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Control of plane via PC and Joystick - Technical Details


Handheld transmitter is always the master / dominant controller, the ultimate in command.

The only way for PC to obtain control is to flip the gear switch on Handheld 6 times from/to far position, or for Handheld signal to be lost.

Handheld grabs control back simply by flipping the switch once again.

Handheld throttle position sets a limit on maximum throttle available to PC or autonomous control. In other words, if the handheld throttle is set to zero, no throttle can be applied by PC joystick or autonomous modes. Normally, handheld throttle is moved to 100% position when handing control over to PC. If no handheld signal is present, there is no limit to PC / autonomous throttle.

Moving handheld aileron stick from center will temporarily override roll / heading when under PC control. Handheld operator can use this to deviate course or rock wings to confirm connection .

Selecting modes on Handheld Transmitter:

Give control to PC: Flip gear switch to and from you 6 times, starting and ending in the far position.

Grab control from PC: flip gear switch once

See [Quick Start Guide: The Modes] for various control modes (manual, aided, autonomous) that can be selected by flipping the switch on the Handheld transmitter.

Modes on PC Joystick:

The following is for the Saitek "Cyborg-X" joystick.

(For Saitek X-52, click here)


Raw / manual joystick: press button "2" (top of joystick, bottom right button)

You typically won't use this mode, since it requires constant attention to plane attitude and solid wireless connection.

Aided mode: press button "3" (top of joystick, bottom left button)

Engage heading + altitude hold: Pull joystick trigger. Center joystick before releasing.

Note: unlike handheld aided mode, simply centering PC joystick aileron does not lock heading, it just sets roll to zero.
Likewise, pushing PC throttle all the way forward does not lock altitude as it does on handheld.

Disengage heading hold: nudge joystick

DIsengage altitude hold: nudge throttle



Autonomous modes: Press button "4" (top of joystick, top left button)

Loiter at current position: Press button "9" on base of joystick

Come home and loiter: Press button "8"

Auto-land: Press button "7"

Follow waypoints / UDP commands: Press button "6"

Ruby will ignore waypoints sent via UDP unless it's in this mode.



Unlock throttle: hold down the button with label "[ ][*]" on the front base of the joystick while pressing button "10" in front of the throttle. Let go of the "10" first.

Lock / shut off throttle: press button "10" in front of the throttle by itself.

Remember that throttle stick on handheld transmitter limits maximum throttle available to PC joystick and autonomous modes. The handheld operator should move the stick to the full 100% position when handing over control to PC.

Perform preflight: hold down the button with label "[ ][*]" on the front base of the joystick while pressing button "6"


Controlling multiple aircraft

Each plane should have a designated pilot in command who maintains visual contact with plane at all times.

Make sure they're familiar with identifying marks on plane and know to wiggle wings of their plane in flight to check identity if necessary.

Currentlly, must launch a separate instance of Ground Control for each plane, each with dedicated modem. Select different master configuration prior to launching each instance.






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