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RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

  1. #1
    TD2253's Avatar
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    RF Servo Tutorial

    Here is the tutorial for the Radio Shack Zip Zap mini RC.

    Here are the materials you will need to complete this project:
    • 1 Radio Shack Zip Zap Mini RC
    • 2 4 Cell AAA Battery Boxes with switches
    • 1 Hitec HS-77BB Low Profile Analog Servo
    • 1 Package of Radio Shack Mini SPST Switches # 275-1547
    • 1 Pack of Heat Shrink Tubing
    • 1 Heat Gun
    • 1 Cold Heat or soldering iron/gun
    • Some solder
    • 1 Hot Glue Gun
    Step 1: Open the RC unit to remove the transmitter board. This is the face of the RC unit.


    Flip the RC unit over and remove the screws from the back panel.


    Pull the panel off carefully as not to pull the leads off the board.



    Here you can see the red and black power supply wires going to the board



    Follow the power supply wires to the battery compartment in the back panel



    Cut the red and black wires on the battery compartment in the back panel





    Here you can see the yellow and black wires for the charger unit. Cut them down to the board as it will not be needed for this project. The charger unit pops right off the top then put it aside.







    Here you can see the transmitter antenna and wire. Remove the screw that attaches the yellow wire to the base of the antenna post.





    Here you can see 4 board screws, remove them and pull the board off the front panel




    Hot glue the power supply black and red wire leads to the board to prevent them from breaking off.


    Slip on two short strips of heatshrink tubing on the power supply black and red wires then twist the exposed ends with wires from the AAA battery box with a switch. Solder the twisted wire ends then slip the heatshrink tubing over the soldered ends and heat with heat gun.


    Flip the transmitter board over to locate the control pads. For this project, you will be using the control pads on the left hand side with 2 pads.


    On the control pads, notice the subtle two halves of each circular contacts.

    Pre-solder the wire leads before soldering to one half of controller pad contacts. Make sure you have just enough solder to cover the wire lead itself.


    This is the real tricky part. Solder about 5 inches of wire to each half (the tip of the half circle) for a total of 4 strips of wire. Be very careful not to cross solder into the opposite half as this will short the circuit. Heat the wire lead long enough to melt the solder on the lead but just enough to make it stick to the contact's edge. This method will prevent cross soldering to the other half of the contact therefore, you will not see too much solder as you normally would.


    This is how it should look after soldering the wires.


    Hot glue the pads and the soldered wire leads to prevent them from breaking off.


    I know that in this picture I am using the right side controller pad but the concept is the same for the left controller pad. Slip 4 short strips of heatshrink tubing on each of the 4 wires on the control pads. Solder the exposed ends from the two wires coming from one control pad to leads of one SPST momentary switch. Heat the heatshrink tubing over the leads. Repeat for the other control pad wires.


    End Of Step 1


    Step 2: Open the car body to remove the receiver board from the chassis

    Here is the car body. Flip the car over and pry the front and back lock tab with a small screw driver.







    Now carefully pull the top off then you will see a connector for the car lights attached to the chassis. Carefully pull the connector off then slip the red antenna wire through the hole in the car top.







    Next, remove five screws from the top of the chassis. The second picture below shows one screw in front of the motor compartment which is kinda hidden.





    At this point, you should be able to pull the board of the chassis with a little bit jiggling some plastic parts to free it.


    Cut the red and white wires from the light green capacitor in the chassis.


    Then, cut the black and red wires connected to the steering motor.


    This is what you should have so far with the receiver board.


    Now cut two short strips of heatshrink tubing and slip them on the power supply red and white wires on the receiver board. Strip and expose about 1/4" of wire at the loose end of the red and white wires.



    Twist the exposed wire ends to the wires from one of the AAA battery box with a switch. Solder the wires and slip the heatshrink tubing over the exposed wires to protect them from shorting. Hot glue the red and white power supply wire leads and the motor red and black wires on the receiver board to protect it from breaking off.


    Note: At this point, turn on the switches in the transmitter battery box and the receiver battery box. Then turn on the onboard switch on the transmitter board (Green LED light should come on). Press on one of the SPST switches and the test motor should spin one way. Press the other SPST switch and the test motor should spin the other way. Congratulations! You just passed your connectivity test!

    End Of Step 2


    Step 3: Tweaking the Hitec HS-77BB Low Profile Analog Servo

    I used a low profile servo for a better helmet fit. Otherwise, your head might not fit inside the helmet with a regular size servo.


    Flip the servo over and remove the 4 screws on the back panel.


    Here is the layout of the onboard servo controller board.


    Now cut the yellow, red and green wires off the board. Then cut the yellow, red and black wires off the board. Lastly, cut the brown and yellow wires off the board.


    The brown and yellow wires are connected to the servo motor itself. These wires will be used later to connect to the receiver black and red wires.


