Build your own Remote Control (RC) Car

In this tutorial we will learn how to build a simple wired remote control car. Building your own simple yet powerful wired robot is the first step in the field of robotics. To begin building your car you first need to decide few things about it. What kind of steering you want? In this tutorial we will build a differential drive car. A car has mainly five things viz. tyres, motor, chassis, axle and remote controller. A chassis can be made of anything which is flat, light, flexible, hard, and easy to cut like Toughened Styrofoam, Acrylic sheet, plastic tray, etc. Now we should select our tyres. Tyres should also be light in weight so that they do not put extra load on motors. Tyres can either be made by wood or plastic or could be purchased from market. We would require at least four wheels. You can add more wheels depending upon your car’s dimensions. We can use tyres of any appropriate size. You can even use pram wheels or bicycle’s side wheels. Once you have selected tyres you will need axle to support your tyres. A steel rod or aluminium rod of appropriate diameter can be used. Just take care that the rod fits properly in the tyre and tyre is not slipping over the rod. Now you need to select the most important part of your car i.e. motor. An internal or external geared D.C. motor of 12V or 24V rating is best available in the market. You can select the speed of motor depending on the track where you will run your car. If you select a motor with high speed then it will provide less torque and if you select a motor with high torque then its speed will cripple. An appropriate range of motor speed is 100-200 RPM. If you plan to run your car in mud, dust or sand then you should prefer an internal gear system to avoid jamming of gears with mud. We would require at least two motors. You can even use four motors if you wish to provide more power to your car. All the motors should be perfectly identical.

After you selected and collected all the required material for your car you are almost half the way to run your car. Now it’s the time to assemble your car. If you are using two motors on front wheels then make your rare wheels free to rotate with the help of ball-bearing. Assemble one motor on right front wheel and other motor on left front wheel. Mount both the motors and tyres on the chassis with the help of nuts and bolts. Once you assemble your car, check that it is moving freely. If the car is not moving freely then align all the tyres again so that they are free to rotate. So now the mechanical work of our car is complete. Now we have to make it run on electricity and control it via remote control. For this purpose we will use differential drive. Before building a differential drive, you should know how it works. If you already know about it then you may skip the next paragraph.

Differential drive is the easiest way to make your robot steerable. In differential drive system we mount one motor with right wheel and other motor with left wheel. When both the motors are rotated in forward direction the car moves forward. When both the motors are moved in reverse direction, the car moves backward. If we rotate right motor in forward direction and left motor in backward direction a torque is produced in anti-clockwise direction and the car turns to left. Similarly if left motor is turned in forward direction and right motor in reverse direction the torque is produced in clockwise direction and car turns to right. This is all about differential drive. With differential drive we can rotate our robot by 360 degree at a single point.

To change the direction of motor we need to change the polarity of supply. This can be done using H-bridge circuit. An H-Bridge circuit can be made using four SPST (Single Polarity Single Toggle) Switch or one DPDT (Dual Polarity Dual Toggle) Switch or using BJTs (Bi-Polar Junction Transistor). The easiest way is to use DPDT switch but if you wish to use microcontroller, then you will need to create a BJT H-Bridge circuit. Now make the connections as shown in the circuit diagram of the DPDT switch.

Make a truth table for all the possible inputs of the switches for your convenience. For the power supply you can use an adapter or an eliminator or make your own transformer. Select your power source with enough current rating so that the speed of motor does not decrease during an obstacle. The best way is to make your own power supply. To build your own power supply, purchase a transformer of 220V to 24V, 4A rating and apply a Bridge rectifier to it. Use 1N4007 diodes and 2200 microF capacitor for bridge rectifier.

By now your car must be complete. So enjoy with your car and test it on various tracks. Modify your car if required.

46 comments

  1. shantnu says:

    Hey nuclearsam,
    though its your first writing at ZHAGDOO.
    I found it quite influential, interesting, informative and above all innovative.
    Hey you through this will inspire lot of technical guys to share there knowledge and lots of layman like us will be drawn to such technologies.
    Moreover you just made ZHAGDOO a bit more versatile.
    great job Mate…
    Kudos to your remote controlled CAR

  2. mrigakshi says:

    hey this all new technocrat segment is really cool!!! very innovative…n deserves applause…real good job nuclearsam…lookin forward to more such hitech posts!!!

  3. lionsinthedepth says:

    cool

  4. lionsinthedepth says:

    mind blowing

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  6. CHARAN says:

    plz send me the detailed circuit diagram of this car as soon as possible its urgent..

  7. Ryuzero says:

    Iys a good way to Make An RC car. Thanks

  8. James says:

    What about the remote controlled part? Is that difficult. can I make it myself? Like buying a circut board at radio shake?

  9. Ankur says:

    Can u plz send me the detailed circuit diagram for radio control..

  10. nuclearsam says:

    @James
    remote control part is also easy and you can make it yourself. The circuit diagram is given in fig. 2, you just need two DPDT(Dual Polarity Dual Toggle) Switch and connect them as shown in figure… Thats it!!!

