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Old 3 channel RC helicopter transmitter?

#1
Can I use my old 3 channel RC helicopter transmitter for a plane? Can I also somehow hook it up to my computer and use it in a RC simulator? I'm new to this and don't have a plane so please keep things simple. Thanks.
 
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pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#2
Depends what it is. Technically you can fly a 3ch plane with 3 channels but a dedicated helicopter TX may have some special mixing that won't work with planes.

Same goes for RC flight simulators. Also, generally flight simulators require PPM out usually from a trainer port for the TX to work.

So post the brand and model and maybe we can be more definitive.

However, if you want to get started you should probably consider buying something a bit more capable. There are various ways to go but if you want to build FliteTest planes getting a computer radio that does servo reverse, endpoints and subtrim is very useful. A few extra channels and mixes adds to the fun. You can start with something more basic if you want but if you are interested you will learn fast.

The cheapest programmable TX, around $30 US that has useful features is the HobbyKing T6A/FlySky CT6B. You need a computer to program it and don't for get to buy the USB programming cable

The next is the FlySky i6 with the iA6B receiver for around $50 US. You don't need a computer to use it and it has much better features.

In both cases you may need some additional cables to hook up to a flight simulator. I can find links to those if you are interested.

These are cheap radios so quality is not always there but they have all the essential features to get started.

There are other more expensive choices that have better quality and support.
 
#3
Depends what it is. Technically you can fly a 3ch plane with 3 channels but a dedicated helicopter TX may have some special mixing that won't work with planes.

Same goes for RC flight simulators. Also, generally flight simulators require PPM out usually from a trainer port for the TX to work.

So post the brand and model and maybe we can be more definitive.

However, if you want to get started you should probably consider buying something a bit more capable. There are various ways to go but if you want to build FliteTest planes getting a computer radio that does servo reverse, endpoints and subtrim is very useful. A few extra channels and mixes adds to the fun. You can start with something more basic if you want but if you are interested you will learn fast.

The cheapest programmable TX, around $30 US that has useful features is the HobbyKing T6A/FlySky CT6B. You need a computer to program it and don't for get to buy the USB programming cable

The next is the FlySky i6 with the iA6B receiver for around $50 US. You don't need a computer to use it and it has much better features.

In both cases you may need some additional cables to hook up to a flight simulator. I can find links to those if you are interested.

These are cheap radios so quality is not always there but they have all the essential features to get started.

There are other more expensive choices that have better quality and support.
Thanks! Really helped. Also can I have links for the cables for the flight simulator?
 

razor02097

Rogue Drone Pilot
#5
For scratch building you could sometimes use the control board and servos that come with toy helicopters. However 3 channel probably means coaxial heli... in that case no because it uses 2 drive motors for yaw and one small motor and propeller for pitch. There isn't really an effective way to convert a motor driver to servo control needed for control surfaces. Examples of good conversion candidates would be something like a WL toys V911 or similar fly bar 4 channel heli with actual control servos.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#6
With this link here http://www.banggood.com/FlySky-FS-i...ansmitter-With-FS-iA6B-Receiver-p-983537.html how do I know witch channel is controlling what? For an example it says channel 1, does that mean the throttle? and where it says channel 2 is it rudder controls, elevators? Or do I programme what channels do what on the computer? Or am I just confusing myself?
I'll find the links later but to answer your question, different brand pick different orders for the first 4 channels. The two common orders are...

AETR - CH1 = Ail, CH2 = Elv, CH3 = Thr, CH4 = Rud used by Futaba (I think), FlySky and others
TAER - CH1 = Thr, CH2 = Ail, CH3 = Elv, CH4 = Rud used by Spektrum and others

Some more capable radios allow you to set up you own order but both the two I listed are fixed as AETR.

There is also the Mode which determines which gimbal stick is linked to which channel. Mode 1 and Mode 2 are the most used and Mode 2 is the most popular, particularly in North America. Mode 2 uses the left gimbal for Throttle (vertical) and Rudder (horizontal), the right gimbal is used for Elevator (vertical) and Ailerons (horizontal). Mode2 keeps the steering on the left stick. With Mode 2 on a 3 channel plane that uses a rudder and no ailerons you usually switch the rudder to the aileron stick.

This mapping is important because the throttle stick does not self center and usually has a slight ratchet action so you need to fix which stick it is mechanically apart from the fact of just keeping it in the same place so you can learn how to use it.

Many radios can have their modes switched but it requires both a program change and a mechanical rearrangement of parts. The i6 has instructions in the manual. Not sure about the CT6B. But generally it's better to just buy the Mode you want.
 
Last edited:

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#7
Here's there links to the cables for the i6. They may work for the CT6B also...

You might want to order the data cable in case you want to update the firmware

http://www.banggood.com/FlySky-Data...-T6-Transmitter-Firmware-Update-p-982289.html

It's the same one used to program the CT6B. It's not really necessary for the i6 but there's a firmware hack that gets you more channels (see the links in the last post in this thread .

and one of these adapters so you can use it with a flight sim on the PC. I have tried with ClearView (cheap) and PicaSim (free) Think you will need another cable set to make it work. The one I got came with the USB adapter.

http://www.banggood.com/Flight-Simu...-For-Flysky-I6-Esky-Transmitter-p-999562.html

I think this cable set may be the one. I don't have this so just pointing it out. The questions on the page says you need the above adapter to make it work with the i6. You might want to poke around to confirm that before ordering.

http://www.banggood.com/22-in-1-RC-Flight-Simulator-Cable-for-Realflight-G7-G6-G5-G4-p-950398.html
 
#8
Here's there links to the cables for the i6. They may work for the CT6B also...

You might want to order the data cable in case you want to update the firmware

http://www.banggood.com/FlySky-Data...-T6-Transmitter-Firmware-Update-p-982289.html

It's the same one used to program the CT6B. It's not really necessary for the i6 but there's a firmware hack that gets you more channels (see the links in the last post in this thread .

and one of these adapters so you can use it with a flight sim on the PC. I have tried with ClearView (cheap) and PicaSim (free) Think you will need another cable set to make it work. The one I got came with the USB adapter.

http://www.banggood.com/Flight-Simu...-For-Flysky-I6-Esky-Transmitter-p-999562.html

I think this cable set may be the one. I don't have this so just pointing it out. The questions on the page says you need the above adapter to make it work with the i6. You might want to poke around to confirm that before ordering.

http://www.banggood.com/22-in-1-RC-Flight-Simulator-Cable-for-Realflight-G7-G6-G5-G4-p-950398.html
ok thanks :)