Friday, September 26, 2014

FrSky Taranis - OpenTX 2.x Firmware upgrade from 1.x

Taranis Radio has been working fine with my Nova quad. I thought this would be a good time to go ahead and upgrade to the latest OpenTX firmware. Might as well be running the latest code. I also wanted to start using OpenTX Companion, which is software you can load on your computer that allows you to program the radio from a computer (instead of just the radio itself).

My understanding is that the radio ships with a special FrSky version of OpenTX. In my case, it was several versions older.

This example uses my Taranis (Original, Model-B). It's a few months old and running FrSky stock firmware.
SVN: opentx-r
DATE: 2013-10-18
VERS: opentx-x9d-v1.1.02

Taranis should be disconnected from computer and switched Off.
This is the initial procedure when going from stock FrSky v1.x firmware to OpenTX 2.x (there is no easier way at this point).
To read or write Firmware to radio, Taranis should be Off when connecting to PC.
To read or write Models (Eeprom) to radio, Taranis should be On when connecting to PC.

After reading, to get started ... download, install, and use the proper version of Zadig (to install Windows driver for Taranis)

Follow the rest of the steps from to get OpenTX Companion installed, matching firmware downloaded and written to the radio. The current version at this time is v2.0.12.

After you get the firmware written to radio, the first time you turn on the radio, the current Eeprom will upgrade itself to a version that works with the new firmware. In my case, all the Models programming was still intact (but first flights will be made with caution until proven).

I then re-did the sticks and battery calibration (just to be on the safe side). Center your Trims first.

Here are some simple rules to follow while using OpenTX Companion (basic work-flow):
  1. Always start by reading the current models and settings (called EEPROM) from the radio.
  2. Save the models and settings to the computer as a backup.
  3. Make changes to the EEPROM directly or by copying from other EEPROMS.
  4. Save the EEPROM when all changes are made.
  5. Write the original (now modified) EEPROM back to the Transmitter.
In addition to having your models set-up, the EEPROM contains all of your individual radio settings and more importantly - your radio calibration settings.

There are more advanced tricks, but for now, I will stick to the core-rules and work-flow above. Seems like this prevents programming made at the radio itself (ie., at the flying field) from getting accidentally over-written. The radio will always be the "current live copy", with backups on the computer. In the even that I have to restore the radio, I just need to redo the battery and sticks calibrations, and I'll be back current.

Thanks to the helpful folks in this forum that helped me get through this easily.

Here are some newer Taranis general usage notes and tips for using OpenTX-Companion.

Taranis-Plus Notes:
I think the Taranis Plus also ships with a FrSky firmware, however, it's derived from OpenTX 2.x, so upgrading it's firmware to a true OpenTX 2.0 firmware will be easier than above (I was going from 1.x to 2.x). I think you just connect Taranis-Plus to Windows computer via USB with "3-Finger Salute" and go from there. Also, in OpenTX-Companion you must let it know you have a Taranis-Plus (and not a plain Taranis). Hope this tip helps, but I don't actually have a Plus to test it.

Taranis OpenTX Upgrade
I thought I should come back and add this here. I have now upgraded my Taranis to OpenTX v2.2.1.

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