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Old 05-11-2006, 12:18 PM   #1
Finless
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Default Hacking the 14MZ MDL files

Some of you may or may not have seen this on the 14MZ/12MZ forum here so I though I would post it here as well.

I have a 14mz and want to get started on a PC program to allow users to display and edit the model files. I have made some pretty good progress

I have a web page here for kind of launching this project and I show how to edit the model time/date stamp.
Here is my web page:
http://www.wavelandps.com/14mz/

Even though I only have the 1 project listed I have already cracked many other portions of the model file and plan to post those soon. Here is what I have so far:
Model type setting
Frequency settings
PPM, PCM, 2048, etc settings
ATV and ATV limits settings
Sub Trim settings
Servo reversing

Soon I should have all of the "linkage" menu decoded and then will start craking the "model menu".

I could sure use someone that programs Windows based software to help on this project! While I would like to start out in the public domain for the program there is always a chance this could become popular and thus launch a commercial program! Just some ideas

Enjoy!
Bob
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:17 PM   #2
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I'm a windows applications programmer. C#, mostly these days. My specialty is database related work, but I also do some UI stuff as well.

I could make a program to load a collection of MDL files and put them in a particular order, checksum them automatically and spit them back to disk.

Would that be a good start?

-Mark
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:33 PM   #3
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What I think would be cool is a converter that converts MDL files to XML. XML, being both human readable and machine readable, is an excellent target to head for when reverse engineering a file format.

I imagine that the XML converter part could be the "free" software. Simply making the files editable offline is quite useful itself. Over time, the MDL file format will likely change a bit and thus make this part of the project a moving target forever. There's no joy in commercializing that.

What you could sell is the user friendly UI, with graphics, and charts, and mouse clicks to set curves, etc. The UI edits the XML format and the converter (either manually or automatically behind the scenes) converts the XML back to MDL.

I've seen this model used in other projects where a free piece of software was transitioned into commercial software by merely selling the enhanced UI. The real hard project, the free xml <-> mdl converter, drives demand for the commercial UI.

-Mark
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:48 AM   #4
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Sounds GREAT!! I would pay for this software. I would LOVE to be able to tweak my models curves and all on my PC during the week when I can't fly.

That would be KILLER!!
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marked23
What I think would be cool is a converter that converts MDL files to XML. XML, being both human readable and machine readable, is an excellent target to head for when reverse engineering a file format.

I imagine that the XML converter part could be the "free" software. Simply making the files editable offline is quite useful itself. Over time, the MDL file format will likely change a bit and thus make this part of the project a moving target forever. There's no joy in commercializing that.

What you could sell is the user friendly UI, with graphics, and charts, and mouse clicks to set curves, etc. The UI edits the XML format and the converter (either manually or automatically behind the scenes) converts the XML back to MDL.

I've seen this model used in other projects where a free piece of software was transitioned into commercial software by merely selling the enhanced UI. The real hard project, the free xml <-> mdl converter, drives demand for the commercial UI.

-Mark

Mark, I will PM you about this..... I have one guy helping with reverse engineering the MDL files and another has offered to do the program but he is busy and might like the help! Anyway I will PM you with my Email address to we can all get hooked up!

Bob
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:13 AM   #6
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EXCELLENT the wheels are in motion and ALL of us that run the new Futaba radios can benefit from the outcome. That is GREAT!! This hobby is GREAT!!

Thank you guys!!! My wallet is ready and I will help you guys make it happen any way I can.

Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:12 AM   #7
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Hey all...give me a shout with the info. I'm a C# guy and have done a TON of windows forms development. I'd like to hear what is going on with the development and I'll lend a hand wherever I can.

Blake
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:17 PM   #8
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Hi guys,

I've been working on a Futaba editor for a few months (not currently for the 14MZ though). If I can assist let me know.

You can download the program from:
http://www.garyga.com/Downloads/tabi...x?DownloadID=3

It still needs a lot of work (not touched it for about 4 weeks due to building by new Freya) but you'll get the idea :idea:
Models can be exported/imported in XML format.
The program will attempt to connect to the Internet, this is the automatic update check which can be disabled from the options page.

Pete.
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Old 06-02-2006, 03:21 AM   #9
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Sure would be nice if the interface was done in wxwindows and in c so it could be run on OS X and linux. Although, if it was in C#, it could probably be run under Mono. Still, c and wxwindows would be clean and portable.

Let me know if I can help.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:30 PM   #10
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If I could get some code to convert the model files into xml and back again I could whip up a real nice Java UI, which could be run on any platform.

I know something was in the works, I just don't know enough about binary to convert it into xml.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:24 PM   #11
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CopterKid, I cant seem to get the link to work? It times out.



Bob
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:58 PM   #12
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Hi,

My SQL server keeps hanging and killing the site :?:

I've put a copy here:
http://www.garyga.com:8080/CampEditZip.exe

If you are asked for a username and password they are both guest

Pete.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:40 AM   #13
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I really wish Futaba would realize that there is a high degree of convergence between Helis and computer hobbyists and produce a system with an embedded Linux OS so the community could constantly drive the software and utility of these systems forward at a faster rate.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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I know x86 assembly, C, C++, Perl and PHP if that helps. I also know C# and am pretty proficient in MSIL. I know mysql and ms-sql and a few others. If I can help let me know.

My company developes embedded systems: http://heavylogic.com

Anyone want to send a donor 14mz? If CE will run on it, I bet we can get linux, freebsd or vxworks to run on it. Oh, we'll need some donor helis as well as I'm not flying mine with it.. heh
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkervaski
I know x86 assembly, C, C++, Perl and PHP if that helps. I also know C# and am pretty proficient in MSIL. I know mysql and ms-sql and a few others. If I can help let me know.

My company developes embedded systems: http://heavylogic.com

Anyone want to send a donor 14mz? If CE will run on it, I bet we can get linux, freebsd or vxworks to run on it. Oh, we'll need some donor helis as well as I'm not flying mine with it.. heh
Join the group hacking. On my web page you will find a link to RCFan's hacking group.
http://www.wavelandps.com/14mz/

Bob
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:27 PM   #16
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That radio is just sooo much $$$$ is it really worth it with helicopters? I can see with planes and ganging servos, but what about for us?
and I did see that video using the protractor, BUT I did not see a comparison, and that is OK too, what about the servos? would the servos actually point to a number that the 1024 will not?

I may be out of line, but I seen this and just thought I would ask. Myself... I am not at the level that I would notice
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:44 AM   #17
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Withg a G3 RX trust me you FEEL the difference. I am not hot 3D pilot and I feel the difference. I know I will have this radio a LONG time and it will be worth the investment.

Bob
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:01 PM   #18
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I have only had mine for a week now having stepped up from a 7CHP and the difference even for a relative newbie is absolutely tremendous. I would put this on my christmas list if I were you. You have to feel it to believe it.

Dan
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:57 PM   #19
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Is there a similar site for the Futaba 9ZAP? I want to move the three position switch from the right side to the left. I can move the switch itself easy enough but will the radio recognize it in the new position?
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:06 PM   #20
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No there is not BUT.... It can be done!
See my site here for as mouch info as I could show without being chased by Futaba

This info here should allow you to do what you want!

http://home.socal.rr.com/hotweb/futabaserv/

ENJOY
Bob
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