Introduction: DIY FPV RC Tank V2 [2km RANGE Upgrade!]

Picture of DIY FPV RC Tank V2 [2km RANGE Upgrade!]

Lets build An FPV tank that could be controlled within 2 kilometers! With the help of my best friend ASCAS I was able to borrow his old parts for this updated version. Ok So Roverbot version 2 is a highly educational Arduino based ATV-drone. It's simple to make, easy to program and is a great starter project for hobbyists! The bot is very fast and agile, not to mention of it carrying two powerful motors! It can surely outrun humans regardless of the terrain you're on!

This RoverBot is still a soft prototype even after months of thinking, well maybe its because of funds or other projects we have but anyways. With this progress we hope to 3D design and print a Water resistant cover and upgrade to metal gears .

What is FPV?

Fpv stands for First Person View. Usually we get to see FPV while playing video games specifically for racing games. Fpv is used in military purposes to spy, guard or monitor an area, Even us hobbyist use them for our quadcopters to take aerial photos or just to have fun. Awesome as it sounds it is quite expensive building a quadcopter so we decided to make something smaller and cheaper that runs on land.

How Do You Control It?

RoverBot is based on the famous Arduino development board. Since Arduino supports a wide variety of shields and modules (RC/ WiFi/ Bluetooth), you can choose any type of communication. For this set up we will be using special parts that will give it the capability of long range control, we will be using 2.4Ghz Transmitter, receiver modules to take control over the bot. In the previous version we used Bluetooth which was not really a good combination with FPV since Bluetooth is only good for about 20 meters, but now with my parts and ASCAS' parts we are able to achieve more range.

You can watch the video on the last step

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials

I got most of my parts from local hobby shops, that includes all the Tamiya products and my Arduino Uno clone, the rest were bought online and were given to me by ASCAS. Please canvas for cheaper prices. Compared to where I buy Tamiya products, Pololu retails Tamiya kits that costs 2x more. If you live in the Philippines then you are lucky enough to have "Lil's Hobby Shop" (located @ SM Megamall & Glorietta 2).

Parts & Matterials: I got most of my parts from Gearbest they will have a sale on 03/22/16

- Arduino UNO R3 Clone

- Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Shield (2x30A)

-Male Pin headers

-4x Standoff

- Extra M3 screw and nut

- 2.4 Ghz Transmitter Module (Planes/Cars)....... READ step 13 for more info about thid

-2.4 Ghz Receiver module at least 2ch

- 2x Tamiya Plasma Dash Motors/ Hyper dash 3

- Tamiya Twin Motor Gearbox Set (stock motors included)

- 2x Tamiya Universal Plate Set

- Tamiya Track & Wheel Set

- 3 cell 1500mAh LiPo Battery

- FPV CAMERA with pan and tilt

-5.8Ghz 200mW FPV Transmitter and receiver

- Super Glue Bottle

- Sugru Sachet/ Hot Glue


- Leatherman

- Screwdriver Set

- Dremel Rotary Tool

Step 2: Assemble the Twin Gearbox

Picture of Assemble the Twin Gearbox

Time to unbox the gearbox! Simply follow the instruction inside and you will be fine


Tips & Reminders:

- Grease the gears after assembling the gearbox. (not before)

- Don't forget the metal spacers, or the gearbox will screech.

- Go for the 58:1 gear ratio, it's faster than the 204:1 gear ratio.

Step 3: Upgrade Motors? Why Not!

Picture of Upgrade Motors? Why Not!

The gearbox includes stock motors which are pretty slow if you ask me. So I decided to use my old Hyper dash motors for this project instead of using my friends Plasma dash which consumes more energy.

So far Plasma Dash Motors are still the fastest in Tamiya's 4WD mini motor series. The motors may be pricey but, you'll get the most out of your money. It's a carbon brushed motor that spins 29,000 rpm (@3v) and 36,000rpm (@7v). The motors are designed to operate with a 3v power source, increasing the voltage would result to a higher rpm rate but would wear out the c.brushes a lot quicker. It would be ideal to stick with a 3v-6v output. With the Pololu 2x30 Motor Driver and a 2 cell LiPo battery, the Arduino's program must be set to a max speed of 320/400, you'll soon find out what this means in the coding step/ page.

