Introduction: Drone Racing Simulator With Turnigy 9x and PPM USBASP

Real Drone racing is very interesting and really fun as long as it's not crash! , It's not that hard flying small quadcopter if you use Angle mode or Atti mode in the world of drones where the flight controller will auto self automatically but going into acro mode or manual is quite hard and you will have to buy lot's of spare component after crash even for slight drop (damaged esc, props, cable loose, antenna broken, etc). .Before going into the real thing, using simulator is a must and i found game for Mac OSX, Windows with title "Lift Off" from ImmersionRC is quite good, not very far from realistic (no weather and wind factor until now) and now practice in manual mode become cheap.

Before starting this is the component i use:

  1. Turnigy 9x Remote RC
  2. OpenTX firmware in Turnigy 9x
  3. USBASP programmer with firmware PPM2USB
  4. Lift Off game from Steam or FreeFPV Rider

Let's start this project shall we.

Step 1: Setting Up USBASP and Receiver

Buy USBASP, make new wiring for it based on this page http://thomaspfeifer.net/ppm2usb_adapter_en.htm then flash it with custom Hex (just follow instruction from that website). Im using PPM with OpenLRS 433mhz

Step 2: Prepare Your Transmitter and Receiver (PPM)

You can use any PPM TX and RX with this setup, and you can also use Jack Trainer behind your Turnigy 9x transmitter. TX and RX example like 2,4Ghz JR Module from frsky but now i'm using DIY OpenLRSng built from Arduino Nano and RFM22B board.

Using trainer port with jack is also possible. In OpenTX Setup you have to set the ppm to 'PPMSIM' to make it work. There is some tutorial here to flash usbasp ppm with port trainer https://www.instructables.com/id/Hacking-a-USBasp-dongle-into-a-PPM2USB-RC-SIM-dong

Step 3: Setting Up FPV Games

Install Lift Off games fpv drone racing from Steam. Then run the games, go to OPTIONS > CONTROLS > Controller Preset

and choose "Taranis 2 for OSX", the button assign will totally wrong but we will set our OpenTX transmitter to fully compatible with this games. Follow this steps:

Make new profile in OpenTX

Assign CH1 to Elevator (ELE)

Assign CH2 to Aileron (AIL)

Assign CH3 to Throttle (THR)

Assign CH4 to Rudder (RUD)

You should see our transmitter is working correctly now

Step 4: Summary

This setup working for FreeFPV Rider and Lift Off simulator. Before going into real fly it's recommended you try this simulator at least 9hours play (minimum) using acro mode.

This is some video demo using fpv simulator

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Bio: Love taking pictures as Photographer and technology enthusiast. My background from web software developer but my dream is combining between art and technology to create ... More »
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