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SP Basic Rev 1.1 (9X Programmer)

SP Basic Rev 1.1 (9X Programmer)

Tiny, inexpensive, and easy to use. If all you want to do is flash your 9X with new firmware, this is the must-have tool you've been looking for.  New Rev 1.1 model.

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  • Description
  • Installation Instructions
  • F.A.Q.

When I decided to replace the popular SP Rev 2.4 Programmer with the 9Xtreme, I knew there would be some that didn't need all the power and features the 9Xtreme provides.  Some still want to just flash their 9X with custom firmware without having the risk and inconvenience associated with soldering.  So I bring to you the SP Basic!  It does one thing, and one thing only... and it does it well.

This kit bolts onto your 9X's mainboard and provides you with a handy micro USB connector{micro USB cable not included} for communicating with your computer.  No soldering, no case modification... simple and effective.

Revision Notes:
Rev 1.0
 - initial release
Rev 1.1
 - Fixed: Board length is now correct
 - Fixed: AIL/DR switch would not function without USB on some 9X's
 - Improved: design of micro USB header board for added strength
 - Changed: simpler packaging to keep costs down

Installing the SP Basic into your 9X is pretty straight forward.  This one image probably gets you most of the way there:

Install the barbed nylon support in the larger hole. Use the included nylon spacers and screws to install the board (this link shows the two screws to remove, highlighted in blue). Depending on when your kit was made, it may have 4 or 6 screws included. Use the pair that best fits your 9X's holes.{Older 9X's use smaller screws than newer ones. Unfortunately, a supply mistake resulted in 4 identical screws being included. This was eventually fixed and the correct size is also included}

The image shown above is from Rev 1.0 which had a production mistake requiring the use of a washer.  This is no longer the case and the holes now line up properly.

The USB cable is intended to be routed through the slot in the battery bay like so:

You may need some glue to keep the small board in place. Take care when inserting, using, and removing a USB cable to not strain the connection.{I re-designed the USB connector with Rev 1.1 so they should no longer break off easily, but care is still recommended}

The SP Basic is a purpose-built USBASP programmer. For Windows PC users, you will need to download and install drivers before connecting the device to the computer. For Mac or Linux users, please consult your friendly neighborhood Google search for using a USBASP with your system

Pre-sales / General

The 9X was sold under several names over the years. The company that actually makes it is FlySky {not to be confused with FrSky} and the official model number is FS-TH9X-B, though it is usually referred to simply as the 9X. While FlySky is the manufacturer, HobbyKing popularized this radio, selling it under their in-house name as the Turnigy 9X.{not the same thing as their 9XR!} It was also sold under iMax and Eurgle brands, although I haven't heard of either in years. Be sure your unit isn't an early V1 model (see question below).
Nope. Despite the (deliberately) similar sounding name, the Turnigy 9XR or 9XR Pro have absolutely nothing to do with the 9X.
Regardless of what the seller of your radio told you, there's no way to know what version your board is until you open it up and check. Our products work with all but the earliest "V1" boards. If you bought your radio since around 2011, you probably don't have to worry about it, but you should confirm your version. Most people refer to there being only 2 versions ("V1" and "V2"), when in fact FlySky is at least up to V15. But for our purposes, there's "V1" and then there's everything else. The "everything else" works. If you do have a V1 board, it can still work but soldering will be required and that sort of defeats the purpose.
The answer is, "you shouldn't"... and that's not just so I can sell more units! First, you're probably missing the point of having a permanently installed programmer. Yes, it is for flashing and updating the firmware, but the biggest benefit is having the ability to work on your models and settings on your computer rather than the tedious menus of the radio itself. Then you can simply transfer the EEPROM (memory) files between your computer and radio whenever you want. This also effectively gives you unlimited model memory since you can store only the ones you're actively using on the radio and have the rest on your computer ready to go. That is only practical with a permanently installed programmer. Aside from that, the spring pins, screw holes, etc aren't designed for too much abuse. That's especially true with the case screws that will eventually strip the plastic. The idea is you put the programmer in and leave it there. With all that said, your radio will continue to work normally with the SP Basic removed from it.
The one you want! The two most popular are ER9X and OpenTX, but there are also customized versions for tanks, robots, crawlers and other projects. The SP Basic is a general purpose programmer that is not limited to any given firmware or software.
The SP Basic's Predecessor included circuitry for running a HobbyKing backlight such that you could easily control the light via the firmware. The SP Basic does not have this circuitry, and is much smaller and less expensive because of it. If you want to control your backlight from firmware, you'll either have to hack that on your own or else consider stepping up to our 9Xtreme which gives you a multi-colored backlight as one of its many advanced features.
Everything. The SP Basic is just that... basic. The *ONLY* thing it does is give you the capability to flash custom firmware onto your 9X. However, that particular task is the only thing the 9Xtreme isn't used for. The 9Xtreme carries its own powerful firmware, along with all its great features such as voice, telemetry integration, RGB backlight and killer processing power. But if you want to use a specific firmware and are willing to forgo all those features, then this SP Basic is the right tool for the job.


