Arduino to control Sybian or other Sex Machine

Hi all,

I’m a model on a camsite and I would like the " Viewer " to be able to control my machines or other device by inputing
key words… My friend is a programmer and already made a TSR that reads the amount of tips on screen and I would like the
program to be able to talk to an Arduino and use it has a a dual 5k Potentionmeter…

Here’s a better idea of what I want…

Sybian is controlled by 2x 5k Pots each connected to Bodine Controllers…

Viewer tip 10 = Pots goes to “1” for 30 seconds
Viewer tip 20 = Pots goes to “2” for 30 seconds or if previous value is not finished it would go to “3” for 30 seconds
to a maximum of 10… … all values only good for 30 seconds then would wind down to “0”

Would also like the Arduino to act has a switch on/off for other device…

Can the arduino do that? and is there any librairies of something of the sort…

Thank you for your reponses

Candy xxxx

I realise that this could also be posted in the Software/Arduino control forum and maybe
another one, If need be, lemme know so I can delete this post and move it to the proper

Candy xxx

There are 'digital pots' that can be used in circuits in place of mechanical pots.

Microchip Technology makes a dual 5K unit in a 14-pin DIP package which will be easy to breadboard:

MCP4231-502E/P 129 steps
MCP4241-502E/P 129 steps, "Wiper Lock"
MCP4251-502E/P 257 steps
MCP4261-502E/P 257 steps, "Wiper Lock"

They cost about $1-2 each. I'm guessing the "Wiper Lock" models remember the last setting when power is cycled.


Hi John,

This exemples given were more of a guideline of what I wanted in the end... Lemme explain where we are now with this project..

The TSR Program is already written and reads the tip amounts.. All the control / time on / increments / are going to be programmed
and relayed to the Arduino from the TSR... Basically the arduino's job will only be to power on / increment to max value X by being a Digital Pot / power down...

So my real questions is more guidance in what I need tu purchase from the Onlien Store and what Librairy I would need to do this.

So so far I figured I need:

1 arduino
1 Motor Shield ?
And I need to be pointed to the right Librairy to do this...

Candy xxx

Well - this is different. Anyhoo...

I guess my first question would be "Are you willing to sacrifice any warrantee that may exist for the Sybian or other machine?" - I mean, I am sure such devices have warrantees, simply because of their cost. Then again, if you are able to make it work properly, you might be able to interest the manufacturer into incorporating such a mod, with some kind of profit sharing or something there...?

If not - then have you thought about maybe using hobby servos mechanically coupled to the existing potentiometers? Such a coupling shouldn't be very difficult; you can probably find all or most of the parts needed at ServoCity (you'd basically need an adaptor from the servo output shaft to the potentiometer's shaft - without the knob, of course). I'm sure they have something (likely some kind of coupler for attaching wheels or an axle or something to a servo). If you can set it up so that nothing (other than the knobs) have to be removed (some kind of external chassis to the control box), that would be best. Otherwise you'd have to remove the control potentiometers from the control box and mount them externally.

Something else to look into as well (and I don't know how these machines are configured) - is the control box able to be "unplugged" from the toy? If so, then maybe you could make your own plug-in control box (using either dig-pots as mentioned, or your own potentiometers coupled mechanically to servos as I have indicated).

Good luck with the project!

Warranty is not an Issue lollll

Basically I thought that is some way I could just disconnect the 3 wires from each Pots and connect them
to the Arduino and incorporate a specific command library to my friends TSR Program and be able to control
the 1 to 10 settings that are normally takin' cared bu the Pots...

Candy xxx

A servo can easily operate a pot or rotary switch like shown on the below page. An arduino with an ethernet shield can be used as a stand alone net device. All kinds of possibilitys for interactive internet toys.

I figure that it’s overcomplicating something really simple lolllll

Straight forward… Can the arduino be turned into a 5k Potentiometer?

If so can the resistance be software controlled?

Candy xx

I think this is it... Lemme know

Candy xx

A digital potentiometer like you have linked is what johnwasser was suggesting earlier.

