In this tutorial we will show you how to install FrSky M9 hall effect gimbals in the Taranis QX7. Full credit to Marcus Jarmer (Flyduino team pilot) for the Modification and photos, he’s very kind to share his project with us, and Artur Banach for writing this tutorial.
The M9 Gimbals are designed specifically for the Taranis X9D transmitter, and they are not designed for the QX7. There is rumour that Frsky will make Hall Effect gimbals for the QX7, but it might take a long time.
To enjoy the smoothness and durability of these new gimbals, you can follow this guide. However be aware that this mod involves cutting and removing various bits of the Taranis QX7. We (OscarLiang.com and Marcus Jarmer) are not responsible for any damage caused by following this tutorial.
Update (Oct 2017) – No need to do this mod anymore, Frsky has just released the M7 Gimbals that fits perfectly in the QX7 radio without doing any modifications. You can purchase the M7 Gimbals here.
Tools that You Might Need
- Box cutter (utility knife)
- M3 screws and washers
- Sand paper
- Screwdriver for opening the Taranis QX7 radio housing
- File for sharp edges (for M9 gimbal aluminium front plate)
Steps to Install M9 Gimbals in Taranis QX7
Step 1 – Remove Stock Gimbals
Open the QX7 case by unscrewing 4 screws in the back. Disassemble the original gimbals (we will also refer to as M7 gimbals in this tutorial).
In below photo, on the left is M9 gimbal, right is stock M7 gimbal.
Step 2 – Modify The Gimbal Hole Ring
Remove the plastic ring form the gimbal hole, because they need to be shortened to fit the M9 gimbals. On the right, it’s the original ring, on the left is how it should look when finished.
You can use a box cutter to remove the excess plastic.
To make the surface smoother, use sand paper, or simply sand :)
Step 3 – Drill holes
Take the M9 gimbals and pre-fit it inside the case. You will notice the screw holes on the gimbal for installation don’t match the ones on the QX7.
We first need to remove the front gimbal panels – make sure that there is no dust or any debry going inside the gimbal sensor during the process.
To do that unscrew the circled screws. Photo below also shows the correct orientation and configuration of M9 gimbals inside the case.
Very important note about gimbals orientation:
M9 Gimbals are designed for the X9D, and the orientation were supposed to have the sensor facing outward. But in the case of QX7, all of your sticks will be reversed.
You cannot “reverse gimbal orientation” in the software so they have to be installed by turning 180°. The 2 horizontal sensors are now pointing towards the centre of the radio.
You can use 6mm drill to make nice holes in the plastic M9 plate.
Step 4 – Finish Installing Gimbal
Screw the gimbals back to the front plates. You can use multiple washes and the original screws to hold them in place. I am sure that someone will eventually come out with 3D printed spacers for this mod.
Step 5 – Connectors Incompatibility
M9 and M7 gimbals use different connectors, so we need to do some modifications in order to connect the M9 gimbals to the QX7 sockets.
To fit the hall sensor wires in QX7 we need to cut the wires and soldered them together.
Wires should be soldered as per the colour code:
- orange to yellow
- brown to black
- red to red
Do it carefully for both sensors in each gimbal.
Make sure that the wires are long enough and they don’t twist too much. Also make sure they don’t obstruct any gimbal moving parts.
Step 6 – Modify Module Bay
Before putting the back cover on we need to remove a small portion of the module bay. M9 gimbals have horizontal sensors located inside the centre of the case and they could clash with module bay. Just a tiny section of the plastic need to be removed.
It’s worth mentioning that those little cut outs won’t affect the functionality of the module bay, i.e. Spektrum, Orange, Crossfire modules will still fit in there and work without any issues.
Step 7 – Calibrate, Done!
Put the the back cover back on, connect battery and turn on the radio.
Now it’s time for a gimbal calibration: long press menu, go to page 9/9 and follow the calibration instructions.
Big thanks to Marcus aka Teramax for sharing this the mod, taking photos and helping us to write this tutorial. Also thanks to Konasty FPV for pointing Marcus in the right direction regarding the 180 degree gimbal installation (very important).