Phase 1 pt - Testing stock R/C unit
August 8, 2014
For posterity, there are a number of detailed photos (and links below them for full-size image) of the current (Aug 2014) board being shipped in the Maisto Tech Rock Crawler. Here is also a link to my photobucket album with even more images: My Photobucket Album
General Overview: Everything worked great out of the box. No issues, so I jumped straight into examining the board.
On the right side of this photo is the rear of the chassis. The red and black wires in upper right (tied in a knot) are rear motor wires. On the left side (also in a knot) is the front motor on/off/steering combo. Red and black wires are voltage and ground, grey and purple wires power the steering.
The board has its main motor & positive battery wires with white silk-screen boxes around them and are nicely labeled, making it easy to see. Notice that voltage and ground from both motors share a common solder connection (upper left two SSS: silk screen squares). Battery voltage is the top middle SSS red wire, while battery ground is lower middle of the left of the board and has no SSS.
The other three wires in the photo below are color coordinated for A/B/C bands on the radio freqency. A band = black, B band = green, C band = white. On the bottom of the chassis, beside the battery tray, resides the power switch, which has 4 positions: Off, On A, On B, On C. Note that while hooking up the Arduino & Motor Shield and not utilizing the 3 RX bands, any of the on positions provides power for your project and only applies if you're using the stock RX/TX.
**I decided that the 27mhz frequency of the stock transmitter would not give me any advantages on this project, especially when I would technically be within wifi range anyway and worst case scenario, I could use an XBee which has greater range anyway.
So, I desolder the connection and out comes the board.
Since I wouldn't be using the A/B/C wires, I taped them together and out of the way. Having the original board out, I quickly realize that I may be able to utilize the space here for the Arduino... it didn't work out, but in my photo album linked at the top of this blog article, I show many pictures of my attempts at shaving out both the tray you see above and its top cover, which is just a frustrating hair too short to house both the Arduino and Motor Shield stacked together. It is still very roomy and I feel the space will go to use housing some other future component or two.
Notice the awesome ball & socket construction here which gives this crawler some great articulation/reach.
This concludes phase 1.