Interfacing w/ an RC Receiver

Anybody have any tips on how to wire up an interface between an RC receiver and an Arduino as an analog input?

I tried simply plugging a control wire direct from the receiver into an analog-input port (no servo in-between) and the corresponding ground wire into the Arduino's GND port... but I don't seem to be getting a signal. Or at least not one I'm able to usefully manipulate. Maybe there is a signal going in and my programming is just wrong?

I'm using a run-of-the-mill Futaba radio controller (like you would use for a model airplane). I'd like to take the signal from the receiver (range is 0.5V to 300 mV) and use it to control some beefy motors on the other end. I've wired up some automobile power-window motors to the Arduino, and that works (they're two-wire motors... switch polarity to switch directions, using a 12VDC Coil DPDT Miniature PC Relay and a couple Darlington Transistors). My plan from there was to use the signal range from the radio controller as input for that circuit. Rest-position on the control stick would be "off". Moving the stick in one direction (higher output voltage) would rotate the motor one way (set switch in one direction, apply control-signal). Moving the stick in the other way (lower output voltage) would switch the motor running in the opposite direction (flip the switch the opposite way and again apply control-signal). If I program the switch and control signals directly, I can get the motor to work... but I can't seem to work out the RC input to control it live.

The end use for all of this... don't try this at home (seriously)... but I'm working on an indy feature. During his escape from wrongful incarceration, the hero has to drive off an 8-ft embankment. We don't want to endanger an actual driver (we kind of doubt the car will even survive, so we saved this stunt for last). So we want to rig the car for remote-control driving (mount the motors to the floor of the car, stick arms on the ends of the motors and use those to control the gas/brake... similar setup with a bike-chain on the steering wheel for steering). Should be exciting...


You can use pulseIn(), to measure the pulse length, which will be between 1,5 and 2,5 ms.

There are lots of examples around fx.:

PS.: Oh i would love to see the car in action, just like they do in Mythbusters

Ah yeah... I was thinking of the output as an analog signal instead of a digital pulse. That ought to be a lot easier to work with.

Thanks for the example links! Those are fantastic...

If we can get this working, I'll have to remember to post some result-pics...