Another tutorial:

Exactly - you pull the 3 wires you mention in reply #5, connect to pins 5,6,7.
Send commands to pins 1,2,3.

Command format will be:

digitalWrite (CS1pin, LOW); // need unique CS for each device you have
SPI.transfer (byte1); // this will control SCK connected to pin 2 and MOSI connected to pin 3
SPI.transfer (byte2); // this will control SCK connected to pin 2 and MOSI connected to pin 3
digitalWrite (CS1pin, HIGH);

You’ll have to decide if you are using one byte commands or two byte commands, see section 7 of the data sheet.

Straight forward... Can the arduino be turned into a 5k Potentiometer?

By itself? no. You will need to add some "overcomplicating" stuff of some sort.

Thank you guy's for the repiies, Will hit the books and try to figure this thing some more...

Chagrin, Yes, but with no knowledge of general electronics I didn't catch that... lolll

I'll have to see how to impliment that in Java....

Much luv xxx


Well, this compared to connecting servos to the Knobs seemed overcomplicated hihihih
Thanks for the help :slight_smile: xxxx

yea I would go with a digipot as well, maybe a little bit of a hassle to program, but it falls into place pretty quickly. Electrically its dead simple

A couple things to think about though is how much current is flowing though the current pots and at what voltage. A digital model is very weak current wise, and usually limited to 5v or less. So if your machine has lets say 60ma going though the pot at 12 volts your going to end up with a smoke machine.


Well, this compared to connecting servos to the Knobs seemed overcomplicated hihihih
Thanks for the help :slight_smile: xxxx

As simple as glueing the pot shaft/knob to the servo horn with a drop of hot glue (which is easily removed). Or velcro.


You have to agree that Arduino + Digi-pot is simpler in components and more
cost effective that having to also buy servos… :slight_smile:

Let alone that i’m gonna have to read a Sh%t load of documentation to even start
to understantd what I have to do to get this off the ground loll

You probably understand and do this has easily has I can remove a Jaw, Separate it,
Break,reset, set screws and implants and put it back :slight_smile: 'cause I’m also a maxillofacial
dental assistant…

The above for me is easy… the electronic part will take some studying hihihihi

Candy xxx

Details of the Bodine motor controller would be useful - their documentation should say what voltage range the speed-control pot uses - which will affect the choice of digital pot.

Another approach is to use a DAC to generate the voltage that would be at the wiper and replace the pot with a fixed resistor to fool the controller that it is still attached (motor controllers usually fail-safe if the control pot appears open circuit).

One Bodine controller (model 3910) I found docs for uses 12V on the speed pot (5V would be much handier, could even power the Arduino perhaps).

You have to agree that Arduino + Digi-pot is simpler in components and more
cost effective that having to also buy servos...

I totally disagree! You want to open your gizmo, unsolder and remove the manual pots, solder in some type of digital pot, then work up code to operate the digital pot. If you want to return the gizmo to its origional function, you have to reverse the process and hope the gizmo doesn't get damaged in the process. I'd just use two small wood blocks to space the servo (9gt servo ~$2.50 not counting shipping) out infront of the pot knob, and attach it all together with adhesive backed velcro. Stick the servo on to the blocks and knob when you arduino control, and remove the servo when normal knob operation is desired. I like simple, low cost, and revertable in a matter of seconds. YMMV

The controller box is equiped with 2x on/off switches and 2x 5k Pots, I was planning to make the controller removable with
a GX16 9 pin Qconnector and simply connect the arduino to it or the original controlBox...

The machine has been taken appart before for several mods and maintenance so taking it appart
again is no biggy. As for the Controller voltage to the Pot, My machines range from Bodine Controller
( special order from Sybian MAnufacturer ) to KBIC-19 / KBIC-120 and KBWD-13's but I do think they are all 5 volt...

In the case where the Pot would be 12volt, would I have alternatives? and can I mesure the voltage by simply running it full
speed and probing the pot with a voltmeter?

Candy :slight_smile: