FrSky just released the new M9 Hall gimbal for Taranis X9D radio transmitters, it was a much awaited upgrade for Taranis users. In this article, we will compare the new gimbal to the stock Taranis X9D, and demonstrate the installation.
What is Hall Sensor?
The M9 gimbal has hall sensor instead of the traditionally used potentiometer and small brushes in the stock Taranis gimbals. The original gimbals contain parts that can wear out, unlike the hall sensor gimbal that uses magnets to get stick position reading.
Inside the box we will find a gimbal and a set of screws for installation. There are four screws for mounting and one for disabling self centering (if you are using it for throttle).
There are three connectors on the back of the gimbal, two smaller plugs and one big one. Each connector has different wire length. Various screws and plates are used to adjust the tension and ratcheting.
Stick length has an extra 2mm (approx.) compared to the stock gimbal sticks, i.e. 25mm vs. 27mm. You may feel the difference when holding the sticks.
Adjustments for throttle stick
The gimbals come by default with the sticks spring centered. A little adjustment is needed to turn one of the 2 sticks into a throttle stick.
A silver screw needs to be placed through the hole in the metal element and rest it on the gimbals plastic casing (indicated by the screwdriver on the photo below). After this mod there will be no more tension and spring.
Installing the gimbals is really easy.
First step is to open Taranis case. There are 6 screws on the back. Once opened it is obvious what the wires that we need to pull from the sockets are.
Once that’s done there are 4 more screws on the front panel of the radio we need to remove that are holding the gimbal to the TX front panel. When they are done, the gimbal can be removed.
To fit M9 gimbal, simply reverse the above steps: first, the front panel screws, then plug in the connectors. Just make sure it’s done gently so there is no unwanted damage to the electronics inside the case.
Important note: sensors on the gimbal should be facing outwards, they are located on the same side as the tension and ratchet plates.
It is easy to find out which of the three connectors goes where. The biggest connector is obvious due to size. The other two have different wire lengths but each of them will only fit in the correct socket anyway, because they can’t reach the other one.
After putting the transmitter housing back together, it marks the end of the installation. The last step is to calibrate the sticks – long press MENU then go to screen 9, and do it there.
You can adjust the gimbals tension for each axis with the circled screws.
My M9 Hall Sensor Gimbal Experience
So how do the M9 Hall sensor gimbals perform?
Sticks are bit longer than stock ones and that was obvious in my first flight. I could tell straight away that the gimbals’ movement was smoother, and there was higher precision. To me the way the gimbal mechanism works definitely feels more “premium”.
My flying on those gimbals feels better. It is something that is hard to explain in words since every pilot flies differently, but I found the whole experience much more pleasant than the stock gimbals.
- Nicer feel than stock gimbals
- Better precision
- Good quality
- Easy to install/replace
- Should last longer than stock gimbal
- When stick is not centered there is an about 1mm gap between the gimbal elements that can let dust go inside the radio housing
- Sticks are longer than the stock gimbals, so it may take a little time to get used to (muscle memory….)
Is It Worth the upgrade?
The replacement stock gimbal costs $13 while the M9 gimbals are $19. Taking into account the price, the ease of installation and the positives I listed above -YES! This is one of the best upgrades I have done on my trusty Taranis so far.