Step 4: Motor Drivers!

Picture of Motor Drivers!

I've been into robotics for a long time now and so far the best motor driver you could get is from pololu "Pololu Dual VNH5019" When it comes to power and efficiency this is the best but when it comes to price this is not really your friend.

Another choice is making an L298 motor driver. 1 L298 is for 1 motor that is the best idea for using high curent motors. I will show you guys how made my own version of this

Step 5: Assemble the Track Set

Picture of Assemble the Track Set

Get wild! maximize your space do as you wish for track configuration

Step 6: Screw in the Standoffs and Attach the FPV

Picture of Screw in the Standoffs and Attach the FPV

be creative position your stand offs and FPV parts in place and apply small amount of hot glue to set everything in place. Attach the top deck and drill some necessary holes for the FPV Antenna and standoff holes, after that screw in some M3 screws.

Step 7: Put the Top Deck

Picture of Put the Top Deck

My purpose for adding the top deck is so that we can have more space since the FPV parts consumed a lot of space at the bottom. leaving no space for the arduino uno clone and motor driver.

Step 8: Mount the Arduino & Motor Driver

Picture of Mount the Arduino & Motor Driver

Simply screw or glue the Arduino in place on the top deck then stack the motor driver above it.

Step 9: Get Your 2.4Ghz Receiver

Picture of Get Your 2.4Ghz Receiver

It time to connect the Rx module to the arduino

Using channel 1 and 2 Connect 1 to A0 and 2 to A1

Supply the receiver With 5V and the ground from the arduino pins.

Step 10: Connect Your Motors and Battery

Picture of Connect Your Motors and Battery

Solder some wires on the motor then connect it to the motor driver according to channel

For the battery you will need to DIY your own connector by using a male JST plug and male deans plug look at the picture to better understand how I made mine

Step 11: Battery!

Get your battery and plan out where to put it when its done.

When you have an idea where to place it Make a male adapter for the batteries plug . With the 3S 12V Li-po you will supply the FPV cam and the motor driver and arduino so you will need to make a connector for the motor driver supply line and for the FPV supply line.

Step 12: The Arduino Codes (C++)

Picture of The Arduino Codes (C++)

This code is super simple just upload and it should now work with the pololu VNH motor driver (make sure you donwnload the motor driver library and put inside the Arduino library folder

The code is similar to the Zumobot RC I just replaced the motor driver library and tweaked some stuff

For L298 motor driver USERS USE THE NORMAL ZUMOBOT RC CONTROL EXAMPLE just connect thing according based on the library

#define PWM_L 10 ///LEFT MOTOR

#define PWM_R 9

#define DIR_L 8 ///LEFT motor

#define DIR_R 7

Just upload and proceed to next step

Step 13: Controller!

Picture of Controller!

So there are different types of controller out there for RC may it be for land, water, or air and it can also some in different types of frequency like AM, FM, or the famous 2.4Ghz but in the end it all comes down to the general purpose controller. I dont really know the exact name of the controller but it is definitely not called Gun type controller but the controller for general purposes is used for aircrafts since it has more channels compared to the gun type.

The controller Im using right now is a Turnigy 9XR Transmitter Mode 2 (No Module) as you see i says there is no module well this is because it is up to you to choose your type of 2.4Ghz connection. There are dozens of brands that carry different connections all differ in terms or control range and features. The module i am using right now is a FrSky DJT 2.4Ghz Combo Pack for JR w/ Telemetry Module & V8FR-II RX looks kinda pricey right but check out the features, specs and price im sure you will also like it not to mention it also comes with a receiver already!.And lastly Remember even if you have the controller and modules you cant turn it on untill you get batteries depends on your controllers model you might need to use Li-po batteries just like mine I need 2200mah 3S LI-po anyways just check or research the controller you want and you will know what to get.


