Introduction: RC Tamiya Tracked Rover

Picture of RC Tamiya Tracked Rover

Awhile back I made a blog on the Amino Maker app of a rc rover I made for my younger brother. In this short tutorial, I'll show you how I did it. (FYI this is my first tutorial so please bear with me and if you see any mistakes let me know).

Step 1: First Off. Here's the Parts List for Ya:

1 - tamiya tracked chassis (

1 - tamiya dual motor gearbox (

1 - dual h-bridge motor controller (

1 - arduino of your choice (I'd recommend a nano) (

1 - wireless playstation 2 controller (

1 - 4 AA or AAA batteries (I love Eneloop but any set will work) 1 - 4 battery holder (make sure you can tap into both 5v and 3v) 1 - soldering iron And some connection wire (I used some 27 gauge stranded)

and some female and male pins. (If you are going to make the controller dongle removable)

Step 2: Assembly

Next, you need to assemble the chassis and gearbox. They both come with detailed instructions on how to assemble them so I won't cover that here.

Step 3: Mounting

Picture of Mounting

Now let's mount the gearbox to the chassis (the same wood chassis that came with the tracked chassis kit). This is going to require some cutting. Unfortunately, this gearbox is not made for this chassis so a little customizing is in order. I used a drummel tool with a cutoff wheel but you can use whatever you like.

Step 4: Modification

Picture of Modification

Now it's time to modifying the ps2 controller's dongle. We are going to need the first 6 pins on the dongle. My brother wanted to also be able to use the controller with our ps2 console so I left the ps2 plug part in tact. However, if you don't want to do this then you can strip it down to the board and make it much smaller. All you need to do is extend the 6 wires to the Arduino on the bottom. I used an old USB cable as 4 of the 6 wires then some stranded wire for the other 2.

Step 5: Prep

Picture of Prep

Next, is desolder all the pins and connectors on the Arduino (except the USB port) and motor controller. This helps to slim down everything so it fits under the axles on the bottom. Be careful though. You'll notice that my motor wires are soldered onto the resistors on the motor controller and that's because when I was desoldering the motor connectors from the board they took some of the copper with them but if you're careful this shouldn't happen.

Step 6: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

Now to start the wiring. The 4 motor control wires are soldered to pins 10, 11, 12, and 13 on the Arduino and the ground to GND and VCC to 3v from the battery pack. The ps2 controller is wired up the same as in this tutorial. Data to pin 2 (with a 10k pullup resistor to 5v), command to pin 3, attention to pin 4, clock to pin 5, VCC to 5v, and ground to GND.

Step 7: Code

Now for the fun part. The Arduino code. First, you'll need to download the ps2x library from here Now you'll need the code. (If you need any help modifying it you can send me an email at, or leave me a comment)

Step 8: Testing

Now for the slightly irritating/fun part. Troubleshooting everything. Unfortunately, this is a part I can't tell you how to fix but as always if you need help just send me an email at or leave me a comment.

Step 9: Time to Party

After troubleshooting it's time to celebrate because you now have an RC tank that is just itching for upgrades and fun. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and if you make one for yourself post about it in the comments I'd love to see it. Thank you for looking and I hope you have a great day.


martenp made it! (author)2017-09-07

awesome tutorial, made a few changes and this is the result :

12.7:1 gear ratio, 1S lithium 18650 battery, seprate power bank to power arduino and reciever.

also changed the code to have pwm control, since the gearing and the battery were faster than in the tutorial i had a real hard time controlling it.

with this configuration i probably could drive it around for 1 hour before the battery runs out .... or use 2 batteries in parallel and drive for 2 hours. Which is quite amazing.

further upgrades planned :

different gearbox that has the axile more in front so that the climbing ability would improve (Sadly that one is 58:1 gear ratio, but i guess i can manage)

2A motor shield, burnt through the 1A shield yesterday.

at one point might add plasma dash motors and a motor shield capable of running them ( 4.1A per motor )

Ajaxjones (author)2017-07-17

which gear ratio did you decide on?

We decided on type C. 114.7 : 1.

Tech enthusiast (author)2017-05-19

If you found this tutorial helpful it would help me out a lot if you voted for me.

Thank you.

Swansong (author)2017-05-19

That's neat, it looks pretty responsive :)

Thanks. The gearbox gives you 4 gear ratios to choose from so you can make it as fast or as powerful as you want. It's pretty nice.

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