How to fly Google Earth Flight Simulator with an Arduino joystick

You will need:

  • Arduino
  • Arduino Joystick Shield
  • Python (preferably 2.7.6)
  • Arduino IDE
  • Windows computer (Mac and Linux won’t work)
  • Zip file containing all needed code (see below)

Step 1
Download and extract the zip to a new folder.

Step 2
In this new folder you will find a subfolder called Sendkeys. Open up this Sendkeys folder and find the setup.py. Right click inside of Windows Explorer in empty space and Shift+Right-Click, Select “Open command window here”. Then in the window type “python setup.py install” without the quotes. If the command prompt cannot find the command “python”, see this link and follow the instructions under the first answer.

Step 3
Open up the spatter.ino file. Select the correct port in Tools->Serial Port and take note of the port number. Click upload. When it is done, open the serial monitor in the tools menu and make sure you see a message being sent from the Arduino.

Step 4
Run joystick-driver-windows.py and type in the COM port you are using. It should say that a connection has been established.

Step 5
At this point you should be able to run the Flight Simulator and fly to your hearts content. Enjoy!
(See below for key layout.)

1027857_orig

Linux/Mac support:
Long story short. If this tutorial doesn’t do exactly what you want to do. Get an Arduino Leonardo.

Long story long, if you want to control Linux or Mac using a joystick, or possibly other applications that do not support simulated keyboard presses on Windows, you will most likely tear your hair out trying to use an Arduino Uno (trust me I have). It turns out there is an easy solution that will give you an excuse to buy an Arduino Leonardo. The Leonardo is essentially an Uno except that it can control every aspect of USB, unlike the Uno. This means that the Leonardo can become a keyboard and not just simulate a keyboard. The leonardo will then work without a driver program running and should run on any system (possibly tablets and phones) and any program (Certain Emulator’s will default to the actual keyboard, which can make it seem like it is not working).
If enough people show interest in a better version of this project, please tell me and I’ll create another tutorial.
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