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ForceFly Wiki

This wiki was set up to provide user support for the ForceFly. It is a perpetual work in progress to provide a more detailed resource for setting up, programming and using the ForceFly.

Connections

The following image shows the different connections available on the ForceFly.

  1. USB Port - Connect the joystick here
  2. PPM Jack - This jack is for connecting to the transmitter using a buddy/trainer cable
  3. Audio Input - This jack connects to the audio output of the video receiver and provides the force feedback information from the gyro board
  4. Power Input - This jack accepts the regulated 5V power supply provided with the unit. Note: connecting an unregulated voltage to this input will damage the ForceFly and the joystick.
  5. Battery Connection Point - This input is provided for people who wish to power the ForceFly with a battery. Input voltage must not exceed 13V, a 2s LiPo is ideal.
  6. Head Tracker Interface - This port is for future support

Programming the ForceFly

The ForceFly is programmed using the connected joystick. The hat switch is used to navigate the menu system. To navigate the menus with the hat switch the user must hold the menu button(s) while navigating. Each joystick has different menu button(s) so check the specific joystick reference to determine the button which must be held down while navigating the menu. To enter the menu, hold the menu button and press left on the hat switch. Note: Certain features of the ForceFly are not activated until the menu is accessed, always enter the menu before flying with the ForceFly.

The hat switch menu navigation interface is designed to allow users the ability to scroll through the menu and change settings as needed. Pushing down or up on the hat switch in the main menu scrolls through the list of sub menus. To enter a sub menu press right on the hat switch, conversely press left on the hat switch to exit a sub menu. To change a setting, scroll to the setting you wish to change and select it by pushing right on the hat switch. Pushing up or down on the hat switch will change the setting and settings are applied in real time to the controls. Finally press right to save the setting or press left to exit the setting without applying the change. Note: You must save the model if you wish to keep the changes after powering down the ForceFly.

MODEL SELECT Sub-menu

Menu items - MODEL, SAVE, SAVE AS

This menu is for handling configurations for each model. MODEL is for selecting the model you wish to load. The available choices are models 1-8 as well as the default model (DF). By selecting SAVE you save the currently loaded model back to memory. Selecting SAVE AS allows you to copy the currently loaded model to a different model location.

You cannot load a model that you have not saved (ie. trying to load model 03 when you have not previously saved one there will result in an error). To create a new model, go to MODEL and select DF for the default model. Then go to SAVE AS to save the model to the location you wish to use. You can now configure the current model as you wish.

After modify a model ensure you save the changes otherwise if you power down you will lose the changes. When the unit is powered up it will automatically load the current model.

ADJ AXES Sub-menu

Menu items - THROTTLE, AILERON, ELEVATOR, RUDDER, CH5, CH6, CH7, CH8

This menu is for setting up each axis. The different axes have different options in their AXES ADJUST sub menu.

Adjustments common to all axes

  • ENABLE - This option allows disabling the defined input channel. For instance, setting the RUDDER-ENABLE to OFF only means the rudder axis from the joystick will not influence the channel output. All other functions such as mixes, toggles, hat switch assignment and other settings specific to the RUDDER channel are unaffected. This option was provided so the user can reassign channels to alternate functions without having to worry about the assigned axis input affecting the output. This is particularly important for some of the larger joysticks such as Logitech's G940 where every channel has an assigned input axis.
  • TRAVEL L - This is the low end travel adjust for the axis
  • TRAVEL H - This is the high end travel adjust for the axis
  • SUBTRIM - This is the sub trim adjustment for the axis
  • REVERSE - This option allows reversing the output channel

Adjustments common to the primary flight controls - AILERON, ELEVATOR and RUDDER

These are in addition to the options listed above.

  • DUAL L - This is the low end dual rate setting for the axis
  • DUAL H - This is the high end dual rate setting for the axis
  • DUAL SW - This option assigns the push button or switch to activate dual rates
  • EXP MULT - This option is the exponential multiplier setting which defines the amount of exponential (expos)
  • EXP - This option is used to turn the channels expos on or off

Adjustments common to only the THROTTLE channel - listed under BOOSTERS

This functionality was provided to support the DogFighter Combat Simulation System and is essentially an afterburner and air-brakes simulation that allows the user to program a throttle override to a button or switch.

  • FAST PB - This defines the push button to enable the FAST throttle setting
  • SLOW PB - This defines the push button to enable the SLOW throttle setting
  • FAST SPD - This defines the throttle setting when the FAST PB is pressed
  • SLOW SPD - This defines the throttle setting when the SLOW PB is pressed

MIXES Sub-menu

HAT SWITCH

While the hat switch functionality can be programmed to do many different functions it is specifically designed to enable camera position control if using a pan and tilt camera. Two modes are available - absolute mode (ABS) and slew mode (SLEW). In absolute mode, each of the 8 cardinal positions of the hat switch can define a unique pan and tilt setting and tends to be easiest for looking around. In slew mode the operator can use the hat switch to steer the camera around. Two options that can be adjusted for slew mode is the slew rate (SLEW RATE) which defines how fast the camera moves when being steered with the hat switch and the zero switch (ZERO SWITCH) which defines a push button that can be used to quickly return the camera to the center position.