    Slip on two short strips of heatshrink tubing to the yellow and brown wires coming from the servo motor. Connect and then solder the servo (red, black and yellow wires) power wire to the servo motor yellow and brown wires by using only the red and black wires.


    Hot glue the wire leads on the servo motor to prevent it from breaking off. This is where you should be at this point.


    Screw the panel back onto the servo.


    Now cut off the connector from the servo red, black and yellow power wire.


    Cut off the test motor from the receiver board. Slip on two short strips of heatshrink tubing on the black and red wires from the test motor. Connect and solder the black and red wires from test motor to the servo red, black and yellow wire by using only the red and black wires.


    Slip the heatshrink tubing over the solder connections from the receiver board and the servo and apply heat with heat gun. The picture below is where you should be at this point.



    Step 4: Servo Trial Run

    This is the RF actuator system as a whole minus the RF stalk and helmet. One switch will move the stalk down and the other will move it up. It’s up to you how you will install your servo in the helmet according to it’s movement. Once you see how the actuator moves, you will have a reference point on how you should place it in the helmet according to how the RF should behave.


    End of Step 4.

    Here is a clip of the servo in action



    Step 5: Attaching the servo shaft attachment, RF stalk and servo unit into the helmet:

    The servo shaft can be cut according to the thickness of the particular helmet you are using. You'd want to have just enough length for the stalk to attach to. I had to cut mine just about halfway down so that it will be flushed with the thickness of the RF stalk. Cut the screw a bit longer than the shaft coz it has to thread into the servo spline to hold the shaft in.



    For the RF stalk, I have a BKBT aluminum stalk in which I drilled an 8-32 size hole using a Craftsman Tap & Drill set.



    Then I used the tap to cut 8-32 size threads into the hole on the stalk. The position of hole is at the top of the rounded end of the stalk when it's in the down position. This way, the hole is not seen while its in the up position.





    Then I got some size 8-32 x 5/16 socket head set screws from Lowes that can be tightened with an allen wrench. Using this method of attachment, the stalk can be removed when stowing the helmet away.





    To attach the servo unit to the helmet, I used two plastic computer case motherboard fasteners hot glued to the helmet. The servo attachment holes just slides in and snaps into place and is easily removed by sliding it out.



    Notice how I positioned the servo unit in the helmet.




    This is how it looks with the shaft attachment.



    I positioned the shaft in the down position so I can tighten the screw in place.



    This is how the RF stalk should work installed in the helmet.


    FINISHED HELMET WITH RF ACTUATOR INSTALLED IN HELMET AND LEFT GAUNTLET.



    Here is the underside of the helmet showing the RF actuator receiver assembly on the left side and the helmet squirrel/blower fan on the right.






    LEFT GAUNTLET WITH ZIP ZAP TRANSMITTER BOARD AND SWITCHES



    Here is the inside/underside of the gaunt showing the transmitter board, SPST switches, battery boxes for the transmitter and the red LED light on the side of the left gaunt.




    Here is a clip of the RF system activated.

    Last edited by TD2253; May 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM.

  2. #2
    LostSonOfSparda's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    This is gonna be good, I'll be checking back to see the rest.

  3. #3
    I helped at SDCC '08 Jango 5204's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Me too, maybe Jango will have a moveable RF now. Keep it going.

  4. #4

    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    oh, poor barricade! couldn't you have used bumblebee???

  5. #5
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Thanks for the comments guys! There was so much I documented for this project that I would not be able to post everything in just one sitting. So, hang in there and check back often as when I transcribed everything to a Word document, it took about 12 pages!

    tk7602 said: View Post
    oh, poor barricade! couldn't you have used bumblebee???
    Hey Brian! I did use Bumblebee first, but sadly, I fried the receiver board by hooking up a 9 volt to a 4.8 volt board!

  6. #6
    LostSonOfSparda's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    TD2253 said: View Post
    took about 12 pages!
    Holy cow! Good thing you are logging all the progress, though.

    About how much money will it take to do just one of these? I'm guessing about half the expense is the servo and the mini rc?

  7. #7
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    LostSonOfSparda said: View Post
    About how much money will it take to do just one of these? I'm guessing about half the expense is the servo and the mini rc?
    Here is the breakdown rounded off:
    • Servo - $30 dollars
    • Zip Zap RC - $9.99 at Radio Shack
    • 2 AAA Battery Boxes w/switches - $4.00 @ $1.99 each (Radio Shack)
    • 8 AAA Batteries w/ charger - $30 dollars
    • SPST Switches package of 4 - $3.50
    So roughly, its about $80 dollars ($90 coz I fried my first receiver board had to buy another zip zap) and the rest of the materials I already have lying around the house. It's still cost effective compared to buying a ready made kit for about $300 dollars total.

  8. #8
    Sixxgunn13's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Wow... thx for the tutorial.

