Make aircraft using xbee and Modified RC remote from NEX

Hi there!

 I want to make an aircraft using the xbee, xbee pro modules..

Along with Modified RC remote from NEX (

I need to make my own receiver.. Can you help in the same?

the system should control 2-3 servo motors and 1 main prop motor.

I am a newbie. please give details

Thanks in advance for everything

I made one :slight_smile: But i still

I made one :slight_smile: But i still haven’t posted a tutorial or a page about it here. But will do soon when i have some free time.


Thanks for
Thanks for responding…!

Did you use xbee? because i did’t spot 1.

Whats the maximum range upto which it can work without any problem?

Can you tell me the circuit diagram and the components you used?



This is a big project.

Have you ever done anything like this before? Do you have any experience with code or electronics?

Also NEX?

Do you mean VEX?

I used 1 mile range

I used 1 mile range Bluetooth modules. Ill post about this soon.

Yes I have made some cars

Yes I have made some cars but they were wired. This is my first wireless project. 

I have some very basic information about electronics.

By nex I mean Nex-Robotics.

Watch this link for info.

I am an engineering student these thing will be just told to me and no deep information will be given as electronics is not my branch

I am in mechanical branch.

Soo… can you help me?



This can be done. At a minimum, you are going to need to use a microcontroller (of some sort) at each end. This “robot brain” will need to be wired correctly, and programmed. What you want to do is actually fairly simple, but will require many steps to learn on the way. Here is what you need to do/learn:

  • Pick a microcontroller with a programming language you like --Picaxe, Arduino, Propeller, AVR, etc.
  • Get a breadboard, LED and small resistor and get that LED to blink
  • Learn how ADC’s work, how to read them and how to hook up your joysticks
  • Learn how serial communication works and how to achieve clean data (checksums etc)
  • Learn how to receive serial data --how to buffer and flush, how to use qualifiers, etc.
  • Configure your Xbees to the baud and mode you want (master/slave A/B, etc)
  • Figure out the servo command or pulse-out command that is used by the micro controller you picked
  • Write code to read your ADCs (on the transmitter) and send that data via the X-bees. You may need to convert words into 2 bytes to send them off (depending on the resolution of your ADCs)
  • Write code for the receiver to echo any data received --this is great for testing, set-up your terminal program and you can simply see on the screen exactly what your receiver is getting and if it is correct
  • You may want to do some range tests here
  • Assuming you are getting clean data through and the numbers appear to reflect what the joystick is doing, double check all your directions are correct, endpoints are correct and proportion --Recode to correct any of these problems
  • Write all the code you will need to pull data from the serial buffer, convert it to whatever your servos need and position the servos
  • Don’t forget to code/test for the motor driver (unless it is a glider)
  • If you are not using a EBC or ESC etc. you will also need to put together a simple resistor bridge to monitor your battery level --through code, this should be able to kill your motor while still allowing your servos to function.
  • Rewire your reciever from your test-board to something that can survive in the plane
  • Depending on your rewiring and chip/board used, you may need to look at power management here --If you are using a RBBB or the like, you need to do some math on the total potential draw of your servos and be sure that your volt reg will handle it. You may also need/want a 2nd volt reg to handle just the servos  --OR-- possibly your EBC can do what you need here.
  • Stick all that stuff in the plane
  • Check everything again.
  • Go fly


Seems very hard to me
None of the things you isted are known to me Except some names!
so basically i will need 2 xbee’s one as a sender and other as receiver.
one xbee will be connected to the rc remote ( link in my first post ) and other will be in the aircraft.
okay everthing’s fine till here.
now tell how am i going to do this?
can you please give me some more info that how am i gona program my xbee’s and i am completely blank about the receiver end which will be in the aircraft

I just gave you the list! :slight_smile:

The things on the list above is what you will need to do to make this work. If you have never written code before or done any electronics, I would say maybe 6 months or so to learn what you need. To put this in perspective, I work (as a hobby (for free)) around 7 hours a night soldering and writing code. The transmitter I am working on for Walter, my robot, probabaly has 300 hours into it already. And most of that is just tweaking the design of the “buttons” on the LCD.

Nothing on this site is a remote-control car. These are all robots and all took countless hours of working and tweaking. Very few, if any, are working off of any off-the-shelf, cut-and-paste code. Even simple example code must be modified to work with your set-up.

There is one common thread here: No one here is a robot builder or a coder or artist etc. Every person here is a puzzle-solver. That is why robots get built. Not to get a “toy” when it is done --that is just a bonus. The reason you would build a plane using X-bees, and fight through learning every step I described above, is not to get a model airplane outta the deal --You build it to make problems that you then get to solve. That’s the whole gig here. That’s what everyone is doing.

