Introduction: RF Control System for R/C Vehicle Based on Arduino and NRF24L01

The aim of this project is to build a transmitter and a receiver by using a cheap and easy to use component such as Arduino UNO, Arduino Nano, and nRF24L01 transceiver. This project is a simple and easy to implement and can be a good start point for beginners.

Step 1: ​What You Will Need:

Step 2: Connect the NRF24L01 Module

these connections are applied for both, The transmitter and the receiver

Step 3: Connect the Joystick and the LED to the Transmitter

And connect the LED as following:

  • LED+ --> Arduino Nano D2 pin
  • LED- --> Arduino Nano GND
  • 2k2 Resistor --> LED+

Step 4: Connect the ESC and the Servo to the Receiver Board

IMORTANT NOTE: if you have a similar ESC Never connect the ESC’s red wire to the Arduinoboard because it may damage it

Step 5: Power Source

  • I've attached this header to the battery -as shown in picture- in order to deliver a power to the Arduino on the receiver side, or you can use a separated battery for the Arduino board.
  • for the transmitter you can use any power source as you wish

Step 6: Programming the Arduinos

  1. Download the RF24 Library from here
  2. The sketch is available at github and it is full commented, or you can download it from the attachments.

Step 7: Video and Pictures

Enjoy It!

And please vote for me ?


md arif uddin made it! (author)2016-12-11


mujahed1987 made it! (author)2016-12-10

Hi All,

I am sorry for not answering your questions, I am very busy nowadays. I am planning in the future to relaunch this project in version two and do it using a communication protocol to make it more stable, also I have to update the code so it works with new nrf24l01 library updates. Thanks for your understanding my situation. I'll come back soon

remaa made it! (author)2016-08-24

hi sir, i have to control the robot car project. Where the rear wheels in the form of a dc motor is controlled with flex sensors and front wheels in the form of a servo motor controlled by the accelerometer sensor. Robot controller with a car connected with nrf24l01. if one of the sensors to control I can. but if it combines both to control I can not. Both sensors transmit data simultaneously . dc motors and servo motors confused receive data so that its movement is chaotic. How should I fix this? can you help me.? Can I send my program to you and you see.? Please. My email:

rpangga made it! (author)rpangga2016-12-09


panto52 made it! (author)2016-11-29

Hello Mujahed, nice work!

I'm starting out with Arduino, but always passionate rc model.

I wanted to ask if you can edit your listings for running two joystick and four servants.

Thank you

LeonS66 made it! (author)2016-11-25

Hey mujahed, nice work!

I have a little question, the code for te receiver does not compile in my case?

In the while loop on the botoom is the failure:

" done = received_data, num_received_data );

exit status 1

void value not ignored as it ought to be"

What does the function give back? Does it get a boolean type?

Thanks for your help,


LeonS66 made it! (author)LeonS662016-11-25

Okay found the problem.

You have to definetly use the library linked in part 6.

The Library from the repo in ArduinoIDE will not work!

moiseslimacosta1 made it! (author)2016-09-21

yes i vote in YOU,




moiseslimacosta1 made it! (author)moiseslimacosta12016-09-21

Nice work. ;-)

JamesW342 made it! (author)2016-06-20

The Code for the ESC will work with Unbranded brushless ESC's

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872016-06-21

thank you for your not
but as in my part list
the ESC that I was working with is this one
and I can not confirm that if it could work with others

JamesW342 made it! (author)JamesW3422016-09-11

What i meant was I got it working with Modification Using this brushless ESC

JurisP1 made it! (author)2016-09-08

Hello! Nice project You have here! I think I am gonna to try it, I love to modify RC stuff and experiment. I wonder, would it be hard to add several buttons on remote? To control lights on car, and other possible uses? Thanks!

AhmetY5 made it! (author)2016-03-09

Hi.project for thanks.

What should I do rc car to go more slowly.

JodyK5 made it! (author)2015-12-08

void value not ignored as it ought to be

"done = received_data, num_received_data );"

// Fetch the payload, and see if this was the last one.
done = received_data, num_received_data );
ESC_value=received_data[0]*10; //Multiplication by 10 because the ESC operates for vlues around 1500 and the nRF24L01 can transmit maximum of 255 per packet
// Serial.println(ESC_value);
mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-12-08

you maybe not installed and included the nRF24 library
you can download it from here

please confirm if you did, or paste the full code if you wrote your own and if you used my code please describe the steps you did

zwiky made it! (author)zwiky2016-02-09


I have the same problem than Jodyk5 and abhilesh. I had installed the nrf24 library.

Have you a solution for this problem ?


MR MJ made it! (author)2016-01-07

What type of servo is needed, digital or analog?

EleCtROniX GeNiuS made it! (author)2015-12-12

Your project is awesome but I have a small doubt:Will the 2 nrf24l01 modules will connect to each other when powered using an arduino or we have to setup it using a computer every time we power it ??

Nguyễn VănK made it! (author)Nguyễn VănK2015-12-14

ofcourse if you declare the same address
watch my video for more!

