Arduino ModeSwitch with LEDs


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

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  • Developer

    @Euan, yeah caps are removable so you can easily put texts on those piece of papers. We are still looking some alternative buttons and especially one that have lights in them but in meanwhile these are the buttons that we plan to use for now. 

    OLED is naturally LIT.

    Bracket is something that we are thinking of. Final bracket model depends on the case what we start to use. I am open for suggestion.

  • Developer

    @Stefan, my guys are already doing that reading/manipulating firmware. All future boards will have both PPM input and PPM output jacks. OLED version will have menu system that allows you to configure what/where/how signals will be manipulated. 

    Yeah I am trying to find a company that makes those 3.5mm jack / Futaba adapters. 

  • Developer

    @Romushock yes i know that there are few of those made already. So what? I think first ones was made close to 5 years ago with PPM Encoder hardware but they newer saw public on that time. Your modification looks great but it's difficult to add on other radios. What we try to have is easy to use and easy interface system with most of the radios on market.

    Easiest way to make mode switch would be just 6 position knob switch and have few resistors... Like Max and few other people have done. But again.. we don't want to make physical modifications on any radios. 

  • Admin


    Thanks. Thats what I thought.   JR I have does not give option to choose which channels alone gets transferred  via trainer port. All 4 basic channels gets transferred when trainer switch is pressed. But I see a possibility of moding one of the internal 3 position switch, needs little work though. May be some one can look into this aspect from Jani's side if not a volunteer.

    Trainer adaptor for futaba port is good idea.

  • @Jani:

    You should include an adapter cable for Futaba radios too or make it a choice. Many people have a Turnigy 9XR and the Futaba trainer port has the advantage that it also supplies power, so it would be almost plug and play.

  • @Morli:

    You need a radio which allows you to configure which channels are controlled by the trainer radio. I only know OpenTX firmware but at least from a number of other radios I have read that you can decide to let the student "take it slow" by first handing e.g. only elevator and aileron control over to him, but not throttle. This is what you want to look for. If your radio does not allow for this kind of "flexible" setting, you won't be able to use this version of the board.

    I have been thinking about creating another version of the firmware which accepts a PPM stream at an input and just replaces the channel 5 or channel 8 and then outputs the new PPM stream. That would work with practically every radio but only with external transmitter modules, such as LRS systems...

    It's always a compromise...

  • Admin


    Thanks for the details.  I still don't understand as to how this thing works on trainer port input.

    I have a JR 3801 radio with  spectrum 2.4 module plugged in.

    JR RC radio has 3.5 mm trainer connector in the back. There is a dedicated switch( marked as trainer) on the radio to transfer the function/control to trainer( slave) radio via trainer port which is connected using mono/stereo  3.5 cable/connector.

    When  I press the trainer switch on the master RC radio while teaching some one to fly,  the slave/trainer radio has the control until I release the switch when student gets into trouble and I take over the control.

    So, if I connect your board to trainer port on RC radio( master if you want to call it or single RC radio setup) , the Radio can/will sense/read the pwm signal from your board only when/till I press the trainer switch. But then other control signal( throttle,elevator,aileron etc) from RC radio will get disrupted while only mode control signal from your board goes through. So how do I control the airframe say in stabilized mode while pressing/holding trainer switch! . Am I missing some thing? The same issue will arise in my Thomas LRS radio connected to futaba 9ZAP I assume. I can understand if this board is connected to /replaces one of multi position switch on the RC radio but could not see how connecting this to trainer port works.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Moderator

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

  • Great job, Jani!
    Especially when you consider that one Russian guy did it and published more than a year ago. Information is here.
    and here is my video of 6-pos switch, built-in transmitter more than 9 month ago.

    Переключатель режимов ардупилота - Дневники - RC Форум
    Переключатель режимов ардупилота alexeykozin
  • *Doh, just noticed the caps are removable. Ignore sugggestion on paper labels.

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