Simulator Setup

     These are instructions for a simulator setup using a Megatech Horsefly/Housefly (aka Walkera Dragonfly) transmitter and the freeware FMS flight-simulator program on a Windows PC.  (The transmitter type is "Zhen Hua".)  The transmitter can also be purchased separately from here, among other places.
     A transmitter-to-serial port cable is required; it's a 5-pin DIN (S-VHS connector) to 9-pin DB female (DB-9).  See below for pinout information.  A pre-made cable can be purchased from here, among other places.
     [Another way of doing this is by using a cable that goes into the PC's sound card; an example of information and software for this is SmartPropoPlus.  An alternative to using an actual RC transmitter (and cable) is to get a simulator controller; an example of one may be found here and here.]

  The freeware utility PPJoy is used to convert the transmitter signal into two virtual joysticks on the PC.

1. Download PPJoy: (alt site 1, PPJoy docs)

2. Unzip and install PPJoy via "Setup.exe".  Ignore the "Driver Signing Warning" (unless you have trouble later).

3. A program group called "Parallel Port Joystick" is created.  Run "Configure Joysticks" from that group.  Hit the "Add..." button, change "Parallel port" to "Virtual joysticks", and hit the "Add" button.  Go through the "Found New Hardware..." windows to get the virtual joystick device driver installed.

4. At this point there should be a new "PPJoy Virtual Joystick" entry shown.  Make sure it's selected and hit the "Mapping..." button, select "Set a custom mapping for this controller" (or "Modify mapping for this controller"), hit "Next", and then set the dialog windows to match the following:

Hit "Next".

Hit "Next", "Next", "Finish" and "Done".

5. Run "PPJoyCom" from the "Parallel Port Joystick" group.
  Connect the simulator cable to the computer and to the transmitter, and turn on the transmitter.  Set "Serial port" to the port corresponding to the one the transmitter simulator cable is plugged in to on the PC, and set "Serial protocol" to "Zhen Hua 5 byte protocol".  If the signal is being received properly then the "Waiting for stream init..." text will change to "Reading serial stream..."  (If you're not sure about the "Serial port" then just try them all.)  Note that the"PPJoyCom" program needs to be running for the input to stay active.  The program can be minimized.
     The "PPJoyCom" setup can be saved via the "Save .ini" button.  An icon can be setup to automatically load the configuration each time by doing something like this:  Do "Save .ini" and enter this into the "File name" field: 
C:\Program Files\Parallel Port Joystick\Horsefly_PPJoy.ini
     Right click where you want the icon to be, select "New", "Shortcut", and paste this into the "Type the location of the item" field:

"C:\Program Files\Parallel Port Joystick\PPJoyCom.exe" C:\Program Files\Parallel Port Joystick\Horsefly_PPJoy.ini

Name the icon whatever you like.

6. Go to Windows "Control Panel", "Game Controllers".  Select the "PPJoy Virtual joystick" entry and hit the properties button.  On the "Test" tab, you should see the widgets move as you move the transmitter sticks.  If not, then you need to go back and correct something in the previous steps.
     Select the "Settings" tab, hit the "Calibrate" button, and go through those dialogs.  At this point, the transmitter can be used as controller for flight simulators or for any program on the PC that supports standard joystick input.

7. Download and install FMS; this is the home page:

8. Run FMS (there should be an icon on your desktop), select the "Controls" menu and the "Analog control..." menu item to bring up the "Control" dialog window.  Select "Joystick interface", and hit "Mapping / Calibration".  Hit the "Calibrate" button and follow the directions shown.  You'll need to configure the channel assignments; here's how it is on my system:

The channels may be a little different on other systems (I've seen channels 1 and 5 exchanged on one PC), but this should be pretty close.

9. There are lots of models out there for FMS.  Installing a new model is as simple as putting the files into the "Model" directory in the FMS program directory.  Here is the somewhat random collection of models I had installed at the moment.  Here is an IFO model I modified to operate like the LightFlite Bug.  Here are some links for FMS models:

10. Another good flight simulator out there is ClearView.  Not free, but cheap ($30).

11. Here is the pinout for the simulator cable:

S-VHS DIN Cable, pins facing out, to 9-pin serial (DB9) female:

(green) DB9 pin 5 ----> x x <---- DB9 pin 3 (red)

(black) DB9 pin 7 ----> x x <---- DB9 pin 2 (white)


2 white
3 red
5 green
7 black

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ET Heli