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Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

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Old 05-30-2003, 01:15 AM
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foobar
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

I have an Airtronics SR-something 4 channel that i bought in 1987, still works great, just needs new batteries.

Haven't flown in about 15 years but plan to get her up again this summer, just need new gear, those batteries, and some fuel.

In the interim i was flying a lot of PC flightsimulators.

Question is: is there an adaptor for the Trainer Cable system that converts to PC joystick-port or USB? My Radio's trainer jack is a 5 pin DIN plug (hey thats the same as a MIDI jack!!! maybe that'll work into my soundcard's joystick/MIDI port??? Nah...that'd be too convenient...no???)

Does somebody make this? If not, I know it's possible. Plans? Anyone done it?

Yes i know there's R/C sims out there but i just wanna fly my Warbirds 3 in offline practice mode for a while with my transmitter's teensie joysticks to get the feel back. Software is free at totalsims.com, you pay to fly online with others though. Aces High at hitechvreations.com is another fairly good one, bit more game-y

This has made me think of another question: is the reverse possible? Could i use a PC/Mac joystick with a radio transmitters, plugging into it's trainer-jack? If so, analog only or would USB be possible?
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:41 AM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

First off, before anyone else mentions it, is the transmitter narrow band, gold stickered etc etc... I wasn't here then but in 1991 some new rules were introduced...

Question 1:
I've looked into the transmitter interface thing myself. There's lots of stuff out there, most of it overpriced for basically a lead to connect your transmitter to the PC. OK, there's some electronics involved so it isn't just a case of buying some wire from Radio Shack and hooking it up.

I know you don't want a sim but here's the best solution:

RC Simulator

For your $50 you not only get the sim but you also get a joystick interface with a Windows driver that allows you to use the transmitter as a joystick with any game.

All other sims that I know have an interface that works only with the specific sim.

Many of the stand alone leads/interfaces you'll come across will probably also cost close to or more than $50...

Question 2:
As I understand it you want to be able to control an aircraft via a joystick through the trainer port of an existing transmitter. In this case the joystick will essentially be acting as a buddy box. First off, you have to change the trainer switch on the transmitter so you don't have to hold onto it. Then you need some sort of interface to convert the joystick output to a signal the transmitter can interpret. I don't know of such a system.
However, there is a system that is designed as a control system for battlebots that allows a joystick input. As far as I recall, this is a complex system and would cost a lot of dosh...
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Old 05-30-2003, 08:29 AM
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Steve Lewin
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

Any joystick interface will work with any sim that accepts joysticks. This includes most of the full-size or RC sims e.g. FMS which is free.

A suitable interface is available from http://www.rc-electronics.co.uk/ (for under $50, even the USB version). There are plenty of others around.

BTW the Ripmax interface suggested by tiggerinva does not work with Win XP.

Steve
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Old 05-30-2003, 01:07 PM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

i have PC joysticks...what i want is to be able to use the transmitters teensie thumb-joysticks with the PC

i have an Airtronics SR4 - from about 1987 - has a 5 pin DIN plug (just like a MIDI cable)

i'll look into RC Simulator - if it's only $50 and comes with a cable that'll work with my TX then that's fine. I downloaded FMS last night and had some fun with it - though again i had to use the big PC joystick. Great for remembering how fast those liuttle guys fly - i've been spoiled by the scale speeds in the combat flight simulators.

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Old 05-30-2003, 02:10 PM
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Default 5 pin din

The 5 pin din is the same plug that Futaba uses, probably Hitec too. You might have to do a search to find out if your Airtronics trainer port is compatible with Futaba etc...

Steve,

As I said before, those prices are pretty close to the price of RC SImulator. The lead that comes with it as actually quite good quality and looks professional. Those leads look kinda 'Radio Shack' to me.

Good point about XP though, the sim won't work but the software driver for the interface is seperate, I don't know if that'll work in XP. It struck me funny that way, when you load up RC Simulator, you have a choice between using the internal interface or the external windows driver...

