KK2 boards from Hobbyking are a great and inexpensive solution as flight controllers for all sorts of multirotors. In particular in the latest versions, such as the KK2.1.5, they really fly great and stable. One of the main advantages of these boards is that they have an embedded LCD screen that displays configuration settings in an easy to navigate menu, with clearly laid out options that you can navigate and change with the 4 little black buttons at the bottom of the board. Therefore, connection to a PC is not required for configuration and adjustments (for example gains adjustments), making setup and tuning quite handy even directly in the field.
I often get questions about KK2 board firmware upgrades. How do I update the KK2 board software to the latest version? Does this require superior programming and informatics skills? Well, the answer is yes it does. You don’t have to worry though, just send yours over and I will upgrade it for you for a miserable 100$. The very latest, coolest firmware, I promise. Or, keep on reading.
All right, you are a DIY fan, on a budget, and want to do it yourself. Also, you want to be able to always flash the very last firmware in your boards in a matter of seconds, without shipments in between.
I will show you, in this short post, just how to do that.
You do need
– An USBASP cable such as this one. I got mine here for a very low price.
– The KK multicoper flash tool software, get the right version for you, Windows/Linux or Mac OSX, depending on your OS. Versions are continuously updated, so make sure you get the latest version, and also that you check for a new version each time you use it as this will come with the latest firmwares and support the most recent hadware.
Step by step KK2 board firmware update procedure
– Connect the USBASP to the KK2 board without any other wires (from ESC or receiver) plugged in. Just the USBASP cable and the “naked” KK2 board. The way the cable has to be plugged on the board is not intuitive, at least not with the particular cable I did get.
The picture below shows the correct way to connect the cable I have. The connector will have to press against, and bend slightly the pins for channel 5 on the KK2 board.
– Connect the USB connector of the USBASP cable to a USB port on the PC (I do this on a Mac). The board will boot. If it does not boot and does not seem to be powered up, you probably plugged the USBASP cable in the wrong direction. Invert and retry.
– Launch the software and select the options as in the picture below for a KK2.1 or KK2.1.5 board. At the time of this writing, the last firmware version is 1.17S, available in the Lite or Pro version. The Lite version has all I personally need for configuration. The pro releases contain more advanced options for configuration and tuning.
– Once you have selected the firmware you want, press the green icon with the little white man running, to flash the board. You will get a feedback about ongoing operations in the lower part of the software window. Flashing will take about 30 seconds. If writing to the board was successful, the software will tell you so:
That’s it! You can now unplug the board and rewire it into your model. Of course, before flying you will need to go through the basic configuration steps. We’ll go through them in another article to come soon.
For feedback or if you have questions, please feel free to comment below.
Stay tuned on the Personal Drones blog for the latest multirotor and quadcopter news!