You’re Going To Flip Out Over This Rocket League RC Car

Rocket League is a video game famous for being wildly popular despite being virtually unplayable without several hours practice. It involves hyper fast cars playing soccer, complete with the ability to flip, jump, and rocket boost into the ball. [mrak_ripple] decided he wanted some of that action in a real RC car, and set to work.

While rocket boosts were out of scope for this build, [mrak_ripple] was pretty confident he could build a jumping, flipping RC car modelled after the Rocket League Octane vehicle. Initial experiments involved a custom 3D printed spring mechanism, but the results were underwhelming. Instead, in the true hacker spirit, a jumping mechanism was taken from an existing toy, and installed in the car instead. This was combined with a mechanism built out of a brushless motor with a flywheel added to generate a flipping moment in mid-air.

The final result is impressive, with the car flipping relatively cleanly once refined and lightened from its original design. We’d love to see a two-axis build that can front- and back-flip as well. It’s a step up in complexity from the last build we saw from [mrak_ripple], the amusing mashed potato trebuchet. Video after the break.

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World’s Smallest Version Of World’s Fastest Bumper Car

A few years ago, YouTubing madman [Colin Furze] took an old bumper car and made a 600-horsepower beast of a go-kart that managed to clock 100MPH with a headwind. This isn’t that. It’s a miniaturized, remote-control homage to [Colin]’s go-kart that is equally awesome.

[Forsyth Creations] started by CAD-modeling the chassis right on top of a still from the video. The entire body is 3D-printed in four large pieces, which took several days because each piece took around 24 hours. Inside the car there’s an Arduino brain driving a motor in the back and a servo in the front. This bad boy runs on a couple of rechargeable battery packs and can be controlled with either a Wii balance board or a PS2 controller. This thing really moves, although it doesn’t quite reach 100MPH. Watch it zoom around in the video after the break.

Got a Segway lying around that just doesn’t do it for you anymore? You could always turn it into a go-kart. Never had a Segway to begin with? Just roll your own.

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Hackaday Podcast 086: News Overflow, Formula 1/3 Racer, Standing Up For Rubber Duckies, And Useless Machine Takes A Turn

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys peruse the world of hacks. There was so much news this week that we lead off the show with a rundown to catch you up. Yet there is still no shortage of hardware hacks, with prosthetic legs for your rubber ducky, a RC cart that channels the spirit of Formula 1, and a project that brings 80’s video conferencing hardware to Zoom. There’s phosphine gas on Venus and unlimited hacking projects inside your guitar. The week wouldn’t be complete without the joy of riffing on the most useless machine concept.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always, tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

Direct download (~60 MB)

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1/3 Scale Hybrid RC Car With A Scratch-Built 125cc V10 Engine

Scale model engines are fascinating pieces of engineering, and RC cars are always awesome to play with, no matter your age. [Keith57000] has gone over the top on both, creating a seriously impressive hybrid RC car built around a custom 125 cc V10 engine.

[Keith57000] started building the V10 engine back in 2013, after completing a 1/4 scale V8. The build is documented in a forum thread with lots of pictures of his beautiful craftsmanship. Most of the mechanical components were machined on a manual lathe and milling machine. No CNC, just lots of drawings and measurements, clever use of dividing heads, and careful dial reading. The engine also features electronic fuel injection with a MegaSquirt controller.

The rest of the car is just as impressive as the power plant. The chassis is bent tube, with machined brackets and carbon fiber suspension components. Two electric skateboard motors are added to give it a bit more power. The three speed gearbox is also custom, built with gears scavenged from a pit bike and angle grinder. It uses two small pneumatic pistons to do the shifting, with a clever servo mechanism that mechanically switches the solenoid valves. Check out all fourteen build videos on his channel for more details.

An amateur project of this complexity is never without speed bumps, which [Keith57000] details in the videos and build thread. It has taken seven years so far, but it is without a doubt the most impressive RC car we’ve seen. His skill with manual machine tools is something we rarely get to see in the age of CNC. We’re looking forward to the finished product, hopefully screaming around a track with a FPV cockpit.

Hacker Driven To Build R/C Forza Controller

Generic video game console controllers have certainly gotten better and more ergonomic since the hard corners of the Atari joystick. As beautiful and engrossing as games have become, the controller is still the least engaging aspect. Why race your sweet fleet of whips with an ordinary controller when you could pretend they’re all R/C cars?

[Dave] found an affordable 4-channel R/C controller in the Bezos Barn and did just that. It took some modifications to make it work, like making a daughter board to turn the thumb grip input from a toggle button to a momentary and figuring out what to do with the three-way slider switch, but it looks like a blast to use.

The controller comes in a 6-channel version with two pots on the top. Both versions have the same enclosure and PCB, so [Dave] already had the placement molded out for him when he decided to install a pair of momentary buttons up there. These change roles based on the three-way slider position, which switches between race mode, menu mode, and extras mode.

We love the way [Dave] turned the original receiver into a USB dongle that emulates an Xbox 360 controller — he made a DIY Arduino Pro Micro with a male USB-A, stripped down the receiver board, and wired them together. There’s an entire separate blog post about that, and everything else you’d need to make your own R/C controller is on GitHub. Check out the demo and overview of the controls after the break.

[Dave] is no stranger to making game controllers — we featured his DJ Hero controller modified to play Spin Rhythm XD a few months ago.

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RC Car Becomes Cable Cam

The prevalence of drones has made airborne photography much more widespread, especially among hobby photographers and videographers. However, drone photos aren’t without their problems. You have to deal with making the drone follow the shot which can be difficult unless you have a very expensive one. Worse, you can’t really fly a drone through heavily wooded or otherwise obstructed terrain.

[Makesome’s] friend faced these issues and wanted to buy a cable cam — a mount for the camera that could go back and forth on a cable strung between two trees or other structures. Instead of a design from scratch, they decided to cannibalize a cheap RC car along with an HP printer and the effect — as you can see in the video below — is pretty good.

Repurposing toys is an honored tradition and, after all, what do you need but a motor that goes forward and reverses? We can’t help but notice though that toy hacking is much easier now that you can 3D print custom widgets to connect everything together.

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Remotely Navigate The Apocalypse In Mid-Century Style

One of the few positives to come of this pandemic is that the restrictive nature of scarcity can be a boon to creativity. Plus, the doom and gloom of it all is causing people to loosen up and do things they never felt free enough to do before in the demanding world of the before times.

For example, [ossum] makes R/C vehicles on commission to exacting standards, but took a break from perfection to build this remote control hellscape-faring van by the seat of his pants. It’s quite a resourceful build that combines pieces from previous projects with a few standard R/C parts and a handful of clever hacks.

The body is a test print of a 1957 Chevy Suburban van that [ossum] made for someone a few years back. It’s mounted on a scrap metal chassis and moves on printed tank treads designed for a different vehicle.

Since glass is a liability in an apocalypse (and because [ossum] doesn’t have a resin printer yet), the windows have fortified coverings that are printed, patina’d, and detailed with tiny rivet heads.

As far as hacks go, our favorite has to be the clothespin steering. [ossum] only had one electronic speed controller, so he used a servo to actuate a pair of spring-loaded clips, alternating between the two to move the tank-van. There’s a short video after the break that shows the rack and clothes-pinion steering, and it’s loaded up right after a brief demo of the van.

We realize that everyone’s apocalyptic needs are different, but there’s more than enough here to get you started. Don’t have access to enough R/C parts? Gear boxes and drive shafts can be printed, too.

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