Let's Make Robots!

Transmitter of Death!!

Transmitter, Com. Hub

It all started here...


Once again, I set out on a quest to build yet another controller. I don't know what to call it really, transmitter, communications hub, input device, PDA? Oh, it does so much...

The concept is simple, pick out a nice plastic case and back up two trucks --one from Gadget Gangster and one from SparkFun. Dump a metric ton of breakout boards into the box and close the lid. Oh, and make a PCB to connect it all together.

On Board:

  • Propeller Board USB (Gadget Gangster)
  • Net Server (Gadget Gangster)
  • BlueSmirf Bluetooth
  • X-bee
  • DeadOn RTC
  • Lipo and onboard charger
  • On board USB-FTDI-Serial for both Prop and LCD
  • 4 gigs of SD card space (2 cards)
  • IR in and out (for data and "TV remote" --also a TV be gone)
  • 2 PS/2's for Keyboard and Mouse
  • NES joystick connection
  • Video out
  • Dual-boot eeproms 
  • Joystick
  • One bad-ass LCD (Touch, SD card, vid and pic ready, WAV player)


So here lies the beauty of a Propeller... As you may know, props are 8-core chips and allow for true parallel processing. Each of these "brains" within the chip can do whatever you tell it to, independant of all the rest. In this case, I have a dedicated cog that does nothing but serial coms. It sits there, looping away, receiving data as quicly as it comes in and sending data off just as fast. The serial object I use allows for up to 4 UART serials coming off the prop. Because of this feature, the transmitter can not only operate as a "Remote Control" but also as a "hub" --echoing data from one source to another.

Say you have a little bot that used IR to talk to stuff. One could rig-up a FTDI, breadboard and IR led --or-- one could simple hit a button on my transmitter and say, "whatever you get in via BT --send it back out via IR". Same goes for IR to BT or BT to XBee or IR to Xbee. How 'bout netserver to IR or netserver to Xbee. To anything, from anything. Hell yeah.

The highlight of this new TX is obviously the LCD. I have bragged about these screens for a while now and I will keep talking them up... You are getting a 3.2" touch-screen, a full-on microcontroller (I/o, serial, i2c, SD card --a real microcontroller), WAV player, with the ability to display panels, buttons, sliders, text, full graphics, pictures and video. These screens are amazing and even more so at way less than 100 bucks.  This is what I used.

Of course, I can't forget to mention the other reason I like the prop...

Old school video games! I mentioned in the video that I am running 2 eeproms. One contains the "main program" including the code that works with Walter. Flip one switch and restart and you are now running from the other eeprom and it contains code for the Gadget Gangster El Jugador NES Launcher. Games are stored on the SD card and can be pulled up and played directly from the transmitter. A jack for an old-school NES controller exists on one end while a single video-out RCA pokes out of the top. Plug one RCA cable into your tv and you are ready to play:

  • Almost PacMan
  • Almost Tetris
  • Almost Pole Position
  • Almost Dr. Mario
  • and there are many more

One of the videos shows the video games being played...

Yup, this one's a keeper --Wicked happy with this remote...







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Nicely done - as usual.  Someday I'll be cool enough to use one of these fancy screens you keep talking up!

Wow, that's very compact. My controller is more tha twice big with less function like yous. Neat!~

That looks like one awesome piece of gadget!

I need to get me one of those propellor boards sometime, when I actually get the full potential of my Arduino down...

I dont know how you did that but that is amazing. Very cool! Love the tv remote haha

How about we rename it to "SwissArmy transmitter" or "Transmit'O'Lot-3000" ....  :D

SwissArmy, I like it.

Well there is one thing this remote controll does not do.

It cant make coffee :P

Great work Chris keep it up Im a fan of you as every member of LMR.

(edit: Just a suggestion ,you could add an accelometer to make the stuff the display shows turn on the side you hold the remote

control.like in mobile phones.)

On the Guts video, I remember you showed a temperature probe in the transmitter. But I didn't see on the list. I was just wondering about that.

nice project what eeprom did you use?


Whatever the "standard" is, something-something-256.