Let's Make Robots!

Attaching a USB to a Radio Control transmitter

Hi guys,

 Im trying to find a way to control this tank http://www.raidentech.com/usm4bu1airct.html with my PC using a USB interface. I dont have the tank yet, its being shipped, so I can only provide pics from other people or links. I have several hurdles I need to get over to get this to work.

First Hurdle: I dont know how to connect a USB to the transmitter provided with the tank and what I will need to accomplish this, beyond a soldering iron, wires, and a place to put components.

Second Hurdle: I dont know how I would hook the USB to a Proportional control transmitter, the tank im getting has several speeds not just go and stop, and I only know how to hook a serial port to a simple go and stop transmitter from a cheaper tank I had lying around and a tutorial found on the web on how to control a RC car with your PC.

 Third Hurdle: I have never writen my own code or used a program like visual basic, everything iv used has been cannibalized from an already writen program, writen by someone else. The most complex thing iv done with coding is modding some PC games like STALKER and Counter Strike.

P.S. I would realy like to use a USB interface for this project, the above project with the serial port was using an old computer, and my newer computer does not have any serial ports, although I could buy one, I want this project to cost as little money as possible. This is all for fun, I am not a student, im mostley into computer gaming and IT stuff but want to branch out, do some things with my hands instead of just controlling a virtual character. Instead I want to control something real virtualy. LOL :)

 Thanx for any help.

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Thanx Chris and thank you for your honesty,

 I am pretty much teaching myself off the internet, starting from highschool electronics, thats actualy how iv learned almost everything I know, self teaching, so I thought id start with electronics, I had a lot of fun with it in highschool and from looking at all the stuff you guys are using it for it looks like a blast.

I thought this USB to transmitter project would be easier than I was thinking, I have already got a working serial port to a simple switch controler for a cheaper tank, it even has a LED that tells me if its on or off, but I seem to be skipping some steps in trying to go from a serial port project to a USB to a Propotional control transmitter project. Yes, I know I skipped some steps going strait to the serial port project too. :)

Im sorry if my inexperiance bothers you guys, the reason im trying to skip steps 1 through 46 is because its expensive, this project needs to cost less than $100 USD and I cant afford to spend more than that, heck thats a little too much. Im not trying to create a robot, yet, I just want to control my toy tank through the computer with as little moddification to the tank and transmitters electronics as I can.

I was actualy thinking of getting one of those PICAXE starter kits and starting from there but would I be able to use the original starter kit to complete the USB to transmitter project, later after learning more, without having to buy anything else? Ultimately, money is my greatest hurdle here, and creating something on my own looked like the cheaper solution, not to mention fun.

Thanx again, and I look forward to more honest answers to my questions.

Sounds like you have no programming experience, and no experience with hardware. I don't want to crap on your idea here, but... I think this might be a little much to start with. Have you even found a USB to serial interface board? Or a USB to motor driver board? Or maybe a USB to I/O board yet? I gotta be honest with you, the #1 bad thing to do around here is to start a project that is way over your head. If you are asking questions about step 47 and you have not yet learned steps 1,2 and 3, people will turn on you quick.

My suggestion, get a picaxe board and learn how to make a LED blink. That's it. Go from there.