control an r/c car from your pc

parralel port rc car

“This program was written so i could control a tiny $10 remote control car (and to procrastinate homework).  The lpt port pins (6,7,8,9) are used to control Forward, Reverse, Left and Right in the controller. In addition to this program, I had to build a simple circuit to bypass the buttons on the remote control.”

those r/c cars are just chock full of hackability.


  1. nick says:

    his circuit diagrams hurts me eyes!

    I’ll probably do this sometime tonight, need to get a parallel cable, or I can try to cop some DB-25 connectors from my college’s EE crib.

  2. Terry B says:

    nice…. I only wish it was this easy to do this with real RC cars

  3. RusH says:

    is this

    diagram a joke ?

  4. JOhn says:

    Just add a pen to it and the ability to lift and lower it and you have have a plotter as big as you’d like. ;) Of course without fine control. ;)

  5. thomas says:

    The diagrams not a joke, but it should include way more info.. The rest of the info is in the text page. So youll just have to figure out what to do yourself…

    I found it funny that he mentions a “NPN capacitor” though :P

  6. sznik says:

    lol @ diagrams :)

  7. chuck says:

    nice job!!!
    I know you probably don’t feel like it, but you could use the directX sdk and have the car controlled by a joystick, but then I guess you could also just use the included controller. You could also log the keys you press and have the car follow the same path everytime, this is a really good hack, and I keep on thinking of more uses for it. once again, good jorb!

  8. nick says:

    it would be a good idea to combine this hack with the RF power mod outlined in the RC plane hack about a week ago

    Under “Home on the Range”

  9. happosai says:

    Quite a nice hack, if a little messily implemented.

    Rather than gutting the remote controller, I’d fit it with a socket for attaching a cable for PC control — you could use a DB9, and (assuming a common ground for all the controller’s buttons) even wire it so that you could use an old Atari type joystick to control the car, in addition to the original controller and a PC (stick the electronics for PC control in the DB25 housing).

  10. kelleygun says:

    When I try to compile in C++ it gives me an error for #include , says theres no such file and it also doesnt like the headers with the front slash in it, #include , #include

    Why would this be?

  11. kelleygun says:

    well I totaly messed that up the three headers are

    #include unistd.h
    #include asm/io.h
    #include sys/ioctl.h

  12. SHaun bowman says:

    this is my project. I didn’t post this, but i see about 5000 of you have looked at it. Makes me wish i had washed my hands first. Glad you understand the pimpness of the diagram. I have an instruction writeup if anyone needs more help. The program is only compilable/runnable as root because you reprogramn the shell and have direct access to the LPT port. Yeah. Anyways back to homework. Check out the sweet race car i’m helping to build Yeah basically, mech rulez.

    Givr hard,
    SHaun Bowman

  13. cristal_4_u says:

    When i try to compile it. i get missing files error . anyone know how to fix this problem.
    If you do. please mail me.

  14. cristal_4_u says:

    When i try to compile it. i get missing files error . anyone know how to fix this problem.
    If you do. please mail me.

  15. suelen says:

    Please i am in a project that i must build and control an r/c car from my pc but i don’t know how to do it can you give me a hand?

  16. Marijn Oosterveld says:

    i need a compiled win32 version, can anybody help?

  17. Marijn Oosterveld says:
  18. suzan says:

    hi how to get mac address in pc

  19. Shaun Bowman says:


    A bunch of people on contributed to bringing the code up to snuff so it works with more modern versions of linux. Check out my website for the up to date code

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