In this article we take a look at the M9 gimbal upgrade for the ever popular FrSky Taranis X9D and X9D Plus. This new high resolution Hall Effect gimbal provides a much requested upgrade for radio transmitter. The FPV and RC community have long complained of the low quality gimbal's included with the Taranis. These new M9's provide a much improved resolution and feel on the sticks.

FrSky M9 Gimbal Upgrade Product Spotlight

Lets take a closer look at these new gimbals, how they compare to the stock version, and how you can upgrade yourself. Find the product here in our database: FrSky M9 Gimbal Upgrade

M9 Features

Before getting technical, lets take a look at the new features these gimbals pack:

  • 4 Ball Bearings
  • Adjustable Joystick Tension
  • Self Centering Can be Enabled / Disabled on both X and Y Axis
  • Ratcheting Can be Enabled / Disabled on the Y Axis
  • "Special Material Quality that Wears Well"

What this means is you can expect a smoother, more consistent feel to the gimbals. You'll be able to tweak them to your liking tension wise. The self centering option allows you to adjust the mode of your transmitter upon install, and ratcheting if you prefer to have some 'feel' to your throttle.

Though 'special material quality' is a broad term, the important thing is that FrSky is paying attention to quality. The stock gimbals are notoriously cheap feeling. Out of the box you're going to get a better feel and more accurate sensor with the M9. This is the same Hall Effect sensor is used in FrSky's Horus X12S transmitter which runs nearly $500.

These gimbals are also an improvement over the Hitec Aurora 9 gimbal upgrade. That upgrade was until now the best option for Taranis owners. It required a more in-depth disassembly of the gimbals, and still left you with a potentiometer setup. The M9's not only have the superior sensor, but also are an easier swap out.

Pots vs Hall Effect Gimbals

Stock Taranis Gimbal - Potentiometer Joystick

Stock Taranis Gimbal

The stock gimbal that comes in the Taranis X9D and X9D plus are well known to be low quality. These gimbals use a potentiometer or pots system. This technology was an early innovative technology, but suffered issues due to the friction based system.

A potentiometer joystick is a variable resistor that uses an electrically conducted material with a brush that moves along the strip. The stick position is measured by monitoring the electrical resistance of the material which is influenced by the brush position. Because of the friction based system, potentiometer based gimbals are prone to wearing out. As this wear happens, accuracy will degrade.

M9 Gimbal - Hall Effect Joystick

FrSky M9 Gimbal Upgrade

 

The upgrades come with an improved joystick technology. These Hall Effect gimbals use electromagnetic technology named after Edwin Herbert Hall who discovered it in 1879. These sensors measure magnetic field strength by using a magnet and sensor. As the magnet moves closer to the sensor, the voltage output increases.

The no-friction system provides a higher resolution stick output and won't wear nearly as quickly because there is simply no parts rubbing together. The only wear point will be the bearings. These gimbals should provide a much better feel and last much longer.

How to Upgrade

Changing out the stock gimbals for the new M9's is a simple process. We've given you a written guide here. FrSky has also been kind enough to create a quick upgrade video which you can find below.

  • Open the Taranis case by unscrewing the 6 screws on the back.
  • Unscrew the 4 screws on the front of each gimbal to bereplaced.
  • Unplug the 3 plugs connected to each gimbal from inside the Taranis.
  • Adjust the new M9 gimbal for tension and mode preference.
  • Set the new gimbal, plug the wires back in, screw the gimbal back together.
  • Screw the back of the case together.

What about the Taranis Q X7?

Taranis Q X7 Radio Transmitter in White

The rumor is that a similar gimbal upgrade is coming for the entry level Taranis Q X7. We expect to see the M7 upgrade available to the market in the next 2-3 months. If pricing remains the same, this makes the Q X7 an even more attractive option for a low cost, high featured transmitter.

These gimbals are available for $20 each. This is a worthwhile upgrade for every Taranis owner.

View the M9 product detail page.

Last updated on January 17, 2017



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