3D Robotics

iPhone controller for RC planes

The creator explains: "No jailbreaking. No WiFi. Stock receivers. I fly model airplanes and helicopters with my iPhone. I use an off-the-shelf 2.4GHz module and a custom iPhone app. The app is now in beta testing.

I use the phone's headphone jack to communicate with the Spektrum module. I make no modifications to the module or the receivers. This application does not use WiFi, Internet, external servers or microcontrollers."

(via MakeZine)
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  • Thank you for your encouragement. It works with the touch--even better than with the phone as you don't need to worry about incoming phone calls and airplane mode.
  • I say cool. Does it work with a iPod touch?
  • Thank you guys for your feedback.

    More information on the project and instructions for beta testers now appear at http://www.lib.aero/iphly/

    iPhone ships with 44.1kHz audio, so the resolution is even lower than John says. The pulses aren't entirely square--the signal oscillates a little around the edges. It makes a pretty picture on the scope.

    The DSM2 module emulates 72MHz Futaba modules. It takes regular "pulse high" PPM in. It has an internal pullup on the PPM line. It uses a 3.3V regulator inside, so anything from 4-cell NiCad and up can power it.
  • Developer
    Xander: That is a good point. At the highest normally available sample rate (48khz), and asumming the audio DAC is capable of generating clean square pulses. There will only be 48 available steps in a millisecond.
  • Interesting method. I wonder how accurate this can get running through the audio port though. I mean it's not designed for this sort of thing...
  • Can you share any links on the details of interfacing to the DSM2 module?
  • Moderator
    lol if it only used iphone i would say more than WOW cuz the guy magically allowed iphone to output r/c 2.4ghz :P but i tend to agree with Johns comment that it would be better to just use a normal radio with 2 joysticks in terms of control, because the throttle control seemed abit annoying, but still this is just beta version so lets see what happens, its still a cool idea
  • If it used just the iPhone, I would say "Wow!", but requiring to have that huge box on the outside, or more to the point, any external hardware, pretty much defeats the purpose in my opinion.
    You might as well make a proper completely integrated tilt controller with a touchscreen.
  • Developer
    I must confess that beyond the wow factor, I do not see the reason for using the iPod tilt compared to regular sticks. Maybe is is just the early implementations I have seen demonstrated so far. But it seems like a step backwards in regard to responsiveness and fine control of the aircraft.
  • ari@lib.aero

    (last five seconds of the movie has the email for beta testing signup)
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