Build a 4-Axis Flight Simulator Box
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[Courtesy of Dan Ross - April 1997]

I've liked the idea of using a transmitter as a joystick for a long time! I haven't liked the idea of having to buy a flight simulator!! Then Bill Dimpfl came to the meeting with his interface, R/C FLT.SYS / JOY STICK / PC . So I decided to make my own F/S box. Here is how I did it.

I had an old Transmitter sitting on my shelf (not any more). This would be my gimbal set. Get your tools together and gut that sucker! Leave the trainer switch, power meter, and the power switch in place. OK! Now you have your box and need to buy some parts. Go to your local electronics store and get:

  • 1 DB15 Cable
  • 2 push button switches, momentary-normally open
  • 4 500K potentiometers, same size as the ones in the transmitter

That's it !!

First you must remove the index pin on the pots. Now carefully remove and replace the 5K pots with the 500K pots. Connect an ohm meter to the center lead and the correct side (see pin out) of the pot, turn the pot until you get a reading of approximately 60K ohms with the gimbal centered. If you've made it this far the rest is a breeze! Install the push button switches so they are easy to access while using the F/S box. Hold the end of the DB15 cable with the pins in it, cut off the OTHER END!!!! Thread the cable through the antenna exit on the F/S box. Install a zip tie on the cable for a stop, and strip back about a foot of insulation. Now all you have to do is make all the solder connections. I'll try to keep the pin out simple:

Pin 1 Pot common to all pots on center post (use jumper wires)
Pin 2 Button One
Pin 3 Aileron pot Right side
Pin 4 Button common (use jumper wires)
Pin 6 Elevator pot right side
Pin 7 Button Two
Pin 10 Button Three
Pin 11 Rudder pot right side
Pin 13 Throttle pot left side

All potentiometer sides are determined by looking from the bottom of the component. Reassemble the transmitter case and you should be ready to fly your favorite F/S program with your new F/S box.

Good Luck!!

Dan Ross

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