Step 5: The Sabertooth 2x25

The Sabertooth 2x25 by Dimension Engineering is really a giant in a small package. It provides everything and more than I need. The DIP switches allow it to be programmed  to control the mower any way you choose. It has a built in fail safe that shuts down the system if you lose RC signal. The 5 vdc regulated power supply provides adequate current for most RC systems. The specs say that if you load it up with too many servos it may require additional power, but since I am not using any servos there is no problem. My Sabertooth is mounted directly to a steel plate and I have not noticed any heat build up. I am sure this unit is capable of much more than I am using. It comes with 4x40 mounting bolts for easy mounting.
<p>This may seem like a silly question, But will this only drive forward or will it go in reverse as well? </p>
<p>the mower will move in all directions similar to a electric wheelchair</p>
I am trying to build a rc wheel chair n i am looking to see how the wiring hooks up to the chair to the remote do you have a diagram?
The sabertooth seller has diagrams, but the only &quot;chair wiring&quot; you use are the power leads off the batteries and motors. You eliminate the onboard controller and joystick.
Awesome! Like &quot;Honey I Shrunk The Kids!&quot;
<p>I have a perfectly good heavy duty power chair that everything works! I wonder how hard it would be to just put a deck up in there?? But it has the joy stick and all that work Great! I just can't sell the dang thing so i might as well build something with it! BTW! Great Job!!.. :)</p>
<p>I was a bit lazy and short on tools. I just used the mower deck and the wheelchair frame screwed together with leftover hardware (and, yes, some bailing wire). On the front of the deck I bolted on an angle bar and put casters directly on that. There is no height adjustment with this arrangement, but it works!</p>
<p>Hi mickydee, </p><p>great project. I made one myself. How did you make the kill switch with RC - what type of switch and hookup did you use. I have a futaba radio similar to yours connected to 12v deep cycle battery to power the mower - works great just need a kill switch. any info you can provide will be helpful. thx -jj-</p>
Powerwheels drives work well for some things. I built a robot using one and used H-Bridges and mixer from Carl at Diverse Electronics + 75hz Futaba controller.
I put the 30 amp fuse in series with the positive lead just in case a direct short should occur I used the terminal block for easy connection of accessories such as charger and voltmeter. It keeps things neat and tidy. The only way to destroy your Sabertooth is to hook up the 24 volts backwards On my new version I am building I am using two 350 watt 24 volts Chinese geared motors. They should pull 14.6 amps. <br>(350 / 24) I have that circuit fused at 20 amps. inline with the positive terminal to the Sabertooth. I try to protect the controller in any way I can. <br>I used a 30 amp fuse because It was handy. <br>.
I have 2 -12vdc35aH in series w/ positive going to a master switch, then straight to Sabertooth positive terminal. I assumed Sabertooth would handle amp surge so i dont have your 30amp fuse &amp; terminal strip solution. Can you explain the need for 30amp fuse and exactly how it's wired? Thanks for a great DIY learning experience!
what about electric brakes how do you wire them to make them work.
I have an electric wheel chair base with motors but I would like to know where you got your Sabertooth contorller from and as far as a radio goes I can get one from Ebay. I also have a twin blade mower deck that my chair base will be pulling and I plan on puting it on here when I'm done with it. Thank you for your answers.
Hi mickeydee, <br> <br>Great instructable, I have been inspired, and nearly have all the parts! <br> <br>I managed to pick up a cheap wheelchair on eBay that actually had two fantastic batteries that hold a good charge. The seller thought that they were flat and useless! The problem is that after charging the chair and testing it out for power, I am doubtful if the two 180w motors will push the RC mower up a hill (I am not building one with a chair, and hence it will not be carrying a passenger up hill). What do you think? What size motors are you using, and would it make it up a 30 degree hill? I am not sure if the motors will be too weak, or if the wheelchair motor controller is limiting power. <br> <br>Your advice would be much appreciated.
