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Add Sound Effects to your R/C Car

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Picture of Add Sound Effects to your R/C Car
R/C Animator lets you add sounds and lighting to your R/C car, airplane, helicopter, or boat. Effects are triggered with your R/C controller and can be combined.  Here's a demo;


R/C Animator is based on the Propeller Platform USB — effects can include changing the position of a secondary servo, playing back CD quality audio, or changing lights.  On my R/C car, I'm using four LED's and a mono speaker for audio playback.  Continue to the next step and I'll show you how to make it!
 
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Step 1: FAQ

Picture of FAQ
How does it work?
R/C Animator triggers effects based on the position of the servos in your vehicle.  So, you can trigger the playback of a rumbling V8 when the throttle servo opens up.  Or you could connect a spare servo channel to the R/C Animator to turn on an LED 'light bar' and play a siren. 

I'll show you how to customize the logic for whatever effects you want, too.

What effects are available?
Sound playback
Up to 32GB of audio samples can be stored and played back in CD quality stereo.  An onboard audio amp will drive speakers up to 1/4 Watt.

LED animation
Up to 25 LED's can be turned on, blinked, or faded.

Secondary servo movements
Multiple servos can be directly controlled by R/C Animator, so a single wireless channel can trigger secondary servo animations

R/C Animator is designed to chain and combine these effects. 

Will it work with my vehicle?
Most likely.  Digital and analog servos use the same signalling method.  If you're using old airtronics servos (non-z connector), you'll need to flip a wire.

How many batteries does it take?
None — It runs off the servo power and only draws a few mA. 

What are the dimensions?
7.2cm x 6.3cm x 2.54cm (2.8" x 2.5" x 1.0"). The basic R/C Animator weighs about 40g (1.5oz).  If you use audio, you'll also need to include the weight of the speaker.
K-Note721 year ago
I can't seem to find the propeller platform in stock anywhere
triggerxxx2 years ago
I'm a noob to micro-controller.

Can you explain how to add more channels to this? And how many are possible?
Great instructable! My sister's boyfriend collects lots of rc racing buggies and cars, boxes and boxes of cogs and different parts like that, so this just adds to the inspiration! Just one question...Where do you get the Propellor Platform USB from???
Gadget Gangster (author)  Instructable042 years ago
You can grab it from adafruit - http://www.adafruit.com/products/312
K-Note722 years ago
How much does the whole system cost to make? (minus the cost of the speaker)
Gadget Gangster (author)  K-Note722 years ago
About $45 - you just need a Propeller Platform USB and a protoboard.

The speaker is a nice touch, but I'd only suggest it with electric vehicles - it won't be loud enough for nitro vehicles.
Thanks, it's a great how-to that I may be doing in the near future. Yeah I only run electric (nitro=spendy). I came across this because a brand called Tamiya makes something like this but it costs anywhere over $300 so I looked elsewhere & found this one.
okoshima2 years ago
nice advert there... hell it seems most if not all your ibles are adverts.. mind handing me that sliced pork and ham flag?
FrozenIce2 years ago
Awesome!! if only i had an rc car...
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