Computer controlled rc car

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by motas, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. motas

    motas Member

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    Hey. So I have been looking into fpv driving an rc car and would ideally like to do it off my computer and racing wheel. I have a gopro hd camera so i have that part sorted but I'd need a video transmitter with a good range and also a transmitter and receiver to control it through a computer with a good range. I am hoping for about a 2km range which is doable but not sure about controlling it with a pc. The two rc cars i have is a baja 5b which is a 1/5th scale buggy which should be capable of holding a fairly large receiver etc. the other is a 1/10th scale crawler which is much smaller but weight isnt a huge issue just compactness. Basically what I am looking for is advice on an electronic system which can control a rc car from 2km+ range with 2 servos (throttle/steering) and a 3rd channel for killswitch while being controlled by a computer and receive video from a go pro camera. Also I work at jaycar so anything available through them is a positive.
    I thought electronics would be the best place to post. Feel free to move mods.
    Thanks.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    motas

    motas Member

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    Also one more thing incase it helps the range. Computer end can be as big as needed only the rc end needs to be compact. Ie rc trans can be big, rc receiver has to be small. Video trans needs to be small, video receiver can be big. Computer end can also run off 240v. Rc end can run off most voltages due to new batteries like lipo but lower voltage is better.
    Thanks.
     
  3. s73v3

    s73v3 Member

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    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__316__172__Telemetry_FPV-FPV.html

    They have a heap of stuff for fpv. Another section does telemetry like gps, temps, vario, rpm ect.

    Im not sure what connections goPros have for vid out, but Im sure you can check on that. also you have the option of using the cheep cameras available for about $16.

    Im interested in FPV when my heli finally gets off the ground. keep this thread updated with your results.
     
  4. panman9

    panman9 Member

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    i don't have any advice to offer, but it sounds like a cool project, keep us updated, weather it be here or if you start a project log in the other toys forum :)
     
  5. pinchies

    pinchies Member

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    Which state are you in?
     
  6. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    This might be worth checking out as a starting point for the control side of things. Not sure precisely what they mean by "long range" though...
    EDIT: should have read more carefully, 1.5km. :o
    The matching receiver is here
    Obviously adding a slick UI would require some coding skills, and some kind of USB-TTL converter arrangement will probably be needed too. Getting 'analog-like' throttle/steering control out of the receiver's digital outputs would also require some clever programming/interfacing... there must be a better way out there! :(

    The video will be more difficult, especially at a decent res & range. I'm sure I've seen prebuilt 2.4GHz transceiver modules around the place, but I suspect these would be basically just the guts of something like a Jaycar AV Sender... low res baseband video only. :thumbdn:
    2ND EDIT: Checked out the HobbyKing link, looks like they've got that side pretty well covered. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  7. shadowkila

    shadowkila Member

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  8. OP
    OP
    motas

    motas Member

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    Hey guys. 2km is probably excessive but I want to explore our 40 acre farm on the next hill over (maybe 500 metres from closest corner to our house) and both farm and house is on separate hills but farm dips down the other side of the hill. Line of sight to most of it is possible. Hobbyking parts are designed for aircraft and has maybe a km of range with no obstacles with direct line of site at all times. Gopro just has standard rca outputs i think but there should be adaptors etc to do it. I am in victoria. I don't really want a great program. All it has to do is show the video and have pedals on g27 control throttle and brake on rc car and steering wheel control steering. I dont know any programming languages except very basic visual basic but id like to learn. I'm sure i could find someone willing to lend a hand though. Ill have a look at that link.
    Few things id like to add:
    Tall aerial can work on both ends. Baja is massive and will easily carry some heavy equipment so something like a uhf aerial would be fine. At home or from car can also be fairly tall and dont mind putting it on the roof if I can just sit it up there.
    1km+ range with obstacles would be fine
    Major problem I am having is transmitting video that far, controlling with computer, transmitting that signal that far
    Also I am not that great with electronics this will be my first real project.
    Thanks.
     