If you are a beginner I suggest asking around local hobby shops or RC groups....better to be sure than to be sorry. cuz this part or step is not a joke or a toy since these are quite expensive.

Step 14: Test It Out

Picture of Test It Out

First power up Roverbot then turn on your transmitter module once done the receiver module should indicate a successful binding connecting Via L.E.D

Beginners guide for FPV

The one on the roverbot is called the FPV transmitter and Camera, And the other one on you hand is called the FPV Receiver. The receiver is connected to any TV may it be an LCD TV, TFT etc. All you really have to do is supply it with 12V using a battery or external power supply. Turn it on then change the channel on the FPV receiver if needed. After that you should now be able to see visual of what you roverbot sees

FPV signal chappy?

The one I suggested Is cheap and affordable it can reach a maximum distance of 1.5km - 2km but this will only apply when you use it in an open field, if you are planning to get more signal strength then buy an FPV transmitter stronger than this like those 1000mW FPV transmitters. Take note the one I showed you guys is just 200mW which is the cheapest one you can find out there.

Antenna Upgrade!

Upgrading the antenna into a Clover antenna is a good Idea it extends your range and strengthens the signal.

Step 15: You Are Basically Done!

Picture of You Are Basically Done!

Last step ..... HAVE fun

If you like the project click on the Favorite button and vote to support me in my builds

Also support by best friend ASCAS who has helped me a lot in providing me the parts and ideas


Step 16: VIDEO

I guess I dont have the skill to take good videos but I will just share our previous version.This is our Bluetooth Version running with the plasma dash I guess I would say our old configuration was stylish but the tracks usually slide off so we just followed the normal configuration. Again to see the phone controlled version check out ASCAS


GokulSniper (author)2017-08-08

Hi Sir, If I'm using L298 which code I need to upload.? And when I compiled the file RC CONTROL i faced compilation error.Why so.? How to rectify it.?

o3master (author)2017-06-01

hello how much all cost to build this

AlexisP12 (author)2017-02-27

Hi sir i have assemble tank and when i turn on my transmitter the motor run without pushing the sticks. What do u think is the problem? Can you please help me

kb3cxe (author)2015-06-10

Dear Sir,

I really like your rover. Is the 2KM how far it will go total before the batteries quit, or the distance at which you can still maintain control, and receive a FPV picture back?

Thank you,


timwainz4scoo (author)kb3cxe2016-10-15

probably video range

and if it is battery just put on a bigger one

treyes4 (author)kb3cxe2015-06-10

Thanks for liking it anyways answer to your question number 1...I have no idea hahah 2nd for the FPV it depends on your setup and antenna~ for my setup with a 200mW VTX it can reach about 200-500 meters? open space that is, you can use better FPV setups so that you can go further

Holshue14 (author)2015-08-03

Hey I was wondering what materials I would need to make this without FPV camera. An answer from anyone would be awesome.

timwainz4scoo (author)Holshue142016-10-15

- Arduino UNO R3 Clone

- Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Shield (2x30A)

-Male Pin headers

-4x Standoff

- Extra M3 screw and nut

- 2.4 Ghz Transmitter Module (Planes/Cars)....... READ step 13 for more info about thid

-2.4 Ghz Receiver module at least 2ch

- 2x Tamiya Plasma Dash Motors/ Hyper dash 3

- Tamiya Twin Motor Gearbox Set (stock motors included)

- 2x Tamiya Universal Plate Set

- Tamiya Track & Wheel Set

- 3 cell 1500mAh LiPo Battery

- Super Glue Bottle

- Sugru Sachet/ Hot Glue


- Leatherman

- Screwdriver Set

- Dremel Rotary Tool

Holshue14 (author)2015-08-03

Can I get a list of materials so that I can make this without the FPV camera

timwainz4scoo (author)Holshue142016-10-15

- Arduino UNO R3 Clone

- Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Shield (2x30A)

-Male Pin headers

-4x Standoff

- Extra M3 screw and nut

- 2.4 Ghz Transmitter Module (Planes/Cars)....... READ step 13 for more info about thid

