Adding Sound And Light To Your Radio Controlled Vehicles

[Nicholas] wanted to add some flair to his RC car. In addition to the headlights that you see above, there’s brake lights, and a horn that plays “Dixie” like the General Lee in the Dukes of Hazard. All of this is triggered by the wireless controller, but he figured out a way to monitor the servo signals in order to add the additional features.

The hack is driven by a Propeller chip. [Nicholas] patches into the servo lines by adding a servo-in and servo-out header to his prototyping shield. With that in place he’s able to tap into the voltage and ground pins to power the microcontroller. By attaching a 4k7 resistor to the control line, he can listen in on the servo signals using the Propeller.

This RC car has a throttle servo. So when the throttle is opened all the way up the Propeller chip flashes some white LEDs in the headlights, and uses an LM386 audio amplifier to play a tune. When the throttle is pulled all the way back the brake lights are activated. Don’t miss the test footage of this which is embedded after the break.

[vimeo w=470]

8 thoughts on “Adding Sound And Light To Your Radio Controlled Vehicles

  1. ugh after reading, this project is really disappointing. using adrunio like thing to add lights and sounds? so now your car has to lug around adrunio board? really couldnt think of a better way to do this?

  2. Everyone who makes a write up should do it like this! I swear the last few projects I have worked on there were very little to no adjacent well documented projects to help with my own projects. When I do finish my projects I will display them just like this. And to anyone trolling on the Propeller Platform USB please show us your original or hacked/repurposed platform to merit your rant. just sayn…

    1. I think he was talking about the extra weight. This could be done with a small microcontroller, all the extra stuff on the Propeller Platform is unnecessary and slows down the car. The audio might be a little more difficult on a small uC, but still doable.

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