It’s a great hobby though. I highly recommend it. Get a picaxe or a arduino or prop and get a LED to blink --get more complicated from there.

Oh, and the link

That like is to your personal email. No one can get into it. Could I get a better link to the "transmitter’?


Sorry that link didn’t

Sorry that link didn’t work… 

I have made an arrainge ment for you to get it.

click this link.for the rc remote.

I saw some vids on youtube about xbee’s. It helped a bit.

Okay I am ready to put 6 months or even more to learn it but where can I learn it?

Is there any site which teaches everything from start?

Or can you spare some time telling me these things?


Found the transmitter

Well, I gotta say, everything I put on the list above still stands. The transmitter is actually a airplane remote with the guts pulled out and instead a robot brain put back in. It is a AVR chip and seems to be preprogrammed to send a data packet of 10 bytes at 115,200 baud. I have no idea why they would have the default baud at 115,200 as the x-bees don’t seem to be able to talk this fast. The bottom line is that you still have a microcontroller, ADC inputs, digital inputs and serial data being sent via X-bee. It just happens to be sold inside of a convienent case shaped like a RC remote. This takes care of a little work for you, but not much. It is also programmed via ISP and will need a ISP programmer to change any of its code.  AVR is not a bad chip (arduinos are AVR’s) and based on the bootloader, can “speak” different languages. You may want to look at BASCOM for your IDE on the transmitter side. On the other hand, it may just “work” outta the box (and somehow your x-bees work at 115.2k baud) --in that case, about 1/4 of my list above would be done, leaving the last 3/4 to figure out.  --Ok, that’s your TX.

On the reciever end, I would suggest Arduino. There are a ton of diferent boards out there including the RBBB and the mini from SparkFun. Both are quite tiny and could fit in a plane. Once again, the list above… You gotta do the stuff on it!

Look, if you really want to do this, GREAT!! I think it is awesome and you CAN get to where you want to be here. Here is the pre-list list.

 Buy these things

  • Your transmitter
  • 2 X-bee’s (buy Pro’s or series one --not series 2)
  • A FTDI / USB / Xbee adapter/programmer board (sparkfun)
  • A .1" header / Xbee adapter breakoutboard (sparkfun)
  • A "SparkFun Arduino Inventer’s Kit"
  • A soldering iron and solder
  • A multitester

Now first step is to take the transmitter, all the x-bee stuff and the soldering iron and put them in a closet. Now open the little hobby-kit from sparkfun. Follow the instructions on how to set-up the board and install the IDE and FTDI driver. Next, follow one of the thousands of “blink” examples here at LMR and/or on the web and get yourself a LED blinking on a test board. Now make it blink faster, now make it blink slower. Next, make it blink 5 times, turn off for 5 seconds, blink 10 times, pause 1 seconds and repeat.

Once you have done the LED blink test, you have officially started making your plane. The blinking led is the first step you must take.

Complete this step and we can move on to step 2.

By the way, I am not putting you on here --This is actually how you start. This is how every single person started here.

Blink a LED and call me in the morning.

Thankyou v. v. much… this
Thankyou v. v. much… this is really helpful.
thanks for sparing time for me…
i will be getting these things asa fast as possible…
About the Arduino will i get it on ebay?
can i have your email adress because i dont know how much time i will require to get all of the things.

Thanks for the help Jad.
Thanks for the help Jad. pleaste let me know when you post about your modules


You can get any “standard” arduino board you would like. An Uno or a duelemove --whatever. I suggested the kit from spark fun because it comes with a bunch of parts needed for tests and learning. Just look for anything that is called starter pack or beginner’s whatever or assorted this or that. Really, just the arduino, a breadboard, a few LED’s, some assorted resistors, some 22guage solid wire --or-- a little box of jumper wires. Just start looking around and see if you can get a deal on any/all “start-up” parts.

My email? Just email from here --it will get to me or just comment here --I’ll see it


Will this adapter be

Will this adapter be ok?

1)I ll get that transmitter

2) 2 xbee’s

3)A adapter

3)Arduino (need to get this from ebay, not locally available )

I have a solder gun and metal, also a multimeter.

Is there anything I am missing out?

That adapter is just fine

Yes, that adapter is just fine. The reason you need it is that x-bee’s are metric and breadboards are standard. That board adapts the x-bee so you can plug it into a test board.

I didn’t missed anything,

I didn’t missed anything, did I?

okay I ll fix the xbee into the adapter then the adapter pins will go into the bread board. 

And next will be connecting arduino to the breadboard… then… hmm arduino to the computer?


And may be some programming then?

this is for the transmitting end what about the receiving end?