-2.4 Ghz Receiver module at least 2ch

- 2x Tamiya Plasma Dash Motors/ Hyper dash 3

- Tamiya Twin Motor Gearbox Set (stock motors included)

- 2x Tamiya Universal Plate Set

- Tamiya Track & Wheel Set

- 3 cell 1500mAh LiPo Battery

- Super Glue Bottle

- Sugru Sachet/ Hot Glue


- Leatherman

- Screwdriver Set

- Dremel Rotary Tool

thisotta (author)2016-05-31

Can I add servos to this to add some additional features? If so then how?

danzbg (author)2015-08-20

Hi. Nice project, I am doing kind of similar.. tamiya body.. arduino.. sensors etc. Just I use a computer with 2.4G transceiver to control and get the data feedback - I made simple software on .net for this. But the BIG problem I have is the rubber tracks fall down almost every time when the robot turns left or right. I use the wheel layout as on your garden test video. Moving forward back - no problem at all, but few turns and the tracks are off. How do you manage to keep yours stable?

PatrickH2 (author)danzbg2015-09-06

I have the same problem. If you find/have found a solution, I'd love to hear it!

danzbg (author)PatrickH22016-05-22

Hi PatrickH2,

Didn't found any solution. Tried different layouts, but same thing happen. Maybe if can make the chains shortens by just a little, or wheels a bit bigger.. But for now I stopped trying.

iandsandeep (author)2016-05-05

grt tutorial and a awesome atv there... i have something similar to what u have built..... so regarding that i have a question... can we increase its range even more say 10kms or atleast 5kms...

TM_3D (author)2016-04-30

Nice! Really cool stuff treyes 4!

I have had nothing but problems with this Pololu Motor shield for my project. Beginning with errors with libraries. After a month or so finally solved that ridiculous library issue, then came the even more annoying, frustrating and time consuming issues establishing solid motor connections on headers and the stacks to Arduino.

I see you have way more heavy duty headers (unlike the cheap pieces of crap that come with the shield) I have taken it apart numerous times and re-soldered the pwm pin headers numerous times, but they will not solder tight enough to the driver shield! Motors and their LEDs light when I spin the wheels by hand and finally got both the wheels to spin on testing, but only by putting pressure on either motor wire connections into headers with my fingers. I had a pretty solid solder job and board lights/ connections but the motors would not do anything once I uploaded the code to board and wasted days and weeks trying to figure it out so took apart and re-did once more.

Have been feverishly scouring the web for tutes and examples showing the soldering and connection and asking for help on Arduino and other forums and solved a few issues, but trying to find decent photos of connections or someone able or willing to explain exactly how this is to be properly soldered or connected has proven very disappointing and virtually impossible.

If you could post some more photos or videos showing all your driver shield to arduino board wiring/soldering and explaining how to connect the Pololu driver motor shield, I and many others would greatly appreciate it!


FaizulI (author)2015-08-24

Could u give the schematic and where can I find what thing.

BenD9 (author)2015-07-23

Any idea if this can be done with raspberry pi? Or is the code completley diferrent?

ibenkos (author)2015-03-21

can i use an different motor shield without editing the code? or is the arduino code just working on this shield?

treyes4 (author)ibenkos2015-03-22

you will have to edit the code~ the code is meant for the shield. It is easy to edit tho you just need to make a small library for your motor driver that works the same way as the one i have

ibenkos (author)treyes42015-03-23

Ok, wil the arduino motor shield ( from ) work? And can u send me the code for that? Thanks :)

syedumar92 (author)2015-03-04

Hi! i can only get one motor running after toggling with channel
1 and 2 joystick. is it suppose to functioning like that?

treyes4 (author)syedumar922015-03-05

when you toggle the stick forward both motors should do the same, right then it will turn right, left then left make sure you connected the right pins according to your motor driver and transmitter

syedumar92 (author)2015-01-26

hi! i have a question. i used a different Motor Driver, how different would the code be? Thank you!

