Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Flying3D X6 Firmware Update Package (v1.51)

The Flying3D X6 (FY-X6) is an affordable 230mm brushless quadcopter packing an amazing amount of features for a low price: it has a robust GPS system (uBlox Neo v6), an extremely stable and easy to use/program flight controller (BigFlyShark X6) and comes with a FlySky-derived hobby-grade TX that has OSD so that you could have full telemetry information on the ground.


Unfortunately support from the Flying3D company leaves a lot to be desired and this includes also the available firmware updates for the aircraft flight controller. To make things even worse, Flying3D made some important changes to the flight controller board and these – coupled with some bad design decisions – were rendered non-upgradable. The non-upgradable boards come with firmware v1.2 and v1.3 by the factory. Attempting to perform firmware upgrade on these boards, will corrupt the ARM STm bootloader rendering the board in a non-working state (brick). The only way to overcome this situation is to replace the flight controller board which is a costly and time-labour process.
To find out which version of flight controller you have, you can use the ground-station software under Microsoft Windows. Upon connecting your battery-powered FY-X6 to the computer with a micro USB cable, the software will detect the flight controller firmware version. If you have not flashed your flight controller board since you bought your quadcopter, you are running the factory-installed version which is a good indication of the hardware version you have. In the screenshot below, the flight controller firmware version is v1.50 so this is hardware version v1.4 (or newer) thus it is safe to flash update the firmware.

To update the flight controller firmware, please follow these steps as outlined below. Use this software at your own risk.
  1. Download the offline updater package you will find here and extract the file to your Windows PC.
  2. Use a good quality USB cable to connect the quad to the computer.
  3. Run the OffLineUpdater.exe executable as administrator (if you are using anything newer than Windows XP).
  4. When the offline updater window appears, click on the middle file string and select the file firmware.txt using the file requester.
  5. Connect the quadcopter to the computer WITHOUT connecting the battery. You should hear the Windows USB-connect notification. The offline updater will have a RED indicator for connection.
  6. Connect the battery to the quadcopter and wait until the connection indicator turns GREEN, then press UPGRADE.
  7. When the upgrade is complete - it takes about 15 seconds - there will be a message for success or failure; disconnect the battery and the quadcopter from the computer.
The update procedure is complete. Remember after upgrading to calibrate your TX throttle limits and compass/gyroscopes as outlined in the operation manual (also attached in this page). The throttle limit calibration procedure is explained in the section “Calibrate R/C Transmitter”, page 13.

The latest v1.x series firmware for FY-X6 is v1.51 and was made available by BigFlyShark on late September 2015. Unfortunately, the file is no longer available on their web site so I am hosting it here.

FY-X6 BigFlyShark firmware v1.51: Download Here
BigFlyShark Instruction Manual: Download Here
Ground-Station Software: Download Here
Ground-Station Software Instruction Manual: Download Here

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