This winter I'd like to practice with a multi-protocol transmitter and simulator, neither of which I have experience with. I want a transmitter I can fly with that binds to Hubsan, etc. and has USB port. My budget for this is around $200. I've had quads like MJX and Syma for a few years and I want to improve my flying skills beyond what those toy models are capable of. I've read that some transmitters can be difficult to set up without experience and some simulators are more lifelike than others. I'm hoping to spend more time practicing and flying on nicer days and less time dealing with setup difficulty. Your advice and insights here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Stuart
Thanks Dugdog, I've considered the Jumper models and people who give them low ratings say they're difficult for inexperienced to set up - IDK maybe they're all difficult to program. I was thinking $200 for both transmitter and simulator. Any preferences on simulators ?
Velocidrone is the best in terms of physics simulation I think and most widely used for race qualifications but I also like "lift off". FPV free rider isn't as refined but nice for a tablet option and works with tx via OTG cable which is surprising. I think all of these still have a free demo version with at least one level so recommend giving them all a shot but probably buy velocidrone or lift off.
Thanks wafflejock , that's just what I needed Now I see Velocidrone uses Betaflight firmware. I'm looking at the transmitters Dugdog47 suggested and I wonder if transmitters all work with betaflight the same.
Is betaflight a consideration with choosing tx, or only when programming a home built quad?
No prob @2Hover. Regarding Velocidrone and betaflight, velocidrone has a simulated version of betaflight PID configuration built into it so you can virtually tune the quad similar to how you could tune a quad in real life to avoid the nose dip when punching throttle or to change the responsiveness slightly, it isn't that big of a deal really but it is a nice to have and somewhat familiar if coming from or going to working with betaflight configurator and doing tuning there. Betaflight tuning section is a place it still sees pretty common changes/updates to things, most recently it seems to have been focused around the filters applied to the gyro data before it gets processed by the PID loop to remove "noise" (like motor vibrations from spinning on the arms) from the actual motion of the quad that the FC is trying to control and monitor.
OK getting into the weeds so back to the queries
Long story short yes any transmitter that has a USB connection for computer and shows up to computer as a USB Joystick (most of them and the two transmitters mentioned I'm sure would work fine). Most transmitters on the market now run OpenTX which is open source transmitter software that FrSky did pretty significant work on, but remained open source so a bunch of companies started building on the same software and similar hardware platforms.
Betaflight itself is just the firmware/software that gets flashed onto your FC using "Betaflight Configurator" another piece of software you run on your computer that handles updating the FC software and configuring it. Part of that configuration includes telling the FC what to do with the receiver input signals, the receiver is getting it's signals from the transmitter it is bound to so the FC (thing running betaflight) only has that indirect "view" of what the TX is sending along via the receiver, so really no compatibility needed between the TX and FC only the FC and RX need to talk and know the same protocol.
Hopefully that clears it up rather than making it more confusing but feel free to ask follow up.
I've been exploring and digesting info like going to school. I appreciate you talking about what I'm aiming to do here @wafflejock and with more than I asked for.
On the tx side, I'm drawn to Radiolinks two newer models. They seem well thought out except the simulator port is not USB. It's round and requires an adapter cable not included. I'm not sure yet if that will be problems. The JUMPER T16 pro with the 'large' screen (screenshot) has a USB sim. port and apparently has more protocols for the chinese quads like hubsan, etc. The radiolink brand tx seems more aimed at home builts with radiolink RX. Homebuilt is probably what I'm headed for and Velocidrone will get my feet wet on configuring betaflight. My laptop has the min requirements. As this comes together, I'll let you know and probably have more questions too.
I don't have any hands on with radio link so all I know from them is hearsay but I think they are relatively new game in town. FrSky and Spektrum were basically two leaders in TX space for hobby stuff but Jumper and "Radio master" and a few others have picked up opentx from FrSky and built hardware to work with it. Regarding radio link I think they are pretty okay budget friendly radios but if not running open TX then not as configurable. Nice thing with the Jumper T16 or radiomaster T18 anything along those lines is they have a TX module bay which basically means can pull out the radio transmitter part pretty easily and put in a new one. OpenTX has the software needed to talk with all sorts of different radios so if you get one with a 4 in 1 or 5 in 1 TX module then it can bind to Spektrum receivers or FrSky receivers or a slew of others so have less issue with regard to receiver compatibility (though still some guessing on exact protocol on the TX to pick when binding). Regarding the barrel jack I think that is a standardized "trainer" port so can hand over control to someone else and their control signals get passed into your radio and then off to a model (or out of your transmitter into someone else's and then piped through their radio). Basically meant to let someone temporarily take control of they have similar enough TX and that signal can be interpreted but honestly again have not used that so can't really speak to it. I assume there are Trainer port to USB joystick adapter things so computer sees it as USB joystick but might take some searching.
Hey @wafflejock thanks for helping me get on with this!
After a lot of searching internet and reading the threads here, I decided on Radiomaster tx16s. Seems it's basically a better Jumper T16 pro. Should be enough radio for a long while.
While waiting for that I'm trying to dL the velocidrone demo, but haven't found the right site. I found a wrong one that tried to sell me the drivers. Have to look at that again.
No problem glad to help! I think team black sheep is the company behind velocidrone, so might be able to get it from their site directly for liftoff I think can get that one through "steam store" if have that installed. Glad to hear on the radio have heard good things about that one too.