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RC control for a Tamiya Tank Kit??

Hi all. Not sure if this is the best place for this question but I figured you might be abe to help.


I just bought a Tamiya Tracked Vehicle Kit with the twin motor upgrade. It comes with a wired controller but I’d like to be able set it up as a true RC vehicle. I’m not looking to spend too much money on this, I just want to work on creating my own chassis for the tank and to control it remotely like any other RC car.


Any tips on the easiest & cheapest way to get this under RC control?


Here’s the kit:



And here’s what I want to be able to do:








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how would i be to do this same thing with my arduino uno?

I've recently purchased the same Tamiya parts you mentioned (tank treads and twin motor parallel drive kit). My setup does what that video does, minus proportional control. Each motor has FWD REV and STOP so I can go fwd rev turn left and right and spin left and right. The electronics cost me $10 at Target, or Toys R' Us. Go to the store and pickup a Newbright Jeep 1:24 scale RC full-function car (http://www.newbright.com/nb-consumer/product/index.php?page=4&type=rc124&buy=&action=detail). The drive and steering motors are the same motors that fit in the Tamiysa Twin Motor Drive Kit and moth output the same rpm/torque. The Circuitboard and batterypack (4x AA) all pop out with one screw (and a little coaxing) in one peice with a casing so it's super simple to pull it out, clip the motors into the drive and affix to your 'tank' chassis and you're all set. No fussing with soldering, $100's of parts and waiting on shipping.

I've assembled mine with tires just to test it out and it works great. I'm making a wood chassis soon that'll be my final product with the tank tread kit. Good luck and have fun!

Pretty good hack, but you may have missed the part where he prefered building his own rather than gutting another RC. This sounds easy though.

nah i'm over it, this sounds good. besides what i was really opposed to was gutting an RC tank just to make another RC tank. his idea lets me gut an RC jeep (always a good thing) and it's cheap!



Ok, so in a normal RC car set up the motor on the car is controlled by an electronic speed controller that is plugged into the receiver which receives the transmitter signals and dispenses power via the battery. I assume the reason this wont work for a tank set up is there is usually only one motor output on most receivers and the rest control servos? Is there no off-the-shelf receiver that can control 2 small motors?

There are no RC receivers that I know of that will directly control any motors. There always has to be a speed controller or h-bridge per motor. There is the option of using a standard receiver that outputs servo pulses, that some types of single or dual (for 2 motors, like the TReX) speed controllers can interpret to drive a (pair of) motor. Or with Al1970 setup, use the chip he has to interpret the pulse to drive some sort of h-bridge.

Normal RC gear, like Futaba or HiTec, generates a signal which the receiver interprets and splits into the "channels" to pulse each individual servo or speed controller  connected to it. The Vex setup sends a similar signal, but their yellow receiver does not split up into seperate channels, so the receiver must be read by a micro so that the signal can be turned into something usable. That is why the splitter, or Al1970s chip, or the other chips needed are used to get the seperate signals out of the Vex system. 


Here is a cheap HobbyCity RC set-up for $30 but you'd still need something to convert the reciever servo pulses to then drive a dual h-bridge with, for the Tamiya twin motor. It might be good to replace the motors in the Tamiya, as Pololu recommends.  Once motors are replaced, the TReX dual motor controller could read RC pulses to drive the new motors, for $60.

Alternatively, you could build your own RC setup, transmitter, and reciever.  Jameco has the HT-12D and HT12E chips, Rentron has the TWS-434A tranmitter, and RWS-434 reciever. Then you would add your switches to the transmitter and maybe relays or an h-bridge ot the reciever to drive you tank motors.


The serial transmitter and reciever robologist links are the same cubie (/node/4274) uses. I'll do a howto on them when I get time. 

Great info, thanks!  I like the idea of doing a little of my own work rather than just stealing components from another RC tank. But I have zero experience with this stuff Would it be very hard to set up the TReX controller?

Why would I have to replace the motors in order to run the TReX unit? 


The Tamiya motors draw excessive current at the voltage levels the TReX operates at, so the replacement motors would be a better, longer lasting match, for both the new motors running longer, and not burning out the expensive h-bridge with too much current.