Author Topic: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows  (Read 4695 times)

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Offline FrankBuss

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What do you do if it is raining outside and you can't fly your new copter? Of course you are using the a simulator :) But the simulator which is integrated in the DJI Go smartphone app requires that you turn on the copter and it's not that great on the small screen. This was the reason I tried to use the remote control for my PC or Mac to use more professional simulators.

I have the Phantom 3 Standard, with the remote control GL358wA, which connects over WiFi to the smartphone (the remote control creates a WiFi hotspot to which the smartphone connects) instead of using an USB connection like with other DJI models. But there is still an USB port and if I connect it to my Windows PC, it gets enumerated as a serial port. Unfortunately I couldn't find any documentation how to use it, and so far no answer from the DJI dev forum. So I tried to do something with the WiFi network.

Turns out there is an open port 2345, which sends the stick positions and I can read it with a simple Python script. With  foohid I can simulate a gamepad in Python and that's all I need to use it in a flight simulator like Heli-X, which has a Phantom copter as a model in the free version. Now I can practice flying drones and helicopters with my Mac.

Video how I found and hacked the protocol, and how it works:



Python source code:

Code: [Select]
import socket
import foohid
import struct

joypad = (
    0x05, 0x01, 0x09, 0x05, 0xa1, 0x01, 0xa1, 0x00, 0x05, 0x09, 0x19, 0x01, 0x29, 0x10,
    0x15, 0x00, 0x25, 0x01, 0x95, 0x10, 0x75, 0x01, 0x81, 0x02, 0x05, 0x01, 0x09, 0x30,
    0x09, 0x31, 0x09, 0x32, 0x09, 0x33, 0x15, 0x81, 0x25, 0x7f, 0x75, 0x08, 0x95, 0x04,
    0x81, 0x02, 0xc0, 0xc0)

try:
    foohid.destroy("FooHID simple joypad")
except:
    pass
foohid.create("FooHID simple joypad", struct.pack('{0}B'.format(len(joypad)), *joypad))

s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
s.connect(("192.168.1.1", 2345))

def word(b0, b1):
    return (b0 << 8) | b1

def conv(w):
    return (w / 8 - 128) & 0xff

while True:
    data = bytearray(s.recv(1024))
    # print(' '.join("%02x" % x for x in data))
    if len(data) == 26:
        rightX = word(data[12], data[11])
        rightY = word(data[14], data[13])
        leftY = word(data[16], data[15])
        leftX = word(data[18], data[17])
        cam = word(data[20], data[19])
        foohid.send("FooHID simple joypad", struct.pack('H4B', 0,
            conv(rightX), conv(rightY), conv(leftX), conv(leftY)))
        print("leftX: %4i, leftY: %4i, rightX: %4i, rightY: %4i, cam: %4i" % (
            leftX, leftY, rightX, rightY, cam))

I tested it on Windows with vJoy. If you have a laptop, you can connect to the Phantom remote control. On my desktop PC I used an USB WiFi dongle, like this, which you can get for less than $5 and free shipping:

https://www.amazon.com/150Mbps-802-11n-Wireless-Adapter-Network/dp/B009D8DEPS

In Windows device manager it says "Realtek RTL8188ETV Wireless LAN 802.11n USB 2.0 Network Adapter". Works in Windows 10 without additional driver installation. Then you can see the remote control with the network icon in the task bar and you can connect to it:



Note, you should really change the default WiFi password with the mobile phone DJI Go app.

Click "yes" to the next question Windows asks. In a DOS prompt you can check the connection with "ipconfig", it should show something like this and the numbers should change when you move the sticks:


Code: [Select]
Drahtlos-LAN-Adapter WLAN:

   Verbindungsspezifisches DNS-Suffix: local
   Verbindungslokale IPv6-Adresse  . : xxxx::xx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx%12
   IPv4-Adresse  . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.20
   Subnetzmaske  . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Standardgateway . . . . . . . . . :

Note: this might not work, if your primary network adapter starts with 192.168.1.*, you have to change this first to something like 192.168.2.*.

You can check if the remote sends data by "telnet 192.168.1.1 2345" from a DOS command prompt (you might need to install the telnet client first with the standard Windows applications). If this looks like this, and new garbage characters are written all the time, the connection to your remote works:



Next install Python 3. Then use this script to test if the stick positions can be read:

Code: [Select]
import socket
import struct

s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
s.connect(("192.168.1.1", 2345))

def word(b0, b1):
    return (b0 << 8) | b1

def conv(w):
    return (w / 8 - 128) & 0xff

while True:
    data = bytearray(s.recv(1024))
    if len(data) == 26:
        rightX = word(data[12], data[11])
        rightY = word(data[14], data[13])
        leftY = word(data[16], data[15])
        leftX = word(data[18], data[17])
        cam = word(data[20], data[19])
        print("leftX: %4i, leftY: %4i, rightX: %4i, rightY: %4i, cam: %4i" % (
            leftX, leftY, rightX, rightY, cam))

Save it as remote.py and start it from a DOS prompt with "python remote.py". It should show something like this:



Next donwload and install the vJoySetup.exe driver, I used this version:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/vjoystick/files/Beta%202.x/2.1.8.33-110117/

