hi... if someone is interested..... a couple of years ago I developed a little project of a buddy box (ppm) to usb interface for connecting my radio tx to pc for using it as a joystick for rc and flight simulators... The radio is seen from pc as an hid joystick with 4 axes (resolution > 5000 points from -100% to +100%) and 8 buttons. You can find schematics, firmware and a more detailed description here:
Since you went indicated you would appreciate comments, I went to your site and looked it all over. It does look like you invested lots of time in that project, and I admire your effort.
My comments are:
If you still have a PC with a gameport, so as not to require USB, there has been available a MUCH simpler approach using the gameport. A simple serial cable with a much simpler interface works quite well. No longer remember the name or web address, but a young man in Columbus, Ohio was selling custom made serial cables very reasonably, and several of us here bought from him.
You fail to mention the desirability to remove battery power from the RF module of your Transmitter when using it into your PC. I highly recommend you point this out, other wise you will deplete your battery much quicker than necessary, and you MIGHT damage the output stage of that RF module, if you don't keep the antenna on it. That then opens another possibility - that transmitter is then radiating and if close to a flying site could be a source of interference to planes in the air. SO - disconnect power to the finals when using with the PC.
Again you did a good job of designing and building.
No offense Olin, but I should think that gameport support should be considered depricated in the more general computer arena. As should parallel port and serial ports. I'm quite sure Allessio is aware of the various interfaces available on various computers.
Yes, the old style ports are simple. The gameport has an A/D converter built in, and anyone can twiddle the signal lines on a parallel or serial port, especially from an older OS. But manufacturers are increasingly providing machines with USB ports and less of the older style ports, and yes it will have its advantages and disadvantages. Mostly advantages IMHO. You don't need to keep an old computer around to run your controller for one. Heck I can remember being mildly upset when they got rid of the cassette interface on the IBM PC, I had found a use for it.
Glad to see some more USB support myself. Glad to see you kept the component count down.
You might want to throw in a brief description of how to program the pic and what other software/hardware might be involved with that, or at least how you accomplish programming it. I think that would give a more realistic picture of the level of effort/cost involved in making the device for someone who is new to PICs.
Also if you are feeling generous, put the source code on the web site. I know it is low level programming, but it might have some comments and mnemonics are easier to read than hex.
Yep, I'm aware that MicroSloth has dominated this world for FAR TOO long and now issues roadblocks to any company building computers with Gameports available. My wishes years ago that the Justice Dept. would break them up, but I lost that wish. But to admit having to comply with M.S., when I upgraded my Thrustmaster full set of controllers to Bob Church's digital chips, I seem to recall that pushed me into the USB path for most flight simming. Not sure just now, and don't have the time to confirm at moment.
But for using my R/C xmtr. to fly flight sims (specifically F.M.S.) I ordered the cable from the fellow in Columbus. Haven't used it lately, but it clearly is a 9 pin Serial cable. His circuitry is in the DB-9 plug, and is quite simple, and very inexpensive compared to the circuitry in this PIC device.
On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 20:52:06 GMT, "Six_O'Clock_High"
You are correct, of course. Windows XP, either home or pro, are the start of the 2000 pound gorilla's demise of flight simming as we used to know it. I just found out that my serial cable from Matt also will not work properly in Win 2000, which I now use for flight simming. Oh well, at least my TM gear still works there, until MS pulls another rug out from us. (Do I sound anti M.S. - bet your sweet ass!)
on the same site you can find also the programmer with the correct icsp connector:
I'm feeling generous :) but the problem is that part of code is from microchip (freely downloadable from their site).... and I don't know for sure if I can publish the complete sources... I'll see anyway
You should sit down and write the first ever Linux based RC sim. The only thing wrong with Linux is the business model. Nobody seems to want to write free software once they have a bill paying job. Why is that, do you think?
Pulled the rug out from under you? For the amazing low cost of $300, you can buy a PC complete with Windows. Just how large is your investment in time? Effort? Dollars? Are you complaining because the non-conforming driver a well meaning hobbyist hacked together and gave you for free doesn't work on a later version of the almost free operating system?
The unmodulated signal on the trainer port is AF. Plug this into your microphone jack, and off you go. No more excuses. Take a weekend or two and build a free flight sim we can all use.