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scavanging parts from rc cars etc.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by mikgol, Jul 10, 2013.

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  1. mikgol

    mikgol

    87
    1
    Jul 6, 2013
    hey there,

    the robot i'm building currently has a small laptop attached to it (which will allow me to control my robot over the net).

    i'd like to separate the laptop from the actual moving robot and keep the robot just the motors for driving. I plan on buying a cheap rc car (can get one for $10 or less), and ripping out the electronics and using that. The remote control will be connected to the laptop (which will trigger electronically, rather than pushing the "fwd" button), and the car's electronics will then hook up to my robots motors, servo's etc.

    Is this the easiest/cheapest way to go about this? My electronics knowledge is very limited, so I'd prefer to keep it as simple as possible

    cheers,
    Michael
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,496
    2,837
    Jan 21, 2010
    Look up the NRF24L01 modules. They provide a great way to push data back and forth with error detection and lots of other goodies.

    They require some intelligence at either end, an ATMega328 will be fine and an ATMega8 will work if you don't need to write much code.

    They also cost very little.

    scavenging stuff means you need to figure out how they work and you're probably on your own as regards error detection/correction. But it depends what you want to do.
     
  3. mikgol

    mikgol

    87
    1
    Jul 6, 2013
    Thanks for the info steve - the NRF24L01 looks pretty sweet! I'll use if for version 2.0 of the YardBot 2000.

    What i've done before re: scavenging parts for radio control - is to simply solder some wires to the buttons, so the usb board's open collector can "press" the buttons, and then hook up the robot motors via a relay to the rc car's dc motors. This way I don't need to de-solder anything on the board, or even understand how it works
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,496
    2,837
    Jan 21, 2010
    Check the range on these devices. You'll need one with an antenna, and you'd be better off with one of the "long range" versions that has an amplifier.

    They're quite a bit more expensive, but they promise 1km line of sight.

    The ones with the antenna on the PCB only have a range of about 10 metres or so -- fine for indoors stuff where you're in the same room.

    Beware that there are 2 versions. One has 8 pins, the other 10. The one with 10 pins has two Vcc pins and 2 ground pins.

    Also beware of the need for 3.3V and the current required. The current may be particularly demanding if you have a low power regulator (like the ones on arduino boards) and a high power NRF24L01.

    The inputs and outputs of this device are 5V tolerant, so you don't need special magic outside the 3v3 power supply.

    Also, check the libraries for this device. Programming it from scratch would be a big ask.
     
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