RC Transmitters – Turnigy 9XR Pro

Preamble

I won a cheap Turnigy 9XR Pro on eBay for £34.

Trying to see what extras come with it was an issue. Did it come with a battery, a power supply, manual, neck halter, etc.?

Manuals

Here are a list of 9XR Pro PDFs/manuals available:

Looking for information

The Turnigy website does not seem to have updated its radio’s page since 2012 and does not even list the 9XR Pro, only the 9XR:

One of the most anticipated products of 2012, the Turnigy 9XR is here!

There is, however, a turnigy9xr.com website, although this is not particularly informative.

From various websites I gleaned the following:

  • It, usually, comes without a [transmitter] module, that is a well known fact.
  • It, usually, does not come with a battery (a 3S LiPo is required, according to the website, although I have heard of lower capacity/lower voltage 3S LiFePo batteries being used instead)
  • It can not charge a battery, except the Turnigy 9XR Safety Protected 11.1v (3s) 2200mAh 1.5C Transmitter Pack, via the jack charging port, however, the charger used must deliver less than 0.3 Amps (300 mA) at 12 volts, and it can not balance charge a battery. It is advisable to charge any battery with an external LiPo balance charger.
  • It does not come with a neck halter.

Firmware Hacks

If you have the ErSky firmware, then you can add voice files, see:

Hardware Mods

For an impressive array of hardware modifications, see 9XR-PRO Hacks and Fixes.

Batteries

The vendor suggested that I use a/some 18650 battery, for a DIY solution. Unsure as to what that was I looked it up. From eBay’s 18650 Battery Buying Guide:

If you are looking for the latest generation of battery technology, you have probably heard of lithium-ion batteries, but your knowledge may end there. Consumers have a difficult time keeping up with the ever-changing battery size terms. Most consumers are familiar with the omnipresent A, AA, and AAA battery sizes, but many of the same consumers do not understand the meaning of other battery size terms, such as the 18650. Manufacturers produce the lithium ion 18650 at a size of 18mm by 65 mm. Consumers may find a “D” at the end of every 18650, which denotes the shape of the battery. Newer 18650s possess a protection circuit that adds additional length to the battery.

Labels and packaging also alter the size of 18650s, adding further confusion to the way consumers can use the battery. Despite the inconsistencies, manufacturers are working to implement uniform production standards to mitigate size confusion. Shortly, consumers can expect a uniform manufacturing standard for 18650 batteries. Consumers can discover the origins of the 18650 battery, its chemical makeup, and why buyers are starting to choose it for certain electronics.

Origins of the 18650 Battery

Binghamton scientific researcher M.S. Whittingham discovered the concept of lithium-powered batteries during the late 1970s. He combined lithium and titanium sulfide to charge the first battery. Lithium provided enough power for the battery, but Whittingham became concerned with safety issues, some of which precluded commercial uses for the newly discovered battery. Rachid Yazami, who worked for the French National Center for Scientific Research, published an extensive research paper in 1980 that claimed that lithium batteries had commercial potential, if the use of lithium metal was restricted, and some other form of lithium that contained lithium ions was used in its place. Tinkering with the lithium battery model continued for another decade until Sony released the first lithium-ion battery in 1991. Sony scientists perfected a battery that integrated lithium cobalt oxide into the battery’s chemical composition. By 1996, the lithium metal problem disappeared as scientists added lithium iron phosphate to advance lithium battery technology.

Lithium Battery Cells Details

Lithium-powered batteries rely on lithium cells to interact to produce power. In case you do not recall from high school chemistry class, an ion is an atom or a molecule with a net positive or negative electrical charge. Shaped like very small coins, lithium cells are thin compared to their diameter. The design includes a metal can that is the positive terminal and a cap that is the negative terminal. Lithium manganese dioxide (LiMnO2) forms the chemistry for 18650 batteries. The 3 volts or more produced by this type of chemistry restricts lithium cell alternatives. Lithium cell shape and size remains consistent in every lithium battery model. The most practical result of using lithium cells is that one cell can replace two alkaline or silver oxide cells. Manufacturers provide their part numbers for standardized lithium cells.

