#remote control car
Control Your Remote Control Car With PC Keyboard
This is something I have been working with for some time. The goal is to control my remote controlled car using my computer’s keyboard. Isn’t it cool? I haven’t used any complicated circuit diagrams etc! The idea is really simple; the only base theory used is, “a transistor can act as a switch”.
There are 2 major modules
- Building the intermediate circuit that connects the PC interface to the car remote controller
- Creating the program that writes the values to the parallel port
Dispatching the remote controlled car
Inside the car (we don’t need to do anything here; I have just dispatched it).
Inside of your toy car remote controller;
I have marked the important components for us.
We are going to control these 4 switches via our computer parallel port.
TRANSISTOR CAN ACT AS SWITCH!
A transistor can act as a switch, which means theoretically a small current flowing to the base controls the larger collector’s current.
Please refer if you need more info.
The idea is based on this concept. so I used a BC548c transistor for mine (previously I used a 2SC828). You can use any general-purpose NPN transistor. And I used my serial port to send a signal to the transistor base, which makes the transistor act as a switch!!
So, here we are getting started:
Do not implement this circuit and try to use it, there’s one more thing left to do which is essential. Note what I said above, that we should send a small current (pulse) to the transistor’s base, otherwise the transistor will be explode. So how can we do this?
The answer is simple; use a resistor to control your base current.
Ok, so far so good. But again, how much resistance do I need? The answer is it depends on the transistor you are using. Here is the way you can calculate the resistance you need.
Calculation of Resistance
For 2SC828 Transistor
Supply Volt = 3v
Load = 50MA
HFE = 65MA
Min base current = 50/65 = 0.77MA
R = supply volt / (load/hfe * (0.77+= (0.77*30%)))
R = 4K (nearly)
For BC548c Transistor use the fallowing figures
HFE = 110MA
Please refer to the transistor data sheets for the above info.
Attaching wires to the control points of the remote controller
You have to find the four control points (four points for four switches) of the remote controller and there’s one common wire (in Red). After finding those points attach wires to them.
So the completed module contains four transistors inline with four resistors which connects the car remote controller to the parallel port of the computer through it.
Writing the code
You have to write values (on/off pins) to the data pins of the parallel port. It will depend upon the pins you have chosen (D0 to D7).
I have used C# to do this. Since C# does not allow writing values directly to the parallel port I have used the ‘Inpout32.dll’ that you can download from:
If you are using any other language such as C++ where you can directly write to the parallel port, then you should be aware that it will be depend on the Operating System you are using. For example my experience is that Windows 7 will block you from directly writing to the port.
Here is my program in C#:
[ DllImport ( “inpout32.dll” )]
public static extern void Out32( short PortAddress, short data);
/* Parallel port number in decimal */
private short zPort = 888;