You can use any radio transmitter (TX) to play FPV simulators wirelessly using a Betaflight flight controller, all you need is a F4 or F7 FC and a radio receiver. I will show you how to set it up in this tutorial.
Maybe your radio don’t support FPV simulator, or simply don’t have a USB connection. Maybe your USB cable is too short and you want wireless connection. Either way, you will find this hack useful 🙂
Check out my other Betaflight tutorials.
Play FPV Sims Wirelessly!
Since Betaflight V3.4, you can turn your flight controller into a joystick (HID device) when you plug it into your computer. With the commands coming in from the radio receiver (RX), you can play FPV simulators without connecting your radio to the computer!
It also means that you can use all radios to play simulators, even the ones you can’t connect to the computer directly, such as the Flysky i6 or Turnigy 9X.
As it’s a wireless connection, you are no longer constrained by the length of the USB cable, and you can finally lay back and play!
I have not measured latency, but I don’t feel any more latency than using USB cable to the radio.
Only F4 and F7 flight controllers support this feature currently. F1 and F3 FC cannot do it because they don’t have enough memory to store the additional code. (This article explains the differences between F1, F3, F4 and F7 FC)
You can just use your drone for this. But if you want a dedicated FC and RX setup just for playing simulators, these are the cheapest parts I could find:
- F4 FC: http://bit.ly/2sVkf6t
- Frsky RX: http://bit.ly/2xWyayZ
- Flysky RX: http://bit.ly/2Mfsu68
- Spektrum RX: http://bit.ly/2JIFt1S
- Futaba RX: http://bit.ly/2l1Luc9
Make sure to flash the latest Betaflight to your flight controller (3.4 or newer). Check out this guide if you have trouble flashing firmware on FC, it could be a driver issue.
In this example, I am using the Frsky XM (SBUS) with Kakute F4 V2 AIO FC:
Power on Receiver
Most flight controllers these days powers the RX when you plug in the USB cable, and that’s great.
However, some FC’s don’t power on the RX with USB connection, so you might have to plug in the LiPo battery in order to power the receiver.
If you are doing this on a quad with LiPo connected, make sure you disconnect the VTX and other power hungry components to avoid overheating and draining your LiPo. And for safety, make sure props are removed.
Enter This in CLI
Once you’ve confirmed the RX is working in Receiver tab (channels are responding to the stick movements), you can go the CLI, and enter:
set usb_hid_cdc = on save
Select Joystick in FPV Simulator
Once it’s setup properly, your flight controller will appear as a joystick on your PC, and you should be able to select it in the FPV simulator. Make sure to calibrate it in the sim for the first time and you are good to go!
If you are doing this on a quad, you should turn off USB_HID_CDC before your next flight.
set usb_hid_cdc = off save
Dedicated Wireless Sim Box
So I was reviewing a new Frsky radio but the software doesn’t support simulator yet through the USB port, so I made this box so I can play sims with the radio for now 🙂
I really like the “wireless” aspect of this solution, I will probably use this box with all my radios from now on 🙂
FC, RX and plastic box are all spare parts that I no longer use. Coin stack is for stability so it won’t get dragged and slide by the usb cable.