Instructables

How can I make an rc signal repeater to extend rc toy range ?

I few week ago I bought a small rc car. Its receiver receives only a few meters away from the transmitter (approximately 3-4 m) . I like the car beacuse it's small however its range is too small. I thought that I could make some kind of a signal repeater or responder (I don't know which is more apropriate). That way I could but the "repeater" in some distance and be able to transmit farther. 
So, can I make such a circuit? Also I thought that I could connect an rc transmitter with an rc receiver. That way everytime the receiver receives a signal it will activate the transmitter. Can I do that?

P.S. Excuse me for my English I am new to the rc world :)

rickharris5 months ago

Your idea won't work The signals generated by the RC receiver are not suitable to drive the transmitter.

I don't know of any commercial repeater system for rc frequencies. In general your models go out of sight long before you run out of signal range.

You could try improving the antenna on the car and on the transmitter - Ideally they should be 1/4 of the wavelength

christodouloskech (author)  rickharris5 months ago

Well, while searching I found this post :
http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-controls-cheap-RC-car-transmitter/

He uses an Arduino to drive the rc transmitter. So what if I used a receiver as an input for the Arduino and a transmitter for the output. The setup could be like this:

The receiver's output (where the motors of the rc car are connected) are wired with the input pins of the arduino. The Arduino is can drive the transmitter as described in the post above. When the arduino input pin is activated the arduino activates the transmitter in order to re-transmit the signal. Overall the system uses 2 transmitters and 2 receivers. One transmitter for the user, one tranceiver for the Arduino-repeater device and onc receiver for the rc car.

What is more since the transmitter-receiver driving requires only basic logic functions I could use transistor to drive the receiver from the signals of the transmitter, since using arduino for such a project is an overkill, I believe

Yes BUT you still need the wireless link to send the data to the arduino. You may well get better range or may not. 455Mhz data links are notoriously touchy.

What range do you get now

Have you tried extending the antennas - this is the most common reason range is short. You should be able to get line of sight as far as you can see fairly easily (with a good antenna)

christodouloskech (author)  rickharris5 months ago

Well, the idea from the beginning was to keep the receiver antenna as short as possible. The antenna of the small car had by default a 5-6cm antenna. I know it's short but I wouldn't like to extend it. However it seems I don't have many choices :(.

yep - that's electronics for you!