In this guide, I will be showing you how to mod your FlySky FS-i6 radio system into a 10 channel BEAST. This budget radio has been on the scene for a few years and is quite popular among the budget realm of FPV radios. I love this radio system so much, and actually prefer it over the Frsky Taranis because of its ease of use, versatility, and low latency. Although it may have many shortcomings, it nevertheless is an excellent radio, as even Joshua Bardwell considers it “the cheapest worth having”. Yes; your cheap FlySky FS-i6 can be JUST AS GOOD as a Frsky Taranis. I mean, the only thing holding this thing back from being a truly great radio is its mediocre gimbals!
This article was submitted through the GetFPV Community Program by Lawrence Ro.
Disclaimer: This article was written solely by a member of the FPV Community. Views and advice in this article are that of the author and does not reflect the opinion or views of GetFPV.
FlySky FS-i6 Battery Mod
First thing’s first: the battery. The FlySky FS-i6 by default comes with a 4*AA battery slot. This is simply unacceptable. The batteries will be flat in a few days of flying, needing more replacements, headaches, and money spent. Once again, lipos save the day! You probably have dozens lying around, and by soldering a 2S lipo together and taping it to the back, the battery life of the radio will be extended to weeks!
To start out, cut a small notch in the upper left-hand corner of the battery cover. This will allow us to route the two wires for the battery out to the back of the radio. Then, snip off the wires going from the radio system’s battery plug to the tray, and solder them to a connector for your LiPo. It really doesn’t matter what plug you use here, as the FlySky FS-i6 doesn’t draw too many amps, so I opted for a simple JST connector.
I also like to use a low voltage alarm to periodically check how my battery is doing and whether I need to charge it or not. A small LiPo alarm should do the trick well, as the internal voltage monitor of the radio system is only accurate up to around 5V.
SMA Antenna Mod
Next up, is the antenna. By putting a higher db antenna on your radio, the range of your FlySky FS-i6 will be increased greatly. Just snag a uFL to SMA connector, remove the back casing of the radio carefully, and plug it into the left antenna of the transmitting module after removing the old antenna. The old antenna casing may be removed to make way for the new SMA connector. I hot glued it in there, and it worked out just fine.
Gimbal Tension Adjustment
You may also want to, while you are at it adjust the gimbal tension of the sticks. Since us FPV pilots move the throttle a lot, you can unscrew the throttle plate tensioner of the gimbal all the way for maximum smoothness. However, since FPV requires smooth yaw, pitch, and roll most of the time, I tightened the springs on each axis to their maximum. The results give a much more enjoyable experience while flying. Plane pilots may want to tighten the throttle a bit more, as planes don’t need to go from 0 to 100 all the time.
10 Channel Firmware Update
Now for the fun part: the 10 channel mod! This is easier than it may seem, as it just involves putting your radio into firmware update mode, and uploading custom firmware via an FTDI adapter. A HUGE credit for benb0jangles and those who work with him to create this firmware. It gives the radio a very powerful set of tools most notably four extra channels, making it having 10 channels in total. In his firmware, though, there are options for a 6 position switch mod, better voltage sensing, timers, alarms, and telemetry! Check out his Github page here for more in-depth information: https://github.com/benb0jangles/FlySky-i6-Mod–
In conclusion, the FlySky FS-i6 radio system is a cheap radio system that can have some very powerful features. It can have up to 10 channels, timers, alarms, great range, and long battery life. This radio should be more than enough to get anybody intoFPV (haha, check out the excellent FPV forum, intoFPV, made by Oscar Liang), and has served me well over the past few years.
For some extra references, please refer to the following websites pertaining to the FlySky FS-i6, as they are really, really well written: