Turborix/HobbyKing/Flysky Configurator for Mac OSX

TurborixConfig is an OSX configuration tool for the Turborix/HobbyKing/Flysky 6-channel 2.4GHz radio-control transmitter (models such as the HK-T6A, FS-CT6A or FS-CT6B and TBXT6 - see picture on the right). This transmitter has no buttons on it to allow settings, such as trims and end-points, to be altered. Instead it is configured by connecting it to a computer with a special cable and running a configuration tool. However the tool supplied with the transmitter is a Windows-only program, hence this OSX App.

I'm a kite aerial photographer, and my Turborix has been customised for that purpose. However, while I don't use them, the app does allow you to adjust any of the special helicopter settings (via a separate screen). Thus you can set throttle and pitch curves and swash AFR settings as well as end points, trims, mixes and servo reversing.

The transmitter is programmed through its serial port and the cable supplied with the transmitter contains either a Prolific USB to Serial Bridge Controller or a Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (newer versions of the transmitter use this) which effectively adds a serial port accessed through USB to the computer it's plugged into. Fortunately both provide an OSX driver for the cable, and that, combined with the RXTX java package let me write the configurator in pure java.

The images below show the three Configurator windows. Note that the Heli Configuration screen only appears if you select a Heli mode and the Calibration screen only when you click the 'Calibrate' button.

Click on a field or button to get help about it. For more information about calibration click here.

To install the Configurator:

Identifying, Downloading and Installing the cable driver

First determine which cable you have by:

  1. click on "About this Mac" in the Apple menu (top left of the screen)
  2. click on "More Info" in the dialog box that appears
  3. click on USB in the Hardware menu
  4. examine the list of USB devices for a USB-Serial device and select it
  5. The details of the device should tell you if it is a Prolific or a Silicon Labs device

Having determined what cable you have, download the appropriate driver:

Prolific Drivers

Prolific now require you to login to access their drivers (and do not allow third-parties, such as me, to make copies available), so:

You will have to restart your computer once the driver has been installed.

SI Labs Driver

This driver can be downloaded here. Double-click the the zipfile. Inside the resulting folder is a DMG file. Double-click this to open the DMG folder, then double-click the PKG file it contains. This will run the script to install the driver.

You will have to restart your computer once the driver has been installed.

PortinUseException Error

If the app displays the error message:

   Connect failed - gnu.io.PortinUseException: Unknown Application

Then open up a Terminal window (by double clicking the Terminal app in the Applications/Utilities folder) and type the following commands:

   sudo mkdir /var/lock
   sudo chmod a+wrx /var/lock

You will be asked for your adminstrator password for each command. Then run the App again.

Source Code

The full source code of the app is available here. Some hints on how to make the jar are included.

Version History

Many thanks to keepitsimple for his analysis of the serial traffic between transmitter and computer and to Stephane Clement for helping to make it work with the SI Labs cable.

Comments, suggestions and bug reports welcome. Dave@zenoshrdlu.com.

All my apps are freeware, but if you've found them useful and would like to thank the author, you can make a donation (for example £1, €1 or $1) to show your appreciation for the many hours spent working on them!

For other software of mine (mainly SDM and CHDK-related), see here