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FlySky i6 10 channel firmware modification

The FlySky i6 firmware modification

In this tutorial we will modify the firmware of the FlySky i6 to activate 4 extra channels on the transmitter using iBus.

The FlySky i6 transmitter is a cheap 6 channel transmitter which you can buy from Banggood or a manufactured by Turnigy i6 from Hobbyking.
In this tutorial I use the FlySky version from Banggood and I can’t guarantee that the Turnigy version will work as well but according to official documentation should work on the Turnigy i6 as well.

If you take a look at the transmitter you’ll notice there are switches on the transmitter suggesting there are actually more than 6 channels. If you open up Betaflight or Cleanflight you’ll also notice it acutally reconizes more than the 6 channels the specifications tells us. That’s why some smart people decided to take a closer look inside the firmware of the FlySky and found out there are actually 10 channels which can be activated by modifying the firmware.
More information about this project is found on their GitHub page and all credits for this firmware hack go out to them!

The firmware modification will add the following features:

  • Increase the number of channels by 4
  • Updated screen to set up the extra channels
  • Updated screen to display the extra channels input
  • Increase inactivity timer from 1 to 10 minutes

All we need to flash the firmware to the transmitter is a data cable and the firmware with flash tool.

Please note that you have to use iBus to use the 4 extra AUX channels.

Flashing the firmware

Flashing the firmware to the FlySky i6 is fairly easy and straight forward but it unlocks a huge improvement to this 40 dollar transmitter making it a lot bang for the buck.
Connect your data cable to the back of the transmitter and plug the USB cable into your computer.

The back of the FlySky i6.
Here you see the back of the FlySky i6 transmitter where you have to plugin your datacable.

Now turn on your transmitter while holding the trim buttons for the left gimbal down and to the right to put the transmitter in firmware mode.

Press and hold the trim buttons
1. Press and hold the trim buttons from the left gimbal to the bottom and to the right. 2. Turn on the transmitter.

Note: although it doesn’t look like the transmitter has turned on it is actually in the firmware flash mode. Proceed with the next step to see if everything is working correctly.

The next step is to open “10ch_MOD_i6_Programmer_V1_5.exe” which is found in the firmware and flash tool zip file.
You have to open the .exe file as administrator otherwise the program will not boot.

Right click to run as administrator
Right click on the “10ch_MOD_i6_Programmer_V1_5.exe” file to open the file as administrator.

Now you’ll have to select the correct COM port for the transmitter, mine was port 5. You can click on the “Open Port” button to see if you’ve selected the correct port and which firmware you currently have installed. Now all you have to do is hit the program button to flash the modified firmware.

FlySky Flash Tool
1. Select the correct COM port.
2. Verify you have selected the correct COM port.
3. If the correct COM port is selected you see your current installed firmware.
4. Click “Program” to flash the custom firmware to the transmitter.

Setting up the firmware

Now that you have flashed the modified firmware to your transmitter you have to setup the unlocked channels to use them in your flight controller software.
Turn on your transmitter normally and press and hold the “Ok” button on the transmitter to enter the menu and use the “Up”  button to select the ” Functions setup” menu and press “Ok” again.

Enter the functions settings menu on the FlySky i6
1. Press and hold the “Ok” button on the transmitter.
2. Move through the menu with the “up” button.
3. Select “Function settings” and press the “ok” button again.

Now go to the option “Aux. channels” in the menu that appears.

Enter the AUX channel setup menu of the FlySky i6
Select “Aux. channels” to enter the setup menu for the aux channels.

You’ll notice you can now setup channel 7 to 10 as well.
Use the “up” and “down” buttons to select which switch or knob you want for each channel and press “Ok” to move down in the list. Once you’re finished press and hold the “cancel” button to save your settings. If you short press the cancel button settings will reset!

Config the AUX channels of the FlySky i6
1. Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the switches on the transmitter and assign them to correct channel.
2. If you’ve got the right switch press “Ok” to scroll down to the next channel.
3. If your done with the settings press and hold cancel to save the settings. A short press will reset your changes!

After you saved the settings and get back in the functions setup menu you can now verify in the “Display” section that all channels are working correctly and you can start setting up the channels in Cleanflight or Betaflight.

Display of the AUX channels of the FlySky i6
Here you see a list of all the channels of the transmitter. Turn the switches and knobs to check if everything is set up correct.

Example: I use switch A as kill switch (channel 7), switch B to turn on/off my LED’s (channel 8), switch C to select the flight mode (channel 9), switch D to arm/disarm my quadcopter (channel 10) and the left knob to trigger my lost model finder on my PDB (channel 5). That leaves channel 6, the right knob, unused as I don’t got any use for it now.

Afterword

If you want back to the original firmware for what reason you can download a zip file with the original firmware for the FlySky i6 and Turnigiy i6 here.
I’ve also uploaded the original manual which can you can download here.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me or send me a message on social media.

That’s it for now! I hoped you enjoyed this tutorial and your improved transmitter!

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