BTW this interface is sold seperately and is detailed here

It looks like there is a 'beta' driver update that allows you to use this interface with Windows 2000/XP . You can find it here
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:45 PM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

Thanks for the DIN plug info. I'll try to find out if i'm compatible.

Yeah they probably didn't want to figure out how to write a driver so they let you use a standard Windows joystick or their own proproietary interface, but it only works with their program.

What their should be is an interface that makes the radio appear as a joystick to the system. Then you could fly ANY flight sim software with your TX box and trainer cable.
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:26 PM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

As I said, the RC Simulator comes with a windows driver that enables you to use the interface as a joystick with ANY game.

I know because I've tested it with Cockpit Master and it works!

BTW I bought CM for $10 without an interface and had to use a joystick before I got the Ripmax Sim. I just set up the channels using the Windows driver and it worked fine.
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:59 PM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

oh, thank you!

i had thought someone said the magic adaptor only worked with their software product
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Old 05-30-2003, 06:11 PM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

Yep, I did!

I've got the following:

FMS: People will sell you all sorts of leads to go with this. I got mine off of ebay with a printer lead for JR. Lead works only with FMS.

Easyfly: Comes with a serial lead. Lead will only work with Easyfly.

Cockpit Master: I got the disk only, no lead. Hobby-Lobby will sell you a lead for around $32. Guess what? Only works with CM..

Realflight G2 / Lite: Comes with fancy USB interlink thingy. You can only use this with Realflight....

Get the picture?

RC Simulator just happens to come with a joystick interface that enables you to use their lead with anything! That's why I recommend it... unless you want to splash the $200 on G2...
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Old 05-30-2003, 07:10 PM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

What kind of connector do you use on your Ripmax cable to go into your TX? i see they so say they support Airtronics, with an adaptor that seems to turn their cable's male-TRS(stereo)-mini plug into the 5 pin DIN that's on my old Airtronics SR4.

They have beta drivers for Win2000/XP available...i've downloaded them, haven't installed yet.

I actually already have a cable that turns 5 pin DIN into the trapezoidal joystick port connector on your sound card (forget offhand how many pins...less than 25, more than 9) though i doubt that would work as MIDI uses different pins than most analog joysticks (as you can run both MIDI and a JS off one port)

Obviously they use no more than 3 pins as they use that stereo mini. If i could find out the pin-outs, i could build my own this weekend, save a bit of money, but mostly time.
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Old 05-31-2003, 03:38 AM
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Default Question: Trainer Cable to PC (USB?) Joystick adaptor?

I had a PC MIDI lead, I think it was two 5 pin DIN's connected to a joystick port. Also, many moons ago I also had an Atari ST computer which had built in MIDI ports. MIDI is basically a serial interface so there probably is no electronics invlolved, just a case of connecting wire to the correct pins.

FYI joystick port has 15 pins, I just counted 'em.

Unfortunately, you can't just hack that lead you've got and wire the correct pins up. Inside the Ripmax interface is a circuit board with an IC chip that translates the transmitter output into joystick movement type output. This circuit is what makes the leads expensive.

I also looked at the connector. Its not actually a standard 5 pin DIN. It also has a pin in the centre.
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Old 05-31-2003, 06:47 AM
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Steve Lewin
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Default Re: 5 pin din

Originally posted by tiggerinva
As I said before, those prices are pretty close to the price of RC SImulator. The lead that comes with it as actually quite good quality and looks professional. Those leads look kinda 'Radio Shack' to me.
From exactly the same designer. The Ripmax one is an early design that has been productised. The others are later designs with updated firmware but not such pretty cases. Your choice .

BTW the Sanwa/Airtronics 5-pin DIN socket is NOT the same as the Hitec/Futaba 6-pin DIN socket. The pins are in a different configuration. However it will work with most of the interfaces provided you wire it correctly. Signal to Pin 3, ground to Pin 2 (be careful, pins are numbered 1,4,2,5,3, check the embossed numbering).

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