashing in progress, flashing complete?)
- Will the upgrade software give indication regarding the flashing progress? (i can see the progress bar, i just don't trust it to move :P)
- How can I (if i can) use the schematics from the protocol document together with the USB cable from FrSky to make a cable to flash the Rx with?
- Will a USB to TTL cable/converter like http://cgi.ebay.com/Serial-Converter-US ... 4151d82e65 work? (that happens to have the CP2102, could we make a list of those that will not work?)
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby takilara » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:05 am

FrSky released a file on their download page today, this includes the new V2 firmware, the updating software, and documentations. This documentation includes schematics of a DIY RS232-TTL converter (MAX232 based), where to connect on the Rx (as you have already identified) and a little more information regarding the Flashing Process.
They also confirm that they will be selling a converter soon.

They also have a note at the bottom that says that for all practical purposes, upgrading the firmware will void the warranty (since you are opening the case...)...

It would have been nice if they had thought to allow us to either use the Telemetry serial input, or the servo output pins (when i programming mode). To prevent opening and soldering in the Rx for firmware upgrades/prevent voiding the warranty when upgrading. Maybe an idea for V3

In theory i guess they could have used the transmissions from the Tx to Rx to do this as well.
(Tx module in "upgrade mode" would "discconect" the normal channels, and use these channels to transmit new firmware to the Rx).
This way the user would only need one cable (the one that came with the Tx module) and would require no modification of the Rx..
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby Bodmer » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:43 pm

takilara wrote:A couple of question comes to mind:
- After powering up the Rx in "programming mode" by linking signal on ch 7 and 8, should this link be removed, or should it stay there untill after you power back down?


I found you could remove the link and the Rx would stay in program mode. You can also leave the link in place. remove the link and power cycle the Rx and it then runs the new firmware.

takilara wrote:- Will the Rx give any indication regarding the flashing progress? (i.e. flashing in progress, flashing complete?)


No LEDs, but the Rx does send out an ID on the UART output so on my USB adapter this caused a LED to flash briefly when the USB adapter received the serial data that makes up the ID.

takilara wrote:- Will the upgrade software give indication regarding the flashing progress? (i can see the progress bar, i just don't trust it to move :P)


Yes, it works just like programming the Tx module. The PC upgrade software waits for a ID from the Rx or Tx before it uploads the ROM image.

takilara wrote:- How can I (if i can) use the schematics from the protocol document together with the USB cable from FrSky to make a cable to flash the Rx with?


If you use a 3.3V I/O USB<>UART cnverter then no inverter is needed, the FrSky instructions are misleading here! WARNING: Be aware that some USB<>UART adapters use 5V signal levels and this will blow up the rather senstive microcontroller inside the Rx!!!!!!!
takilara wrote:- Will a USB to TTL cable/converter like http://cgi.ebay.com/Serial-Converter-US ... 4151d82e65 work? (that happens to have the CP2102, could we make a list of those that will not work?)


Yes, that one looks good and is cheap. Check it outputs 3.3V levels though because the programming inputs on the receiver have NO protection, hence the Receiver microcontroller can be zapped into oblivion...

Lastly do use a connector with insulated pins such as the JR style servo conector I used as this will help stop inadvertant shorts and reduce the chances that static will zap the microcontroller inputs.

ATB,
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby takilara » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:39 am

Thank you. This was very clear! (much better than FrSky documentation :)
One more question regarding USB-TTL though, they state that the converter has 6 pins, 3.3V, RST, TXD, RXD, GND & 5V. They do not mention the TTL level, but i do suspect that the TTL level is dependent on what of the V you connect, ie connect the 3.3V from the Rx to the 3.3V line on the converter, and TTL output is 3.3V. I will make sure to verify this before trying to flash though. I will probably end up using a MAX232 circuit for flashing though as i can get those components from a friend
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Re: How to update FrSky Receivers?

Postby takilara » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:28 pm

I am a little at a loss..
I upgraded both my Rx and Tx today. For both the Rx and the Tx the process worked fine. (received UID, downloaded, download complete)

I did the Rx first. After Rx was finished, i accidentaly powered the Tx, the Tx started talking to the Rx immediately (i could control servos, i found this odd since frsky state that Version 1 and Version 2 is not compatible).
I powered both down, then upgraded the Tx, when that was complete, the Tx and Rx would no longer talk to each other, so i thought to rebind them.
However.. The bind process now seems different for both the Tx and the Rx.
When powering the Tx in Two-Way mode with the button pressed, it starts beeping, and blinking red-green. (this is different from when it is in V8 mode. In V8 mode its starts flashing red when i power it up with the button pressed).

Powering up the Rx with the button pressed, lights up both the green and the red led. If i power it up without the button pressed, it blinks red, as it did before upgrade if Tx was off. Trying to get it into HS mode does nothing (holding the button for 6 secs, nothing happens to the blink frequency).

The Tx still functions perfectly with a V8 receiver i use on another heli..

I am wondering if something has gone wrong, or if bind procedure has changed.
(since Rx was working after upgrade, i don't think anything has gone wrong with the soldering, except maybe the button is not working as expected?)
(since Tx involves no soldering, and Tx still works with V8, and rebinding V8 works perfectly, but it does not behave as documented when powering it up with the button pressed, i suspect something is different in the bind process...)
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