Why Consumers Love the 18650 Battery

The decades of diligent research and constant tinkering have produced a lithium battery that presents many advantages to consumers. As researchers find additional ways to use the 18650, production of the battery continues to increase. Higher production rates have led to declining costs. Lower costs are just one factor that makes the 18650 battery popular among consumers of electronics. Its durability and high performance make it an ideal choice for home or office use.

Multiple Uses

One of the major drawbacks of many battery types is the limited number of ways in which consumers can use them. 18650 batteries have many uses, and the rapid advancement in technology leads to even more uses for the 18650, especially in wireless communication and entertainment devices, such as digital media streamers. As of early 2012, laptop computers and flashlights represent the fastest growing market for 18650 battery use. The 18650 works with virtually every laptop and flashlight model. Consumers also find the 18650 to be an excellent fit for e-book readers, digital camcorders, and digital cameras.

Longevity

After cost, consumers may judge a battery by the product’s primary purpose: to provide long-lasting power. Tested against other batteries that can charge similar products, 18650 batteries drain at a slower pace and perform reliably for longer periods. Because of the battery’s longevity, 18650s have become the preferred battery for charging devices that consumers need to use in emergencies, such as flashlights and portable radios. The iron phosphate that MIT researcher Yet-Ming Chiang developed in 2004 has improved the battery’s performance and extended its shelf life.

Leading Manufacturers

Once the 18650 battery became a durable and safe prototype, leading manufacturers, such as Sony and Panasonic, began developing the lithium-charged battery. Consumers buy from brands that they trust, and both Sony and Panasonic, among other leading battery manufacturers, have given 18650 batteries credence for everyday use in the home and office. One of the problems the battery had early in its development was a lack of commercial support from established brands. Now that it enjoys the support of big name brands, consumers are beginning to recognize it as a viable choice for their charging needs.

Density

Energy density is an important component of battery quality, and the 18650 lithium-charged battery has over twice the energy density of nickel-cadmium batteries. Higher density translates into better-performing electrodes. Higher density also provides consumers with little or no maintenance issues. 18650 batteries have no memory and possess no regular cycling that batteries need to extend their shelf life.

Common Attributes of the 18650 Battery

Although 18650 batteries have varied attributes that depend on both the manufacturer specifications and model type, they possess enough common characteristics to form a list that consumers can use to judge the merit of using the batteries in their electronic devices. Consumers should be sure to understand what their electronic device requires before they choose an 18650 battery type to power it.

The 18650 battery typically has a power of 3.7 volts and a current of 2600mh. Compare this to the electronics that you wish to power. An overwhelming number of 18650 types are rechargeable. This feature should become the uniform standard moving forward. The cylindrical shape and battery design prevents unprotected hands and electronics from harmful electrode liquid leaks. Also available to consumers are rechargeable18650 batteries that manufacturers often package with their chargers. The chargers contain an automatic off system that safely shuts down battery charging when it reaches a 4.2-volt limit. Having a rechargeable battery is not only convenient, but it also avoids excessive electronic waste from battery disposal.

Where to Find 18650 Batteries

Once relegated to the shelves of small, specialty electronics stores, consumers can now find 18650 batteries in big box retailers and national electronics stores. Many of the larger stores devote an entire section to 18650 batteries, and they merchandise them by placing them near products for which consumers use them most. For consumers who have limited knowledge of 18650 battery applications, the best place to shop for the batteries is smaller electronics stores, where the service staff is likely to be more knowledgeable than the staff at large retailers. Consumers can choose from 18650 battery packages that contain two batteries up to as many as 12 batteries, depending on the manufacturer.

Consumers can also purchase 18650 batteries from the same retailers online, which is the preferred method of shopping for 18650 batteries among consumers who do not have an immediate need for the batteries. Savvy consumers buy 18650 batteries at the leading online auction site, eBay, where they patiently bid on the batteries within a designated time frame. You may find them listed under “lithium ion battery” or “18650 rechargeable battery” among other search options.