  • DIRECTION - This setting is used with the pan position (PAN POS) and tilt position (TILT POS) menu items to set the individual hat switch positions and is defined by using the appropriate compass points (N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW). For instance if you wish to set the camera position when looking to the right (hat switch pressed right) you set this menu option to east (E) and then adjust the pan position (PAN POS) and tilt position (TILT POS) settings for the desired position.
  • PAN POS - This sets the pan position for the hat switch direction currently defined in DIRECTION.
  • TILT POS - This sets the tilt position for the hat switch direction currently defined in DIRECTION.
  • MODE - This sets the hat switch look around function to either absolute mode (ABS) and slew mode (SLEW).
  • SLEW RATE - This sets the rate at which the camera moves if in slew mode.
  • ZERO SW - This defines the switch used to immediately center the camera if in slew mode.

MIXES

There are four mixes available in the ForceFly - MIX01, MIX02, MIX03 and MIX04. Each mix allows adding one channel to another.

  • ENABLE - This option is used to assign the mix to a push button (PB) or switch (SW). Alternatively the mix can simply be set to OFF or ON.
  • REVERSE - This option is used to reverse how the input channel is mixed to the output channel.
  • INPUT - This option is for selecting the channel to want to mix from.
  • OUTPUT - This option is for selecting the channel to want to mix to.
  • TRAVEL L - This option is for setting how much of the low side of the input channel to mix to the output channel.
  • TRAVEL H - This option is for setting how much of the high side of the input channel to mix to the output channel

TOGGLES

There are four toggles available in the ForceFly - TOGGLE01, TOGGLE02, TOGGLE03 and TOGGLE04. Toggle functions are able to add or subtract from a channel and can be used similarly to a transmitter switch.

  • ENABLE - This option is used to enable using the toggle.
  • OUTPUT - This option is used to assign which channel you want the toggle to be applied to. To configure a channel similar to a transmitter switch then it is recommended to turn off the input to that channel by setting ENABLE to OFF in the associated channel located in the ADJ AXES menu.
  • ON SW - This option is used to assign the toggle to a push button (PB) or switch (SW). Alternatively the toggle can simply be set to OFF or ON.
  • ADD ON - This setting determines how much to add to the channel when the toggle is activated.
  • ADD OFF - This setting determines how much to add to the channel when the toggle is deactivated.

FORCE FEEDBACK Sub-menu

This menu provides setup options for users who use the force feedback with the ForceFly.

  • ENABLE - This option is used to assign a push button (PB) or switch (SW) to enable force feedback. Alternatively the force feedback can simply be set to OFF or ON.
  • SMOOTHING - This setting is used to apply smoothing to the force feedback signals. Less smoothing will give a faster more intense force feedback that may make it more difficult to fly the aircraft. More smoothing will make it feel less jerky and will suppress vibrations or other noise that may effect the gyro board.
  • STRENGTH - This setting determines how much force to use to push the stick to the position defined by the gyro input. If the strength is too high, it may become difficult to maintain control of the aircraft.
  • C SPRING - This is the centering spring strength. When active force feedback is disabled this setting determines how strong the centering spring action should be.
  • ACTIVE FB - This option allows turning on and off the active force feedback. Active force feedback will force the stick in the assigned direction according to the gyro input.
  • PASSIV FB - This option allows turning on and off the passive force feedback. Passive force feedback will reduce the centering spring force according to the gyro input. This means that if the stick is in the center no effects will be felt however if for instance the stick is pushed to the left against the centering spring the gyro input will make the spring softer or harder depending on the gyro input.
  • FB-TRIM - This function allows force feedback trimming of the plane. When this setting is turned on the hat-switch trimming function does not adjust the channel trim settings but instead trims the spring force center position. This feature simulates the stick pressure that is present flying a real plane that is out of trim.
  • FFB-X REV - This option can be used to reverse the direction of the force feedback in the roll direction.
  • FFB-Y REV - This option can be used to reverse the direction of the force feedback in the pitch direction.

GYRO STAB. Sub-menu

The gyro stabilization menu allows setting up the gyro stabilization features. Due to the latency from measuring the roll and pitch rates and updating the output channels high gain levels on small aircraft can lead to oscillations and instability - be careful if using this function.