  9. The Wolf

    The Wolf Member

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    Firstly, Why does it have to be computer? That requirement alone with your lack of hardware and software is a major hurdle. Transmitting a signal from a computer through a Tx-Rx from an RC car will require quite a bit of interfacing knowledge. I think you will find that it will be impractical for us to support you through this forum with your lack of knowledge with the level of engineering required. I could advise avenues to go down, but the reality is that you don't even know those yet. It would require you to learn them first, then impliment them.
    Secondly, why the goPro? The bandwith required to transmit that quality video is going to limit you to 3-400 m right there.

    Personally I feel you may be slightly out of your depth here. I would advise dropping the computer part of this project, and focusing on getting a wheel and pedals to interface with an already existing RC transmitter and getting a low bandwidth camera that is designed for this type of stuff. Getting high bandwidth would require you to at least modify the transmitter to force more power.

    You don't have to listen to me, it is your project, but I have been in this type of situation before. You will hit a hurdle with the PC interfacing and drop the project out of frustration. Mine is from Aldi $60. Best thing to play with

    If you want to learn Interfacing with a PC, the best place to start would be get an RC car that is digital control, no servos (ie, left,right,forward,back) and interface that. Move up from there...
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  10. pinchies

    pinchies Member

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    I have a similar goal for a similar project... except with some slight differences. I want to use an iPhone as the RC car controller, talking to an Arduino to control the car. I'm in melbourne, but have not had time to tackle the car side of things, have more been focusing on the electronics side.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    motas

    motas Member

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    If i can get the wheel working without the computer then that would be heaps better. The only thing is I do not want to modify the wheel. It runs through usb so that might help a bit.
    I chose the go pro because i own one. It also records while outputting and is hd. I just realised i can choose different resolutions and output as no hd so that shouldnt be a problem. It is also very tough and waterproof.
    Would it be possible to use the usb plug interfaced with an old fm transmitter i have (better for long range)? Then I could simply have the wheel plugged into the trans and the video into the tv seperately and it would be perfect.
    At above: ill work out the car and you work out the electronics :thumbup:
    Thanks guys.
     
  12. Combatants

    Combatants Member

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    http://fpvpilot.com/default.aspx

    google RC FPV

    I am currently looking into something close myself but searching that on google ull find all the parts n info u need :)
     
  13. OP
    OP
    motas

    motas Member

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    I have googled. Most is for aircraft which is always in line of sight. Much easier to get long range. Ground has interference and obstacles. Also want to control it with a wheel not stick like aircraft have. A lot of info is relevant but not correct as they are different uses.
     
  14. ford ftw

    ford ftw Member

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    The most simple way would be to use a linksys wrt-54g conected to an arduino over serial (serial headers on the router mainboard) and then get an ip camera to plug straight into the router.

    Install DD-wrt and setup an ssh to serial bridge on it then you can send serial commands to the Arduino over ssh. Then using write a program for the computer to control it and view the webcam through a browser.

    Edit: Then you just need a big antena to connect to it.

    Edit 2: Already been done! http://www.jbprojects.net/projects/wifirobot/
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  15. josh_676

    josh_676 Member

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    I was under the impression that anything like a tree line or hill would obstruct the TX back to you, making FPV on the ground fairly useless at range? I know with FPV planes you need to keep them above obstructions and above certain altitudes at different ranges.
     
  16. ford ftw

    ford ftw Member

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    WiFi repeater on a helium balloon 200 meters in the air?
     
  17. proffesso

    proffesso Member

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    since the gopro hero2 came out with wifi, im super keen on a car as well, coupled with the new sony HMZ headset, would be awesome
     
  18. OP
    OP
    motas

    motas Member

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    I have a spare on of those routers. Wont a router break though under harsh conditions? How big a range with extended antenna?
    FM is better at "bending" around obstacles like hills and trees.
    Funny enough i could actually put a wifi repeater on the farm very soon.
    Thanks.
     
  19. ford ftw

    ford ftw Member

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    The router should be able to handle it, the range depends on how much you want to spend. Have a look here: http://freenet-antennas.com.au/
     
  20. OP
    OP
    motas

    motas Member

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    I plan on jumping it, probably will crash it flip it etc etc all the time running in high heat with a lot of dirt and grass. Also can i get antennas similar to a small uhf one for a car? That length and weight would work well. Then I just have to interface the wheel through a wifi modem :(.
    Thanks.
     

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