For using vJoy with Python, I found a forum post: http://vjoystick.sourceforge.net/joomla256.02/index.php/forum/4-Help/1044-getting-started-with-python . It is really easy to simulate a joystick from a Python script, I added this to my remote.py program:

Code: [Select]
import socket
from ctypes import *

# init vJoy
vjoy = CDLL('C:\\Program Files\\vJoy\\x86\\vJoyInterface.dll')
vjoy.AcquireVJD(1)
vjoy.ResetVJD(1)

# connect to remote
s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
s.connect(("192.168.1.1", 2345))

# some helper functions
def word(b0, b1):
    return (b0 << 8) | b1

def conv(w):
    return (w / 8 - 128) & 0xff

def scale(x):
                return int((x - 364) / 1320 * 32768)

# read data from the remote and set the axis in vJoy
while True:
    data = bytearray(s.recv(1024))
    if len(data) == 26:
        rightX = word(data[12], data[11])
        rightY = word(data[14], data[13])
        leftY = word(data[16], data[15])
        leftX = word(data[18], data[17])
        cam = word(data[20], data[19])
        print("leftX: %4i, leftY: %4i, rightX: %4i, rightY: %4i, cam: %4i" % (
            leftX, leftY, rightX, rightY, cam))
        vjoy.SetAxis(scale(leftX), 1, 48)
        vjoy.SetAxis(scale(leftY), 1, 49)
        vjoy.SetAxis(scale(rightX), 1, 50)
        vjoy.SetAxis(scale(rightY), 1, 51)

Start the script with "python remote.py" from a command prompt, and then you can use the Phantom remote control as a joystick. If you have multiple joysticks connected to your system, configure the vJoy joystick for your game, e.g. heli-x:

http://www.heli-x.info/cms/download-2/

This game crashes on my system, looks like some problems with the OpenGL driver, but the joystick works. You can test it e.g. with the vJoy monitor program:

C:\Program Files\vJoy\x64\JoyMonitor.exe

Another nice quadcopter simulator is FPV Freerider:

https://fpv-freerider.itch.io

Works with no problems in Linux with my Taranis remote, should work in Windows, too, with the vJoy driver and the Phantom remote control.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 10:26:30 am by FrankBuss »
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline onehunkytenor

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for your Mac
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 10:58:57 am »
Hi Frank, would you mind contacting me by email to discuss this project and a couple of ideas I have? You *should* be able to do so via my profile page.
Thanks!
-Shawn
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for your Mac
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 12:38:25 pm »
Hi Frank, would you mind contacting me by email to discuss this project and a couple of ideas I have? You *should* be able to do so via my profile page.
Thanks!
-Shawn

Any reason you don't want to discuss it here? PM here works, too, I got your PM. And yes, I have a minute (well, tomorrow, I should already sleeping by now), feel free to write more.

I really don't like these messages where you ask if it is ok to write more messages, just ask or tell me what you want to tell me.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline DaJMasta

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for your Mac
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 06:12:52 pm »
But then how would you know if it were ok?!  :D


Anyways, looks neat!  I would have figured they wouldn't have used wifi for the primary controls because of potential range constraints, and instead of just stuck with it for the higher bandwidth camera stuff.  Is it just that the range is that much better when there are no pesky walls in the way, or are they using some sort of boosted antenna to get good range out of it?

Offline onehunkytenor

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Thanks, Frank!  :-+

Looking forward to having some time tomorrow to give it a shot. I'll let you know how it goes ;)

-Shawn
 

Online amyk

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"Flugzeug-modus" - literally! :-+
 

Offline Cyril.Anthony

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Awesome work Frank  :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+
 

Offline shaiken

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is that could get data(Image or otherwise) from remote controller by aircraft DJI P3S ?
 

Offline FrankBuss

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is that could get data(Image or otherwise) from remote controller by aircraft DJI P3S ?

I don't think you can get data from the copter with this method. But there is an API to write your own application, which then can do anything you want, like recording the video and controlling the copter: http://developer.dji.com Of course, much more work than my simple hack.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 
The following users thanked this post: shaiken

Offline shaiken

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hi, i'm noob...
my copter type is P3P
that's no SDK for PC(Wins), so i could not got image and data... right?
but i really need a method to get data form remote controller to PC...

 

Offline FrankBuss

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Right, I think the SDK is for smartphones. So you might need to learn how to write programs for smartphones, first.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline diwali

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 01:04:08 am »
Hello Frank,
I know I'm very late...Sorry for that.
I wish so much I could make your hack work for my Phantom 3 SE.
Unfortunately I keep disconnected after a few second even in Telnet.
I'm working on Windows 10.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5flyt4j1d1f9j6d/Capture.PNG?dl=0

Any idea?  Thank you
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2018, 08:05:26 am »
No idea.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline diwali

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2018, 08:12:55 am »
Thank you anyway for your reply.I'll keep trying. :)
 

Offline Tedztar

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 03:27:01 pm »
Hey I know this is an old project, it is really cool and useful. Did you ever manage to get the buttons on the controller working with a sim, or did you never work on that?
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 08:09:53 pm »
There are no buttons on the Phantom 3 remote control. But maybe it is possible to map the two switches as well, but I didn't try it.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline Tedztar

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Re: how to use a Phantom 3 remote control as a game controller for Mac/Windows
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 02:19:52 pm »
Ok, I realised it is the phantom 3 pro controller that has the buttons
 


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