There’s a lot of guides and posts about updating OpenTX firmwares, and a lot of them can be complicated. If you’re like me, and bought a new Taranis X9D Plus, which already has a 2.0.x firmware installed, the process is as easy as it can be.
My Taranis came with OpenTX 2.0.9 preinstalled, which is outdated compared to the current 2.0.15. Some will argue that you should only install the firmwares provided by FrSky, but in my opinion, the OpenTX community is so great, that any bugs in newer firmwares will quickly be found and dealt with, so I thrust the latest updates more than the included one.
I’m going to explain the process for Mac, but Windows is very similar. I found the guides on OpenTX University, but they can be somewhat confusing and outdated, so keep that in mind!
Making sure you can connect with your Taranis Plus
For Mac, you’ll need the the DFU-util driver for being able to talk with the chip inside the Taranis. Follow the guide, and make sure that it is available after installing.
For Windows there’s no need for an extra driver with Taranis X9D Plus.
Using OpenTX Companion to flash your Taranis Plus
Next you’ll need to download OpenTX Companion for your system. Follow this link to download it, but make sure NOT to download the developers version, only the 2.0 public stable version. Choose the latest one, atm. that is 2.0.15, then choose your OS, I’m using Mac, so I downloaded and installed that one.
Fire up Companion (you might have to right-click and click “open” the first time) and dismiss the “Download Firmware” prompt, as this is for the Taranis, not Taranis Plus. Open settings, write a profile name, and choose Taranis Plus as radio. Now you can either restart companion, or click “Download Firmware” to download the firmware. Choose a place to save it, and give it a short simple name, ending with “.bin”.
Now you are ready to flash. While the Taranis Plus is off, use a good quality USB-mini cable to connect it, but don’t turn it on! Click “write firmware” in Companion, then “Write to TX”, and wait for it to complete. It will not give you a confirmation, but as long as it doesn’t give you an error, it went fine.
This is not necessary, but a simple way to check if your update was successful:
Disconnect the transmitter, and hold the two horizontal trims on your transmitter towards each other, and power it on. Now you’re in bootloader mode, and it should say “2.0.15”.
PS! You can flash while in bootloader mode, but then the bootloader won’t be updated, only the firmware. That’s why I said to keep the Taranis OFF while flashing, because then both will be updated. If you did flash it in bootloader mode, just turn it off, reconnect the transmitter, and re-flash it to the latest firmware, and the bootloader willl also be updated.
All in all this might seem a bit complicated, but it is actually very simple, all you need is DFU-util and companion on Mac, or just Companion on Windows. Just make sure to choose Taranis Plus as firmware, or it will fail.
After updating, I also formatted the SD-card. The included 1GB microSD card was formatted with FAT16, which didn’t play well with my Mac. I removed the card, took a backup of the content, formatted to FAT32, then copied everything back. Then I used a small program called “CleanEject” to unmount it from my Mac, which removes hidden Mac files not needed on the Taranis.
Leave a comment if you have questions, or need help with flashing the transmitter.
Update 2016: FYI I used the same method to upgrade to the 2.1.7 without problems.
The “Amber” sound files which I use had to be upgraded to work properly, but other than that, no problems.