How to use Arduino to connect PPM RC radio to computer as a Game Controller device

Few days ago I posted a tutorial about build a cable to connect the PPM RC radio to computer using the microphone input, but now I’m going to show how to do it using an Arduino Uno R3 as a bridge to make the connection using USB port.


Most people that want to use RC simulators on computer with their TX radios build some kind of cable to do the connection between both devices.
This cable is usually connected to the trainer port on the radio and on the microphone audio input on the computer. This connection is by definition an analog connection. To interpret the analog signal and convert it to digital signals, a specific software is necessary (normally the SmartPropoPlus is used), and to convert these converted signals in an game input device, a set of drivers is required (normally vJoy is used).

See how complex is it? The TX Radio PPM signal, digital by definition, is converted in analog signals when connected to the audio input on computer. Computer interpret this data and converts again to digital, and an special software translates this in game inputs to the simulator software. This causes lag, and can be a big problem for racing simulators.

Using an Arduino as a HID

The Arduino Uno R3 can be used to make a bridge between the TX radio and the computer. You can also use it wirelessly! Just connect the radio receiver (RX) to the Arduino, and you can use your TX like if you’re controlling an real model plane!

See connection schematics:

The Sketch that runs on the Arduino board is the following:
UnoJoyRCPPM Download

This package has also a program that will turn your arduino USB interface into the HID Joystick device, and vice-versa. Cortesy of UnoJoy Library.

Author: Daniel Ribeiro

Daniel Ribeiro é um Nerd apaixonado por motos e velocidade. Escreve o Motos Blog, o maior blog sobre Motos do Brasil. Mas como todo Nerd, gosta de acumular conhecimentos profundos sobre todas as áreas que puder. Com isso, acaba tendo interesse em outras áreas, como Aviação, Eletrônica, Mercado Financeiro, entre outros. Então, usa o para postar tudo aquilo que não cabe no Motos Blog.

2 thoughts on “How to use Arduino to connect PPM RC radio to computer as a Game Controller device”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *