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Wireless Buddy Box for radios without native wireless trainer functions

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#1
I've been wanting to setup a trainer "buddy box" configuration to teach my daughter to fly, but the idea of buying an expensive second radio and stringing cables to my Taranis wasn't appealing. Doing some research on the web, I found a great article on RCGroups about building a wireless trainer module using a Specktrum compatible receiver with a CPPM output capability.

The idea is to use any old Spectrum DSM2/DSMX compatible trainer transmitter (like the little cheapo units that come with all the RTF Champs, Vapors, etc) and have it send instructions to a little receiver like the OrangeRX R410x or R610. That tiny little receiver can output CPPM instructions right into the trainer jack of the master radio. From there it's just a matter of configuring the trainer settings on the master radio just like it was cable connected to a student radio.

Due to some fancy wiring figured out by DaddyBigas on RCGroups (his diagram referenced below) it's possible to have the whole thing operate off a single power switch. If it's powered on before plugging into the master radio, everything is normal. If it's powered on while plugged into the master radio, the receiver enters binding mode. Pretty slick. :)

t7428379-224-thumb-WirelessTrainer2.png

I chose to build this wireless buddy box in a RadioShack project box big enough to hold the receiver, battery, etc. but still small enough to just hang off the back of my Taranis supported by the plug into the trainer port.

IMAG2269.jpg

To keep it from tilting, I added a little piece of bamboo skewer placed to rest in the headphone jack. Also a nice shiny orange led so I know if it's on or not.

IMAG2268.jpg

Since I will need frequent access to the battery, I used magnets instead of screws to hold the box lid in place.

IMAG2270.jpg

Overall, it works great and allows me to use any Specktrum compatible transmitter as a student radio - including those little cheap Parkzone or Hobbyzone jobbies from RTF kits that fit really well in small hands. And at a bargain - the receiver was less than $10, and the rest of the parts were from my junk drawer, but could probably be sourced for another $10 or less.

Happy flying!
 

donalson

Active member
#2
I know this thread is a bit old... but I also know you're still around here so I'll ask.

as far as the taranis sees it this is nothing different than having another TX plugged into the buddy port right? so in this case this can keep all the settings you'd usually have right?... that was one thing I didn't like about trying buddy boxing with my son on the dx6... every time I'd correct a movement it would completely lock him out... I've got my taranis set to give him something like 50% control and my movements can add or remove to some degree just to clean up what he's doing... if I need to take control I just flick the switch and it's all mine.

I think I'll have to give this a shot assuming this is all the case...
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#3
Exactly correct! It effectively acts like a cable trainer connection so all the normal OpenTX trainer features work like the partial control mixing, etc.
 

donalson

Active member
#5
Exactly correct! It effectively acts like a cable trainer connection so all the normal OpenTX trainer features work like the partial control mixing, etc.
perfect... also looking at this it's a super simple and looks to use any PPM module... also because of the super limited range using pretty meh RX isn't an issue IMHO... which means I wouldn't mind using a sub $10 off brand micro module... and because they can be so small maybe I could rig up a box with spektrum, frsky, and maybe another module right in the box and set it up with a switch....

thanks man :)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#6
perfect... also looking at this it's a super simple and looks to use any PPM module... also because of the super limited range using pretty meh RX isn't an issue IMHO... which means I wouldn't mind using a sub $10 off brand micro module... and because they can be so small maybe I could rig up a box with spektrum, frsky, and maybe another module right in the box and set it up with a switch....

thanks man :)
Oh yeah - post some pics! I like the multi reciever box idea too :D