iPhly: Open-Source R/C on the iPhone - RC Groups
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Mar 24, 2011, 02:32 AM
High-power Rocket Gliders
iter's Avatar
New Product

iPhly: Open-Source R/C on the iPhone

I am thrilled to announce the release of iPhly--the iPhone R/C TX--under an open source license.

iPhly: Open Source Radio Control with iPhone (0 min 56 sec)

iPhly is an open software/open hardware combination. It leverages the CPU, display and accelerometer input of Apple's iPhone to fly R/C airplanes. iPhly puts the end to arbitrary limitations like 30 model memories per transmitter or 15 characters per model name.

GPL source code and schematics are available at http://www.iphly.org/index.php/how-it-works/hacking/

If you'd rather buy a complete package than build from scratch, you can order iPhly hardware from RC4WD or RobotShop. RC4WD also has a combo that includes a 2.4GHz module and receiver. The free iPhone app is available on iTunes.

I welcome your feedback, bug reports, patches and orders.

I encourage you to pose your questions and comments here so that others might learn from your experience.

Ari Krupnik.
Last edited by iter; Jul 07, 2011 at 08:56 PM.
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Mar 25, 2011, 10:15 AM
We can rebuild it!
djdavies83's Avatar
Loving the concept, I want to make a couple of "Luna Rover" type Rc cars with a arm and this app an hardware would give me access to the 5th and 6th channel I'm missing by using a 4Ch Eflite Tx.

Are you accepting ideas for extra features/alerative methods?
Mar 25, 2011, 06:36 PM
High-power Rocket Gliders
iter's Avatar
Thank you for your feedback DJ. Your feedback helps define the product.

Mar 25, 2011, 10:00 PM
We can rebuild it!
djdavies83's Avatar
For a year or two I've had ideas bouncing round of things that I would like to see in a product like this, I didn't want to fire a load of them right out there, I a while ago I spent about 2 hours on ideas for a pc based sevro controller then the guy ignored me so I've been a little afraid of bombarding people with ideas to already great programs.

The main thing I would like to see incorporated into this app or a as a seperate app would be support for IR helicopters, out of the 15 or so I own I have to keep 5 remotes fed with a total of 40 AA batteries, even more if I want to have a friend or two fly at the same time!

I know it would need a different hardwear device, I think that may just a case adding IR diodes to the output of one you have made, not saying you should rebuild it but plans for an alernative device would be cool. There is a free app which has plans for a simple jack plug with diodes to control on/off devices, so iphone IR is possible, Darkstar2000 has decoded the Syma S107 and the San Huan helicopters, I think he has released them in this thread...

I'll PM you a few other ideas or add them here one soon, I need to sleep now.
All the best, DJ*
Last edited by djdavies83; Mar 26, 2011 at 06:32 AM. Reason: Spelling etc, I was very tired.
Mar 26, 2011, 03:18 AM
Registered User
would it work with the Ipod 4th?

Mar 26, 2011, 11:00 PM
High-power Rocket Gliders
iter's Avatar
@DJ*: Thank you for sharing your IR frustration. My original interest in building my own TXs comes from a similar frustration with the number of TXs I need to carry around: http://www.lib.aero/~ari/rc/ . One solution is to build a a TX module that can plug in the back of iPhly (just like the 2.4GHz modules in my photos) but with IR LEDs instead of an RF antenna. The modulation can then come from the phone, and it might be pretty easy for individual pilots to hack up protocol implementations for the helicopters they own. Right now, any hacking on IR protocols requires microcontroller skills and equipment. With iPhly and an IR module, anyone who can program an iPhone app can program IR protocols.

Mar 26, 2011, 11:03 PM
High-power Rocket Gliders
iter's Avatar
@CLASH: iPhly works with all models of iPhone and iPod Touch. I am attaching images of an iPhly with different iP* devices. iPod touch has the audio jack on the bottom, so the software automatically flips itself upside down if it detects that it's running on an iPod--you can see that the "home" button is on the top in the last photo.
Mar 28, 2011, 05:43 AM
Registered User
Geoff_S's Avatar

From the simple schematic showing the use of LM324 opamp to boost signal levels, it looks like you are only using one channel from the stereo output as your PPM feed. I had a vague feeling that in one of your earlier posts/threads you indicated that the effective resolution of the audio analogue outputs was somewhat limited. Have you overcome this, and if not, would it be possible to use both left and right stereo channels, feeding into a differential amplifier, to effectively double the resolution ???

I'm a mechanical engineer, so if I've totally got the wrong idea, apologies in advance

Mar 28, 2011, 07:43 AM
slow but inefficient
Ron Williams's Avatar
My money is where my mouth is. Ari has my pledge. This is worth supporting.
Mar 28, 2011, 09:19 AM
sunworksco's Avatar
I'm assuming that it can be used with an iPad?
Can it be used with a Spektrum DX10t module and the telemetry system?
Mar 28, 2011, 10:44 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar

If you're asking if the STi can be used with the DX10t, the answer is YES. It can be used with ANY DSM2 or DSMX transmitter. It will work with JR, Spektrum or E-Flite transmitters, even ones which do not have telemetry as an option.

Mar 28, 2011, 12:20 PM
High-power Rocket Gliders
iter's Avatar
Hi Andy, would you like to make this into a Spektrum thread? Say hi to Chris & Paul for me, I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

Mar 28, 2011, 12:31 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
No need to, I was just answering a question from Giovanni (sunworksco). At least, I think I was. I'll let them know, Ari.

Mar 28, 2011, 12:36 PM
High-power Rocket Gliders
iter's Avatar
@Geoff: you are entirely correct in your recollection. I trade simplicity for manufacturability. iPhly generates PPM directly as a sound output. This allows for very simple hardware. This also means that you can control everything about the signal from inside the iPhone application. More elaborate shcemes such as you describe can increase the bandwidth. They require a microcontroller inside the case to reconstitute a single PPM stream. My intention is to test the market with a simple product before I invest in a more elaborate version. If I sense enough demand in the market for a more complex device to pay for a production run, I can manufacture it.

@Ron: Thank you for your support. It means the world to me.

@Giovanni: Not sure which product you are asking about. The Spektrum product is a telemetry display; iPhly is a transmitter. I let Spektrum people talk about their display. iPhly works with an iPad, but I prefer to use a smaller device like an iPhone or an iPod touch. With a small device that fits in my palm, I can control 4 channels with one hand. You pretty much need two hands to hold an iPad, and it gets a little cumbersome when flying.

Last edited by iter; Mar 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM. Reason: missing word
Mar 28, 2011, 06:27 PM
War Eagle!
sneasle's Avatar
Is this designed to specifically accept the spektrum 2.4Ghz module? It looks as if you're flying a parkzone trojan with it, but the kickstarter page makes it look like it has a hitec module installed?

I'm liking this, you may actually get some cash out of the blackhole that is my wallet.

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