Hacking a Toy RC Car Rx Board - Remote Controlled Raspberry Pi Powered Robot Platform


I am researching remote control methods for a Raspberry Pi based Robotics Platform for a Robotics competition in April next year. (Pi Wars).

Before I run off and purchase an RC Transmitter and Receiver and some RC switches as in this Instrucatble I thought I'd have a look at some of the junk I have laying around.

I have a couple of old RC cars that I dismantled a while ago and found this small Rx board on my workbench.

I hooked up a couple of AA batteries to the + and gnd and then using a multimeter I check the outputs P1, P2, P3 and P4 to see what the readings were when operating the RC Tx (Fwd, Bwd, Left, Right). 

P1 reads +2.6v and -2.6v when the Fwd and Bwd  joystick is operated.

P2 reads +2.6v and -2.6v when the Left and Right joystick is operated.

P3 just reads 2.6v no matter what.

P4 reads nothing.

Would there be a way of reding these volytages from P1 and P2 using the GPIO on a Raspberry Pi and python script to send signals to a DC motor board to operate 2 x DC motors?


I previously successfully used remote web interface using a Pi and an Arduion communication usin I2c and also more recently a serial communication using a Sabertooth Motor Driver Board but using a web interface is prone to network issues and delays.  


There must be more electronics than what you show. It sounds like the end effect is like a relay. You would need to check the current, but the Pi takes 3.3V, so you might use a step-up regulator. Adding electronics will likely just cost you money which could have gone towards a “real” transmitter. What functionality do you want in the end?

What does the backside of

What does the backside of that board looks like? Picture?

Sure you can get it somehow to work with a hand full transistors and resistors somehow, but I also have to agree with Cbenson that there are better/cheaper options.

After doing some more

After doing some more research it would appear that the best / cheapest solution is Wireless Handheld Controller. 

So we purchased a PiHut re-branded Playstation Wirelss Controller which we are using with a CamJamEdu Kit #3 which comes with a small motor header and can control 2 x DV motors quite easiliy.

Not sure what happens if we opt for bigger motors? Maybe a better motor driver board?



Change of plan and bought a

Change of plan and bought a Pi Hut Wireless Gamepad Controller which works great with a CamJamEdukit#3. I am now trying to get it working with my Sabertooth 2 x 32A Motor Driver Board.