MobiFlight Modules

Get an overview about compatible boards, firmware stuff and functions

Compatible Arduino Modules

There is a wide range of Arduino module types available on the market, but not all modules are supported by MobiFlight. Please use the following information to make the right choice when buying an arduino module. Especially, take a look at the list of boards that are not supported - names of the Arduino boards are sometimes very similar, so double-check that when ordering your board.

Supported modules

The following arduino modules are currently supported:

Most clones work flawlessly. If your module is not detected by MobiFlight, it might have a new Vendor ID (VID) and Product ID (PID) which is not recognized, yet. Please report this in the forum.

Experimental modules

  • Arduino Uno - not stable at the moment, if you experience problems, please get an Arduino Mega instead.

Not supported modules

The following are not supported but might have a very similar sounding name, so don't confuse them by accident.

Installation

Connect, install arduino driver, start Mobiflight Connector, Upload Mobiflight Firmware, use it - it's so easy!

Complete the following steps for a successful installation:

  • Connect the Arduino Board via an USB cable - directly at the PC or preferrably on your USB Hub with external power supply
  • If it is your first arduino board, you have to install the Driver for Windows so that the board is recognized.
  • Now start MobiFlight Connector
  • The arduino board will be detected as a compatible one
  • Upload the MobiFlight Firmware to your Arduino board with the built-in Upload function of Mobiflight Connector
  • Congratulations! - You now have your own MobiFlight Board

After having uploaded the MobiFlight Firmware you can configure the module according to your needs. Go to "Extras" > "Settings" > "MobiFlight Modules" - or - click "MobiFlight Modules" on the toolbar.

Download driver for Windows

For Windows 10, the generic Arduino Uno & Mega Driver is already inculded and your Arduino should be detected correctly.

CH-340 based chipsets

Many of the Arduino Mega clones these days come with a different chipset, namely CH-340. These modules will not be automatically detected correctly by Windows and also won't show in MobiFlight. You will have to install the CH-340 chipset drivers manually.

So, if you have a CH-340 based Arduino, follow the tutorial for the CH-340 driver installation on the SparkFun website.

FTDI based chipsets

If your Arduino is still not correctly detected by Windows and still doesn't show in MobiFlight, chances are that it is using a different chipset based on FTDI. You can verify by opening Device Manager, and check the information for your board (it should show a yellow excalmation mark). The properties will likely mention FTDI in one of the sections.

So if you have a FTDI chipset based Arduino, follow the tutorial for the FTDI driver installation on the SparkFun website.

Older Windows Versions

First of all, consider upgrading your older windows version to Win10. If you still have to stick to your older version, the necessary driver is part of the Arduino Software which you can download at Arduino.cc-page directly werden.

Open driver download page

The installation of the driver is also documented on the official arduino website:

Open installation documentation

Again, do yourself a favor and consider upgrading your Windows installation as soon as possible.

Functions

The following functions are currently supported by the MobiFlight firmware:

Output

Simple outputs

With MobiFlight it is super easy to connect simple outputs like lights and LEDs. Outputs require one pin on the Arduino board and as of Version 8.2 MobiFlight also supports PWM which allows you to dim your LEDs. This also makes it possible to drive analog gauges where needles are turning based on the provided voltage, e.g. CDI, EGT, and others.

LED-7-Segment-Modules

One of the first features of MobiFlight was driving MAX7219 based 7-segment LED Displays. You can get those super cheap pre-assembled on eBay or other stores on the internet. You can also drive custom built setups, as long as the driver chip is a MAX7219.

7-Segment LED Displays require 3 pins on the MobiFlight board. It is possible to daisy chain up to 8 modules (MAX7219) chips. So in total this allows you to connect 64 segments with using only 3 pins. Woooohooo!

Servos

Servos can be connected to MobiFlight using 1 pin and any pin can be used, regardless whether it's a native PWM pin or not. MobiFlight has been tested with the widely avaiable and very cheap micro servos SG 90. Servos have a lot of torque and can also mechanically move things, but be aware that the servos will make some noise when moving and also while maintaing their position. The range of motion can be controlled by MobiFlight between 0-180 degrees.

Stepper

Steppers are awesome for creating "steam gauges" and when you need precision and smooth rotation. Some users will use steppers in their throttle quadrants to create a auto-throttle function.
The cool thing is that MobiFlight will always auto-home your stepper, either by a home position indicator (e.g., switch) or after manual calibration by moving back to that position on shutdown.

Steppers use typically 4 pins on the MobiFlight board.

MobiFlight works nicely together with commonly avaialble and cheap 28BYJ-48 which is driven by a ULN2003 bridge. Users also have connected other steppers successfully like x27.168

LCD Displays

LCD Displays are amazing because they are very flexible to configure and can display a great variety of information. Supported LCD Displays are any variants of those modules that can be driven by i2C - advantage on the MobiFlight side: only the 2 i2C pins are used.

Check out the different sizes such as LCD Displays with 4 lines and 20 characters, or 2 lines with 16 characters.

Shift Registers

Running out of pins? Shift Registers to the rescue! Shift Registers allow you to expand your output pins. We will add more documentation about what shift registers are supported soon.

Inputs

Simple switches

Encoders

Firmware

The Mobiflight firmware is the "heart" on the hardware side. It converts your off-the-shelf arduino board in a super flexible MobiFlight board.

Learn more about the MobiFlight Firmware here.