Tips for Buying 18650 Batteries on eBay

Consumers who purchase their 18650 lithium batteries for backups to a current stock find that eBay is a wonderful place to shop for the batteries. Many eBay sellers offer 18650 batteries that have not been taken out of the original package, which is due to sellers buying the 18650s, and then realizing they were either not the type of battery they needed, or they decided to buy a different 18650 battery type from a different manufacturer. The bids for packaged 18650 batteries fall under the prices that buyers can expect to pay at retail outlets. Stay away from sellers that sell used 18650 batteries. You have no way of knowing how much juice remains in used batteries. Some sellers may claim that they only removed the battery packaging and that the batteries that they want to sell are just like brand new, but this may not be the case.

eBay takes an active approach in promoting its most reputable sellers. Buy your 18650 lithium-powered batteries from eBay sellers who have received the Top-rated seller designation, which means that these sellers have established a record of offering high-quality products and running legitimate auctions. On every eBay seller’s product page, you may find customer feedback that provides more information about a seller’s reputation. Make sure to run different searches, including setting your criteria by price and shipping. 18650 lithium-charged batteries can typically be found for a low price on eBay, and you may find numerous sellers of the batteries, which means you should search for auctions that run shorter than most other eBay auctions. Since you may not have access to an 18650 battery expert to question, you must confirm that the type of 18650 battery offered by an eBay seller matches the battery required by the electronic device you want to power. Check user reviews and product ratings on each seller’s page as well. eBay sellers also offer a wide variety of 18650 battery chargers.

Conclusion

What was once considered an outside-the-mainstream technology has now taken over the battery market. After years of tinkering with chemistry and design, manufacturers have created a high-quality, multi-purpose, reliable 18650 battery. The use of lithium ions has assuaged the safety concerns that plagued the 18650 prototype early in its product history. Consumers find that the numerous benefits of purchasing 18650 batteries include a low price point, multiple uses, buying from established manufacturers, and battery longevity. 18650 batteries have become so popular that companies that traditionally focus on alkaline batteries, such as Duracell and Energizer, are receiving competition from upstart battery manufacturers, such as Fenix. The competition can only mean continuing good news for consumers who reap the benefits of even lower prices and higher quality.

The 18650 battery has barely scratched the surface of its usage potential. Since the battery has numerous electronic applications, demand for the battery should only continue to rise as new electronic devices reach the market. Expect the 18650 battery, in some form, to become the standard for the next generation of electronic products, thus a wise investment for your electronics.

There is this link Best 9x battery? 2S Li-Ion 18650 cells

The 9x runs off 5v, 3.3v and 2.5v internally, so 2 Li-Ion 18650 protected cells are a great 9x power solution.

Compared to a Rhino 3S LiPo and LiFe 9.9v packs, Li-Ion 2S protected cell pack has these benefits (IMO).
about 1/3 the cost,
lighter weight,
more capacity (run time),
compatible with LiPo chargers (some chargers do not have LiFe compatibility),
Li-Ion is a more rugged physical cell,
Li-Ion with individual cell protection is more robust than non protected LiPo & LiFe packs.
less wasted battery wattage (for the 9.9v LiFe or 3S LiPo packs),
and less heat in the Tx 5v linear voltage regulator. (worst case, full charge 3S LiPo is 12.6v, minus 5v = 7.6v, times ~150mA = 1+watt of heat dissipated in the 5 volt regulator), the Tx uses ~0.75 watts (5v x 150mA)

2 cells Li-Ion protected cells can be bought for ~$4.5 on ebay shipped. Cut the plug off the 8 AA cell battery holder then add a charge and balance plug for $1.5 for a total of ~$6.

Currently my 2500 mAH 2 cell Li-Ion pack lasts 16 hours in my er9x with HK Blue LED back light always on. From what I hear, the old frequency bands (27, 29, 40, 50 & 75MHz) RF modules needs ~9.6 volts, but not sure anybody is still using those old bands. Does any of the telemetry RF modules need more than 5v?

The low voltage battery alarm will come on with the 2S solution, but with er9x firmware, just adjust the low voltage battery alarm to 6.0 to 6.5v (EDIT: 7.2v would be better). With out er9x, there is a mod to add a 8.2K resistor in parallel to the 5.1K resistor (use 0603 SMT resistor and solder right on top, no solder mask scraping on PCB) .

