Building a remote control

Here’s a homebrew remote control that [Jad Berro] is developing. He’s using a tank robot to test it out but eventually he plans to use it to control an RC plane thanks the 434 MHz wireless module inside. There’s no shortage of input, with two analog sticks from a PlayStation controller, several momentary push buttons, and some toggle switches. Although it’s not shown in the picture above there is also a 16×2 character display that serves as part of the interface. With a navigable menu the only limit to what you can do is the programming space available on the ATmega168 that inhabits the homemade Arduino board at the heart of the system. It certainly would give the robot remote from Friday a run for its money.


  1. spyder_21 says:

    nice clean design. Just wondering are the buttons spaced too far apart? Just seems that way. But nice none the less

  2. arjan says:

    I fly model airplanes and the playstation controller will have 2 downsides:
    1. the precision of a knob that is held down with the thumbs by using pressure will not geive much precision. maybe mount a short stick to it to gain more control over the knob, just like real aircraft controls.
    2. The throttle force can’t be fixed, the knob will jump back to the middle.

    a very cool idea to control an airplane with an arduino. I like it!

  3. yosh says:

    Just need a sexy enclosure and some paint

  4. rasz says:

    just … use Xbox controller and be done with it

  5. Leithoa says:

    I realize that the Jad is from Lebanon so there are likely different regulations regarding his experiments but since many of the readers are from the US, one should be aware of the regulations that apply to radio frequencies.

    The particular frequency he is operating on is set aside for television broadcast and walkie-talkie use. Now with the advent of Digital broadcast(and low wattage of the unit) in the US it’s not likely to interfere with television unless the transmitter is in contact with your TV antenna or cable box terminal.
    And you’re not likely to attract the attention of the FCC unless you start trying to boost the signal and are very reckless in its operation.

  6. ... says:

    434 is well within the 70cm ham band, as long as he has his tech license he is in the clear.

    A nice looking project! I am a big fan of using pcb’s as structural elements/faceplates, it just works amazingly well.

  7. M4CGYV3R says:

    “Homemade Arduino board” is a contradiction of terms.

    Either it’s a homemade ATMEL board, or it’s an Arduino, which was made by someone else.

    This looks pretty slick. If he built it himself, good job. If not, another drop in the ‘duino bucket.

  8. MS3FGX says:

    Interesting, my father has been planning some very large RC vehicles and we had been talking about possible options for the controller. I don’t know that I would use a custom build like this for primary control for safety reasons, but could be a good option for secondary functions.

  9. vespine says:


    I think you’re arguing semantics.

    “Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software.”

    a home made board with an ATmega168 uC programmed with arduino bootloader and code is a home made arduino as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Am I the only one who can’t find any details on the 434MHz module that is mentioned here?

  11. tnt23 says:

    Why not just use PS2 controller, they have a well documented SPI-like serial protocol (for example,

  12. Jad Berro says:

    Yes i did all the building and PCB etching :), i can be contacted on for more info.

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