JodyK5 made it! (author)2015-12-09

thank you is already working.

so..... whether working with ps2 controller...?

abhilesh made it! (author)2015-10-23

i keep coming across this error in void function"void loop",void value not ignored as it ought to be...??pls let me know if u can...

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-10-24

Can you add a screen shot so it help me to understand the error more precisely

GUitartexan made it! (author)2015-09-27


You are very helpful to this community.

I am using Arduino nano boards with nrf24l01 and a potentiometer to control a servo. I am not using an ESC. Do I just delete the ESC lines and substitute "potentiometer" for "joystick"?

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-09-29

Yes you are right and you are very welcome for your comment

KubilayY made it! (author)2015-08-26

Hello, I'm collecting the materials. the ESC that you use 320A. If I buy Gartt20A that would be okay?

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-08-26


The Gartt20A ESC is for the brushless motor so:
1- it is not compatible with the brushed motor as the one in my project. You have to buy a brushless motor or look for a brushed-motor-ESC
2- I can't tell if the code will work with this model, you have to search and try by your self

Please keep us with updates.


KubilayY made it! (author)KubilayY2015-08-29

Thanks another question. Is 7.4 V 1500 mAh would be problem?

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-08-29

No problem but the battery capacity is slightly less what makes it executed a little faster

KubilayY made it! (author)KubilayY2015-09-10

Hi again, when I was collecting the materials, I've opened a topic in one of the electronic forums. They said you can't use ESC with servo motors you should use servo motor control circuit what made me really confused now.

matstermind made it! (author)2015-09-07

Thanks for the instructable. I just built it and it works, however the transmission is "pulsed". If I tell it to steer slowly the servo updates its position every second(ish) instead of a constant turning. Is there a way to speed up the data transfer, or is there something else going on?


mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-09-07


You are welcome.

In the code I wrote the data are transmitted continuously without any delay. You have to check your code if you made any changes.

matstermind made it! (author)matstermind2015-09-07

Found the problem, transmitter batteries were almost dead :P

matstermind made it! (author)matstermind2015-09-07

Thanks for the reply, but I did not make any changes

saifooon made it! (author)2015-07-23

I made it but have an issue
I'm just connecting 1servo with no esc
but the servo moved until I changed its direction fast for about 3 to 6 times then its stop responding
I must push resets button to make it wark again .
can u help me ?

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-07-26

Have you made any changes on the code? If yes, let me see your code please

alys5 made it! (author)2015-06-09

hello nice instructable (would there be a place in the reciver for 4 small dc motor that I can control them with pwm and direction and place for the nrf24l01 but this project I don't need the servo and the esc )((btw my reciver is a arduino uno r3 )) thanks for advance

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-06-09

Thank you for compliment.
The arduino UNO has 6 PWM output pins
The nRF24 module uses 2 of them (pin 10 and pin 11)
The remaining is 4 PWM output pins which can be used to connect your 4 motors.
I have to remind that you must use a suitable way to control the motors (for example a H-bridge motor controller ) so you the arduino will not be damaged

alys5 made it! (author)alys52015-06-11

thanks you so much for your help but I have only one last question what do you think Is better in range and data sending and reciving quality nrf24 or rf 315 module (thanks for help your a great man)

joln made it! (author)2015-05-20

Hello ! Nice project, thanks for sharing

would it be possible to do this with 2 nano ?

by the way, I have read somewhere that the nano wasn't able to provide the 3.3 v when powered externally, is that true ?


mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-05-20


would it be possible to do this with 2 nano ?

Sure you can.

by the way, I have read somewhere that the nano wasn't able to provide the 3.3 v when powered externally, is that true ?

No, that is Not true, it will provide the 3.3v see the attached images with this comment. I did this experiment right now

joln made it! (author)joln2015-05-21

ok thanks for your response,

maybe the 3.3v bug is only present on chinese clone that work with CH340G chip

is your nano an official or chinese ?

joln made it! (author)joln2015-05-23

edit: I have received my chinese nano today, and the 3.3v output workeven on external source

link of my nano :

aditya jindal made it! (author)2015-05-16

i want to connect two joystics on the transmitter side and 4 servos and esc on the receiver side. how can i do it?

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-05-17

this addition need a lot of work. send me a private message if you are really interested

aditya jindal made it! (author)aditya jindal2015-05-19

Where do i send u a private message. Thanks

88festivasam made it! (author)2015-04-17

hi, how hard would it be to modify this project to use 2 drive motors and just reverse polarity for turning? also i would like to use 2 joysticks one for each motor. kind of like tank controls or a zero turn mower

mujahed1987 made it! (author)mujahed19872015-04-18

hi, I can not say it is hard or easy because it depends on the person knowledge for me it is easy for another it may be much harder.

Technically to use two drive motors you have to remove the part which is responsible about the steering-servo, then to duplicate that part of moving the car forward/backward.

MOSAB NIROUKH made it! (author)2015-04-16

hugh.armstrong.104 made it! (author)2015-02-17

Thank you for the instructions, I will let you know how it turns out, Please keep up providing this kind of instruction and information'

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