Hi there! <br>Sorry about the delay, I have been traveling. <br>I don't think you will have any problems with power if you are using wheelchair motors. I am using 13 amp motors on mine. That equates to 312 watts..(Volts times amps = Watts. Using that formula it looks like you are using 7.5 amp motors. That seems a little light for a wheel chair. <br>I don't think you will have a problem though. I hope you will be using the Sabertooth 2 X 25 . It delivers smooth power to the motors even at very low RPM. <br>Let me know how you are doing <br>Happy building <br>Mickydee
hi, i've been inspired to do likewise after i saw this project. <br>btw, can i use a 4 channel remote radio for this project? or it should be 6 channel radio transmiter? <br> <br>tnx
Hi there<br>You only need two channels. One for forward / reverse and one for left / right.<br>You can set it up for one joystick (serial) or two sticks (tank steering)<br>depending on how you set up the Sabertooth controller. <br>Complete instructions come with the Sabertooth .<br>You don't need any servo's.<br>I used one joystick as it felt good.<br>Have fun as this is a simple project.<br>Mickydee
Thanks for the instructable! I took your idea and made a drivable plane for my church for a kids event (no, they didn't drive it. lol) I didn't have the funds for the motor controller and couldn't get my homemade one to work (I tried arduino with some 2n3055 transistors and also made a pwm circuit using the transistors, but couldn't get it right in time). So I just used some relays and went to 12 volts. You can imagine 24 volts with relays would make this thing raise a wheelie. Don't ask me how I know. :-) <br> <br>Oh, and the propeller motor is from a broken drill. I rigged it up with a switch and it spins. <br> <br>Here's the pic, thanks again!
Your project seems like a great idea. I think maybe I will copy you and build something for the little ones at our church. We have a big back yard and we occasionally set up inflatables for our youth. I think I will build a little train with a couple of cars. The wheel chair motors have plenty of power for that. <br>Thanks for the good idea <br>Mickydee
Perfect Instructable and an amazing project!! You just made my day! I'm envisioning all sorts of projects using an electric wheelchair as the platform now! I think a miniature electric powered tank with a fiberglass body is in my nieces' and nephew's future!
Thank You<br>Sounds like your little ones are in for a fun time. The wheelchair motors are powerful enough for just about anything you want to build, and the range with U-1 batteries is very good. I have mowed my lawn 4 or 5 time between charges and still had power to spare. Check out my Sitway instructable for another use of these motors. I been playing around for at least a month and I haven't had to re-charge it yet. Have fun and let me know how you are doing.<br>mickydee
You've inspired me to make one. My brother is in a wheelchair and I know he'll love it. Thanks.
Thanks a lot<br>If I had it to do again, I think I would have spent a little more and used an electric start motor. If you make one for your brother, this would really give him a feeling of independence . My motor starts easily but I am not bound to a wheelchair.<br>I wish you all the success in the world. It is not a difficult project<br>mickydee
This is awesome work. Thank you for posting this ible. Soooo invious! I would love to make this for my son.
Awesome work MickeyDee! Keep them coming!<br><br>Paul
Great instructable! <br><br>This one is a real improvement on the RC lawnmower concept i saw recently by johndavid400.<br><br>I hope that should i make it to your age, if i can be half as productive and show as much ingenuity as you then i will have lived a happy and contented life. BTW - can you adopt me Mickydee? <br><br>
I have tried everything I know to download a video into this ible. I uploaded to you tube and tried to down load. to this program. No luck, it keeps telling me that the file is too big (over 10 meg).<br>I would appreciate any help to solve this. I know it can be done ,because I watch other peoples video's<br>Thanks <br>mickydee
If you still need help uploading a video, let me know and I will walk you through it.
sorry to say mate but it was done 1 year ago <br>https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-RC-Lawnmower/
Even so, it is still really cool.
oh booo....
very nice project micky, the instruction is very clear. I might do something similar to your project this summer. Thanks for the information....<br>-thai
That&acute;s how I would like to be at 80.