If there is a high capacity (2200mAH+) 2S LiPo pack, please post info, cost or link.

One advantage of using 18650 batteries is that there is less of a fire risk than when using LiPo or LiFePo.

From the manual, 9XR Pro: Introduction to the Hardware, it is stated that the input voltage is 6-13 Volts and as such a range of battery types can be used

Battery Selection

The 9XR radios require an input voltage between 6 and 13 volts, allowing use of many different batteries. The main options are outlined below.

The 9XR battery connector is compatible only with a JST plug of the type used for the balance lead on a 3s LiPo/LiFe battery. This means that such a battery can safely be plugged directly into the 9XR. Other types of battery may require fitting a JST-XH 4 pin plug. Only the outer two wires are used: in the transmitter socket the left pin is negative (black) and the right one is positive (red). Be extremely careful about polarity. Check the polarity of any battery before plugging in. The minimum practical battery capacity is about 800 mAh (milliampere-hour) but batteries in the 1500-2500 mAh range are normally used. These should give at least 10 hours of operation.

The Turnigy 9XR Safety Protected 11.1v (3s) 2200mAh 1.5C Transmitter Pack

This is the battery sold by HobbyKing specifically for the 9XR series of radios. It is a low cost, low discharge rate Lithium Polymer battery which includes a regulator that is claimed to allow it to be charged at a low rate while still in the transmitter. The charger used must deliver less than 0.3 Amps (300 mA) at 12 volts. If the battery is almost fully discharged and a typical 150 mA charger is used, charging may take about 24 hours. The charger jack has the centre pin positive. This is the same as Futaba chargers but opposite JR and Spektrum chargers. Note that the 9XR radio has a 0.3Amp fuse in the charging circuit to protect the transmitter and battery. This will burn out if subjected to a higher current and is difficult to change. The battery may be charged outside the transmitter at much higher rates using a proper balancing LiPo charger. The recommended charge rate is 0.5 C, i.e., 1.1 Amps, at which rate a full charge will take about 2 hours. The maximum charge rate is 2.2 Amps. Even though the battery (unlike other LiPos) can be charged in the transmitter through the charge jack, balance charging out of the transmitter with a proper LiPo charger is strongly recommended. Because the battery has a low voltage protection circuit that shuts off power to the transmitter at between 9.6 and 10.0 volts, it is very important that the transmitter voltage alarm be set well above that level: a setting of at least 3.6 volts per cell (i.e., 10.8 volts for 3s) is recommended.

“Any Old 3s LiPo”

Any 3S 11.1 volt LiPo battery that will fit into the battery compartment can be used to power the transmitter. Such batteries must be charged out of the transmitter with a proper balancing LiPo charger. At the recommended charge rate of 1C, charging will take about an hour. Note that charging a regular LiPo with a NiMH or NiCd charger will destroy the battery and could start a fire. To avoid the risk of battery damage or even fire and to ensure that enough energy remains to allow a safe landing, it is recommended that the low voltage alarm be set to at least 3.6 volts per cell (10.8 volts for 3s)

LiFe (Lithium-Iron)

A very inexpensive 3s 1500 mAh LiFe battery specifically for transmitters is available. LiFe batteries are safer than LiPo but still need proper handling. For example, if allowed to discharge fully (by leaving the transmitter turned on) they will be damaged and not be rechargeable in the normal way. Instructions for recovery can be found online but seldom work more than once with a given battery. The typical maximum charge voltage is 10.8 volts, but the battery settles back to 9.9 volts within the first few minutes of use and declines very slowly over the discharge. Of the three leads on the battery, only the balance lead will fit the 9XR. It is recommended to set the low voltage alarm at 9.3 volts. At the recommended rate of 1.5A, charging will take about an hour. The battery must be charged out of the transmitter with a charger specifically designed for LiFe/A123 type batteries. Charging with a NiMH or NiCd charger will probably destroy the battery.

