RC Tractor Guy Controller PCB

This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Juris 2 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #1344
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    Let me know what you think of my first design for an RC controller PCB and if you have any questions you should ask here.

    RC Tractor Guy Controller PCB V1.0

    I am considering selling these PCBs if people want them but I can’t afford to buy and store a large number of PCBs so I think I would need to do a crowd funding thing to pay for it. If you are interested, you will need to make it clear here how many you would consider buying then when I have an idea of numbers I can go to the PCB manufacturer and find out how much a larger batch would cost. PCBs are cheaper in larger quantities as the setup costs are spread over more PCBs.

    Based on what I paid plus shipping and packaging I estimate the cost would be around €14.50 for one PCB and I think roughly €9.50 on top of that for every extra PCB but like I said the PCB should be cheaper to manufacture if we were ordering 50 or 100 for example. So I need an idea of numbers before I can give exact costs. That is for the PCB only not all the parts. I don’t think I would do assembled boards as they would probably get very expensive pretty quickly for example based on rough numbers if I was to sell the PCB with all the parts I used and not assembled it would cost around €60 including shipping which is quite a lot already. I’m not sure what is best to do or if you guy’s would even want it so let me know what you think.

    In the new version of the board I would fix the placement problems of the switches and the expansion port. Also I think I will include a socket for an Arduino Pro mini so you can chose to use that instead of the more expensive but more powerful Arduino Mega board I have been using. Using the Pro Mini you would probably just have control of the potentiometers and switches without the LCD screen. If you go that route I would advise using sockets instead of soldering the Arduino Pro Mini in place so that you can just upgrade to the Arduino Mega at a later stage if you want to.

    Also if you have any suggestions for modifications to the board I would like to hear them too.

    #1357
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    Here is a video on the PCB for the controller.

    I’ve had a few suggestions for improvements.

    1. Add a dedicated 3.3 V regulator for the NRF24L01
    2. Include diodes to prevent reverse voltage

    I don’t think there is much point selling the parts and the PCB together as you would be paying for the parts to be shipped to me and then to you again. I think it would be better if I included links to all the parts on a webpage for the controller and you can buy the parts directly from the ebay sellers I used if you like. What do you guy’s think?

    Also so far people have expressed interest in about six boards.

    #1414
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    RC Tractor Controller TFT Display

    I’ve been working on the next version of this controller a lot lately so here are the changes:

    1. Now I am using TFT touchscreen display which I think looks great but I haven’t implemented the touchscreen part since the demos didn’t seem great. It will be wired so even if I don’t add it in the code you can do it yourself.

    2. I’m am including sockets for NRF24L01, XBee and IR communication. I’m including IR because I might be able to get it to control Siku Control 32 models as well.

    3. I think I’m going to switch to rotary encoders instead of sliding pots because they are cheaper and should suit excavators better. At the minute you drive your tractor along adjusting the rear link with a sliding pot then you switch to the excavator and the tracks take off at full speed because you had the sliding pot set to hold the tractor rear link up but then setting is full forward for the excavator track. With the encoder I can make the code set individual values for each vehicle because it doesn’t physically represent a value it simply produces two pulses when you rotate it. That way when you make changes to one vehicle they wont instantly occur on the next vehicle you switch to.

    4. I’m planning to put a 6 AA battery holder on the back of the board and get additional PCBs made to cover the rest of the rear and the front of the controller either side of the display. This is to solve two problems which were found with the V1 PCB, firstly after you solder the components in and cut the exposed legs you are left with lots of little spikes which can damage you clothing if you have the controller on your lap. Secondly to solve the first problem I bolted a spare unpopulated V1 PCB onto the back of the populated PCB and the controller feels much better in your hands. If you don’t want to use AA batteries you can just unbolt the battery holder and use whatever other battery you want.

    I think that is all the changes, what do you guys think?

    #1420
    Avatar
    RoyMartinez
    Participant

    I don’t think that there is any need for any changes now.
    Will you be able to post some more photos. I like this idea and want to learn the same.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by RC Tractor Guy RC Tractor Guy. Reason: Spamming
    #1487
    Avatar
    3220
    Participant

    Hi tractor guy, happy new year..I am very exited about your progress so far and looking forward to the finished version. I cant wait making public what you are dooing ;-). I think the number will climb high. By the way i ve ordered the little truck which i showed up with at our last conversation. Just the imagination of the potential of a combination is amazing. Please if you can, don t wait to long. Market is hot for what you have ..
    At one of your vids at yout.. i ve learned that you think about controlling aerial vehicles to? How fast is the responding time of your rcdevelopment now is there any noticeable delay at the model receiving and proceeding commands? And i think i heard something about you are working on a PCB for the Model also?
    lots of questions ,,

    yours W

    #1502
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    I actually received the version 2 prototype PCBs yesterday and have assembled one and started testing. So far so good but I have a lot of code to write to do everything I want but the PCB seems good, I have a few minor change to make with holes sizes to make assembly easier but no huge changes. I am building a library so basically anyone who buys the controller can download my library and upload it to their controller immediately getting exactly my controller. Or if they prefer they can of course start from scratch themselves. I’m hoping to launch a kickstarter next month and by the end of the kickstarter I’ll release V1 of the library and just update it as I update it for myself or if others give me suggestions on how to improve it.

