PC -> wireless -> arduino -> RC car

Hello everyone,

I have never worked with Arduino boards myself before, but I though they might be usefull for the following project I want to do.

I want to controll an RC tank from my PC. The tracks need PWM so I can steer while on the move. My questions are: 1. Is this possible with a budged of MAX 60 euro? 2. What board should I get? 3. What wireless components should I get? Also keeping in mind that I need to connect it to a PC. Most likely a USB to serial converter is needed and a small circuit. Hopefully not a whole micro controller.

The range of the wireless components does not have to be much more than 300 feet or 50 meter, since the wireless camera's will have a similar range. (Playing world af tanks in real life XD ).

I think there are plenty of tutorials available, but I would love some advice on the components to use.

That sounds feasible. Plenty of people have done similar.

At the tank end, there are well-known solutions for generating the type of PWM control signal that ordinary radio control systems use to drive servos and speed controllers.

At the PC end you may be able to use a bluetooth adapter connected directly to the PC but I have no experience of doing that - an alternative that certainly would work would be to connect an Arduino to the PC and put a radio transceiver on each Arduino. There are various types available with different prices/ranges. You would need an application on the PC to send commands to the Arduino,and of course you would need to display the output from the web cam. If your tanks are going to provide any sort of 'hit' detection then you could use the same communication system in the other direction to inform you of the state of the various tanks.

If you don't need that feedback, have you considered just installing an ordinary hobby RC system? It would be a heck of a lot less work.

something like this ? no PC Required.


Duane B


I did something similar to DuaneB's car here:


His looks a lot neater, and looks like it uses less parts. :)

My page describes some of the reasons for various components (as does DuaneB's page) so between them you should get some good ideas.

I've been working on a similar project recently and decided to use a WiFi module (MRF24WB0MB, used also in the WiShield) with an arduino nano and a L298 H-bridge for the motors. Instead of connecting the rc car to the pc, I connect it to an android phone but it should basically be the same. At first I thought of using two NRF24L01+ transceivers (one for the rc car and one for the pc+arduino nano or android+mega adk) because of their low cost but then the extra board for the pc or phone would make it almost as expensive as a wifi module and the flexibility of wifi was worth it. But of course that depends on your priorities. Anyway...I bought most of the components and boards on ebay, so they weren't that expensive and I believe the whole thing costed about 45-50 euro, excluding the rc car (a 12? years old nitro dozer :-) ), and it's about the size of an arduino mega. I still have to work on the wifi (not waking up after a while) but it's not a deal breaker for now. Unfortunately I don't have a documentation of the project like DuaneB or Nick but there are pretty good tutorials for the components I mentioned.

Hi, I have no experience of using this transmitter/receiver but the price looks incredible -


I really cannot see any benefit in using PCs or phones to control RC Vehicles when units like this provide 9 channels in a robust enclosure with intuitive stick controls and all the programmable adjustments you could ask for. Its also easy to interface to Arduino.

Remember, I have no experience of this unit, but the reviews I have seen seem positive, so please do your own research.

Duane B


Looks great for the price. You should be aware that 2 of my orders from Hobbyking have taken 5 months to be shipped. The item on backorder is the radio. I'm still waiting...

Thanks for the replies all.

The idea was definitely to use a pc. Normal remote control is already in the tanks im looking at. This can be done with a bluetooth module and a board, for a total cost of about 75 euro. (You do want a good bluetooth module for the range). Normal transmitters may give a lot more trouble and require two boards, which makes them not much cheaper, so the bluetooth seems the best option.

I'm not sure if my budget will allow this. But when it does, I know what to do.

Many thanks again.