Let's Make Robots!

Good deal on rc tank w/built in video cam.

Hey all.

currently amazon has a damn good deal on an rc tank with built in video camera. On the amazon search, look up spy gear. you should find the atv 360 for 51 bux(as of apirl 19th). This thing usually goes for about 130 so imo it's a damn good deal.

I bought the the spy video car($50 as well) a while back and managaged to pull the camera gear off. The stuff is pretty cool for the price. I'm still working on the car, but figured I'd grab this tracked version as well since it was a good price.

Anyway, just thought I'd give everyone the heads up on a good deal for a mostly built rc toy thats ready for a brain transplant that also comes with  a camera.

I'll be posting updates on this topic as to my progress in rebuilding the tank into something interesting and fun.

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I picked up this toy on sale at The Source (Canadian subsidiary of Circuit City) recently for a robot project, and after some investigation it's easy enough to just cut some traces to pull the motor control out to your own microcontroller, without having to build your own h-bridge (or rebuild the existing one on another pcb). I got this idea from the book "Robot Builder's Bonanza", which actually has an example using the same motor IC as the ATV-360 (of course I only noticed that after I'd found the datasheet and started to trace out the circuit, doh).

The RX-2CS IC controls the motors (if you want a datasheet, you'll have more luck searching for RX-2C, as the S refers to the footprint), with pins 6, 7, 10 and 11 controlling the right track reverse/forward and left track forward/reverse respectively (corresponding to R16, R15, R18 and R17 on my PCB, though I've seen photos online of different revisions in Europe [I'm in Canada]). They feed through smd NPN transistors to the actual h-bridge transistors, so they can be driven directly by a microcontroller without problems with voltage levels (as the motors run at the battery voltage).

Here's what the circuitry of each h-bridge is like - pretty ordinary, but it might be useful to someone here: 


Thanks a lot for this helpful informations. That is the way I want to go. Here is the datasheet for the RX/TX-2C RC car controller ICs.



I'll have to post some updated pics but currently waiting on some parts(servo connectors and avr chips!) that I ordered so I've been doing some parts mockups. I cut the back grill area of the tank so as to fit my dual hbridge which I'm still working on. I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to run it with an avr that has two pwm's or maybe one that has 4pwms so I don't have to split them.

I've mounted gp2d12 on the front and a ping sensor that rotates where the mic used to be. I'm looking at mounting the ir sensor I've been working on, on top of the rig. the placement seems okay..we'll see. also removed the camera for the time being. This may be perm as I've already desoldered it from the main board. Of course I've desoldered several components already so no big deal. pics soon.

Updates with the tank so far.

Here is a link to robofreaks pics where you can see how the main board looks like.

I've been tinkering with mine and managed to pull the transistors from the board, as well as the video camera transmitter.

For refference, the transistors are are npn/pnp pairs using  B772(pnp) and D882(npn) chips.

I originally tried using a SN754410 but it doesn't push enough juice through the motors to get em rolling.You need at least 3 amps to get these buggers movin. I didn't feel like stacking them as that would potentually cause a heat issue.


A note on pulling the transisotrs(or any electronics for that matter), be very careful when heating them up as you can easily fry them as I have found out. 1 of the pnp tansistors appears to be pushing very low current so I'll have to replace it. As I have the buggy version of this tank I'm just going to use one from that and when I eventually get back to it, I'll build a new one using some jfets that I have.

 Parts scavenged so far.

transistors for motor(using to build dual hbridge setup)

mini microphone that was on the top of tank(unused at the moment, but we'll find something for it)

micro video transmitter system(tank side, I havent' taken the controller appart yet)

tank shell including motors and chasis.(what I'm rebuilding the motor drivers for!!!)

Below is the hbrige that I built and tested using half of the scanvenged transistors.This one worked very well breadboarded

The design of the hbridge is based on this schematic.

The transistors that control the hbridge are standard 2n3904's.


 This is the other half of the components for the hbridge.The plan as you can see is to fit both hbridges on this single board which is doable, but a very tight fit. This tooka good few hours to build as I had to figure out the layout then start building without soldering initially. I tried a couple different layouts but this seemed to work for my goal of getting boths hbridges on this sized board.  This was built in three stages, first the inital layout of the transistors based on the breadboard. Next step was to figure out  the inner transistor support component layout. After those were put on the third statge was to put the outer supporting components on the board.

 it won't be fun to replace the bad pnp transistor...thats for sure.. :/


just antoher angle.


I'd post pics of the bottom side but it's a bit scarry...

finally whats left of the main board from the tank.


3 amps for driving the motors. OMG, so I need 2 more powerful H-Bridges for my tank. Now its time for me to build my own H-Bridges. 

My plan is to leave the RC-Tank electronic intact, and only switch the motor outputs beetween the builtin and my own electronics.

If you can solder the 0.5mm points(traces) more power to ya, but that would be tough for me even with a fine point soldering iron.

 I'm also looking at building a single hbridge using the components found in that schematic I posted. Those jfets should work well for these motors.

Anyway, yeah, i was a bit bummed that I couldn't use the hbridges that I bought as well  but this has been a great learning expirience in building and understanding a bit more how the hbridge works. This also allows you to build a better one than whats on the board itself.


Hey nice find on these. I've seen a similar one to the eyepiece removal for the buggy version which showed you how to hook it out to output a video sig to a tv or similar device.

 When I got the buggy I ended up desoldering the camera and reciever components so I could make it standalone.

I'm still working on the buggy but it's taken a while as I have other components I've been working on for it. 

I happened to see the deal on the tank so I picked it up.  :D yet another project to work on I guess...ehhehe

I just bought the atv 360 tank for 50€. The quality of the chassis and the tracks is very good for this price. Moves very smooth without too much noise. It seems to me very easy to hack :)


Yep, just received mine this past week as well, haven't taken it apart yet but looks to be fairly similar with the main board as the buggy version.

I'm looking at pulling the transmitter/camera off of this one and replaceing it with either a ping or ir sensor. 

I think i'm going to play around with it first in it's rc config to get an idea of what I'll be dealing with as far as rotation and control speed. overall, this looks like a fun one to build off of.