    I will have control for all my normal vehicles, I’m trying to get the infrared working to control siku control 32 models but that is not easy. Also I’m trying to get control of some syma IR helicopters I have and then I have a plan to make a sort of drone from an old RC helicopter and maybe so small robots made from old RC cars, just ideas so far. Then I’m trying to include some basic features just because they should be easily done with the Arduino so I have IR remote code to control TVs other IR control things which should allow me to test the IR is working before moving onto the complex IR things like the helicopter and control 32. Also I added some basic games pong, snake and brick. The snake game works really well so far, the others aren’t great I might make pong two player because it’s a bit crap at the minute and the brick game isn’t working at all yet. These are minor additions, I spent about three or four hours to add the games whereas I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get the IR helicopters working with no success yet.

    The speed of the radio transmission is another thing I need to test, I’m planning to add a tool where you set up a node and select the tool from the menu on the controller and it reads out various performance data. That’s the plan but I haven’t got there yet.

    I do have a prototype for a board to go inside the model, it basically does all the wiring for the TB6612FNG and the smaller NRF24L01. It uses a PCF8574 to to control the direction of the motor driver so it can control two motors and put the driver into sleep plus adds 3 extra outputs while only using 4 arduino pins. I haven’t receiver the PCF chips yet though so can’t test that properly, I have some through hold versions so maybe I’ll do a bodge just to the test the PCB is working fine.

    That reply got very long very quickly 🙂

    #1508
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    Here are some pics:

    RC Tractor Guy Controller V2 Front

    RC Tractor Guy Controller V2

    #1510
    Avatar
    3220
    Participant

    Hi mister mastercheeftinkerer 😉 this is outstanding i am freaking out totally! Love it .. perfect. Need to get one asap.
    Congretulations to the perfect result of your effort.

    #1515
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    Well a few minor changes and I think it will be good to go. I might add a IR receiver to help with decoding IR signals also as I’m finding that to be a useful feature 🙂

    #1517
    Avatar
    3220
    Participant

    of course for development purpose a IR on board would be handsome, but in general 2,4 is squeezing them out of business. I dont have to tell you about sunlight distortion and so on. For me personally it is not the most important thing. Because of Siku, its what it is – the best Working Kids Farming Toy you can get. For a real adult enthusiast its not that superior because of the low level of power, the leak of AWD and so on .. I really love siku and i talked to the management in germany, if they are not interested in cooperate more with the modelmaker sceen but they are solid set up at the moment and there will not be any changes. Up to now they are offering 3 different control systems in there vehicles so this is to much afford to reprogram a transmitter. I will rather take out whats in and replace it with arduino if i use a Siku control. Rather i will go forward with DIY Cast and build it up by my selfe. I want to attach a link here which i think you should see. Make your own opinion but the guy who wrote it is the same who sells the truck… at least when you want to start, we should contact him eventually. This is a german forum but the most of the tread is in english. I am wondering about those special “connections” behind ..
    interesting issui

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Avatar 3220.
    #1522
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    Funny I just saw that link somewhere else in this forum. It’s a good build he done a nice conversion with the sound and everything especially in such a small model. Very impressive.

    #1548
    Triple D
    Triple D
    Participant

    Hello RC Tactor Guy,
    I have expressed my interest for your V2 controller on the Facebook page. Tiz a thing of beauty, kindly place me on your waiting list for a kit of parts.

    #1549
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    That is no problem, the plan is to run a kickstarter campaign hopefully this month so anyone who wants one can put their name on the list. There will be three options 1. just the PCBs, 2. the PCBs and parts to assemble the controller yourself or 3. an assembled and tested controller. Option 2 is seeming most popular from what people have told me so far.

    #1749
    Avatar
    VCR
    Participant

    I lost the kickstarter campaign … is it still possible to buy a kit for the controller?

    Thanks VCR

    #1939
    RC Tractor Guy
    RC Tractor Guy
    Keymaster

    I’ve been really busy over the last few weeks and haven’t had the time to work on any controllers. I have most of the parts but not all so I will have to do a stock check and order the remaining parts before I can sell any more controllers.

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