  • ENABLE - This option is used to assign a push button (PB) or switch (SW) to enable gyro stabilization. Alternatively the gyro stabilization can simply be set to OFF or ON.
  • SMOOTHING - This setting is used to apply smoothing to the gyro feedback signals. Less smoothing will give a more raw gyro feedback that may be influenced by vibrations etc. Too much smoothing will make the aircraft oscillate if gyro stabilization is turned on.
  • OUTPUT - This option defines which channel to apply the stabilization to.
  • REVERSE - This option allows reversing the stabilization signal applied to the OUTPUT channel
  • GAIN - This setting defines how much stabilization is fed into the output channel. Warning: To high of a gain setting will may the plane unstable and possibly lose control, always test this feature using a momentary push button.

MONITOR FFB Sub-menu

This monitor menu is for monitoring values associated with the force feedback system.

  • GFB-X - This displays the gyro feedback in the roll direction.
  • GFB-Y - This displays the gyro feedback in the pitch direction.
  • POS-X - This displays the force position of the stick in the roll direction.
  • POS-Y - This displays the force position of the stick in the pitch direction.
  • FORCE-X - This displays the force of the stick in the roll direction.
  • FORCE-Y - This displays the force of the stick in the pitch direction.
  • TEST FSK - This is for monitoring the FSK signal from the gyro board and is used to tune the phase lock loop circuit.

MONITOR TRIM Sub-menu

This monitor menu is for displaying the current trim values associated with each output axis.

MONITOR AXIS Sub-menu

This monitor menu is for displaying the current output values associated with each axis.

PPM SETUP Sub-menu

This menu is for setting up the PPM output of the ForceFly to match the radio it is being used with.

  • INVERSE - This setting is used to invert the PPM signals as some radios use an inverted PPM signal. When set to NO the PPM output idles high and has negative going pulses which is the typical PPM signal.
  • NUM CHS - This option sets the number of channels to output. If there is compatibility issues for instance a 6 channel transmitter rejects 8 channels coming from the ForceFly then it is possible to set this to match the number of channels that the transmitter has.
  • PULSE01 - PULSE08 - These are used to define what each pulse in the PPM stream is. This allows the user to reorder the output channels to match the transmitter. It is also possible to assign one channel to multiple output pulses.

HEAD TRACKER Sub-menu

This menu is for controlling the optional head tracker interface board.

  • ZERO RST - This option is used to assign a joystick push button (PB) to center the head tracker.
  • PULSE - This setting defines which pulse of the PPM stream entering the head tracker interface board is the the first of two sequential pulses that contain the head tracking data.
  • AXIS01 - This displays the value of the channel in the PPM stream defined by the PULSE setting.
  • AXIS02 - This displays the value of the channel that comes after the channel in the PPM stream defined by the PULSE setting.
  • REVERSE01 - This option is used to reverse the first head tracker output.
  • REVERSE02 - This option is used to reverse the second head tracker output.
  • OUTPUT01 - This setting defines which output channel to apply the first head tracker signal to.
  • OUTPUT02 - This setting defines which output channel to apply the second head tracker signal to.
  • GAIN01 - This setting determines how much of the first head tracker signal is applied to the output channel.
  • GAIN02 - This setting determines how much of the second head tracker signal is applied to the output channel.
  • SUB TRIM01 - This setting defines the center position of the first head tracker output
  • SUB TRIM02 - This setting defines the center position of the second head tracker output

COMBAT Sub-menu

This menu is for configuring the ForceFly to work with the DogFighter Combat Simulation System. The purpose is to allow easy setup of the player number and weapons assignment functions available in the DogFighter System.

  • ENABLE - This setting enables the ForceFly features designed to work with the DogFighter system.
  • PLAYER - This setting defines the player number or team number of the user.
  • CANNONS - This setting defines which push button to use as the trigger for the cannons (machine guns).
  • MISSILES - This setting defines which push button to use to fire a missile.
  • OUTPUT - This option defines which channel to use to control the DogFighter system.
  • OFFSET - This setting is for calibrating the ForceFly output to match the DogFighter controller input.
  • CAL MODE - Setting this to yes puts the DogFighter controller into calibration mode.

About push buttons and switches

Many of the ForceFly functions can be enabled with push buttons (PB) or switches (SW). Assigning a push button to a feature means that only when the button is pressed the feature is active. When a switch is assigned there is actually two push buttons assigned - one for on and one for off. Switches are always pairs of buttons that are close to each other and are predefined. Refer to the specific joystick to determine which pairs of buttons are assigned to each switch.

Supported Joysticks

The ForceFly supports both force feedback joysticks and normal joysticks. Unsupported joysticks will not work with the ForceFly.

Normal Joysticks

Force Feedback Joysticks

Limited Support Joysticks

  • Microsoft Sidewinder 2
  • Genius Metal Strike Pro
  • Logitech Wingman
start.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/26 15:27 by emrlabs