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  1. #1
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    6550 telemetry expander & GPS module

    hi, i recently purchased a used but very new traxxas e-maxx along with a 6509 TQI bluetooth tx. i am going to put in a 6533 tsm rx. to replace the 6518 that is in it now. i am just starting to get back into this hobby again having an older t-maxx yrs ago. i have just started to learn about all the new electronics for these vehicles. the bluetooth tx, the above mentioned tsm rx. & the telemetry expander & also the gps module.

    i am going to start putting some of this new tech. into this veh. and i have a question...can the telemetry expander and associated sensors be used without having to buy/use the GPS module with it. ( at least at this time. the gps module is a little too expensive for me right now). i kinda got the impression from some reading that the tel. expander goes hand-n-hand with the gps module. i`m hoping that the gps can be added at a later time when i get some more cash.

    thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier Panther6834's Avatar
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    1) Traxxas telemetry sensors can only be used with receivers that have telemetry ports and/or the telemetry expander port. If you're receiver doesn't have these ports, telemetry sensors can't be used with your receiver, and you'll need to get a compatible (with your Tx) Rx.

    2) The GPS module, like all of the telemetry parts, is optional. That being said, not all that parts require the expander. There is an RPM sensor, as well as a combination voltage/temperature sensor (I'm blanking on the part numbers) that plug directly into the telemetry sensor ports on certain Rxs. The remainder of the telemetry sensors, including the GPS module, require the expander.

    3) Getting back to the GPS module, Traxxas has discontinued the original GPS module, and for a good reason. I have word from a senior Traxxas rep that they will be releasing an updated GPS module (with a new part number), which contains the latest GPS tech. Unfortunately, no specific release date could be provided. Regarding the now-discontinued GPS module (which, yes, I know, their website only indicates as "out of stock"), if you can find anyone still having them in-stock, the reason for the jacked-up process would be for the very reason I just mentioned. They have these units, they can't return them to Traxxas (unless proven 'defective'), they know people want them, they know most people don't know there's an update model coming, and they know most people just think Traxxas has been "out of stock" for a very long time, thus they know they can get away with charging an outrageous price for them. Chances are, they're probably trying to make enough money to cover the loses they'll incur once the update model is released.

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  3. #3
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    (1) i have the #6533 RX that have the rpm & voltage ports. (traction stability manag.) i just wanted to add the telemetry expander for the use of additional sensors & needed to know if they would still function w/o having to use the gps module.

    thanks for the good information!

  4. #4
    RC Qualifier Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lx2008 View Post
    (1) i have the #6533 RX that have the rpm & voltage ports. (traction stability manag.) i just wanted to add the telemetry expander for the use of additional sensors & needed to know if they would still function w/o having to use the gps module.

    thanks for the good information!
    First, the Tx (transmitter) needs to have the Traxxas Link. As for the Rx (receiver), the 6518 & 6533 support telemetry, which the 6519 & 2218X do not. With 6520 (RPM sensor) & 6521 (temp & voltage sensor), you do NOT need the expander, as they plug directly into the receiver. With all of the other sensors, including the GPS module, the expander IS needed. Realistically, I can see only two reasons for going the expander route - 1) you want the temp & voltage detected by sperate parts (6526 for temp, 6527 for voltage); 2) you really, really, really want the GPS tracking & speed detection.

    Whether you go the expander route, or just stick with the "basics" (ie. 6520 & 6521), you will still need additional parts. If you plug the 'red' plug on the temp/voltage sensor into the"Check. 5/Batt" port on the receiver, you will get system voltage, not battery voltage (which I'm assuming it's what you're wanting). To get battery voltage, you'll need 6541. Additionally, if your ESC has a 2nd-Gen connector tip (which the battery plugs into), you'll have to either replace the 2nd-Gen tip with a 1st-Gen tip, or (the preferred method) cut the pass-thru off 6541, and solder it directly to the power line (red wire) that leads to the ESC. This will give you battery voltage.

    Moving over to the other sensors, you'll need either 6538 or 6539 (telemetry trigger magnet mount), depending on which mount location you prefer (center diff, or spur gear), as well as 6535 (temp sensor mount). At least through the local shops in my area, all of the above parts were readily available, with the exceptions of 6535 & 6539 (I preferred the center diff mount), both of which the shop had to order.

    Now comes the real "kicker"...after having had the shop order 6535 & 6539, I decided to switch Tx & Rx, from Traxxas TQi to Futaba, thus none of the Traxxas telemetry components will be useful. I cancelled the 6535 & 6539 parts, and returned the Link (the other parts I was waiting to buy, until 6535 & 5539 arrived). Now I'm just waiting for Futaba to release the new 4PM. In the meantime, I'll do without telemetry. Since I'm running LiPo batteries, and the ESC has built-in low-voltage cutoff, I'm not too worried about overly-draining the batteries. I've also been told by several people that the Traxxas motor doesn't get overly hot, so I shouldn't have to worry there. As for the RPM sensor (for estimating speed), that I was being more out of curiosity, than actually wanting to know the speed, so no less there.

    I'm not wanting/trying to discourage you from adding telemetry, as I still plan on monitoring the battery voltage & motor temp...once I get the Futaba, I'll be adding these (especially considering I'm also planning on replacing the ESC & motor, either with Tekin or Castle).

    Good luck.

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  5. #5
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    thanks for the useful info Panther! a couple of things the tech @ traxxas didn`t me. they didnt tell me about the trigger magnet mount nor the temp sensor mount. eventually i want the gps but was told earlier they are coming out with a "better" one so i guess i`ll wait for it to be released. not sure about the ESC though...it is an MXL 6S. still trying to learn more about the system.

