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I’d like to use a dual stick (analog) gamepad with FS One. How can I do that?

Version: V1 (also works for V2)

  • This example outlines how to hook up a 4-axis dual stick (analog) gamepad with FS One. The Logitech Rumble Pad 2 is used to show the steps. These same steps can be followed with any 4-axis dual stick (analog) gamepad.
  • One significant difference between a gamepad and a standard transmitter is that the throttle stick on a gamepad is spring loaded. On a real RC transmitter the throttle stick is on a rachet and stays wherever it is positioned (it does not spring back). This difference only matters during calibration which will be discussed later.
  • Plug in the FS One USB interface and have a transmitter connected to it. When setup like this, FS One will recognize that you have a legitimate copy of the software.
  • If you have a TacCon controller, plug it into the FS One USB Interface and then plug the USB interface cable into the computer. If you do not have the TacCon controller, then use a real transmitter and plug the real Tx into the interface, and then plug the USB interface cable into the computer. Now FS One will properly recognize the FS One USB Interface.
  • Next, plug your USB gamepad into the computer.
  • Start FS One.
  • Go to one of the fly pages, e.g. Single-Player Freestyle, and click on the “Select Interface” button. In the window, pick the gamepad that you want to use. Below the Logitech gamepad is shown in the example.
    Image of Single Player Freestyle window
  • Since you are not using the actual TacCon controller, go to Options and turn off “Auto-Load Radio/Controller”. When this is done, FS One will not automatically pick the FS One TacCon controller when an aircraft is selected.
  • Select an airplane to fly. Pick the Alpha 40 airplane for this example.
  • Select the transmitter by clicking on the transmitter in the FS One window. In the Transmitter Selection window, go to the categories and pick the “JR 4-Ch Emu + FS One” group. This group will work with the gamepad because it is setup for a 4-axis controller. Pick the transmitter for the Alpha 40 near the top of the list. Click on “Copy” to make a copy of the transmitter. Give it a name, for example: “MyGamepad-Alpha40”. The new transmitter will be put into the first category in the transmitter list (i.e. “FS One” transmitters).
  • Calibrate the controller. Special care will need to be taken to make the throttle control function properly inside FS One. Click “Calibrate” on the right. Move the right gamepad stick all around, hitting the four corners. Now for the left, during calibration do not move it down. Move the left stick up to the right corner and then the left corner, and then let it return to center. Then click “Next” repeatedly until the end and click “Finish”. This completes the calibration.
  • The right gamepad stick will control the elevator and ailerons. The left gamepad stick will control the rudder and throttle. Now when flying, when the left stick is centered, this will be the engine idle throttle (“zero”) setting. Pushing the gamepad stick up will be full throttle setting.
  • Make note of the axis number corresponding to the stick motion. Patch 1.0.4 or later is needed to see the axis numbers displayed on the Transmitter Selection windows as shown below. Move the right stick up and down and note the axis number. Do the same for each axis (up/down and right/left). For the Logitech Rumblepad 2 USB controller, the axis numbers are shown below on a generic dual stick (analog) gamepad.
    Image of Transmitter Selection window
    Image of gamepad controller sticks enumeration
  • It’s worth mentioning that some gamepad controllers have the sticks laid out on a square-type bezel frame (like the Logitech Rumblepad) and others are rounded (like Thrustmaster Firestrom Dual Power 3). The square-type joystick frames more closely match the sticks on a real transmitter and are therefore better for use in flight simulation.
  • Now click “Edit” to reassign the channel axes. Reassigning the channel axes is necessary because there is no standard order for the axes assignments, so these have to be set properly inside the Transmitter Editor in FS One.
  • Starting with the first line, in the Edit Transmitter window, the blue column indicates that this is the throttle channel. Click on the source input (purple) and set it to Axis 2. Click on the window slider at the bottom and now when moving the throttle stick, the throttle servo moves in the window.
  • For the next line with the rudder servo, set the input to be Axis 3.
  • For the next line with the elevator servo, set the input to be Axis 0.
  • For the next line with the right aileron servo, set the input to be Axis 1.
  • For the next line with the left aileron servo, set the input to be Axis 1.
  • Now at the top, click on blue “Show A/C” button. This will display the Alpha 40 airplane. Click on the window to move it to a convenient location. Seeing the airplane can be used to help assign the axes (in this example this reassignment was already done in the previous steps).
  • Move the throttle stick. If the propeller slows as the throttle stick is moved up, reverse the channel by clicking on the “Rev/Norm” button in the Reverse column (purple column, button on right). Pressing the “k” key will kill the engine when the throttle is in the idle position. If the engine can be killed when the throttle stick is pushed all the way up, then reverse the channel.
  • Move the elevator stick. If the elevator moves in the wrong direction, reverse the channel by clicking on the “Rev/Norm” button in the Reverse column (purple column, button on right). Repeat this process for the rudder and ailerons.
  • The boxes at the bottoms of the columns can be clicked to expand and collapse each colored group transmitter information.
  • More details about this particular transmitter/controller setup can be found by clicking on the “Flight Manual” button in the fly page. Then click on the “JR 4-Ch Emu + FS One” controller (used to make the copy).
  • This completes the reassignments of the axes for the gamepad for use with the Alpha 40.
  • Close the aircraft window.
  • Click OK in the Edit Transmitter window.
  • Now on the fly page, click “Fly” to begin flying with the new transmitter. Be sure that the proper transmitter is selected. In this example it was named “MyGamepad-Alpha40”, and it will appear in the first group of transmitters named “FS One”.
  • The space bar and ‘u’ key will function as the ResetPlus/InstantUp.
  • As per the “Flight Manual” for the Alpha 40, keys 1 and 2/3 will set the dual rates.
  • Although this outline was long, the operation is relatively quick. Decide which “Software Radio” is appropriate for your gamepad. For a 4-axis gamepad, pick the “JR 4-Ch Emu + FS One” category. From this category, then pick the transmitter for the aircraft that you want to fly. Make a copy. Calibrate the transmitter. Edit the transmitter to reassign the axes as needed. Show the airplane to check the proper function of the controls. Exit the Tx Edit window, and fly. Read the Flight Manual for the airplane/Tx combination to see what functions are controlled by the keyboard. Your new Tx will be put in the top category in the Tx list.
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