Table of Contents
The Benedini Micro is a smaller version of the Benedini Mini with many of the same features. Without authorization from Mr. Benedini clones of the Micro have been sold by Chinese sellers under various other brand names (Das Mikro, Orlandoo, etc). The Open Panzer project is grateful for Benedini's contributions to the RC tank hobby and have no desire to support unethical practices that undermine his legitimate business. For this reason we will not write firmware to take full advantage of the Micro's many features, but you may still use it with the Open Panzer TCB in a limited mode (engine sounds, cannon and machine gun fire only).
Please visit the Benedini website for more information on his products: Benedini RC Model Electronics
For your reference here are Benedini's manuals for the Micro:
The TCB and Micro are connected via Prop 1 and Prop 2 with standard RC extension cables. We will not be using Prop 3. The TCB will supply all the power necessary to the Mini.
When you first connect the Micro to the TCB, and with the engine turned off on the TCB, briefly short the two pins on the Micro shown in the image below. This will cause the Micro to save the neutral points and you will hear the Micro make a short beep. This operation only needs to be performed once.
On the Sounds tab of OP Config select Benedini - Micro in the sound selection drop-down. There is no other configuration available.
Benedini provides a free configuration software called TBS-Flash. The Micro uses Flash version 18.104.22.168, it is not compatible with the newer Flash v3 used for the Mini.
TBS Flash has many features and configuration options we will not use. The information here is not a comprehensive overview of everything the Benedini sound card can do, but only a highlight of the specific settings we need in order for it to work with the Open Panzer TCB. Please read the Benedini Flash manual to learn more about its other features.
In TBS Flash there are three tabs: Sounds, Parameter, and Misc. We discuss the first two below, the Misc tab has various troubleshooting features that you can read more about in the Bendini Flash manual.
Flash - Sounds Tab
The Sounds tab of TBS Flash is where you import all your sound files, and then write them to your Benedini device. In addition to 6 engine sounds you can also add a sound for cannon fire and machine gun fire. These sounds can be imported in any sound slot on the Sounds tab, but will need to be assigned to specific slots on the Parameter tab.
When all your sounds are imported, it's a good idea to save a soundfile to disk as backup. You also need to load all the sounds onto your Micro by clicking the Write Sound to Device button.
Flash - Parameter Tab
The Parameter tab is where we specify how the Micro will be controlled. The screenshot below highlights the important areas.
- Prop 1: Set Prop 1 Input Mode to RC and Prop 1 Type to Gas.
- Prop 2: Set Prop 2 Input Mode to RC and Prop 2 Type to 2nd Function 1/2.
- 2nd Coder Functions: In position 1 select the sound number from the Sounds tab that matches your cannon sound. In position 2 assign your machine gun sound.
- Engine Start Mode: Set to Autostart.
The other settings in TBS Flash you can set as you like and are not discussed here. When you have the Parameter tab configured as shown above, make sure you click the Write Device button to save these settings to your Mini. It is also recommended you save a copy of the parameter file to your hard-drive for backup.
When you start the engine on your TCB, the Micro will be given a signal to start playing engine sounds. There is however no way to tell the Micro to turn the engine off - instead, the Micro will automatically turn the engine off after 20 seconds of inactivity.
The cannon and machine gun sounds will play when those functions are triggered on the TCB.
The Micro has many more features and possibilities, including up to 12 sounds triggered through the Prop 3 input. The TCB will not trigger these automatically but if you have a programmable radio and are comfortable creating advanced mixes you can still use the Prop 3 input directly. Either connect a channel from your receiver directly to the Prop 3 input on the Micro or if your receiver doesn't have PWM outputs you can assign a free radio channel to the “RC Output 6 - Pass-through” Function in OP Config, and then connect Prop 3 on the TCB to Prop 3 on the Micro.