OrangeRX Open LRS with Spektrum Transmitter
So I had the unfortunate experience of nearly losing my Blade 350 QX due to loss of signal. The wind was strong enough to blow me further away as return to home moves nice and slow(see video here). This got me interested in long range transmitters which lead me to the OrangeRX Open LRS system. Since I have a Spektrum DX9 Black Edition I had to figure out how to get the OrangeRX Open LRS with Spektrum Transmitter working.
There are many long range systems available, and several that use the Open LRS software. The nice thing about the OrangeRX is that it costs ~$30 bucks for a transmitter, and $20 bucks for a 8+ channel receiver. $50 bucks and you can fly miles away without problem(excluding connectors and tools). My only objective range test was non-line of sight and it went 1.6 miles through dense forest.
Items you’ll need for this project:
- Spektrum Transmitter(although it will work with most transmitters, some steps may or may not be required)
- OrangeRX Open LRS 433MHz Transmitter 1W ( JR/Turnigy Compatible)
- OrangeRx Open LRS 433MHz 9Ch Receiver
- Soldering and Desoldering supplies
- FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 or similar
- Male to Female Jumper Wires
- 3.5mm Stereo Panel Mount Jack
- OpenLRSNG software(free)
Let’s start with the transmitter:
Never power on the OrangeRX Open LRS 433Mhz system without an antenna attached as this will damage the electronics and cause problems with transmission in the future. Start by undoing the 4 little screws on the face plate.
The yellow arrow is pointing to where the antenna attaches to the circuit board. Make sure this is also connected whenever the device is powered on to protect the equipment. This can be removed for easier access to the board, but always makes sure it is well seated when assembling to power on.
The yellow arrow is pointing at the connector that allows this device to connect to the Turnigy and JR transmitters. We will remove this to solder in our own connectors.
This yellow box demonstrates the solder that is holding this connector in place as viewed from the other side of the board.
You can use Flush Diagonal Cutters to cut the pins to remove the bulky plastic piece. This step is not required but it let’s you work from both sides.
Desolder this connector using solder sucker or desoldering wire. Once this is complete it’s time to start work on the case.
Next Drill a 7/32 hole for the panel mount 3.5mm stereo connector. You may want to start your hole with a smaller bit. You’ll need a little margin from the edge so the panel mount connector will fit.
I then drilled to 5/64 holes to run the power connector wires through. Then it’s on to soldering in the connectors.
You’ll then need some fairly low gage wiire. I think I used 22gauge. You will solder into the ppm slot and the adjacent ground slot. See image below although this is before the solder was removed.
Then for your power connector solder the red down into the VIN and the ground to the GND(Don’t forget to thread through the two holes you cut in the case before soldering).
It should look somewhat like the below image when you are finished:
Then it is time to solder the panel mount connector on to the Ground and PPM Wires. As this is actually a Mono Plug you will need to find the lead on the panel mount connector that goes to the tip and solder your ppm to this one. The base needs to be ground. The other shaft one doesn’t need to be connected. I think I had it backwards on the picture below and had to re-do it. Test your connectors with a voltmeter to find the Tip and base.
Then just screw the panel mount connector in to the case.
You can screw the top back on, attach an antenna and power it on. It accepts 6.8 to 12V as a power input. A 2 cell or 3 cell lipo will power it just fine. Obviously you will need a OrangeRX Open LRS receiver that is powered on likely by a ESC(although you can power directly off a 2s or 3s lipo… I have tested it with a 3s), and a servo to test that it works. Just use a stereo connection cable to connect this transmitter to your Spektrum radio trainer port with the spektrum radio powered off. This will boot up the spektrum transmitter in trainer mode and you should be able to control your servo. Of note you will still be able to select models, and adjust trims even though in trainer mode.
I do not recommend that you use the OrangeRX Open LRS without flashing it with OpenLRSng first, but testing it prior will aid in your troubleshooting process.
I will post again shortly about how to flash the device with OpenLRSng