Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade

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15 Apr 2016 19:28 - 17 May 2016 16:09 #46580 by silpstream
Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade was created by silpstream
I recently got around to swapping the stock 128k processor in the 7e to the 512k version. PhracturedBlue is recommending the 256K variant and the DeviationTX team has added devo7e-256 as a target in the official repository already but it won't show up in the nightlies yet. I'll be posting the tutorials up here.

For now the hardware part and list of things needed is ready. I'll add the bootloader flashing and building from source this weekend.

  1. Upgrade the processor
  2. Build environment and tools
  3. Flashing the new chip with a bootloader
  4. Building from source Deprecated with new Docker build container by PB

If more of us adopt this, it might make it's way to the nightlies... lol... *fingers crossed*

Test builds are available on the deviationtx site (Downloads -> Test Builds). There you'll find:
  • [silpstream]Ultimate7e-v5.0.0: Test Builds - Build based on BRANCH_5.0.0 (Latest stable release with bug fix updates only).
  • [HappyHarry]Ultimate7e Deviation5.0.0-xxxxxxxx - Build based on nightlies (Latest and greatest deviationtx features get tested here).

Extra switches thread: Ultimate7e tutorial: Four 3-way + two 2-way switch
Extra potentiometers thread: Ultimate7e tutorial: Four 3-way + two 2-way switch
Last edit: 17 May 2016 16:09 by silpstream.

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16 Apr 2016 09:17 #46609 by HappyHarry
Replied by HappyHarry on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
really nice work bud 8)

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16 Apr 2016 09:36 #46611 by SeByDocKy
Replied by SeByDocKy on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
Defintively ... I need to do that....

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16 Apr 2016 11:21 - 16 Apr 2016 11:22 #46621 by TheSFReader
Replied by TheSFReader on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
Would need too, but would need to buy many new tools... (First will have to do the range mod though)

Thanks silpstream !
Last edit: 16 Apr 2016 11:22 by TheSFReader.

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16 Apr 2016 11:57 #46625 by dc59
Replied by dc59 on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
Very cool mod. :woohoo: , but looks not easy for me... :(

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16 Apr 2016 13:44 #46633 by Fernandez
Replied by Fernandez on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
I defenitively will do this mod, but as I only have one tx, which I fly daily, I am only to start the mod, when the ultimate 7e will be supported and part of the new nightly builds.

Indeed if modding and doing all the efforts, I would prefer we go for best availble chip, so we sure not to run out of memory anymore.

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16 Apr 2016 15:30 #46634 by PhracturedBlue
Replied by PhracturedBlue on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
I never said I prefer the 256k chip over the 512k one. Feel free to install whichever you choose, they will both work fine with this mod. Slipstream did a great job documenting the process, but this is NOT an easy mod. Doing hand rework on a 64pin QFP package should not be your first foray into soldering (or even soldering with hot-air). It is a great mod and well worth it, but unless you know what you are doing, you will trash your Tx attempting it. If you aren't comfortable with the simpler range-extension mod, don't even consider this one.

I don't think there will ever be more than 10 transmitters with this mod installed, so it will likely never be part of the nightlies (I'm not saying 10 is my cutoff, just that the number of users will be very low), but feel free to prove me wrong.

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16 Apr 2016 20:15 - 16 Apr 2016 20:18 #46646 by HappyHarry
Replied by HappyHarry on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
i agree with PB in that i doubt we'll get more than a handful of these done (or should i say done successfully). perhaps those that really want to keep up with deviation development and keep the 7e form factor that don't have the relevant skill set would be better advised to purchase the chip and then take the chip and transmitter board to a local electronics/mobile phone repair shop and pay to get the stm swapped out, as this chip is only 10mmx10mm and apart from that the chance of lifting these small traces is high

as for building the firmware for the ult7e i'd be willing to resurrect my 7e builds thread, that's no real problem at all and will at least provide a current source for the latest code for those who do complete this mod.
Last edit: 16 Apr 2016 20:18 by HappyHarry.

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16 Apr 2016 20:26 #46648 by silpstream
Replied by silpstream on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade

PhracturedBlue wrote: I never said I prefer the 256k chip over the 512k one.


My bad, sorry for any misrepresentation.

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16 Apr 2016 20:30 #46650 by silpstream
Replied by silpstream on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade

HappyHarry wrote: as for building the firmware for the ult7e i'd be willing to resurrect my 7e builds thread, that's no real problem at all and will at least provide a current source for the latest code for those who do complete this mod.


That would definitely help for those who don't know how to build from source.

On a side note, I do know of 3 upgraded TXs, mine an 2 friends that I did the upgrade for. :P

You are right about the mobile phone repair shops, I never quite thought of that. It should make this upgrade much more accessible to everyone.

