3D Robotics

Plans for an open source RC Transmitter

Another one from Hack-a-day. It's just a concept so far, but the team that's behind it may be competent enough to pull it off. They're using a Kickstarter-like model to raise funds to make it. $670 buys you a pre-order if the project is funded.

an Open Source Remote Control transmitter. This is one of the most impressive looking RC transmitters we’ve ever seen. The OSRC could be great for a small UAV – just get the GPS position from the aircraft and map it with the transmitter’s screen. There’s also support for a video downlink so flying around New York City is possible with a single device.


The transmitter/receiver combo are more actually referred to as transceivers. According to [Demetris], the radios on both the ‘ground side’ and ‘vehicle side’ can talk to each other on a 115 kbps data link on the 2.4GHz band. Sending commands and getting telemetry to something we’ve seen before, but never in a single integrated package. The expected range is in the neighborhood of 10 – 40 km.  The ground unit is based on a Gumstix board and has a 4.8 inch display. This really isn’t so much an RC transmitter but a computer that happens to control RC airplanes.

[Demetris] has had some success doing some professional development with Gumstix boards, so it looks like he has the skills to build a very nice R/C controller.

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  • Hi,

    nice Transmitter !

    We have also an OpenSource Transmitter-Project:


    * Based on Cortex-M3 (STM32),

    * 64 Channels (and more)

    * OpenSource FHSS-System (RCOPEN24)

    * Telemetry



    And it is ready tu Use ;-)


    HomePage: http://www.rcos.eu/


    The only Problem: its a German Project and my English is very bad.



  • P.I.M.P. My TX 

  • Developer

    I like the sentiment, but this is a very questionable design. It doesn't seem to re-invent anything, just increment the current state and add a big expensive screen. Which is a monster design and engineering problem in itself. I'll not be investing till I see some innovation!


  • Seems like we already almost have this, with the Android GCS and a standard APM setup. All we need to do is cut out the bottom of a transmitter to make room for a phone. Or in the spirit of this project, make a very basic open source transmitter that has room for the Android, xbee and stuff.

    Seems like this guy saw the success of the open source flashlight (kickstarter that raised $260,000 for a $31,000 goal) and wanted to duplicate it for his own passion. It is just too much of a niche product and too expensive to get the same support. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/527051507/hexbright-an-open-sou...
  • Happy to pay $1000 if they add the above features :)

  • Feature requests:


    * ball bearing stick gimbles (not cheap plastic bushings)

    * 3rd stick (smaller maybe) for camera PTZ control with knob on stick for zoom control. Locate this on the throttle side of the radio so operator can take hand (finger) off the throttle stick to manipulate the camera

    * 5000mAh battery or more

    * Weather proof (at least some rain proof)

    * At least one locking switch to be used to activate/deactivate autopilot so that there is not OOPS!

    * Would be nice to have second locking switch for ignition/engine kill for the same reason above

    * USB programable of course




  • Where's the cappuchino dispenser?

  • Whats the difference to a Futaba 14MZ???

    The only interesting feature mentioned are the "Self correcting sticks", which sounds like a form of force feedback, which is a thought I also had... Combined with a modern way of sensing instead of a potentiometer the sticks make the difference. But I think this is a huge step to design and produce mechanically AND reliable!

    Personally I don´t want to hold a computer all the time I´m flying. It´s big, it´s heavy. While flying I don´t have time to look at it, I should look at the plane :-)

    I would prefer a very compact transmitter with good switches all in finger range to be programmed by an external device (PC, Ipad, whatever...)

    But the big players seem to earn enough money with controls they´ve been selling since years, so why invest...

  • Hmmm...does anyone else think that the stated range seems a little optimistic on 2.4 Ghz? Normally this sort of range is associated with with 400 Mhz dragonlink or similar transmitters/receivers. 

  • And poison control

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