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M.L. Toys
KidsWheels
Gruber
HobbyMasters
M.L. Toys
KidsWheels
HobbyMasters M.L. Toys
Gruber
KidsWheels
Adding R/C to your Powerwheels vehicles? Using R/C parts on your Powerwheels?
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By TVfuzz
#145058
Basically, RC PowerWheels can be summed up in one word: STEERING. This is the biggest barrier in the general function of these things. So I've gone and done what seems to be the most practical: Windshield Wiper superservo.
That's taking a standard servo like you'd find in a typical RC car/truck, disconnecting the motor in it, running the motor leads from the servo PCB to a motor controller, and then that controller connects leads from the 12V battery to the wiper motor. You connect the servo to your radio just like a typical RC car/truck. It just tricks the servo into thinking that it's moving the small integrated motor- when instead, those signals are going to the controller and being used to move the BIG motor (wiper arm). The tricky part about this, is that there's a dial (that's 'potentiometor', for you less-scientific types) that needs to turn with the motor so your servo PCB (connected to your radio) knows the position. This dial is connected to your old servo motor (the tiny integrated one you disconnected) by gears. It needs to be EXACT, and proportionate. What happens is, you turn your controller- it tells the motor "go this far". Well, the only way your motor can talk back to say it how far it's gone, is through that dial. If the dial is not 100% center, the servo thinks "Who guy, you moved off-center, go back! (or forward, depending on which way your dial is off), and spin that motor constantly. You need to get it to not move at all, and be dead-center when your controller is on and not turning.
What happens is, you get it wired- put the power on and the wiper WILL spin. You then have to turn the dial on the servo to find dead-center. The arm will slow, go the opposite direction: "oops too far, turn it back... THERE. Now it's resting and not making noise trying to move" etc. THEN you can turn your remote and adjust the arms position to where you want it connected with your steering linkage, AND connect to the dial on your servo. And that's DAMNED hard, because you breathe on that dial- it'll move and ANY movement might as well be a mile on those things. There's videos online- but I think they don't explain that part. And it's important- because..... You'll get 'jitter' trying to adjust it, and if you mess around too much, that constant banging of back and forth signals to the motor as you try to find center or play with it- will fry your controller. Literally. And seriously, that dial is SENSITIVE. You literally can blow on the small servo arm (the dial) and the wiper motor will spin like a blender (these things have TORQUE. Be warned... It'll snap your finger or carve you up if you aren't careful).
Once you have center, and connect the wiper arm to your steering and servo dial, you'll experience the familiar RC car/truck type of steering from the controller input.

What I've used:

and
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221670636243?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Simple to connect, difficult to 'tune'.

Now..... Understand that you're going to STILL be getting "jitter" with bumps to the wheels on uneven terrain, and likely will have some play in your steering. The sensitivity of that digital servo position-read, is crazy. So I've found that it'll eventually burn out over time, as the steering always fights to seek center... What I've done to correct this, has been to add springs to the left and right, so the steering wants to pull to center mechanically. I'm hoping this takes enough load off the motor to keep the "jitter" down so the controller doesn't burn out. So far.... I haven't tested it.

I hope this helps someone. My knowledge of electronics is VERY basic. And for me, it was hard to muddle through the complex explanations and I really just wanted a basic understanding without the years of educational background people often seem to like chest-beating about when someone just want's to know "why is this smoking?" etc... hahaha...

Anyway... That's my contribution. Anyone who knows more- correct me if I'm wrong. That's just what I've learned so far.
Here's how the wiring flows: http://tvfuzz.com/hostedfiles/mustangschem.png

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