Arduino Digital RC is a feature rich RC addressing all needs of a state-of-the-art transmitter. It is based on fully digital encoding of all control information in the miniSSC - protocol rather than using a PPM frame. A PiKoder/SSC or another Serial Servo Controller would be employed as the receiver controlling the servos. This fully digital encoding enables transmitting over a transparent serial channel such as Bluetooth, Wifi, and XBee.
This digital RC transmitter is based on the Open Source project "arduinorc" by Richard Goutorbe inheriting the full feature set such as:
- up to 9 proportional channels (Nano), 6 channels by default (Uno)
- up to 6 additional digital channels (switches)
- 9 model memories
- Dual rate/Exponential switch
- Throttle cut switch
- 2 programmable mixers
- End point adjustment, Potentiometer and Servo calibration
- Throttle security check at startup
- Optional Transmitter battery low voltage alarm
- Programmable with Linux or Windows via USB (terminal application)
The original arduinorc-Sketch has been modified and became the ArduinoDTx-sketch, which outputs all channel information in miniSSC-format rather than a PPM-pulse frame on Arduino pin D6. Every time a stick position would change a miniSSC message is generated. Thus the Serial Servo Controller (SSC) can be connected directly to the Arduino or through a transparent serial link.
The ArduinoDTx sketch is open source and provided through a respective github repository under the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 3.
Prototype setup: Digital four channel RC
An RC transmitter with four channels will serve as a prototype project. As shown in the image to the right two Thumb-Joysticks are evaluated by the Arduino (Pot 1/2 and Pot 3/4 in the above schematic). The connection to the Arduino's analog pins is through a proto-shield. This shield does also accomodate the mode switch and the LED with the respective 270R resistor.
The RC is designed for battery operation. To guarantee the required minimum voltage of 6 V for the Arduino - even when using rechargeable batteries with a nominal voltage of 1,2 V - a battery holder for five AA elements has been selected. The two side panels support your palm operating the remote control and would enhance the user comfort significantly.
Please note that the USB port of the Arduino is easily accessible. This allows you to download software upgrades but also to customize the RC to your application.
Commissioning and testing
For commissioning the RC you would download the arduinodtx sketch (.ino-file) which is provided through an respective github repository. Please note that building the sketch requires the Arduino "TimerOne"-library.
After you have uploaded the sketch to your Arduino the easiest way to test the RC would be to build the "wired remote control" shown to the right using a PiKoder/SSC evalutation board. In the standard configuration the pots 1-4 would control the respective servo channels 1-4 of the PiKoder/SSC.
If you wanted to customize your RC then you would have to follow the steps described on the "arduinorc"-page. All commands for programming are still available to you - for more information please refer to the (arduinorc command documentation).