Like many electronic devices today, the FrSky products run code on a chip (firmware) which can be upgraded to get the latest improvements and address various bug fixes. For instance, upgrading is particularly valuable for European users since FrSky released for 2016 their LBT firmwares which has a much-improved range performance and stability compared to previous versions (https://www.frsky-rc.com/lbt-eu-firmware-official-release/). If upgrading to LBT, both your TX module and receiver must be upgraded, otherwise they won’t be able to communicate with each other! Another reason to upgrade your FrSky firmware is to correct a bug in the R9 receiver that slowed down Smart Port telemetry.
FrSky has a USB tool called S.Port Tool Kit (STK) to upgrade the firmware using a computer program. However, neither the STK USB tool nor the computer program are necessary to upgrade the firmware because your Taranis is designed to do this in just a few steps!
- Download the firmware file(s) (.frk) corresponding to your FrSky equipment from the FrSky website.
- Enter bootloader mode on the Taranis by sliding both horizontal trims, each under the main sticks, towards the center and then turning the Taranis on. The top of the Taranis LCD screen should now display “Taranis Bootloader.”
- Connect a USB cable between the Taranis and the computer. “USB Connected” should appear in the center of the Taranis LCD screen and the SD card should appear as a computer drive.
- Copy the firmware file(s) (.frk) to the Taranis SD card (to the root directory or in any folder).
- Unplug the USB cable, navigate the choices, select “Exit,” and press ENT to validate.
If upgrading the internal Taranis radio module:
From the OpenTX main screen, long press on MENU then press on PAGE to get to the “SD CARD” screen. Navigate the choices until the firmware file for the internal Taranis radio module is highlighted (XJT_*.frk). Press ENT. A popup menu should appear.
Select “Flash internal module” then press ENT. Wait until the progress bar is completed and you are back on the SD CARD screen. Congratulations. You have upgraded the internal Taranis radio module to the latest firmware!
If upgrading other FrSky Smart Port (S.Port) equipment (e.g., receiver, sensor):
Taranis X9D, X9D+, X9E
Swap the red (+) and black (-) wires on the male servo connector of the cable you normally use to connect to the Smart Port bus of your FrSky equipment and connect to the lower three pins under the TX module cover of the Taranis. Triple check this because you may fry your equipment if done incorrectly!!!
Connect the other end of the cable to the Smart Port (S.Port) of your FrSky equipment.
From the OpenTX main screen, long press on MENU then press on PAGE to get to the “SD CARD” screen. Navigate the choices with the +/- buttons until the firmware file you want to flash onto your FrSky equipment is highlighted. Press ENT. A popup menu should appear.
Select “Flash external module” then press ENT. Wait until the progress bar is completed and you are back on the SD CARD screen. Congratulations. You have upgraded your FrSky Smart Port equipment to the latest firmware!
Don’t forget to swap back the wires on your cable when you’re done!!!
Taranis Q X7, Q X7S
The Q X7/Q X7S has a dedicated servo-type Smart Port located under the bottom cover, so in most cases, a male to male servo cable is all that is needed to connect the equipment.
If your Q X7/Q X7S doesn’t have this connector (the early batches didn’t), you can still use the the Smart Port bus under the TX module cover in the back of the Taranis. Again, triple check that you swapped the + and – wires as this may fry your equipment if done incorrectly!!!
Video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25KgwgWicJ8