Installing OpenTX Comp. (Mac)

Installing OpenTX Comp.

Note:

Once in a very great while, something goes wrong during the flashing operation. The result is that when you turn on your Taranis, nothing happens. Nyet...nada…nothing. However, don’t cue Chopin’s Funeral March just yet. Normally the situation can be corrected by re-flashing the firmware. This also illustrates the wisdom of backing up your old firmware before you decide to flash the new version. :>)

Introduction

Well, you’re ready to flash OpenTX 2.x to your Taranis for the first time. Before we do that, we need to consider a few things.

There is currently a lot of confusion out there about this process. Do I have to use Companion in one form or another? (Yes, but only for the first flash.) Why can’t I just copy it to the SD card and flash it through Bootloader mode in the TX? (Because until you flash OpenTX, you don’t have a user accessible bootloader.) Where do I get OpenTX 2.x? (You don’t…you download OpenTX Companion, install it, and let OpenTX Companion find the new version for you, or you use your existing install of Companion9X.) Etc., etc., etc.,…….

We’ll tackle a few of those questions in this lesson, as well as show you how to flash your TX in two or three different ways. Hopefully, we can take some of the mystery out of it for you.

For a printable PDF of this lesson please click Install OpenTX Comp (Mac)

Lesson Goals

There are two goals for this lesson:

  1. Goal #1: Download and install OpenTX Companion
  2. Goal #2: Use OpenTX Companion to flash OpenTX v2.x to your Taranis transmitter

Prerequisites

Here’s what you’ll need to know to get started:

  1. You’ll need to have a working copy of the DFU-Util installed.
  2. You’ll need to know how to download and save a program on your computer.
  3. You’ll need to know where your computer saves your downloaded programs before they’re installed.
  4. You’ll need to know how to install a downloaded program on your computer.

Background

One real problem is that there are OpenTX users at all stages of this process, from raw newcomer to advanced super users. It would be far beyond the scope of this lesson to try and cover each situation individually. Instead, we’re going to assume (and, yes, I know what that means) that you are a brand new users, totally unfamiliar with the procedure, and without any software directly related to OpenTX installed on your computer other than the driver that you installed in the Installing Dfu-util lesson. It’s vital that you can see that it’s installed in the Systen Report. If dfu-util is not installed, you’re not going anywhere.

If you’re currently using OpenTX (either r2940 or v1.99.x) and have upgraded your firmware before, you can simply tell Companion 9X or OpenTX Companion to get and install the new v2.x firmware. I’ve been doing that for several months (current date: 06/2014), and it has worked flawlessly. But, then again, if you’ve done that, you probably wouldn’t be here. J

NOTE:

 Because getting your computer to talk to the Taranis and flashing for the first time are such problem areas, there are, literally, hundreds of forum posts on the process. By far one of the best that I’ve seen is by Cleon on Scott Page’s FrSky Taranis with OpenTX 2.0 and beyond forum, specifically Post #1452 at RCGroups.com. If what we do here doesn’t float your boat, check out Cleon’s post. In fact, you’d probably be smart to bookmark that forum as well as Wayne’s FrSky Taranis – 16 Channels, Full Telemetry, RSSI forum at: RCGroups.com Both are treasure troves of help and should be in every OpenTX and Taranis user’s toolbox.">

Just to review, here are the givens at the start:

  1. You have an installed copy of the DFU-Util on your system.
  2. You are competent in downloading and installing applications from the Web.
  3. You do not have OpenTX Companion installed on your computer. If you have Companion 9X installed, that’s fine. OpenTX installs in its own folder, and the two live happily together without conflict. If you’re still using Companion 9X, now is probably the time to upgrade to OpenTX Companion, anyway. I still have C9X on my machine and use it to upgrade my older Turnigy 9X equipped with a FrSky module and running OpenTX r2490. It works just fine!

OK, we’re off!

Steps/Checklist

Step #1: Checking the DFU-Util.  DO THIS!!

  1. Using the steps provided in the previous lesson, Installing Dfu-util, verify that you have dfu-util installed, if you haven’t already done so.

 

Step #2: Downloading and Installing OpenTX Companion

  1. Point your browser to the OpenTX Download Page: Downloads: Improving Your TX. If you haven’t already done so, bookmark or add this page to your bookmarks/favorites half a dozen times or so. It’s your official source for all things approved for Taranis. Note that there are resources here for working with Taranis audio, images that you can use on your Taranis and other downloads that may or may not interest you at the moment. The point is, don’t forget about this page!installmac1w
  2. Choose the latest edition of OpenTX Companion and click it.
  3. Select the correct platform for your computer and click it.installmac2w
  4. The Mac will ask you what to do with the file. Click: “Save File” to authorize the download. Note that the file name is something similar to: campanion-macosx-2.0.7.dmg. If you can’t remember where you saved it, you’ll need the file name to search for it.installmac3w
  5. Your download time will vary, depending upon the speed of your Internet connection and your computer. On my machine, it takes between 10-15 seconds, and I’m running a Core I-4, 3.3GHz processor with a relatively slow (by some standards) 15MB DSL line.
  6. When the download is completed, use Finder to locate it. I can’t answer for everyone, but my download utility through Firefox is configured to save downloads in the “Downloads” folder. If you can’t find it, type the file name (or just companion-macosx) in the Finder search bar. That should do it.
  7. Double-click the downloaded file to begin the installation. Your Mac may ask for permission to allow the file to change your computer. Enter your system password to allow the change.
  8. Once the file is uncompressed you should see a folder like the one below:installmac4w
  9. Drag the OpenTX Companion icon to your Applications folder in the System Tray.installmac5w
  10. If the Applications folder is not in your System Tray, drag the icon to the Applications folder in Finder.installmac6w
  11. You may get a screen like the one below, if so click OK.installmac7w
  12. Open the System Preferences application, and select Security & Privacy.  
  13. You should see a window like the one below. Where it says “companion” was blocked from opening because it is not from an identified developer. Click the Open Anyway button.installmac9w
  14. Click on companion in the Applications folder. The first time you open Companion you may see the screen below. If you do, just click Open. Companion will start, and you are on your way.installmac10w

CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just installed OpenTX Companion on your computer! Don’t you feel proud of yourself?

 


Comments

Installing OpenTX Comp. (Mac) — 8 Comments

  1. Okay. OpenTX installed. Dfu-util installed. Then what? I’ve read all the windows pages and none seem to get me anywhere nearer to flashing firmware on my radio. I plug in, do everything like on the web and nothing happens in the radio. There seems to be next to no info for mac users anywhere else. Any help for a noob?

    • I’m afraid that I have to give you the same answer that I give most Mac users. I don’t do Mac, so I’m pretty much lost.

      You might try one of the forums. There’s a lot of Mac users that hang out there.

      Leonard (mac44mag)

  2. Since there currently is no part 3 specifically for Mac users, might I suggest pointing to the windows equivalent page and editing that page a smudge to mention any important differences?

    • Hi, Tim! Neat idea. What, exactly, is it that you’re looking for? My old brain isn’t working so well anymore, and I’m not sure what you mean by a “Part 3” for the Mac?

      Thanks, and let me know.
      Leonard (mac44mag)

      • I’m not sure what’s happened her; I replied a week or two ago to Leonard but that comment – and my other one for another page – has never appeared.

        To reiterate, third line up in the article refers to ‘Part 3: Flashing OpenTX ‘ which doesn’t seem to exist. There is the Windows related page though, so perhaps with some minor edits to that it would be suitable to point to it instead.

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