Installing the Turnigy 9x backlight kit

May 15, 2012 by     15 Comments    Posted under: Electronics, Multicopter

Here is a walk through on how I installed the Turnigy 9x LED backlight kit from hobbyking.com. You get a foam backing and the actual backlight panel that has a wiring harness attached to it.

As my old soldering iron is fried, and all I have my butane field iron, I am only going to do the plug and play install for now. I don’t really want to use the field iron to solder things to the TX’s logic board as it is not precise enough.

To start, I removed 6 screws on the back of the transmitter to crack it apart. I had to do this carefully as the front and back pieces are connected by a cable that has to be unplugged from the logic board.

Next I carefully unclipped the ribbon cable that was connected to the top of the logic board. This is the only cable that I disconnected for fear of damaging it when I flipped the logic board up to access the LCD panel, and tear out the old foam backing.

After this I removed the 9 screws that held the logic board in place. These are of different size so I laid them out on the table the way I had removed them so that I would not place them in the wrong place later.

With the logic board free, I now had access to remove the thick foam backing that was going to be replaced.

After a bit of tugging and prying, here is the logic board with the foam backing removed. I am going to be replacing this with the thinner one included in the kit. This is to make space for the extra thickness that the LED panel adds to the mix.

With the foam padding on, I then position the LED panel on top of the LCD panel. The instructions from hobbyking as the wiring on the right together with the 4 directional buttons. I choose instead to have mine positioned the other way as it was easier to avoid the wiring interfering with the buttons. On the left, there are only 2 buttons to contend with, and thus I had more space. The LED panel is taped in place and the logic panel with the new foam backing sits on top of it.

I secured the logic board back in place and you can see that having the wiring come from the left also made things much neater top side cause I don’t have as much excess wire to deal with.

The finished product after reassembly.

15 Comments + Add Comment

  • Thanks! Good tip to place the light with wires on the left side. Much better location.

  • Working good!!, just like on your pic.
    Exelent information for me as nubie

    • Glad it helped you! :)

  • Slipstream how do you tell the TOP from the BOTTOM of the LCD ?

    I noticed one side is constructed different than the other side of the glass.

    • If your model is the same as mine, then just orient your LCD exactly as in my picture. Wires on the left side with red wire above black wire. If you want to be sure, hook up a lipo 1s cell that is discharged close to 3v to the red and black wires to see how it all lights up. Just don’t connect it for too long cause you could either burn it out or over-discharge your lipo.

  • I’ve started the project, but after I removed the original foam there was a lot of glue from the foam backing left on the circuit board. I’ve tried a number of products (like metho) to remove it without success. I haven’t tried solvents yet. They may dissolve the coating on the back of the board.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Is it OK to put the new foam over the residual glue?

    Thanks

    • OK, have answered my own issue. I used some Prepsol – used in the auto paint industry to clean the job before spray painting – to remove the glue from the circuit board. It softened the glue and needed a bit of rubbing but it did remove it. I used cotton balls to apply the prepsol to the circuit board. DO NOT use anything sharper, so the risk of damaging the board is minimised.

      When it was clean I used Methylated Spirits to clean the board up.

      I hope that helps someone.

      • Good to hear you sorted it out Bob and thanks for posting your solution back here! Another thing someone else can try to remove the adhesive is to apply a bit of WD40 to a Q-tip and rub.

  • After the install of the turnigy $4.99 backlight the on/off switch that prior to the backlight install turned the 9x on/off including the processor and the lcd now only turns the backlight on/off and the tx power. When the backlight is off the lcd screen still functions so do the menus etc only the backlight and the transmitter are turned off. If I reverse the process by not using the backlight patch connector the 9x works as before.
    What should the on/off switch do when a backlight is installed?

    • The on/off switch should switch everything off. It sounds like something is shorted (bad wiring) on the backlight wiring harness/loom. Do a visual inspection of all the wiring on the backlight to see if you can find any shorts in the wires or bad soldering. If not, get in touch with the place you bought it from for an exchange.

  • I cut the heatshrink of the wiring harness and the connections are already corroding. The acidic solder flux wasn’t washed off and possible storage in a humid Turnigy ( Hobby King) warehouse didn’t help. The small pcb board may be too corroded to be useful. It was only $4.99 so I’ll just write it off. Especially since Hobby King often blames customers for Hobby King’s mistakes or make you pay the postage for returns. It looks like the small corroded pcb just passes through most connections and breaks out the voltage to get passed through a SMD resistor to current limit the back light LED. Since the back light lights up I might be able to salvage it and just hard wire the led with a series resistor on the lead onto the pcb via the test pads next to the JST connector.
    Thanks for the confirmation as to what the back light mod should do….I was mostly sure I got a lemon and it is now confirmed.

    • Ouch, sorry to hear you got a lemon. Your could hard wire things like you mentioned, or possibly replace the PCB with a prototyping stripboard that can hold the resistor. It should be quite easy, since most wires just pass through. That way you still have the ability to reverse things, and it is less soldering to the main board (less room for error). Goodluck!

  • Skipped using the harness and the corroded board..used the test pads connecting to pins 3 and 4 to get 12v and gnd soldered the back light leads after putting a 470 ohm resistor in series and the back light works just fine.

    • To make it easy to disconnect I added a 2 wire 0.1″ header and a 2 wire plug. Realistically before the back light fails ( typically 10,000 hrs) something else will have failed first so easy removal isn’t a major factor.

      • Glad you figured out a work around! :)

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