SPECTACULAR PROJECT &amp; WRITE UP! Very well thought through and executed! <br> <br>I couple questions about how well it works? <br>Does the unit drift often, and do you find yourself correcting the steering often? <br>I am sure you adjusted the trim on the transmitter to compensate. <br> <br>I am very impressed with the runtime, and your setup would blow a kid's motor powered car out of the water! It seems like your project does not suffer from getting stuck on low ground or cement edges. <br>I would like to make a little car to let kids ride around in that way I would have better control of where they are going, and if made correctly, I could jump in with them :P I could also put a pull behind mower as an accessory. <br> <br>Thank you for the inspiration Micky, very well done for your first instructable! <br> <br>
This setup would make a great small kid's car.. I don't notice much drift once the castors true up.. I imagine you would put in a steering wheel, if you built a car, so yhe only controls you would need would be forward and reverse. My motors are 13 amp each. They can run on either 12 or 24 volts. Top speed would be slower with 12 volts. <br>I tried it on 12 and didn't seem to lose much power. I think the range would suffer though. Great idea! let me know if you build one and maybe I will build yours for my grand kids.<br>mickydee
I actually don't have any kids, but I like entertaining my friend's! I think they would have a ball with such a thing! There are parks near by and we could go riding around. It just all around seems like a very cool project! <br>It will have to probably wait until this winter when there isn't as much activity going on, that way it could be ready for spring! <br> <br>I would actually prefer the remote control over a steering wheel so that &quot;we&quot; the grown ups would have control over the vehicle. They like to rid their bikes into things, and occasionally people! <br> <br>I would probably work towards aluminum, fiberglass reenforced wood, or steel butted tubing similiar to what is used on bikes to reduce the weight some, and add some efficiency. I have quite a bit of time ahead to brainstorm the process. I am just thankful for your footwork into the &quot;meat&quot; of the project which is where all my questions would have been. Anyone can build a box car, but making it electric and remote controlled is where it becomes fun! <br> <br>Thanks again Micky, Best Regards! <br> <br>Josh
cool how long did it take you to make it<br>
I didn't really keep time when I built this. Mocking up and building the. frame took two Saturdays. Taking the wheel chair apart took a couple days. Thinking and planning took ar least a week. Add another couple weeks for assembly and electronics testing<br>I guess it probably took about a month<br>mickydee
cool that did not take that long<br>
Any chance of getting some info/pictures on how you designed the kill switch of your project?
If you look at Step 4 of the ible you will see where it is located. I just stripped the guts of the kill switch that comes with the motor and fitted a SPST push / pull in it's place.<br>Cut the lead from the ignition coil and put it in series with ground. thru the switch.<br>You can mount it anywhere you want but this keeps the leads short.<br><br>Hope this will help<br>mickydee
Very nice Sir, <br>A good idea is a good idea....<br>I would also like to be like you when I grow up.
Hello J D<br>Just to let you know ,You instructable was the reason I bought my first Arduino Uno<br>I tried to build your controller and H-Bridge. but it was just too much for me. I decided to build something that the average guy tinkering in his shop could build.<br>Thanks for the comment and the inspiration.<br>mickydee
i bought my arduino to make his project too im gonna mash yours and jds together so its rc and has a seat
Dumb question. Why couldn't the frame be made out of 2x4 (treated) lumber? Every one of the RC mower projects I see use steel tubing. Yes, steel is stronger but is it really needed? <br>
I made my mock up out of wood .I didn't pay much attention to strength and used long dry wall screws for attachments. I think it would work for awhile I think if you braced it well, it might holdup. I was tempted to try that, but my buddy really wanted to weld it up. As he had a supply of steel tubing on hand we went ahead with the metal frame. Try it, if it doesn't work you will have the templates to make a metal chassis<br>Good Luck<br>mickydee.
If only I could find a cheap used wheelchair chassis....
An excellent first Instructable, sir, and I hope to see many more.<br><br>It would also be great fun to see a video of this in action.<br><br>

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Bio: My name is Roland MacDonald, my friends call me Mac I am a retired but not bored engineer My great joy is my workshop, a ... More »
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