  6. #6
    RC Qualifier Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lx2008 View Post
    thanks for the useful info Panther! a couple of things the tech @ traxxas didn`t me. they didnt tell me about the trigger magnet mount nor the temp sensor mount.
    Truth me, I know the feeling. While customer service at Traxxas is extremely good...especially when something needs replacing...trying to get information like this from them is like pulling teeth. It took 4 separate phone calls to them to obtain the information I have in my previous reply.

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  7. #7
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    Panther,
    upon further reading and looking at all the parts/sensors that were included in my used emaxx package, i see that it came with a telem. expander a 6526 auto-detect. temp. sensor & a 6527 auto-detect. volt. sensor. it also came with an expander mount i just found. can you explain the diff. between the reg. sensor and a "auto-detect" sensor? and how do these sensors mentioned above install in the expander and where do the sensors actually mount? the 6527 has a red & black plug, plus a little black plastic box( i assume thats the sensor). and the 6526 just has a black plug and sensor( i assume also that this sensor just mounts/straps to the motor? thanks for any help clarifying this up for me!

  8. #8
    RC Qualifier Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lx2008 View Post
    Panther,
    upon further reading and looking at all the parts/sensors that were included in my used emaxx package, i see that it came with a telem. expander a 6526 auto-detect. temp. sensor & a 6527 auto-detect. volt. sensor. it also came with an expander mount i just found. can you explain the diff. between the reg. sensor and a "auto-detect" sensor? and how do these sensors mentioned above install in the expander and where do the sensors actually mount? the 6527 has a red & black plug, plus a little black plastic box( i assume thats the sensor). and the 6526 just has a black plug and sensor( i assume also that this sensor just mounts/straps to the motor? thanks for any help clarifying this up for me!
    To be completely honest, I'm not 100%. If you check the Traxxas website, and check all available telemetry parts, it should indicate which are "regular" (meaning they can plug directly into the Ch. 3 and/or 4 ports of the receiver, and which require the Telemetry Expander. For example, #6521 (combination temperature & voltage sensor) is a "regular" sensor, and can be plugged into the receiver...but, #6527 (auto-voltage sensor), #6526 (auto-temperature sensor), require the Telemetry Expander.

    For the above-mentioned sensors, I much prefer how they are connected with Futaba receivers, as they utilize a "hub" system, as opposed to the Telemetry Expander. However, when it comes to the GPS module, I much prefer how Traxxas utilizes the connection, as it's placed in a more stable location. Additionally, I have a feeling that, in real-world use, it could even prove more accurate. Again, I don't actually have the GPS module, but, looking at the physical design, as well as how it's placed/attached in the vehicle, I get the impression that Traxxas has done their job quite well.

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  9. #9
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    thanks for explaining

  10. #10
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    got another question on the telemetry exp...

    i just bought & received the new 2.0 GPS module & 2.0 expander. upon reading the installation instructions,
    the mount for the expander( i have an Emaxx) mounts to the front cross-bar on the body mounts.

    i dont have the traxxas original shock towers/body mounts on the is veh. i replaced them with RPM`s.
    these RPM`S dont leave enough clearance between the body & the cross bar. it put the body up higher
    and leaves no room to put in the body clips.

    my question is, if i would mount the expander upside down ( plenty of clearance under the cross-bar ),
    would the GPS module still receive the signals mounted upside down? all the pics in the instructions
    for this truck & all the others have it mounted face up & rightly so as it should if i would have kept the the original
    traxxas shock tower/body mounts on the veh. i did not know at the time of upgrade i would have this problem & i
    also did not keep the traxxas parts. i called traxxas & the rep. said it should not make a difference but i wanted to hear
    from some of you if you thought the same thing.

    thanks again for your time!

  11. #11
    RC Qualifier Panther6834's Avatar
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    Sometimes...using a car GPS, as an example...the antenna is along two edges (top, and left or right), so that the GPS can be mounted in either landscape or portrait position. At other times, the antenna is positioned only at the top of whatever it's encased in (for example, an external satellite radio antenna, which is very similar to a GPS antenna), and, for this type of design, unless you want potential interference, your always want it right-side-up.

    I can't claim to know specifically about the new GPS 2.0 module...but, in regards to GPS in-general, GPS units that are designed with a directional mount should always be mounted in the position the manufacturer specified. I'd suggest calling Traxxas to find out. If the antenna is only along the top of the module casing, then, in all likelihood, it needs to be mounted right-side-up. However, if the antenna is along the top, as well as the sides, there's a good possibility it could be mounted on its side. In either case, the probability of upside-down mounting is slim-to-none.

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  12. #12
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    ok. i did call traxxas as stated in my post. they said it did not matter. but i have asked them various things before
    and one rep. would say something & another would say the opposite. i just wish when you called you could get someone
    you could get a straight answer.

  13. #13
    RC Qualifier Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lx2008 View Post
    ok. i did call traxxas as stated in my post. they said it did not matter. but i have asked them various things before
    and one rep. would say something & another would say the opposite. i just wish when you called you could get someone
    you could get a straight answer.
    Oh, how I know the feeling. When I first started calling about the telemetry parts, it took several calls, with each successive call revealing a little more than the previous rep hadn't bothered telling me. I'm the end, I decided to "give up", and ordered a new Tx, Rx, & telemetry parts from Futaba. I'll still keep, and use, the Traxxas items for testing future vehicles.

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  14. #14
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    Panther, since i could not get a straight answer, i just ordered the front shock tower/body posts kit from
    rc planet. did`nt want to take the chance of setting it all up (upside down) and have to take apart & rebuild.

    maybe i can figure out a way to mod the RPM parts to work in the future.

  15. #15
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    all is good now. got back my rx & tx. they both recognize my brushless emaxx in the app now.
    installed the 2.0 tel. module & gps. all works great!

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