6 Way mode switch gets life...

Finally after several iterations on PCB and electronics design, first jDrones ModeSwitches are getting to daylight.

First boards are fully operational and we are testing them with several of our test flyers. 

Stefan made original Arduino Sketch for his boards and we started to work from point forward.

There are total of two models of this ModeSwitches coming. One is this as shown on above and another will have even more intelligence in forms of OLED displays and programmable menus. 

Later boards will be installed on nice cases and we are looking now what type of cases to use for these boards. 

Features of the ModeSwitch:

  • ArduPilot specific flight modes, 6 modes in total
  • Easy to connect to RC radios. Use trainer port, has 3.5mm jack and pin headers
  • +5V and +12V operation voltages with polarity protection, DF13 connector and pin headers
  • Removable caps on switches for mode texts
  • Size 35 x 100mm, yes it's long but also has big easy to access buttons.


Jani / jDrones

Views: 3680

Comment by Morli on December 18, 2013 at 1:31pm

Hi Jani,

Nice project.  Does it go along with any specific brand of RC or any RC ( for e.g Spectrum 2.4 any model RC) will work with it?

Comment by Nicholas Witham on December 18, 2013 at 4:38pm

@Morli, I think with the 3.5mm jack, it will work with a JR or Turnigy or similar, not a Futaba.

I really like this, I've seen a few like this before. How did you get the buttons to output PPM?

I'd like to do something like this, but incorporate a gimbal stick, to control tilt and roll on my camera gimbal.

Comment by mP1 on December 18, 2013 at 5:04pm

What if your trainer port is already in use with a EZuHF tx ?

Comment by mP1 on December 18, 2013 at 5:06pm


Theres probably a amtel chip there that reads the buttons and outputs PPM to the trainer port plug. The more advanced version prolly includes a small 2 row lcd screen which is also driven by the amtel.

Comment by Jani Hirvinen on December 18, 2013 at 7:33pm

Yes there is ATMEGA328 MCU on back side of the board. MCU reads button input and outputs certain fixed PWM levels that matches well on those 6 pwm levels used by APM board to setup different flight modes. 

From output jack we are getting out full PPM signaling with total of 8 channels, Channel 1 is mode channel.

@Morli, it's universal. You can use it basically every radio. Board it self have 3.5 Jack on output and many radios have 3.5mm jack on input too. If your radio does not have, it's easy to have an adapter. Many RC simulators have 3.5mm plug adapter to Futaba connector and also DIN connector. 

Only need to get it working is that you can program your radio to listen PPM input on trainer port, take Ch1 from PPM  and set your radio to output that signal to Ch5 or Ch8 depending on your setup (airplane or copter).

@mP1 we have not checked EZuHF but there is one possibility. We can take PPM signaling in from EZ (or similar) and then alter it internally. Thou this needs small hardware modification as we don't have input pin on board yet but now that you started to talk about it, I think we will add it on final boards. I will check with my engineers about this. 

Correct me if I am wrong, doesn't EZuHF connect output port and not Trainer port?? It's a long-range rx/tx module and usually those connects to output ports?

About other model. Yes and No, you are correct that there is also a Atmel MCU running things but lcd is not 2 row. I will post another blog about that later after things are running on it. (hopefully later today/tomorrow)

Comment by Алексей Гришутин on December 19, 2013 at 12:23am

"Shut up and take my money"When can buy it?

Comment by Euan Ramsay on December 19, 2013 at 12:25am

Brilliant idea, and good job.

The whole "2 switch" thing is counter intuiative, and bad ergonomics. Which means it's all too easy to get the mode wrong at a crucial moment. A 6 position switch - or this - will be perfect.

My recommendations - give it room under the button so a paper label can be added (for the non OLED version). A simple bracket on the case to allow attachment to the Tx handle would also be excellent. The buttons and/or OLED should be backlit, for us night flyers.

My credit card is on standby for when these are released. Full OLED version for me please.

Comment by Euan Ramsay on December 19, 2013 at 12:26am

*Doh, just noticed the caps are removable. Ignore sugggestion on paper labels.

Comment by Romushock on December 19, 2013 at 12:40am

Great job, Jani!
Especially when you consider that one Russian guy did it and published more than a year ago. Information is here.http://forum.rcdesign.ru/blogs/99365/blog14414-page1.html#comments
and here is my video of 6-pos switch, built-in transmitter more than 9 month ago.


Comment by Graham Dyer on December 19, 2013 at 1:37am

Great but not for Hitec Aurora 9 users as channels 5-9 are not usable through the trainer port.


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