NiMH

AA-size NiMh cells can be made up into a reliable, safe pack suitable for air travel. Low selfdischarge (LSD) should be used. For the 9XR, a six-cell pack is the largest that will fit in the battery compartment. You will need to fit a JST-XH 4 pin balance lead connector (only the outer wires are used). The battery will show about 8.5v immediately after charging and can be discharged to a safe minimum of about 6.6v. Hence such a pack is well within the 9XR voltage limits. The battery may be charged whilst installed in the radio but the charger used must deliver less than 0.3 Amps (300 mA) at 12 volts. If the battery is almost fully discharged and a typical 150 mA charger is used, charging may take up to 24 hours. Higher charging rates may be used with the battery removed from the radio using an intelligent peak-detect charger on the NiMh setting. Refer to the charger manufacturers instructions for the correct method. It is recommended to set the low voltage alarm to about 7.0 Volts for a 6 cell pack, thus allowing ample headroom for the transmitter regulators and giving the pilot plenty of time to land.

Li-Ion

Packs of two Li-Ion cells may be used in the 9XR transmitter. Cells are available with built in regulators. Capacity varies from 800 to 3200 mAh for the same physical dimensions (the capacity is usually overstated). Typical specifications for an Ultrafire 18650 3200 mAh Rechargeable Battery: Length 67 mm, Diameter 11 mm. The regulator limits the charge current to 1.5 Amps, so charging time will be around two hours for a near-empty 3200 mAh pack. Care must be taken when soldering leads to the ends of the battery not to apply too much heat so as not to damage the regulator. You will need to fit a JST-XH 4 pin balance lead connector (be super careful to get the polarity right!). These cells require the use of a charger capable of charging Li-Ion cells. These cells charge to 8.4 volts but quickly assume a consistent delivery at about 7.4 to 7.6 Volts for most of the discharge. The minimum voltage to avoid battery damage is 6.5 Volts, but it is recommended to set the low voltage alarm at 7.0 volts to allow ample headroom for the transmitter regulators (and time to land!).

From Which lipo battrey suitable to Turnigy 9xr PRO?, which recommends the HobbyKing LiFe battery (see the Battery Costs section below)

1. The LiPo and LiFe batteries used in transmitters are not subject to the sort of problems that occur with flight batteries that are left fully chanrged, so storage voltage is simply not an issue. That said, if I’m leaving a transmitter for several months, I remove the battery and store it somewhere in the mid-range of voltage. This is probably not necessary but won’t do any harm.

2. With LiFe batteries, I set the low voltage alarm at 9.4 or 9.3v because below that the drop-off is quite rapid. I nearly always charge when the voltage gets to 9.7 or 9.6, as I don’t want to have to think about whether I have enough charge for a flying session. Consequently, I have never heard the low voltage alarm except in a test on the bench.

3. Neither JR nor Futaba plug. Any LiPo of LiFe battery should be removed from the transmitter for charging. The HK LiFe battery comes with a servo-type connector that is normally used for charging.

What you will see with a LiFe battery is a voltage immediately off charge of around 10.6v. This will drop to 10.0 fairly quickly and settle down at 9.9 for several hours of operation, then decline increasingly rapidly.

Transmitter Battery Costs

From eBay:

From HobbyKing, the cheapest option: HobbyKing 1500mAH LiFe 3S 9.9v Transmitter pack, £6.44, although the shipping costs £5.57) made it more expensive that the Turnigy on eBay. However, apart from them being prone to puffing (see LiFe safer than LiPo? below) there are some important caveats, from comments on the product page itself:

1) check connector polarity, needs to be modified for proper connection* see Taranis manual for details.

2) Can not charge this LiFe battery using the built-in charging circuit, which will only work with provided number pack* only charge it removed from the radio using a suitable smart charger with balancing capability.

3) Calibrate low voltage alarm on the radio accordingly.

also

1. The connector cable is installed wrong. Minus is red and plus is black. I destroyed 3 fuses in my transmitter until I knew, what happened . Luckily my transmitter HAS a fuse.

2. Two cells have a capacity of about 1400 mAh, one has much more. So be careful. Don’t let the voltage drop lower than 8 V in total, otherwise you’ll destroy the battery, since one cell has 3,2 V the others are going very fast down to 2V.


See, also, the blog on LiFePo4 batteries.

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “RC Transmitters – Turnigy 9XR Pro”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s