Wednesday, October 16, 2013

HobbyKing 9XR Pro Notes

You may have noticed a quick preview on a HobbyKing video a while back about a 9xr that seemed to talk.  It turns out that this is going to be based on the widely admired Sky9x project!

Product link:

  • Reserved for Link


I've set up this page to collect information about this great development.

(update 31-Jan-2014)
Some more details from Brent:
  • Haptic buzzer
  • Firmware and models updated through the SD card, so no USB driver problems.
  • The Frsky DJT telemetry plugs into the Futaba connector ,and all the Data is displayed on the LCD screen , as well as spoken voice alerts.
  • 0.7 watts of Audio output 
  • Extra connections for user add-ons like Bluetooth and a rotary encoder.
(update 21-Jan-2014)
Brent provides some notes on the board and enhancements.  It will be pretty neat if the unit can be connected to the computer via bluetooth instead of USB!  Brent also mentioned that he's encouraging Hobby King to sell higher end gimbals as an upgrade option.
It has "real" keyboard switches and even a gold plated pcb... looks real nice.
Connectors for adding a Rotary encoder , Bluetooth module and a external telemetry COM port connection. Just plug and play.

(update 11-Nov-2013)
Brent provides some notes on power and physical packaging:

It uses a 5V ,1.5A switching main regulator, which supplies power to the 3.3V 1A Linear regulator.
There is no co-processor , it was replaced with a dedicated RTC chip.
There is also a switched battery connection on the Futaba port , for powering external accessories , the port can also be easily hacked to provide a telemetry connection for older FRsky RF modules.
The Pro is a Sky9x re-designed to fit in the 9XR, There are spots for a I2C connection , rotary encoder , Haptic , Bluetooth Com port , 1 wire Com port, and a couple of spare control inputs.
The biggest problem was shoehorning it all to fit in the limited space inside the 9XR , and have spots and room for the connections.

Preliminary information:

  • Cortex M3S8 based, audio processor, designed for hacking.
  • will be in 9xr case, with same gimbals.
  • entire radio expected to be priced less than what the Sky9x board sold for, sub-$100.
  • Sky9x designer Brent Nelson ("SkyNorth") is doing this in cooperation with HobbyKing.
  • Expected by "Christmas" (LOL if you remember the 9xr Christmas craziness!).
  • Won't be compatible with the 9x form factor.
SkyNorth summarizes:

  • It uses real Tact switches , and has support for a Rotary encoder , and a Haptic buzzer
  • Built in USB socket and micro SD card slot , full sound / voice output , RTC + battery backup , 5V - 1.5A Switching power supply,
  • Battery capacity monitoring, Hardware support for telemetry connections. (RS232 or logic level) through 5 pin RF connector. There is also a spare switch input , and spare A/D channel and a second PPM output and spare serial ports for future hacking , such as the addition of a Blue Tooth module. 
  • It will definitely raise the bar on the entree level radios , and allow a lot more people access to the Advanced (ARM) versions of the Open Source firmwares (er9x and OpenTX)
  • It will also provide a great working platform for the DIY'ers wanting to build their own radios.

Here's some details on the original Sky9x.  Note that this was an add-in board for the 9x, so some of the features will change.  This should still be a good start for understanding some of the capabilities of the 9XR Pro.



  • Atmel SAM3S Arm Cortex M3 32 bit Microprocessor (256K EPROM , 48K RAM , 64Mhz)
  • Built-in USB port for loading new firmware and to access the SD card as a Mass storage device.
  • Connector for LED Backlight , with software dimming control
  • 1/2 Watt  audio amplifier with 8 Ohm Speaker Output  and support for a headphone jack 
  • 4Mb EEPROM provides on board storage for 20 - 40 models depends on software used.
  • Support for Koycera  64x128 LED backlight LCD  
  • Two , internal RS232 Serial communication ports  with support for external 2.5mm jacks.. 
  • FrSky Telemetry can hook directly up to board (no convertors needed) 
  • Micro SD Card Socket for Sound , Model and Telemetry logging / storage.
  • One , TTL Serial Port , for hookup to a Bluetooth Module , Like RN-42
  • Hardware PPM , PXX output   .
  •  Haptic Output connector 
  • AVR Co-Processor , ATtiny167 AVR  , provides 12 more I/O channels and  provides  RTC (Real Time Clock) functions , with on board 3V Lithium Battery
  • On Board CR2032 Lithium Battery Holder  
  • On Board Current Sensor monitors the current being drawn from the battery , and stores the amount of mAH used up.
  • 5V Linear Pre - Regulator  supplies the Main LDO 3.3V Linear Regulator. For better heat       management , and a 5V Switching Regulator Upgrade is available for using  3S Lipo batteries

1 comment: