Unless I'm mistaken I feel that diydrones would rather all flights use a Tx, but are we not very close to a point where we can to put an end of the Tx for drone multirotors as the primary flying device.  After all this is 'diydrones' not 'diyrc' and a Tx is just not very drone like.

I know there are some bad a$$ flyers out there, but for me I want more of a drone and less of an RC.

Push a button, take off, do a mission and return back home and autoland, use virtual controls if needed, more drone like.

With all the new functionality from that Arthur Benemann has packed into the latest droid planner 2, including 1 button take offs, follow me, dronie, guided and large screen phones and tablets it looks like we may be close.  All the strides that DJI and Parrot has done with virtual joysticks that are extremely accurate cant we get away from requiring the Tx.

We have geofence RTL, battery low RTL and tons of failsafes, we have continue mission if lost signal for those long missions.

The Tx is a great backup to the phone, but I have no backup for my Tx anyhow so why would I need a backup for my phone/tablet.  If battery on phone dies it can return launch.

Somehow the new Ghost is not even requiring a Tx at all.

Just my thoughts as id like to say bye forever of the requirement of a Tx :-)

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  • 3D Robotics

    I haven't touched RC sticks for months. I just use Droidplanner (and AC3.2 with EKF turned on) and often just over Bluetooth -- it's the ideal mobile-first experience, especially when you're doing auto missions like mapping, scanning and dronies. 

  • Hi All,

    I think it might help to point out that a LOT of the RC/TX on the market are based on AVR/ARM chips and load up open software to do their job,

    and a lot of the modern RC protocols are bidirectional in nature ie rc out telemetry back.

    The RC  RF xmitter is generally a separate firmware in a lot of cases than the rc joystick/interface processor ie OpenTX E9x etc

    in the case of the openLRS system the TX/RX modules are the same circuitry in nature just a different firmware load.

    ie a Orange OpenLRS 1W xmitter module can be used airborne as a receiver(by a licensed ham(US)).

    While control is by a specialized rc protocol and telemetry at present I wonder if it would be practical to rebase rc control in MAVLINK/OPlink packets.. something tells me too much latency would be there for real time control in manual modes.

    I DONT see an issue to getting rid of trad TX just preserve a real time control path with physical controls to be accessed with sufficient precision(gameboy/game joysticks need not apply) by the UAS operator,it can all be over the same RF xmission as far as I am concerned.


    btw the telemetry radios are so easily interfered with its scary.. ie light up 2 GCS stations on same net as on target vehicle (my experiments show interference between the 2 GCS) :( I would hate to see something done with an sdr such as hackrf or even simple rfcat..

  • How do you feel about using a PC joystick/gamepad going through the telemetry radios? For the past 6 months, I've been using strictly USB style controls for all my APM vehicles (fixed-wings, multirotors, and ground rovers) without a traditional RC receiver on-board at all. I have 100% success rate (100+ flights), even when things go wrong with the flight controller.

    Here's a couple samples of what I'm talking about (keep in mind the videos are not specifically made to show strictly joystick/gamepad control, I'll have to make a dedicated video one of these days showing just that):



    • and yes the device you show IS uber cool!! even with using gamepad joysticks... :(


    • Cool...especially the surface pro with the gamepad over a large laptop, a researcher could use the same device for his work and fly/guide the drone without the need of bringing a Trad Tx in the field, just an extra little game controller.   If MP was a full screen RT app that could "help" prevent issues arriving from email coming in although of course not eliminate them.  

      There is also the issue of lockups etc, as any device even a trad Tx it could fail.  If this computer was rebooted or otherwise die would/could the RTL be engaged or is that strictly a Rx function at the moment of the APM?

  • I'd throw out the traditional TX.  But the only good reason for that would be to replace it with a better one.

    You can't get decent control with virtual joysticks.  Flat out, they suck ass.  To the point of being dangerous.

    There should always be an independent failsafe/fallback system.  Instead of 1 TX and 1 telemetry radio I think it would be smart to use 2 telemetry-type radios.  When everything is operating properly you'd have twice the bandwidth.  If either fails you'd still have a good link.