This error indicates a problem between the computer and the programmer. It has nothing to do with the installation of the board. It is generally caused by the following:
  • You haven't installed the drivers
  • Something's wrong with your USB cable, your USB ports, or your PC in general. Please try a new cable and, if possible, a different computer.
  • You haven't connected the programmer to your pc via a USB cable
  • A defective USB connector board or a defective board.
If you've positively ruled out the first three items, then please contact us for further assistance.
This error indicates a problem between the programmer and the 9X. It has nothing to do with the USB connection to the computer. It is generally caused by the following:
  • You don't have the 9x powered on. This programmer requires the target (the 9X) to be powered.{ie. A charged battery and the main switch 'on'}
  • One or more of the spring pins is not making contact. This could be a simple alignment issue, or the screws are too loose.{The board should be secure with no up/down movement allowed. Do not over-tighten} Flux residue or oils from your fingers could prevent a signal, so cleaning the pads and pins with 99%+ alcohol can make the difference. Inspect the pins {there should be 5 and they should be reasonably straight and the spings should function} and pads {they should be relatively flat and smooth and undamaged}
  • Your 9X is a so-called "V1". See the "My 9X is a V1 (or V2 or V3)?" in the pre-sales section above.
  • A defective board.
Unfortunately, there's no simple way to test for a defect other than ruling out the other possibilities, so go over everything three times then please contact us for further assistance.
This error means the programmer isn't detecting the chip correctly.
  • It could be a temporary glitch. Try again.{But then you probably aren't already looking here}
  • You are attempting to program the wrong chip. Older 9X's have the Atmega64 while newer ones sometimes have the Atmega128.{I believe it comes down to which chip is cheaper at the time of manufacture. The 128 used to be more expensive, but lately that hasn't been the case} In the software settings, try the other chip(s) and/or verify by looking at the markings on the chip itself.
  • If you are using Linux or a Mac, try downgrading avrdude version.{It is a known issue with 6.x. Try 5.x instead.}
  • Undetermined. It could be your particular pc, your particular radio, your particular programmer or something with the software you're using. Try slowing the communication down. If you're using EEPE or Companion9x, go in the Burn menu and select Configure. Then in "Extra Arguments" type in "-B 100" (without the quotes). If that works, then change it to "-B 11" and then keep going down by 1 until it is no longer reliable. The idea is to find the fastest speed that is still reliable.{The numbers are non-linear. There's really no point in trying anything between 11 and 100 so if 100 works but 11 doesn't then stick with 100}
This error is in no way indicative of a hardware issue with the programmer. If the above doesn't help you resolve then it is probably a problem with your 9X and I suggest seeking help on the forums.
This is actually a software issue, but it has been reported enough that I decided to include it here. I'm not sure on the exact cause, but it seems that sometimes EEPE can't find the Avrdude application on your computer. In EEPE's burn menu you'll find a box for "AVRDUDE Location". You'll have to manually locate the Avrdude executable on your computer and enter it here. For further help, contact the software's support


I provide the hardware and have nothing at all to do with the software or firmware development. You'll get the best answers from people that use the software and/or firmware you've chosen, since they'll have a lot more experience than I have. Start on the forums. OpenRCforums.com is one great resource for 9X owners.{I'm not trying to play favorites here. There are other fantastic forums such as rcgroups, helifreaks, etc. OpenRCforums, however, has sections dedicated to modding the 9X.}