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Newb question-How to build a simple remote control for basic ESC

(JT) #1

Hello, Very new to this (and not really familiar with Arduino / coding), trying to make a simple remote control that just sends signals (initialize and fwd/rev) to the basic ESC so that we can test thrust / performance with a concept surface vehicle. Is there a simple “off the shelf” solution?

Tried a simple RF receiver key fob from Adafruit: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1096?gclid=CM3I16rkpc8CFQoehgod-D4Mhg

…But then realized I need to send specific signals to the ESC.

I’m sure this is very basic stuff! Any help would be appreciated-and willing to pay someone with the technical expertise to develop for us! If we find thrust is sufficient we want to develop a more sophisticated control possibly with dual thrusters- this is for a surface vehicle.


(TCIII) #2


Here is how I would do it:

Connect a R/C receiver to an Arduino Uno and have it read the R/C receiver PWM output and convert to a Servo output value.

Attach the Thruster ESC input to an Uno output and send the Servo output PWM signal to the ESC.

At startup have the Uno send a PWM value of 1500 us (neutral) to the ESC to initialize it.

Then have the Uno read the R/C receiver PWM output, do the necessary conversion, then send the Servo PWM value out to the Thruster ESC. I believe that the Arduino code converts the range of 1000 us - 2000 us to 0 to 180 and then back again to a PWM value for the Servo output.

I would use the R/C transmitter Pitch Joystick for forward/reverse with stop (neutral) at the joystick center.



(Jacob) #3

You can simply plug the ESC into an rc receiver. No microcontroller acting as a middleman is necessary. The easiest, simplest way to control the ESC (not remotely) would be a ‘servo tester,’ which can be found for a few dollars. This may be adequate to determine adequate thrust with a bench setup and a test tank.

For cheap rc/receiver combination look at hobby King hkt6a and hobby King receivers those will do the job.

(JT) #4

Thanks! What about initialization for the ESC?

(Jacob) #5

Simply center the stick or servo tester. The esc will be armed or ‘initialized’ once it receives a 1500us pulse, which is center stick on most RC transmitters.