With this new tutorial for the X9D Plus, we shall look into how to update the radio FrSky Taranis Firmware for the X9D plus with the OpenTX radio firmware and its companion application in order to have the latest version of the ever popular open-source firmware for RC radios. The OpenTX platform brings over all the features of the stock firmware of the Taranis, the FrOS and couples that with an unfathomable set of additional features, which you mostly wouldnt even use ;). Some of the noteworthy additions are the ability to use LUA scripts for your Taranis QX7 in order to control your FPV video transmitter settings such as the channel, band, power out; flight modes, rates, expo etc of your flight controller.

Requirements

  • Taranis X9D Plus
  • Mini USB cable
  • Laptop/PC
  • Internet connection

Step 1: Setting your FrSky X9D Plus into bootloader mode

Before flashing the latest firmware to your radio, there is a set up you first need to do and that is to put your X9D Plus into bootloader mode. In this mode, normal radio functions will not work and only the flashing settings are allowed here. To get your radio into this mode, you will need to follow these steps in the same order.

  1. Make sure your X9D Plus is turned off.
  2. Push in both the horizontal trim switches inwards towards the power button.
  3. While doing step 2, ie. pushing in the trims, turn on your radio by pressing and holding the power button.
  4. Your radio is now in bootloader mode.
  5. Select the “Write Firmware” option in the menu that is shown on the screen.
  6. Plug in your X9D Plus via a micro USB cable to your PC
  7. Now your radio can receive new firmware updates with the OpenTX companion application.

If the drivers are not automatically detected and installed, please go to open-tx.org and download the latest drivers for your system

Step 2: Downloading and installing the OpenTX companion software

In order to flash the latest OpenTX firmware, you will need to download and install the latest OpenTX companion software which is used to flash the firmware and the settings onto your radio. To download the latest version of OpenTX companion software, head over to http://www.open-tx.org and go under the new releases and select the correct version for your system ie. Windows/Linux/Mac.  In order to have a more stable versio of the software, it is recommended to use the stable releases over the Release Candidates (RC) which is what I have used as well.

Step 3: Configuring OpenTX companion for firmware upload

To configure the correct settings for your particular radio ie the X9D Plus, open the OpenTX companion software on your system. Once it is open, select the“Settings” button on the top of the OpenTX companion software - ie. the ‘gear’ button as shown in the below picture.

When clicked, a pop-up window will now be presented to you and this window is where you will make the changes and customize the settings you want for your X9D Plus radio.

Select the “Radio Profile” tab and enter the following options:

  • From the  “Radio Type” drop-down selector, choose “X9D Plus” option.
  • Select -- “lua”– so you can use LUA scripts.             
  • Select the “Menu Language” you prefer for your Taranis X9D Plus. ex: English.
  • If you’re in the EU - select the option “eu”, else leave it unchecked for other parts of the world.
  • If in case you are using the FrSky R9M module as an external module with the ‘flex’ firmware, select the option named - “Flexr9m
  • Leave all other options in its default - unless you know what you are doing and would like to change it.

Step 4: Updating the latest firmware onto your X9D Plus radio

  • Select the “Download” button on top of the OpenTX companion software - the ‘downward arrow’ button. A pop-up window will now be presented to you.

  • The next step would be to click on the “Download Firmware” button that will now install the firmware onto your Frsky Taranis X9D Plus radio.
  • Now, go ahead and click on the “Download SD Contents” button which will now open a tab on your browser with the different releases of the OpenTX firmwares for different radios.
  • Select the latest one from “opentx-x9d-plus”.

Now we can move onto the actual flashing of the firmware to your radio now.

Select the “Write Firmware to Radio” button on the left panel of the OpenTX companion software - the icon with a gear, controller and the downward arrow.

 

The companion software will now (finally!) begin to flash the latest version of the firmware you selected onto your radio.

In case the status bar gets stuck at 25%, check if the status bar on your radio shows 100%, if then, the process is completed and the window will automatically close when everything is verified. Do keep the radio connected throughout the entire process.

Step 5: Copying SD card contents

After flashing the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus,  the contents in the SD card of the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus also needs to be updated in order to be compatible with the latest version of the firmware you have just flashed onto your radio. This is needed so that you may continue to use your custom audio sounds, scripts etc.

  • Plug in your radio to your PC.
  • Select the drive of your SD card on your file manager.
  • Copy all the contents of the current SD card to the new folders you have downloaded.
  • The new SD card contents may have slightly different folder names but for the most part, it will be the same.
  • In order to prevent your radio from showing warning regarding incompatible SD card version/contents, make sure to delete all duplicates and old files from your SD card before hand.

Conclusion

In this FrSky Taranis Firmware tutorial, we have seen what the firmware that runs on FrSky Taranis radios are and how to flash the latest OpenTX firmware on the X9D Plus radio in order to enjoy the latest and greatest what the most widely used open-source software/firmware has in store for you.