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Need help to modify a radio

Old 04-23-2007, 09:57 PM
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Default Need help to modify a radio

Ok here is the deal. A fellow flyer has recently suffered from a stroke and now cannot use the left side of his body. He can hardly move his left arm.
Since the stroke he has fell into deep depression (I would to I guess) because he feels helpless and just stays in bed and doesn't do anything.
A few of us has got together and are trying to get him on his feet again. There is hope that he will use his left side again, but not if he doesn't try.

Anyway to cut to the chase- we are looking for a way to modify a Tx for him to be able to use-with only his right hand. We were looking at the Hitec Neon 3 and maybe thinking of moving the throttle slider to the right side. Then I thought about a foot pedal- something like a sewing machine or gas pedal.
I have a Wingman steering wheel and pedals for the pc and was wondering if anyone thinks this may work.

I was thinking all that I would have to do is remove the wires from the throttle slider in the Tx and run the wires from the foot pedal in it's place. Will this work?
Any input here will help us out. Or any other ideas or other methods to do this.

I hate to see this guy just waste away in bed. He is a good guy and we need to get him back up to par.

We are gathering up gear to build a trainer type plane for him. I figure it would be easier to re-learn to fly on one. But this is where are only problem is.

Thanks for any help here- I am sure he would, his wife, myself and the others involved would be greatful.
Old 04-23-2007, 11:19 PM
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mullenc525
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Default RE: Need help to modify a radio

Its doable, but it wont be so simple as snipping the wires from the throttle slider and attaching them to the output of the foot pedal. You will probably need to find someone fairly capable with electronics to convert the output scale of the pedal to the same scale as the slider. Come to think of it it may be easiest just to graft the slider onto the foot pedal, save fooling with the electronics as long as you can get the mechanics right.
Old 04-24-2007, 12:44 AM
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Default RE: Need help to modify a radio

Bg -

There used to be some 3-channel, single-stick transmitters where the 3rd channel was controlled by twisting the stick. All 3 channels were thus controlled by your right hand. The single stick had a small knob on the end that you could turn clockwise and counter-clockwise to control the 3rd channel. I believe both Kraft and Orbit made this type of transmitter.

I also found this site featuring custom-made transmitters, and one option appears to be 3 channels on a single stick:
http://www.jensenjetmodels.com/id30.htm

They are not cheap, but you might contact whomever runs the site, and tell them what you are trying to do. Maybe they can help. The e-mail address is: [email protected]

- Jeff
Old 04-25-2007, 01:01 AM
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jooNorway
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Default RE: Need help to modify a radio

I like your thought Bg! Helping other is valuable!

Maybe your friend would like to sit in a chair when flying? The first I think of is to modify a joystick for PC-simulators. They should be able to control ail/ele the normal way, and you get rudder-input by twisting the handle. Then a throttle-control have to be made, maybe controlled by the thumb?
The joystick have to be modified, leaving the transmitter aside the joystick and build pot-meters with the right value to the joystick. And a shielded cable between. The trimknopbs should be left on the transmitter, allowing for a friend to help him trimming the plane. The modifications should be no problem...

An other way to get him out of bed and to the field together with friends is to simply use a trainer-cable between his TX and you. On my transmitters I`m able to leave some control to the "pupil" and keeping some for myself. Then he could fly using the right stick, and you could help him controlling the throttle from your transmitter.

Just some inputs...
Old 04-25-2007, 07:02 AM
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Default RE: Need help to modify a radio

Some good ideas here and thanks for the input. I think the route we will try is moving the throttle to a foot pedal. It just seems it would come natural to control like a gas pedal.

I would think he would be sitting while flying since he doesn't have alot of stamina these days.

I thought about using a trainer cord but I was trying to get it across that he could do it on his own with a modified Tx. I guess we didn't want to contribute to him feeling helpless.

Thanks for the ideas guys, I am going to try to get the radio modified this week. Hopefully all goes well.
Old 04-25-2007, 07:19 AM
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Default RE: Need help to modify a radio

This sounds like a really neat project. I hope that in the end you can find something that works out for your friend.

My thought on this is kind of along the same lines as your foot pedal idea to use a joystick. If you can overcome the positional readings from the potentiometers in the joystick could you not use a flight simulator joystick? A few out there on the market have sliders on the control stick near the thumb or index finger. This would give a "real" flight experience even better than our remotes if it is possible. Not only would he be out there flying again... it could start something really interesting for others in similar situations.

Best of luck
Patrick
Old 04-25-2007, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Need help to modify a radio

KISS princible.
Get a cheap PC joystick. Gut it and keep the handle. Seperate the joystick. Take the throttle slider from the TX, extend the wires and using a dremel and Goop install it on the thump side of the joystick. Bevel the bottom of the joystick and glue one side to the RC TX stick. Screw on the other side. You may have to strengthen the gimbal springs on the Tx. Use a TX tray with metal shoulder straps to hold the TX.

Fritz

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