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My RC Joystick

Old 12-10-2016, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
I'm still trying to work the advantages of using a Joystick versus two sticks on the tx.
It is a preference or personal thing. If all you know is 2 thumbsticks, then most likely a Joystick is not for you. At least not initially until you adapt as it is a completely different fell. Biggest issue you have to get use to is the range will feel very slow to you at first. Big Difference when the stick radius (length) goes from 1.5 inches with Thumb Sticks to to 9 inches on a Joystick. Second issue is getting use to the rudder using your wrist, but you learn quickly as it is so much more natural. When you operate the ailerons, your wrist naturally supinates and pronates in the right direction of the turn. You fly with your wrist. You get to the point you do not have to think about it.

For me I use to be a private pilot, not current today, and have used Joysticks on Flight Sims for 35 years or so. It is just easier for me to use a Joystick. I do not have to think and work like I have to with two thumb sticks. 35 years using a Joystick vs 3 years thumb sticks.

Last edited by dereckbc; 12-10-2016 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
If you could program all the buttons and hat switches for more than four channels, so much the better! Trims, flaps, gear - all done with hat switches, and no need to take your hand off the stick while doing it. Having throttle on it's own control device (such as a slider) separate from rudder control would be nice, too - at least for me.
Well it can and has been done. I can give you links that has all the code and can store 4 models. The code I used can be 1 to 16 channels. Generating the PPM Pulse is easy to write code for. The real talent is the code that makes the rest of the thing work like Expos, Mixes, Trim, Rates, ect.

You can have anything you want like 16 full channels and 36 buttons and switches to do stuff like Trim, Rates, Expo, or anything you want. You just have to write the code. In Fact here is one using a Orange or Lemon TX Module. It is a DIY Plane Radio Transmitter that holds 4 models with all the bells and whistles you find on a factory radio's.

The limit to how you can go is how good of a code writer you are. The electrical part is simple.

What I wanted, I am not capable of writing the code and not many are. Take any USB Joystick, plug into a Black Box, and Output PPM for any Radio Trainer Port. That is called USB2PPM Converter. It can be done today and a commercial product is available, 2 that I know of, problem with them is that Black Box is a Laptop computer using Windows HID USB Drivers. What I learned is you cannot take something like a Micro-Controller and make it work with every USB Joystick out there as you do not have the memory required to hold all the drivers you have to use to decode the data coming from the stick. What you can do is make one for a Specific USB Joystick and that has been done by the same guy using a Logitech 3D Joystick.

There is one disadvantage to using USB Joysticks, Resolution is limited. About everyone I have seen has 10-bit (0 to 1023) on X-Y (aileron-elevator) axis only, 9-bit (0-511) on Z (rudder), and 8-bit (0-255) on the slider (throttle). Which migh be fine with you, but using a Teensy you can have 10-bit (0-1023) to 13 bit (0-8191) resolution on analog channels. So if you want precision you have to build your own.

This is my Proof of Concept model, I am now building the working model using Industrial grade Joystick and Slider. Should be precise enough for a surgical robot.

Last edited by dereckbc; 12-10-2016 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:24 PM
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Fantastic .Nice work
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
Very nice Dereck.......!

The only curiosity I have is related to ergonomics. Since many of us fly outside standing and like to move about while flying, would not a flat stationary surface be best applied for operation of such a device.
Thought I would get back on this. I found a pretty good solution. Ever seen Bone Doc's videos and notice his camera/Radio setup? He took Some Plexiglass pieces and molded them to hook over the top of his shoulders down to a tray that holds the radio and camera rig. Same idea. I use the tray to hold Joystick at just above belt level., and my radio clipped onto the safety fence or just lay it on the ground.

If any of you try it, the Precision and Control is excellent. You can make very fine precise movements. I know a lot of you guys are all thumbs, pun intended. Bu tif you are like me using Flight Simulators for over 20 years for flight training and fun, a 3-Axis Joystick is super intuitive and just comes naturally. Flying 3D and Stunt is just super easy with a 3-Axis Joystick.

Even thought about how it could be used in FPV using a Flight Yoke, Rudder Pedals, and Throttle Quadrant.

Now on the search for an affordable Industrial 3-Axis Joystick like they use in Skid Steers or Cranes. Time to go from Toy to Tool. If you know a source please share.
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:52 PM
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The single stick, table tray concept would certainly take those of us "two thumb" TX pilots quite awhile to conquer........Something the old muscle memory would not take kindly to (in my case)....!

Even my Xbox/Playstation joystick abilities would be challenged by the "crash and burn" fear my model RC planes would have to
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Old 12-28-2021, 11:47 AM
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Default Head tracking.

Hi Derek,
I have been trying to hook up a joystick/pedals/throttle to my Tx using PPM via an Arduino UNO using some code I found with limited success! then stumbled on your solution which looks far more elegant, so Iíll have a go at making it instead.
Is it possible to also incorporate the PPM stream from a head tracker (Fat Shark Trinity) and mix it into the existing PPM output? Iím planning on using it with a Taranis Tx that has positive PPM pulses.
Many thanks,
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