Let's Make Robots!

Rc car re-interfacing with a home pc

Hello,i am quite new to the world of robots and so to get started i bought an rc car from a local store.The key thing i want to do is to change my rf remote so that i can use it from my pc.Now is there a way to change its board or rf remote configuration or the second thing i may think is to buy a new board and interfacing it to the pc via provided interface.The chip used is in the rf remote is TX-2B .Plz guide me i really wanna complete this project.............:(:(:(

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Do i have to use picaxe andruino board or anyother basic picaxe board can be used,is there an alternative where i can use a self designed pcb with required components as i m not in a mood of using a whole picaxe board just for signal translation ......so can i use a simple microcontroller with some sort of external serial port in a self designed cicuit ...thanks a lot for  all the help that  you have given and i am looking forward for a complete guidance throughot the completion of my project......................................:):):)

The way to do this is probably with a micro processor of some kind. A picaxe, arduino or the like can "talk" to your computer and receive "commands" and then, based on those commands, manipulate the transmitter. If the transmitter is not proportional, simple transistors can take the place of the buttons on the TX. The arduino can click these transistors and thus, be "hitting" buttons on the remote. Now, you will need to hack the controller and figure out if the buttons "click high" or "click low" (if they have + going to them or - ) and then figure out the in/out and polarity of the buttons' connections. Then you can solder in your transistors and current-limit resistors (on the base leg --maybe 10k). Each of the base legs will go to an output on the Arduino. At this point, I would write a test program and test your hardware.

Next would be a terminal program or some other way to get a serial signal out of your computer. You could also write some software in VB, processing, python etc. to spit out some serial data. I would start with a simple count, 1,2,3,4... with each number being sent every second. This way, you have a steady serial signal coming out of the computer to do the testing of the arduino. Write a program for the arduino to receive the serial data and test.

Once you have the computer talking to the arduino and the arduino talking (via those transistors) to the TX, you are ready to get started.

Figure out how you want the actual control method to work. Do you want to use the arrow keys on the keyboard? Maybe build a GUI with buttons you can click. Maybe you are happy with simply sending characters from hyperterm. Once you have figured out how you are going to control this thing, you now just have to figure out a little "code system" to send the data from the computer to the arduino. It could be as simple as 2 bytes --the first is the speed of the motors and the second is steering. You could say, 127 is centered, 0 is full left and 255 is full right. It really doesn't matter here --just figure out a system that works and you can remember. I personally like to start all my data sends with a qualifier. Your bytes won't "fall out of sync" (or be read out of order) this way.

That should be it. Shouldn't be too tough.