Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flight Simulators

I have always been interested in flying actual airplanes remotely, and after being to the US, I ordered a foam plane called a Super Cub.After flying it, I realized that it is incredibly difficult to start flying an airplane right away.You need to be under the aegis of an experienced pilot to really learn how to fly.I could not find any good flying clubs around town, and it being winter, the winds were not on my side.After a lot of reading, I found that there are simulators which help you learn how to fly.They are priced at about $200 a piece, and as ever there are free options available.
How do they work? Here is what the blog post is about :)

1)You need to have either a 4 channel transmitter or above.I chose the Spektrum DX6i.This has port on which you connect a cable, and the transmitter emulates as a 4-Button, 4-Position Joystick.This cable costs around $14.
For the software, I used FMS.
The argument here is, this is still larger in cost than the pricey simulator, but in the simulator, I get a stupid dummy joystick(No transmitter), which simply is a box with 4 potentiometers, and an expensive software( the FMS is just about same in performance and appeal as the other).
Currently, I have not purchased the DX6i, but the Super Cub did come with its own 3 channel Tx, in reality, it has four channels...Hmm..Well I have hacked around an old joystick earlier, so it should not be a difficult task to do so now with the Super Cub's transmitter.Here are some snaps which confirm my idea.

Here is an image with the back cover removed.The 4 Yellow Boxes show the contacts of the potentiometers which I will use and emulate a 4 channel joystick on my computer.

I would need to solder some wires and make a nice hole in the transmitter, stick a port there, and attach a cable to my computer.Trouble is, my computer only has USB ports(I so hate the new laptops, they are not really hacker friendly).So would need some kind of a dongle there.

More in later posts!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

eZ430 Chronos Development Tool from TI

I just recieved a package from TI, which had the eZ430 Chronos Development Tool I ordered for Sree.Here are some previews and a quick video showing the accelerometer function.Enjoy!!!

In the image below, you can see from left to right, the bundled CD(which has the drivers as well as the control software for the access points), the eZ430 emulator (programmer as well, to add your own code to the watch), the watch itself, the RF access point(shown in photos further) and a nifty screwdriver to remove the back panel of the watch, In addition to these, there are a few screws(not shown in images) if you end up losing some.

Here is the video, that shows the accelerometer function.I was pretty excited, as this happens to be the first video, I would have uploaded for sharing.