The bad servo-RF mix

A long while back, I purchased a couple of RF transmitter and receiver pairs. My idea was to make a remote controlled robot. I did do some experimenting with it before but nothing came of it at the time. I tried some more experiments today and, well, I broke more things, but I also confirmed a few other things that will sway where this project goes, if it does go anywhere.IMG_0001For the transmitter, I used an Arduino Uno. At first, I used it for the receiver, just so I could make sure the communication was working fine via the serial monitor. Once that was ready, I swapped the transmitter and receiver on the two systems. Using the transmitter on the Uno allowed me to change what was being sent instead of setting up a hardware circuit with buttons.IMG_0002Here’s the receiver. It uses my ATmega328p Breakout Board (Rev B) and my old AMS1117 voltage regulator board. I used my 16 SMD LED board and an LCD for debugging purposes.IMG_0003Before the servo motors were thrown into the mix, I tested the communication between the two separate systems. I’ve gotten the hang of it. I can edit the transmitter code to send as many characters I want. The only time I need to touch the receiver code is to change what the system does with the received data (the conditional logic).

I accidentally wired the power connections (Vcc and Gnd) to one of the servos backwards. It got really hot at that point and now it doesn’t work. I decided to take it apart for fun and will share those photos in a future post.

And after that, my problems with the servos continued as I realized the servo and virtualwire libraries try to use the same interrupt timer. To get around it, I’m trying to use the ServoTimer2 library which uses another timer. It wasn’t working properly for me so I’ll have to look into it more, but I think I’m just using the library wrong. You can take a look at my code on GitHub. It would make things easier if I just used DC motors instead of servos, but I’d rather use parts I already have. I do have another idea for these RF pairs so, even if this project is lost, you’ll still get to see them in action elsewhere…

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned if you’ve ever been interested in seeing the innards of one of these micro continuous rotation servo motors! That’s coming up next!

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