At last — long awaited and very anticipated product from FrSKY company — M9 Hall sensor gimbals for FrSKY Taranis X9D Plus and X9D radios. This product was desired by many Taranis owners around the world. Many got tired of waiting and modded their radios with third-party Hall sensor components. Now, everything has come to a logical ending when a manufacturer listens to its audience — the desire of many is fulfilled by the brand itself. So, welcome the rEvolution — magnetic sensor gimbals with CNC aluminum support plate — M9.
Many people would ask why is this product is so important and what improvements does it have over the original Taranis gimbals? I would try to explain the point here, but lets start with the technical specifications:
There is a list of electrical specifications provided by FrSKY:
I would add some more features to this technical stuff:
- Hall sensor based gimbals (maghnetic field instead of mechanical friction in potentiometers)
- 4 bearing design
- CNC aluminum base for the overall stiffness and precision
- Aluminum crossbars for precision in centering
- All axis can be spring-loaded
- Adjustable tension and ratchet
- Stick tips with sharp edge design
- Adjustable stick length
- Aluminum crossbars are covered with rubber at the bottom part to have a soft stop effect when stick limiters touch it.
Knowing the stated specifications and features, I can conclude the following improvements over original Taranis sticks:
- M9 should be more durable — there are no friction electrical compenents that would wear over time. Hall sensors rely on magnetic field and don’t deteriorate because of the mechanical frictions.
- M9 should be more precise — same thing here — usual potentiometers would loose their layer due to friction, moreover it is in nature of the potentiometers to show some uneven figures and erratic resistance that gets even worse if heavily used. Hall sensors have even and smooth forces that result in more stable readings. Moreover, additional precision comes from aluminum base that makes the whole sturcture to flex less and aluminum crossbars that result in excellent stick centering.
- M9 should feel smoother — again, due to the absence of additional friction parts.
Note: as LapinFou from RCG mentioned — Taranis X9D Plus starting with C01 version also have aluminum crossbars in the gimbal construction (PR-10 gimbals) that made them center better… But this is not only about having crossbars — there are plenty of other advantages of M9 over even PR-10 original sticks.
Note2: M9 stick shafts are bit longer than in original gimbals. If you got used to fly with original stick tips set to the shortest position — you might experience some troubles with M9 gimbals. In this case, you would have to find some after market shorter tips.
So, those 3 main advantages make M9 gimbals to be the must have upgrade for any Taranis X9D Plus and X9D owner.
Keep in mind the 2 following warnings about Hall sensors technology:
- Do not overheat your radio. Natural magnets start to loose their magnetic characteritics when heated >70° Сentigrates. Do not expose your radio to direct summer sunlight for a long time.
- Keep your radio away from the strong magnetic fields — if the outer magnetic field is stronger than magnets used inside the gimbal it would result in reading inclinations.
In the box:
M9 gimbals are exactly the same. They are sold separately — 1 piece in the box. There is no such thing as right or left gimbal — any two would do. The box is ok but I would prefer something more sturdy to eliminate all possible issues during the transportation. The box also contans 4 hex screws for each gimbal which are really needed because the original gimbals use self-tapping screws and would not work with M9 gimbals.
It is easy. The product is design to be plug and play. But still some tools are needed:
- 1.5mm hex screwdriver to adjust the spring tension
- 2.5mm hex screwdriver to unscrew original stick and tie new ones to the case
- Phillips screwdriver to open the case and to remove spring load from throttle
- scissors or any other tool to loosen SE and SG switches
- 2mm hex screwdriver to adjust the length of the stick (inner small hex screw in the stick tip)
First, remove the battery and unscrew 6 screws on the back of the radio. Than, loosen SE and SG switches. Open the case and unplug 3 gimbal plugs of each gimbal. Unscrew 8 srews holding gimbals on the front side of the radio, remove gimbals. Put new gimbals inside so that Hall sensors would be directed outside the case. Be careful with wires coming from the top switches and pots. Plug back 3 plugs coming from each gimbal — it is hard to make a mistake because the length of the cable shows where it can be plugged to. Use the new screws to tie M9 gimbals to the case. Adjust all tensions, ratchets and so on and close the radio. Calibrate. That is it!!!
Note: if you want to remove spring tension from throttle channel you have to lift throttle crossbar all the way up and srew in the screw in the center of the crossbar. It is better to release the tension of the spring completely prior to doing this.
Watch this video about M9 gimbal installation:
A bit of comparison between original and M9 gimbals:
Original gimbals are made of plastic. No aluminum. This results in different weight: default gimbals weight 49g per gimbal and M9 weight 59g per gimbal. It means that your Taranis would get 20g heavier than it was before.
M9 gimbals are less tall but the stick length might be adjusted so that it would almost reach the level of original sticks adjusted to the highest position. This means that M9 sticks have wider range of length adjustment.
Springs in M9 seem to be a bit more tough in comparison to original gimbals but it might be an effect of the original gimbals long and heavy use.
All the rest of features and adjustments are the same. Cables also look almost the same.
Stick shafts are hollow inside, therefore, you’ll be able to use mods like this one in future when they would become available for M9. Moreover, stick shaft has the same thread as X12S sticks have.
Yes, in fact — M9 gimbals feel smoother. And centering is much more pronounced thanks to aluminum base and crossbars. As I’ve shown in the video — it seems that channel values are also kept more stable. I would say that I completely satisfied with the results. Cannot conduct any tests in real flying — the weather is still bad — but I am sure that this upgrade would also result in more stable flights.
And there is some small detail that I like very much — aluminum crossbars are covered with rubber at the bottom part to have a soft stop effect when stick limiters touch it. Small detail that results in very pleasant feeling and shows that gimbals are developed by engeineers rather than economists 🙂
Some more technical tests:
Analog readings test (SYSTEM — Analog test menu):
Slow movements of full deflection to side and than to center:
Rudder from left to center: 044D
Rudder from right to center: 044D
Elevator from Down to Center: 0350
Elevator from Top to Center: 0351
Increment of 1.
Ailerons from Left to Center: 03EE
Ailerons from Right to Center: 03F0
Increment of 2.
Video of channels reading after throwing gimbals (results in 0.1 or even to 0 deviation from center — excellent):
Magnetic field test:
I’ve taken small neodim magnet from 2212 ruined outrunner motor and put it close to the gimbals:
- 1-2% reading inclinations on aileron and rudder axis when magnet is placed on top upper part of the aluminum gimbal base
- 2-4% readings inclinations on throttle and elevator axis when magnet is placed close to hall sensors on corresponding sides of the radio shell
- 0% inclinations when magnet is placed at the back of the radio shell (hall sensors are far away)
FrSKY M9 gimbals is a great addition and upgrade to Taranis X9D Plus and X9D radios. One of the best TX in the world now has the cutting edge technology applied to its main controls — gimbals. This upgrade worth every cent and, to be honest, the price is very low — only $19,5 per piece, excluding VAT as stated by FrSKY. Difinitely worth it. Have a set, try it out and be happy with your radio rebirth!
UPDATE: 1 month passed since I’ve started to use M9 — I can tell you now that they are really great. Even in simulators they feel much more precise than regular ones. When swtiching to another radio with regular gimbals my flights become less smooth. I even decided to use only X9DP with M9 for now and wait intil M7 gimbals would be released for Q X7. Must have.
Stay tuned, there are more reviews to come soon!!!