  11. nuclearsam says:

    @Ankur

    in this tutorial we are using a wired remote control. if you want to make a wireless remote control then you can buy a radio transmitter and receiver from radio shake and use it to control your car…

  12. Denu says:

    Hey!!!! i really wanna make a RC fast car…..pls can u help me???
    i nead the materials required & circuit diagrams for both car & remote…

  13. Manan says:

    Respected Sir,

    I am having a problem in the aisle to support the tyre.Please help

  14. shrikanh rai says:

    Hey!!!! i really wanna make a RC fast car…..pls can u help me……. Can u plz send me the detailed circuit diagram for radio control. plssssssssssssssss

  15. neer says:

    Hi
    thanks alot for ur help but it seems m having a problem i have made my rc car with 2 motors but sometimes both motors doesnt get equal power so it starts rotating can u pls help me with that
    &
    also i didnt get the last part its something about transformer n stuff can u explain it again pls

    - Thanks

  16. nuclearsam says:

    @neer

    if both the motors of your car does not rotate at the same speed then the car will not move straight, it will either turn right or left. this problem may occur in the following cases: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    1. the two motors are of different rating, or different model — sol: use exactly similar motors of same rating. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    2. you are using different source of power for each motor — sol: use single power source for both motors. if you want extra power for your car then club two or more power sources together in parallel circuit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    3. one of the motor is not able to move freely due to some obstacle or friction — sol: clean and oil both motors so that they are free to rotate. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    4. your car is not properly balanced — sol: check that the weight of car is equally divided on both of the motors.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . . .. . .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . . .. . .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . . . . .

    the last part of the tutorial is not related to car. the last part tells how to build your own power supply. we are using a step down transformer to reduce the AC voltage. then we are using a bridge rectifier to convert AC to DC. if you know about bridge rectifiers and converting AC into DC then it would be easy for you to build your own power supply else you can use ready made power supply or you can use batteries..

  17. neer says:

    hey tysm for the help i was using 2 different batteries for each motor :P now m using 9v battery for both motor n seems the problem is solved & i dont have ne idea abt redtifiers n transformers so i guess its none of my buissness

    -thanks for the help

  18. neer says:

    oh well can u help me make this car into radio controlled car (wireless) or if u know ne sites that can help me pls tell me

  19. nuclearsam says:

    to make your car radio controlled you can either purchase a ready made radio receiver and transmitter and integrate it in your car. or if you have knowledge of circuits and digital communication then you can build your own circuit for it. there are various circuit design available on net for it, you can google it. else i wud write a tutorial on radio controlled car soon. . . . tc..

  20. neer says:

    ok i dont have knowledge abt circuits so can i get trasmitters & reciever from ne ellectronics shop or i have to search for it somewhere else ?
    it’ll help if u write a tutorial take ur time
    & thanks alot for sharing the knowledge & for helping

  21. debasmita says:

    well a power supply will have only 3 terminals(1 +ve, 1 -ve n a grd),rit?? so using these 3 terminals only, we have 2 get 4 supply paths…..m i rit in thinkin so???or r we goin to use 2 power supplies, supplyin d same power…

  22. nuclearsam says:

    @debasmita……. . . . . you don’t have to use two different power supply……… the power supply has three terminal and you can select any two of them. for eg. if you use +12(or -12) and 0(ground) then you get a potential difference of 12 Volt, if you use +12 and -12 then you get potential difference of 24 volt……… now connect these two terminals to four motors in parallel…. if you still have any doubt then let me know… tc…

  23. Milan says:

    Heeey! Nuclearsam can you help me out and give me the circuit diagrams!plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!,

  24. dhiraj says:

    its very much practical
    from my experiance also using materials mentioned here are really effective

  25. dishant says:

    hi nuclearsam,
    i’m quite impressed with ur innovative idea

    but i want to know how to make remote controller.i am not able to understand the above circuit.i do not know where to fix the DPDT switches.

    please kindly explain me the circuit diagram of remote control.

  26. srikanth says:

    iam engineering student i want to make a remote control car please help me this is my first attempt can you show the assembly of above car and images

  27. Mehul says:

    plzzz send me the whole diagram….

  28. parneet says:

    what about if i used 12-0-12(center tapping) 5A diode:5608 cqapacitor:4700micro farad,36V

  29. Awesome content and organization on your website dude, very useful to me and everyone.

  30. varun says:

    i like this tutorial very much and i need to ask something if i make the tyres free to move left and right will
    that make any change

  31. [...] stare at them.After lots of browsing once when i was in need for a tutorial i found one at  http://www.zhagdoo.com/2008/02/07/build-your-own-remote-control-car/.                             [...]

  32. [...] stare at them.After lots of browsing once when i was in need for a tutorial i found one at  http://www.zhagdoo.com/2008/02/07/build-your-own-remote-control-car/.                             [...]

  33. [...] only stare at them.After lots of browsing once when i was in need for a tutorial i found one at  http://www.zhagdoo.com/2008/02/07/build-your-own-remote-control-car/.                                                            That [...]

  34. bharat says:

    good one….

  35. cool says:

    u r o someeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  36. everyone says:

    nuclearsam if we will fix both motors on front wheels then one motor will move in front and other will move back but we want 2 move both motors in front plzzzzz tell fast

  37. Amir says:

    Its so cool.this website is so informative to make rc car that have lot of fun for playing with it.

  38. I need things from you to make it please reply me in 2 days

  39. arasu says:

    i want to know the full circuit diagram for rc car

  40. brian glad says:

    that is a lot of hint on technological work for beginners,gues this will be very useful to me on my first construction

  41. I like this. I have a small bicycle of my little 2 year old daughter and I want to convert it into a RC Cycle… I got some tips from this post, but will appreciate better step-by-step guidance…

  42. sai says:

    sir but how can i connect the motor and batteries to a reciever…..and also a transmitter to a battery……
    i’m confused looking at all that stuff,pls help me out sir……

  43. Hermanto says:

    Hei, what if the motor is not in the same speed??

  44. nuclearsam says:

    @Hermanto: By speed I guess you mean the RPM (rotations per minute) of the motors. Both the motors should be of same rating (RPM, torque and power). If the motors are not identical then they will produce a torque and the car will turn in according to the direction of torque, in simple terms the car wont be able to travel in a straight line.

  45. gopal says:

    I want to build my own radio transmitter and receiver so,plz help how to build circuits require for this

  46. rahul says:

    this is not a complete instruction. It donot well regard about the remot controll circutary.

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