A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

  1. #1
    Aaron's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2006
    From
    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    163

    A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    Hey gang,

    Quite a few new faces around here, more that I don't recognize than I do! It's good to see the old boards are alive and well.

    I started building my SE Fett in 2006. After two years of work and nearing the goalpost (well, in distant view), I found myself unable to dedicate the sort of time and money these things take. I cleaned my brushes, boxed my paints, and moved on to a new and mostly-propless chapter in my life.

    So it goes, right? But despite all that time, I haven't been able to talk myself into getting rid of my bucket - a vacformed kit bought from bradleyfett in 2007. Partly because it does a great job of filtering out star trek people when I bust it out at holiday parties, but mostly because I never put in the finishing touches.

    After all, it was costuming that taught me about the single-minded pursuit of perfection: not for money, not for the spotlight, for no other reason than because it's what you've chosen to do. What would it say about me if I let a goal like that slip away?

    So with no more long-winded history lessons, I'll get down to business. My plan here is to detail my build of an arduino-run RF servo, triggered by remote control. I tried this once before way back when, but electronics has come quite a long way since then. I'll try to pare down the control hardware to just a bare atmega chip and RF reciever and package it up nice and neat. As far as I can tell from my (super limited) research, this should be the first of its kind. If anybody has done or seen a similar project, give a holler! I can always use more info.

    Once again, it's great to see that the boards are still the tight community that makes the prop world such a great one. Here's to new beginnings!

  2. #2
    Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    From
    Pennsylvania
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    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    I am currently working on a similar setup. I have the code just about where I want it and once I build the mock up, I will design the PC board for the parts.

  3. #3
    dolioshmolio's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    From
    Greenwood, AR
    Posts
    395

    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    Hello Aaron... glad your back to it ..can't wait to see what you come up with... I'm going to attempt the mini RC car method until you guys get this sorted
    -justin

  4. #4
    Jc27's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Pennsylvania
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    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    My Ardunio coding knowledge is not very good, which is partly why its taking me so long to make any real headway on this project.

  5. #5
    Aaron's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2006
    From
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    163

    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    I've decided to forgo integrating RF leds since I don't have a hollow stalk, but I've got the basics together on a breadboard. The remote on the right talks to the receiver on the left, which sends a signal to the arduino (center), which in turn generates a signal for the servo. Presto, motion!



    Next step: going to town on the helmet to make room for the servo. This looks terrible, but nothing a little bondo and paint can't take care of. Most of it will be hidden by the RF stalk anyway.



    Jc27: here's the code I'm using to run the arduino - I need to do some tinkering to slow down the servo, but it should get you up and working. Let me know how it goes.

    #include <Servo.h>

    Servo rfservo;
    int radioState;
    int pos=0;

    void setup()
    {
    rfservo.attach(9);
    }

    void loop()
    {
    radioState = analogRead(A3);
    if (radioState > 50) {
    if (pos == 0) {
    rfservo.write(53);
    pos=1;
    delay(1000);
    }
    else {
    rfservo.write(150);
    pos=0;
    delay(1000);
    }
    }
    }

    Up next - perfboard and probably burning myself with a soldering iron.

  6. #6
    Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    From
    Pennsylvania
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    1,755

    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    I'm using the same stuff lol. My code is a lot different though. How are you powering the Uno, the receiver and the servo? I am curious if that micro servo will be able to rotate the stalk with the rf attached. I have a mini servo that seems like it will work but pulls more current than the uno can handle so it's powered separately.

  7. #7
    Aaron's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2006
    From
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    163

    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    Right now it's running from 9v power supply, taken down to 5v with the uno's onboard voltage regulator. So far it's had no problems rotating the stalk, but my RF itself is quite light.

    It looks like the atmega328 itself is not too picky about power supply, so I'm thinking I'll try to run the final project on 4 rechargable AAs. We'll see how the RF receiver tolerates it. Might be I'll have to use a 9v battery and regulator, at the expense of battery life. Either way, the servo's power supply will be routed around the atmega to avoid overloading it.

  8. #8
    Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    From
    Pennsylvania
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    1,755

    Re: A long overdue project - RC RF stalk

    That's what I was doing. I had a separate 5v supply for the servo and I had the uno running off USB and the receiver running off the 5v out on the uno.

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