RC project troubles

Hello all, for the past few days I have been trying to create a certain RC project that I then realised was WAY more complex than I initially thought, so I have decided to come to the forums for general help on how to accomplish this. The project is heavily based off this project by Nicholas Rehm: Radio Controlled Starship Program | Hackaday.io it basically sets out to do the same thing as this but with slight variations, it all started when i purchased an ESP8266, and what I basically want to do is this:

  • use my computer over telnet with an ESP8266-ESP12F to act as a transmitter/receiver (due to RC transmitter costs)
  • wire the ESP8266 to an arduino nano and have the arduino control four servo’s using the WASD keys on my computer
  • (though i am not yet thinking about this) have two moving motors for ascent control, one for pitch and one for yaw.
    the hardware I have is an arduino nano (and an arduino UNO) and an ESP8266-ESP12F SMD breakout.
    I have four CYS-S0009 servos.
    (I do not have much usable code at this point in time, this is what i need help with, I am relatively new to programming.)

for those who don’t know, the Starship rocket by SpaceX uses four flaps on the nose and bottom to control it in freefall after launch, and it does this by actuating the flaps to control the drag around the ship as it falls on it’s side, this is basically what i need to do with this project except use WASD keys over telnet to control the fins. The keys must be able to do the following:
W - retract forward fins (canards) out of the airstream and extend rear fins
S - the opposite of W
A - retract all fins on the left side and extend right side fins
D - opposite of A

sorry for the long post, but any help is much appreciated, thank you and have an excellent day.


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I am not sure I followed your rambling description of the control aspect, but if you are planning to use the ESP to connect the Arduino to the internet, then, yes, you are making the project WAY more complex than it needs to be.

If you need net connectivity, simply start with a board that already has WiFi built in.

My go-to board is the Wemos D1 Mini. It's an ESP powered board, has WiFi, more RAM and a faster processor clock speed than the Uno. You program it using the Arduino IDE. Best yet, for the price of an Uno you can buy five Wemos boards.

You might also want to check out Ardupilot.com

Start small. Get a 10K potentiometer and run some of the Arduino example sketches to get familiar with writing a program, uploading it to the processor, and figure out why it doesn't work. (When you get stuck, that's where we help the best).

Power the servo directly from a 4.7V battery- it's stall current is 1Amp, which is too much for the regulator on the Uno.