Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Tutorials realized by 9XR users or HK Staff.

Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Dvogonen » 23 Jan 2013, 08:19

The rubber buttons of the 9XR are the worst aspect of the radio. They are inexact and give no tactile response.
I placed micro switches between the rubber buttons and the PCB which improved the experience of handling the radio tremendously.
The following video shows how to make the upgrade and tells you which micro buttons I used:

http://youtu.be/fYHOy7m_J7I
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Nosedive4130 » 20 Feb 2013, 17:59

Hi Dvogonen,

I recently purchased a 9XR and found this tutorial. I ordered the Micro buttons and started the install.

I messed up pretty badly the first time because I did not tin the board and contacts the first time around.
I powered the Tx on and received a message telling me that it was trying to load my First Model.
I started looking at what I had done and noticed that my soldering skills were not as good as they should have been for this kind of project. So, I researched how to do this and figured it out.

The problem is, that now I am sure that all buttons are not shorted out by solder against the button case, but I now get a message telling me my 04 Model is Loading. It never gets past that.
I looked in the manual because I remember there being a shortcut to different model profiles depending on the button that is depressed while the Tx is being powered on. 04 is the Up button on the D-Pad. So, I completely took that micro button out. I still get the Error.
I looked at the board with a magnifying loupe, and I am sure that there is no Over-Run of Solder from each side of the switch. The amount of solder left on that part of the board is only a very thin coating as if I just Tinned it.

I am wondering, can this mishap be fixed? Did I just fry a component, or have you heard of this sort of thing happening before? :?

Thanks,
Nosedive4130
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Re: Sv: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Dvogonen » 20 Feb 2013, 19:32

The buttons are passive components that are meant to create a short between two lines. It is not possible to destroy anything by creating a permanent short. This is the same as always having a button depressed : that will not destroy the radio.
It is naturally possible to destroy the radio by shorting lines that are not intended to be in contact. You could e.g. have dropped a solder blob somewhere where it should not be. Let's hope you have not done that. I have done it many times. Most times nothing bad comes out of it, but I have managed to destroy things that I worked on...

Start by using a multi meter and check if there are contact between the legs of the buttons you have soldered to the bord without pushing the buttons. There should be no contact. Also check if there is contact between the two copper traces where the button you unsoldered used to be. There should be no contact.
If you do not have a multi meter you need to buy one. Everyone who solders anything needs a multi meter. The simplest models are OK, but it must have a connection check function with sound. Those without sound are worthless since you need to stay focused at where you put the measuring probes and not have to watch a display to see if there are a connection or not.
When you have found your permanent short, you need to take care of it by resoldering the buttons. The button modification is irreversible if you have gotten tin where the rubber button used to make contact. The reason is that you will not be able to get the tin off the copper traces that were originally gold plated. The tin will oxidize quickly and the original rubber push buttons will not be able to create a contact between the traces.
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Nosedive4130 » 21 Feb 2013, 01:06

Hi Dvogonen,

I did exactly as you have described early on in this install. I do have a multimeter, but it does not have a connection check function with sound. I have managed without sound. I must have gotten a blob somewhere that it shouldn't have been early in this project because If I probe any of the copper traces, there is connection.

I thought that this was how the radio was supposed to be. I must have a short on the board or somewhere else. Hopefully I can find it.
Later tonight, I will unsolder all buttons and check the copper traces. If I still have connection when I shouldn't, then I will do my best to find it.

I am wondering though, could I have plugged the two plugs in backwards that are tan in color that sit just to the right of the thin ribbon cable that plugs the screen in? Or, e.g. "should the screen backlight plug be plugged to the left tan socket or the right tan socket"?

Thanks,
Joseph
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Re: Sv: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Dvogonen » 21 Feb 2013, 07:18

Are you saying that all buttons are shorted out?
Might it be that you have turned the buttons in the wrong direction when you soldered them in place? That would give you permanent shorts. I did exactly that with the first button. I had to remove it and start over.
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Nosedive4130 » 21 Feb 2013, 08:45

I took all of the buttons off and and connection tested the board. Any button that I test checks as if it has a connection. I then looked the board over with a 10x magnifying loupe and found two places on the opposite side of the board that looked like they could have a tiny bit of splatter between two components. Both places I found were on the opposite side of the buttons. The side you see when you first take the back cover off on the main pcb.

The First spot that I found was on the bottom left most chip in between the second and third pole on the left side. I took an awl and made sure that there was no connection between the two.

The Second spot that I found was where the red wire from the USBasp AVR device connects to the board on the Right Side. The wire is soldered to the left leg of component R20. The spot that I found jumped up to the left leg of C20.
I thought to myself that this kind of looked like it was done on purpose from the factory, but I went ahead and scratched a clear path between the two. I am a little worried about this. I will explain later.

I then proceeded with soldering the buttons back on one at a time while checking to make sure that the Tx would power up. I got through soldering the 6 buttons and everything seemed to work.

I buttoned everything back up, and powered the Tx on and everything seemed to work. The button on the far left is sticking, but I can go back and redo that one.

The problem that I am having is that I keep getting a low voltage alarm. The Tx is reading only 7.2v or 7.3v. Seems like it's only getting power from two cells. I wonder if this has anything to do with the path that I scratched clear from R20 to C20.

Thanks for all of your help Dvogonen.
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Re: Sv: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Dvogonen » 21 Feb 2013, 14:46

The way the battery is wired it is impossible to only get power from two cells. Only the outer pins of the balance contact are connected so you will get the full voltage of the battery no matter what you do.
You can (and should) calibrate the battery voltage metering of the radio. That said, the radio comes calibrated from the factory and should not be off by that much.
I don't know if c20 and r20 should be connected or not and I don't have the radio available for checking. It obviously didn't break when the components were connected, so you can always recreate the short temporarily and see if things improve.
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Nosedive4130 » 21 Feb 2013, 17:19

After studying the board, there is a trace that runs from R20 to C20 so it didn't really matter if it were shorted out anyway. I also found that what you say is true about the way the connector was wired.
When I found that everything had worked, I hooked the USBasp AVR to the Radio and the voltage read around 4volts. When I saw this I knew it needed to be re-calibrated because I don't think the radio will run at that low of a voltage.

I have successfully installed all of the buttons. I also went back and re-calibrated the voltage metering of the radio and everything seems to be working as it should.
Tomorrow should tell the complete story as I will try to log a flight on it.

Once again, thanks for all of your help and support. It is Greatly Appreciated.
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby Nosedive4130 » 22 Feb 2013, 22:44

Well, I took the 9XR out and flew on it yesterday. Everything went as it should have and I am very happy with the few flights that I put on it.

Yesterday evening was a different story. I hooked the 9XR up to Phoenix and started using the Simulator. I ran the Radio for about an Hour, and within that hour it reset itself about 4 times. The last time it did this it displayed a message about having bad eeprom data and then when I hit the exit button, it wouldn't turn on. I am wondering if I should try re-flashing it or what. I am also wondering if I could have been having this problem because of the JR style connector or if it were something else.
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

Postby mpjf01 » 12 Mar 2013, 07:57

The switches that I have got (same as OP used) have their body secured by two small tags that are folded under the switch. In my case these short out the radio contact pads when I install the switch onto the board. Obviously there is a way to prevent this. Any advice would be helpful.
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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

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Re: Video tutorial on how to upgrade the buttons

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