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Using Simulators with the MicroStar

Using Simulators with the MicroStar

There are a lot of simulator options available and I have tested with a few and I expect the MicroStar is compatible with most of the system available. In this article I have outlined the connection to a couple of different systems.

FMS

The Flying Model Simulator is a free simulator system that is available at http://www.flying-model-simulator.com/. This simulator has a number of interface options available. To configure the MicroStar to work with the FMS simulator you will need to do the following steps:

  1. Download and install the FMS simulator on your PC. You can test the software using your keyboard and arrow keys to fly the model. Make sure you have the FMS simulator working before you proceed.
  2. To use your MicroStar to control the simulator you need to connect the transmitter to your PC. You have two options to do this, use the same connection you used for the PC application or use the second serial port on the MicroStar.
  3. After the connections have been made you need to turn on your transmitter and enter the Cal mode then select the FMS option. Go to the System Setup menu and scroll to the FMS options. You will find two options for the FMS system, FMS UART1 and FMS UART2. Select FMS UART1 if you are using the same serial port you use to connect your transmitter to the PC MicroStar application. Use FMS UART2 options if you are using the serial port on the transmitter that is also used for the buddy box operation. Please note, when you turn your transmitter off the FMS settings are lost, so you need to make this selection each time you turn on the transmitter.
  4. Make sure you are NOT running the PC MicroStar application.
  5. Start the FMS simulator and as soon as it starts select the Controls menu option that the Analog Control selection. This will result in the display of a dialog box with a number of interface sections, select the Serial PIC-interface and then press the resources button. You need to select the proper Com port number on the PC you are using and select 9600 Baud protocol option. Finally you need to press the Mapping / Calibration options and calibrate the interface. Please refer to the FMS help screens and documentation for details on setting up the FMS system.

After you have configured the FMS system it will remember the settings and restarting is a lot faster. If your transmitter has a plug in RF deck you can remove it to save power and if you are using my RF deck you can select no when asked at startup if you want the RF on.

AeroFly Professional

The AeroFly simulator comes with a USB interface and a number of interface options for different radio types. Most commercial simulators include options to connect to the popular radio systems so these recommendations should work for most of the systems available today.

Select the JR interface option for your simulator when you purchase the system. This will require a cable from your transmitter to the simulator interface. You will need to build this interface cable from your transmitter to the simulator. The connector that plugs into the simulator is a 3.5 mm stereo male connector. The tip pin should connect to the PPM signal and the other two connections are ground. A mono 3.5 mm connector will work as well.

The source of the PPM signal can be found on the 8 PIN DIN Accessory connector if your transmitter was built as per my original design. The PPM signal is found on pin 5 and ground is found on pin 2.

Because there are many options when you build a custom transmitter, you may not have an 8 pin DIN Accessory connector. In case this is true for your transmitter the PPM signal you need can be found on the Encoder PC board J2 pin 63 and ground can be found on J2 pin 64.

After you have built this cable you need to setup the MicroStar transmitter for use with the simulator. To do this, please follow the steps below:

  1. Turn on the transmitter and enter the Cal mode.
  2. Select the Option menu and scroll to the AUXOUT selection. Edit the AUXOUT selection and select PPM.
  3. Next select the System Setup menu and select the Shift Invert option. Edit Shift Invert and select Yes for the invert option.

Now you should be ready to use the simulator. I have tested this on the AeroFly system and it should work fine on most systems. Please refer to the simulator’s setup instruction to test the interface and perform any necessary calibration procedures.