RC Car suggestion

Hi all,

I’m interested in multi-rotors and ROV’s but I know how expensive and hard to control they can be. Since I have limited experience with coding (Not new but enough to know Multi-rotors are gonna be damn hard)

I was wondering if anyone had advice on any RC cars that could be somewhat easy to mod and control with maybe an X-Bee device?

I was also wondering if anyone has any Arduino controlled Multi-rotor or ROV projects that I could follow online? (SV seeker has an awesome ROV)

JAnwyl: I was wondering if anyone had advice on any RC cars that could be somewhat easy to mod and control with maybe an X-Bee device?

How much are you willing to spend?

If you want to go "easy but expensive", purchase a hobby-grade RC chassis. Sometimes you can find these "bare-bones" - they usually come as a kit you have to put together (note: some have a lot of parts and can be mechanically complex), most of the time they'll have a motor and maybe a steering servo, but not much else.

In that case, you also need to buy an appropriately sized ESC (electronic speed control) to hook up to the drive motor, and a battery (plus a charger).

On the other end are complete "ready-to-run" (RTR) kits that are generally completely assembled and have a radio, battery, and charger (simple as it is) - you basically charge it up and play.

In between is everything else - also called "almost-ready-to-run".

At any rate, almost any of these kits (which vary in price - but expect to spend anywhere from about $100.00 USD, maybe a bit less - to several hundred USD) can be easily controlled by an Arduino using the Servo library.

You might also check to see if anyone is selling a chassis or other parts cheaply on Ebay or Craigslist, or a local classified advert or whatnot. Sometimes people want out of the hobby fast, and they let go of a lot of used gear for much less than it would cost new.

If you want to go with "difficult but cheap" - check this thread:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,86883.0.html

The gist of it is to obtain a cheapo toy-grade RC car (via a thrift shop or whatnot) - and then "hack" it to control the motors - of which there are several methods, from direct control of the on-board h-bridges, to stripping out the control board and using your own h-bridge solution, to emulating the RC control signals and injecting them into the on-board decoder chip.

Well, if you have kids, then getting a PowerWheels toy and modifying it as RC will be great fun for both your kids and you.

I had it done and will eventually post it here whenever I get the time.

I found it more difficult and much less challenging to use ready made RC transmitters/receivers, ESC's BEC's and transmitters so I build everything from scratch. The only ready-made thing I used was the nRF24L01 modules. And the batteries, of course.

I have learned a great deal on both the Arduino and general electronics.

If you go with RC cars, you probably need a slow moving "rock crawler" type that moves slowly and would be easier to control.

zoomkat: If you go with RC cars, you probably need a slow moving "rock crawler" type that moves slowly and would be easier to control.

Better to get a fast platform, and slow it down with code (PWM or otherwise), then increase the speed as your skills at controlling it develop (or - if autonomous - as your code controlling it based on sensor inputs improve)...