  9. #9
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    No problem Sixxgunn13! I should have most of the tutorial done by the weeks end.

  10. #10
    Jango's kid's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Rock on!!!! I think I can definately follow you so far!!!! Shaping up to be a great tutorial!!
    D

  11. #11
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Thanks Damian! Glad you can find your way through the tutorial!

  12. #12
    Sixxgunn13's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    It was either a smoking Jet Pack or moving RF.. rocket pack won

    BUT now I can do Both!!

    This is optional, so in fact it can be cheaper.
    8 AAA Batteries w/ charger - $30 dollars




    TD2253 said: View Post
    No problem Sixxgunn13! I should have most of the tutorial done by the weeks end.

  13. #13
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Sixxgunn13 said: View Post
    It was either a smoking Jet Pack or moving RF.. rocket pack won

    BUT now I can do Both!!

    This is optional, so in fact it can be cheaper.
    8 AAA Batteries w/ charger - $30 dollars
    Sweet! So, now after doing this tutorial you will be a fully functional Fett!

    Yeah the batteries and charger is cheaper in the long run compared to having to buy batteries everytime the juice runs out of them. You might want to buy 8 more batteries so they are charged or charging while you are using the other 8.

  14. #14
    Admin Staff webchief's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    What an awesome tutorial! Finally it actually makes sense to someone like myself who is completely electro-challenged.

  15. #15
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    webchief said: View Post
    What an awesome tutorial! Finally it actually makes sense to someone like myself who is completely electro-challenged.
    Thanks Bob! I'm glad it makes sense to you!

  16. #16
    Jango72's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    I'm a little unclear with the part where you soldered the wires to the control pads on the board.

    You mentioned that for this project we should use the two pads on the left hand side of the picture, then in your next set of photos you show the right side set of four pads being used.

    I'm also unsure of how you soldered the wires to the pads as the hot glue makes it difficult to see your finished solder connections.

  17. #17
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Jango72 said: View Post
    I'm a little unclear with the part where you soldered the wires to the control pads on the board.

    You mentioned that for this project we should use the two pads on the left hand side of the picture, then in your next set of photos you show the right side set of four pads being used.

    I'm also unsure of how you soldered the wires to the pads as the hot glue makes it difficult to see your finished solder connections.
    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for bringing that up...yeah, I will need to provide a better picture for the soldering part. If you look at the control pads both left and right, the left is for the drive motor which actually makes the car go forward or backward. The right side with the four contacts, left, right, top and bottom is for steering which uses the same concept as the left control pad. Now, since the car motor is still attached to the receiver board, the left control pad on the transmitter is the one controlling that motor which you will need for connectivity testing later in the process. I used the left side for this tutorial for the sake of simplicity. I used the right controller pad coz I tested my board that way and decided to stay with it and use it for illustration purposes only. Sorry for the confusion.

    -Gene
    Last edited by TD2253; May 17, 2008 at 8:27 PM.

  18. #18

    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    great step by step. one question.. have you tested this with the weight of the RF topper and arm to make sure it will pull it back?

    thanks!

  19. #19

    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    hey look at that post #300 :-)

  20. #20
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Hi SlaveR5!

    Good question! This particular servo is rated at 61.1 oz-inch @ 4.8 volts. The formula to figure the pounds of force goes like this.

    oz-inch/16 = pounds of force (1" arm) Now, since the BKBT aluminum RF stalk is 6.5 inches long and the servo is rated at 61.1 oz-inch @ 4.8 volts (4 AAA battery pack = 4.8 volts and I'll just round off the stalk length at 7") then our formula should look like this:

    61.1/7 = 8.73 pounds of force @ 4.8 volts

    So to answer your question, yes it can handle the load with the RF stalk plus the topper with the LED unit and then some.

  21. #21
    Sixxgunn13's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    I just picked up a Bumble Bee ZipZap, for $6

    Also where can I get one of those servo's?
    thx
    Last edited by Sixxgunn13; May 18, 2008 at 9:55 PM.

  22. #22
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Sixxgunn13 said: View Post
    I just picked up a Bumble Bee ZipZap, for $6
    Wow! What a great deal! Did you pick up two of them just in case? Would love to see your wip posts!

  23. #23
    Sixxgunn13's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    THx..
    where can i get a servo?
    TD2253 said: View Post
    Wow! What a great deal! Did you pick up two of them just in case? Would love to see your wip posts!

  24. #24
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    Sixxgunn13 said: View Post
    THx..
    where can i get a servo?
    You can get the servo HERE and you will also need to get one of THESE for your stalk but make sure you get the Hitec one. I'll post a short tutorial on connecting the stalk to the servo later.

  25. #25
    TD2253's Avatar
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    Re: RS Zip Zap Mini RC RF Servo Tutorial

    I updated the tutorial with the attachment of the stalk, shaft and servo into the helmet.

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