R/C PPM Hacked

[Thomas Pfeifer] has taken the PPM signal produced by model aircraft wireless controllers, and with an ATMega8, converted the signal to act as a USB joystick. Which means you can now use a standard R/C remote control to fly model aircrafts on your computer. Of course now with PPM decoded you could also use the signal to control any electronic device. Like your mower, iPod, and we’ve even seen remote controlled pellet guns. Catch a video of [Thomas] flying a simulated quadrotor helicopter after the jump.

[Thanks Max]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRP6-gmG-i4&feature=player_embedded%5D

26 thoughts on “R/C PPM Hacked

  1. This writeup seems to imply that he “decoded” some unknown signal, which isn’t the case. He has *translated* a known (and well documented) signal in to a different signal which can be used as a joystick. Just so you know…

  2. Yeah I was scratching my head at the “hacked” word, especially as you can already buy off-the-shelf cables (or make your own using info online) for linking your RC controller to your PC for flight sims etc. through the trainer / DSC port.

    I’ve been considering buying such a cable for my Fly Sky GT2 trigger controller but the RC car sims I’ve seen out there don’t seem that great enough to warrant spending a few coins.

  3. Quite honestly I don’t know if I have been googling the EXACT wrong thing but I have been looking for information on how to hook up my 2.4ghz controller to an uC etc. So at the risk of sounding stupid to the hackaday trolls.. Does anyone know where I can read more about getting the controller receiver hooked up to a uC? Not sure it matters but its a 6 channel.

    Thanks guys,


  4. What is this joke ? Esky controllers as well as walkeras when bundled with a rc chopper are provided with a free usb connection wire and copy of freeware simulator for training purpose…

    the full USB only controller 4 or 6 axis cost around30 buck on chinese discount stores…

  5. Didn’t know it was done before, but still think it’s useless when I can connect my existing RC controller to my computer already via a $6 cable I bought off ebay.

    Maybe if I create a hack of adding a PS2 cable to my wireless keyboard to connect it to my computer HAD will feature it!

    Alright, that was low, and I’m sorry. I just couldn’t resist.

  6. It’s only a matter of time before someone hacks a flight simulator to send fly-by-wire signals so anyone with a laptop can safely land a new airliner should the pilot become incapacitated…

    “can i do that in ‘excel?'”

    gotta love scott adams.

  7. I am pretty sure you can do this with your PC sound card. I had done this some time back when I was learning to fly model airplanes. I hooked up my Spektrum DX6i controller to the PC using an audio cable and used FMS(Flying Model Simulator) and PPJoy.

    I will try to remember details and maybe write up a blog. This comes in handy when you are trying to learn flying and each crash could cause about $10 damage.

  8. Not new but why not.

    I hoped that it’s just a misspell for signal name, that someone finally decoded the 2,4Gh signal (like the Spectrum uses) :P. Well next time :)

    For PPM here some additional reading:

    And for PIC fans: http://alessioandrea.altervista.org/rcjoyng2.html

    Of topic: Does someone have the information how to build “DXTR Head Tracker Interface for DX7”

  9. I’ve done this and the PC commanding the remote, and thought it was so common and lame no one could consider this on H.A.D.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is great craftsmanship of a custom interface. Nice work here, but how much credibility can you pump out of hackaday claiming hax everywhere. No I haven’t got over those fu*king led throwies articles.

  10. ril3y:

    If you want to connect a radio to a uC, one approach that I’ve done in the past is to use voltage injection. I was only concerned with the altitude channel. On the inside of the radio the control sticks are attached to pots that form voltage dividers. If you disconnect the wiper from its circuitry and instead inject a voltage from a DAC and uC, you can effectively control that channel programmatically.

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