In this guide I will show you where to get the uninverted SBUS and Smart Port signals on many different Frsky receivers, including the R-XSR, XSR, X4R-SB and XM.
Frsky SBUS and Smart Port Telemetry are both inverted at the output, which cannot be recognized by some older processors directly. This has caused a lot of problems for the users.
Newer processors like F3 and F7 have built-in inverters so you can connect SBUS and Smart Port to any UART and it will just work. However this is not the case for F1 and F4 flight controllers, and they need these signals “un-inverted” for them.
Back in the days (e.g. Naze32) external inverters were used between the receiver and FC. Many modern F4 flight controllers these days have built-in inverters on the flight controller for the UART’s, making this as easy as “plug and play”, such as the Kakute F4.
However, if your flight controllers don’t have built-in hardware inverters for SBUS and S.Port, and you don’t want to use external inverters, you might find this guide useful.
In this article we will show you where you can get the original, uninverted signal on the RX (before the inversion), and you could solder a wire to it and connect it to the FC directly.
If you don’t want to do the tricky soldering, you can also use Softserial to connect SmartPort to your flight controller without doing this inversion hack.
If you don’t know how to setup SBUS and Smart Port in Betaflight/Cleanflight, here is a how-to:How to Setup SBus, SmartPort Telemetry
For the Frsky X4R-SB, you could get the uninverted SBUS signal from the chip (Pin A as labelled), or you could also get it from the pin out on the side (also labelled as A).
For Betaflight, Cleanflight and some other FC firmwares, all you need is tapping to pin A (red). You just need to solder a single wire to this pin and connect it to the TX of a spare UART on the flight controller.
However, for other FC firmwares you might also need pin B (yellow), middle pin of the 3, and connect this to the RX of the same UART.
Same as the X4R-SB, for Betaflight or Cleanflight, all you need is the the pin A (red). You just need to connect this pin to the TX of a spare UART on the flight controller.
For other FC firmwares, you might or might not also need pin B (yellow), middle pin of the 3, and connect this to the RX of the same UART. Try this if you have trouble getting SPort to work, and consult the FC firmware support.
The XM+ doesn’t have smart port but only SBUS and here is where the uninverted signal is.
XM doesn’t have smart port, only SBUS and here is where the uninverted signal should be.
Uninverted S.Port, is circled in red. This is discovered by someone in my Facebook group, I have not tested it myself.
In the new batch of this receiver, Frsky has added 2 solder pads for uninverted SBUS and Smart Port, so hopefully it’s easier to work with.
Credit to David Marzocca he found the “uninverted” SmartPort on the original R9 Mini receiver. I haven’t tested it myself however so use it on your own risk.
R9 MM is a new version of the R9 Mini. The only difference is now the R9 MM has an “uninverted” SmartPort output you can easily access (but Frsky call it Inverted S.Port so don’t get confused!). It replaces the SBUS_IN pin.
This saves a lot of trouble soldering the tiny wire! Buy the R9 MM here:
Credit to AJ Karki for posting this picture, he found the uninverted SmartPort on the R9 Slim. I haven’t tested it myself however so use it on your own risk.
- 2016 – Article created
- Jul 2017 – added info about R-XSR, XM, XM+
- Oct 2018 – added info about R9 Mini, R9 MM, R9 Slim