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16 Apr 2016 22:34 #46663 by HappyHarry
Replied by HappyHarry on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
it's no problem, i used to make builds available with the extra items enabled (layout editor, permanent timer and telemetry) when we had the code space and i had it set up as a bash script ran weekly so it would be no issue turning that back on and modding the script to make the needed changes etc and then post the builds here or host them somewhere.

well then there's at least 4 already, your 3 and PB's original, plus i'll be doing my own one plus another 2 for my clubmates once the chips arrive so that takes us to 7, hitting 10 might just be possible after all :D but even then i think we'd need a lot more before it would need added to the nightlies as even if a lot do this mod most of them won't be testing the code etc so weekly/fortnightly updates (barring serious bugfixes or protocol additions) will be good enough imo

also my first st-link v2 arrived today, i say first as seems i managed to order 2 of them by mistake lol, so if when my second one arrives and it's in working condition i'll offer it here to someone who is doing this swap, it's not worth sending it back as it only cost a few $ so i'll give it away free to a fellow tinkerer who needs one :)

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16 Apr 2016 22:45 #46664 by Arakon
Replied by Arakon on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
I ordered 2 chips too, although I'll probably wait until I have a backup transmitter.

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16 Apr 2016 23:20 #46668 by PhracturedBlue
Replied by PhracturedBlue on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
I'd recommend using mwm's docker images ( or making some new ones if those don't work I haven't tested them myself). I think it is probably the easiest way to get a build done on any platform.

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17 Apr 2016 00:00 #46671 by mwm
Replied by mwm on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
The docker images may need to be updated to include git if you want to build releases. I haven't checked that yet. If someone does, could you let me know?

Do not ask me questions via PM. Ask in the forums, where I'll answer if I can.

My remotely piloted vehicle ("drone") is a yacht.

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17 Apr 2016 00:00 #46672 by mwm
Replied by mwm on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
BTW, we now have a user-editable wiki that includes a hardware mod section. If you could move this tutorial into that, it would stay a lot easier for people to find!

Do not ask me questions via PM. Ask in the forums, where I'll answer if I can.

My remotely piloted vehicle ("drone") is a yacht.

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17 Apr 2016 00:34 #46674 by Cereal_Killer
Replied by Cereal_Killer on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade

silpstream wrote:

HappyHarry wrote: as for building the firmware for the ult7e i'd be willing to resurrect my 7e builds thread, that's no real problem at all and will at least provide a current source for the latest code for those who do complete this mod.


That would definitely help for those who don't know how to build from source.


I to would be interested. Since this mod first came out I have acquired all the parts (got some maple mini dev boards with the 256k MCU and I have a st link v2) plus a Devo 10 so I can risk the 7E now, I would love it if someone made built FW available for people like me! I can do the soldering, it's the code side I'm scared of...

Taranis X9E | DEVO 10 | Devo U7E | Taranis Q7

What I do in real life: rivergoequestrian.com/

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17 Apr 2016 06:25 #46681 by SeByDocKy
Replied by SeByDocKy on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
I think I will go for this mod if I can install/recompile easily the last NB/or test sources. As far I understood, after this MCU mod, flashing a new bootloader, I am able to recompile the deviaition TX with the devo7E-256 targer ?

Since I afrait to break my actuall Devo7E, I will probablu take a new one with the 3-in-1 module and the 256Ko module + 2x3way and Pot mods .... or maybe it's better choice to take a Devo 6S in second hand market ?
Is the Devo6S as light as the devo 7E ?

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17 Apr 2016 08:34 - 17 Apr 2016 08:35 #46685 by silpstream
Replied by silpstream on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade

HappyHarry wrote: it's no problem, i used to make builds available with the extra items enabled (layout editor, permanent timer and telemetry) when we had the code space and i had it set up as a bash script ran weekly so it would be no issue turning that back on and modding the script to make the needed changes etc and then post the builds here or host them somewhere.


Sounds good. We could possibly have it downloadable from the wiki if that's allowed. If not I assume you've forked the Git repository and we could possibly use the "releases" section. Also, any chance I could get a look at that bash script you have? Thanks!

mwm wrote: BTW, we now have a user-editable wiki that includes a hardware mod section. If you could move this tutorial into that, it would stay a lot easier for people to find!


I'll take a look at the wiki and put something in.

SeByDocKy wrote: I think I will go for this mod if I can install/recompile easily the last NB/or test sources. As far I understood, after this MCU mod, flashing a new bootloader, I am able to recompile the deviaition TX with the devo7E-256 target?


Yes.
make TARGET=devo7e-256
Works as of commit 3435a2a.
Last edit: 17 Apr 2016 08:35 by silpstream.

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17 Apr 2016 13:13 #46696 by PhracturedBlue
Replied by PhracturedBlue on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade

SeByDocKy wrote: or maybe it's better choice to take a Devo 6S in second hand market ?
Is the Devo6S as light as the devo 7E ?

The devo6s is basically the same weight as the 7e. It also has upgraded sticks compared to the 7e, I don't know what it costs on the used market though, it probably won't be so easy to find.

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17 Apr 2016 14:03 #46697 by mwm
Replied by mwm on topic Ultimate7e tutorial: Processor upgrade
There's a thread on rcgroups tracking the people who are still selling new 6s's if your willing to pay for it. I'm not sure I'd part with mine for anything less than replacement cost...

Do not ask me questions via PM. Ask in the forums, where I'll answer if I can.

My remotely piloted vehicle ("drone") is a yacht.

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