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Rc Tank Conversion

Well, I've finally got the RC tank stripped down to start turning it into a bot. The drive-train of this thing is actually fairly sophisticated. It has separate springs (shocks) for each road wheel! I've stripped out the old RC control board for re-purposing, and there is a huge open space in the hull for the new electronics suite. So far I've identified all the wires for the LED lights, drive motors, turret AZ/EL, and the trigger for the airsoft gun. I plan on replacing the LED lights with IR LED's, since the wireless USB camera that's gonna be attached to the main armament as a coax see's into the IR spectrum. Gotta figure out how to add a GPS to the EZ-B.



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Congratulations strathcona, I can vouch for the fact that 1/16 RC tanks make an excellent base and means of mobility for a Robot (see Bob - built on bits) in Project Showcase - page 2. The shocks on the road wheels are great for keeping your your camera steady as you motor around the house. Rather than rip out the receiver, I'm adding a toggle switch to the motors so that I can change from RC mode to EZ-B mode - via H-Bridge. Another great feature with these tanks is how easy they come apart and how much room there is inside them (as you discovered). They are also powerful. Bob weighs around 1.6 kilos and made a 40 meter journey up a steep concrete drive and back.
Well now that I've got the H-bridge figured out and working this should be a snap! Had my Rover 5 chassis running around my office under joystick control and it works fine!
There is another trick you can do with these Tank bases. You can slice them down the middle and expand their width. The motors and treads are encased independent of each other which means once sliced, the chassis can be widened double or 3 times. I used my soldering iron to melt it apart. Took about 5 minutes but you have to be careful of the motors and wires. The you just add 2 strips of aluminum or perspex and strut it back together. I had to do it to Bob because I'm placing a 10 inch netbook on his chest for his Brain to make him fully autonomous.

:) :) :)
Good to know, Hazbot. I'm gonna keep it a tank at first anyway. I'm an ex-tanker by profession, so this is the closest I'm gonna get to a tank these days. :)
Got the EZ-B and h-bridge moved over to the tank chassis and the track mis-alignment fixed (for now, anyway). I want to add a switch to the chassis to turn EZ-B and motor battery off/on. There is an SPST switch at the back, so I'll just use an SPDT to switch them both. The 12V nicad battery will be replaced by a li-po for the motors.
Uhm, that would be a DPST switch.

Call out to Hazbot. I have so many RCs lying around here, that I am cobbling up a base - actually several bases (more on that when things start working), and am really new to all this stuff so I was wondering, do you have any images or circuit diagrams of your h-bridge set up?
Helz, there is a diagram (picture) on the EZ-Robot web site for a H-Bridge that will help you. Another tip is look up the make of H-Bridge on E-bay, they should have a connect picture of diagram. Mine has a horizontal row of 5 pins which plug into 5 signal pin ports on the EZ-B. It will have four wire outputs being ground and positive that go to your motors. It will also have a power to bridge board inlet (positive & negative).:)
Helz, once you get the wiring done, add the Hbridge as a control, and then one PWM control connected to each of the first 4 digital pins. After that I added a joystick control and could drive around the room.
Success! I have a rolling chassis! The left track keeps throwing when I do a right pivot turn though. If it was a real tank I'd check and adjust either the track tension or the state of the drive sprocket. :)