    Traditional TXs are TOY grade Chinese crap.  It's sad that they're currently more reliable than the sum of the autopilot and telemetry radio.  But they're reliable only by comparison.  They're nowhere near the level required for safe operation on a mass scale as seems to be happening. 

  • To be honest I really expected more from this community, except the one glimmer of hope from Randy that implied it will happen one day but we are not there yet, and that I fully accept because were not.  But it is obvious there is an overwhelming old school attitude in this community that we use a Tx and thats just the way it is and there is nothing better or safer, this attitude will surely let in an opportunity for another company to make something better and safer than the Trad Tx and do it better than 3DR in the future.  

    With this thread I had hoped to let us use our imagination to maybe come up with something better than the traditional Tx.

    Then I hear things like this from @Chim

    "The idea of abandoning the trad Tx and thereby avoiding having to learn to fly is a fail-fail. "

    This is so close minded, what about the doctors in Africa that will want to send drones into hard to reach or infected places or zones of outlaws, why does he need to know how to fly or know more than basics to get it down and so what if he uses a virtual joystick.  There will be supplies sent from troops that will press a button to send there drone off to another troop to help with supplies, and one day these people may use software made right here at diy, all I ask is please don't be so closed minded.

    We should be a community of innovation and ideas, I'm not talking about someone using this to just take a selfie, why should a farmer that has 20 acres 5 years from now need to have a traditional Tx to monitor his crops 100 ft off the ground.  To think that everyone will need to know how to fly the traditional way 5 years from now is absurd, I have been flying for 20 years and I know there are real world needs for no traditional Tx solutions in the future and now.

    None the less I still have hope one day we can get away from the traditional Tx requirement and something better and safer come will be created but it does not sound like it will come from here, unfortunately.

    • Mr Scott: If you're going to attempt to denigrate me by quoting me out of context you might want to do that in a thread that doesn't include my attendant explanation of that statement for all to see. And I'll repeat it: Anyone who flies a substantial drone without being able to fly it manually using known reliable hardware is a danger and detriment to the unmanned aviation community. Is that too hard a concept to grasp? 

      Nowhere do I (or any of your ideas' many other critics) defend or insist on trad Tx's because they are "old school." It's simply a matter of what works reliably, at this time, on smallish UAVs costing less than many tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nobody said or implied that this is a permanent situation. Your mythical farmer (who by the way if he is only farming 20 acres hardly needs a drone, his feet will be plenty good enough) or your mythical African doctors who you have playing out B-grade fantasies would lose their drones in short order if (a) they can't fly them manually and (b) the hardware they have with which to fly them manually isn't up to the job. 

      The charge that anyone in this community is "close minded" and so on is first of all ridiculous as you're talking about a community of extremely creative, open individuals who are constantly stretching out to the very edges of what's feasible to advance this field. Secondly, it's rude and insulting.  

      By all means exercise your imagination, and implement/communicate it to the best of your abilities. But in that process, don't make unqualified assumptions about what works and what doesn't and then try to impose those assumptions on people who are  highly experienced and as already mentioned right on the leading edge of this entire technology. That's close-minded! 

    • Amen. If you not willing to learn to fly it, you shouldn't be allowed to buy it unless it's so small it couldn't hurt anyone. I saw one come crashing into the hood of a car recently with nobody around. Never found the pilot. What if that car had been moving?

      The 747 analogy was perfect. I don't blame the FAA. There are too many idiots out there that can't fly, don't want to fly, they just wanna do it all from a tablet or phone and we've got fly aways increasing all the time. These inept pilots will have ruined it before we have the reliability needed to get rid of Tx. 

      Creativity and technology will never fully replace a sense of responsibility. 


    • ...all these 'fly aways' and complaints from the FAA have 'zero' to do with using or not using Trad Tx, all these "NAZA" and other fly aways are because of bad flight controllers design, firmware, GPS and other issues as phantoms have RTL on loss of signal also out of the box, phantoms require a Trad Tx.   Fact is 99%, if not 100%, of all recent FAA complaints were all launched using a Trad Tx not a ground station.

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