treyes4 (author)syedumar922015-01-27

the motor driver code will be completely different you will need some basic arduino knowledge to revise the code I have here

syedumar92 (author)treyes42015-01-29

okay! thank you.

brandonmaciel4 (author)2014-12-21

How big are the standoffs?

michael_nonan (author)2014-11-18

Seems to be a very expensive project, but very cool otherwise. Suggestion for a more simpler FPV, SJ4000.

mschwarz11 (author)2014-11-16

what screen/monitor do you use on top of your controller?

mschwarz11 (author)2014-11-16

What happens if I put a Turnigy 5000mAh 3S 20C LiPo battery pack instead?

treyes4 (author)mschwarz112014-11-16

overkill~ make sure you change the motor values in the program so that it wont burnout the motors

Arya42 (author)2014-10-27

Where do the fpv camera and 5.8ghz transmitter for the camera connect on it?

CRAZYFA (author)2014-09-19

Hey, Tim! Great job with this and congratulations. What monitor did you use for the cam with your transmitter?

xonita (author)2014-09-15

Hi there,

I´m new on this, can you help me with the controler code, I think i´ve made all steps ok exept for the code uploading.

My motors wont go.


treyes4 (author)xonita2014-09-16

Ok lets start from your receiver 1st ch. to Analog 0 and 2nd ch. to Analog 1 btw are you using the same motor driver? if not you could PM your questions etc.

xonita (author)treyes42014-09-17

My e-mail is, I´m sending you some fotos of my build so you can analise if there is something wrong.

I think the problem is the software, i don´t know anything of programing on c++ and probably did it wrong.

Can you send me your file that you upload the arduino with?

Sorry for my bad English, i´m from Portugal.

Best Regards,


comsa42 (author)2014-09-05

Jeez, there's so many 15 year olds making these cool Instructables. There should be a club for us! :P

treyes4 (author)comsa422014-09-08

I know right hahahaha

hayes255 (author)2014-07-29

Treyes4 could I have ur email I'm sorry for picking ur brain so much but I'm pretty new to robotics but very good with code so don't want to screw it up especially when it's this much money involved

hayes255 (author)2014-07-29

So basically just get one of the arduino motor drivers even though your using a dual motor driver and use the motors that come with the gear kit not the hyper dash ones

hayes255 (author)2014-07-28

Does it have to be the motor drive you said on the materials list or could it be the one arduino sells for the arduino I just don't want to spend 55 dollars on the one you specified when I can spend 20 on the one arduino selss

treyes4 (author)hayes2552014-07-29

yeah you can go cheaper but you will need to stay with the stock motors since the ones arduino sell cant handle 3A + motors per channel Arduino's L298 motor driver can only handle 2A per channel. With the motor driver I used, I can use high current motors with ease and no over heating

whitejac (author)2014-07-10

Could you post some more information on the transmitter / receiver modules you used for the motor controls? Do they have to be specific to Arduino? Does it matter? This'll be my first RC build, so I apologize if it saounds basic.

treyes4 (author)whitejac2014-07-11

sure ... update coming right up

Legendsergio (author)treyes42014-07-18

Hey treyes. My name is Israel from Nigeria... I so much like your projects. Please I would like to contact you... will like to be your friend on any social media like Facebook.... my

mobile- +2348182057029... want to hear from you soon. Thanks

treyes4 (author)Legendsergio2014-07-19

hmmm looks like you were not able to receive my email. Check your inbox here in instructables i'll give you my FB link

tbissinger (author)2014-07-15

How long/tall were the stand offs that you used?

treyes4 (author)tbissinger2014-07-17

40mm...... tnx for spotting that

mpintovsj (author)2014-07-06

How many did you expend un materials ?

Great work !

Best Regards!

treyes4 (author)mpintovsj2014-07-09

Sorry for the late reply... I spent about 300$ the expensive parts were the "quality" radio system and the FPV but you can make things cheaper just message me if you want to ask for help in terms of the radio system

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello There! My name is Timothy and I am 18 years old and I love biking, Rc, arduino ,gadget hacking and 3D designing. I'm ... More »
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