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Slowing down my helicopter remote? Answered

Ok so I have a helicopter. The remote is very cheap for it. I was wonder if I could put a resistor on the left/right control knob to slow it down. The knob goes in increments, but the increments are too fast. If I put a resistor there, would it slow the increments down?

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TomdfBest Answer (author)2013-03-23

I've got a cheapy that I have the same problems with (http://www.rcmania.com/air-hogs-pocket-copter/). To me it feels like the potentiometers that are connected to the control sticks are total crap, and since the sticks are so short even the slightest movement equates to a large change in the potentiometer. So instead of being slowed down, what the remote needs is better joystick sensitivity.

See, the microcontroller in the remote is checking the voltage value of the control stick potentiometer with an ADC so it can then apply the appropriate speed to the motor. (https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-2-Servos-Thumbstick-joystick/#intro)

If you were to add a resistor in series with the pot, it would be the same as if you were just pushing the stick a little forward. (This is actually part of what the trim is there to compensate for, slight differences in potentiometer values.)

I never did try to fix it, but my idea was to take the potentiometers out and replace them with some from an xbox control (assuming they are the same value.) If that didn't work, the next plan was to get a mulit-turn potiometer attached to some kind of thumb wheel so that the control could be precisely dialed in. A mutli-turn would also be nice because, without springs, it would stay in the position you left it in, which I think makes controlling altitude much easier.

You could also try simply making the sticks longer by gluing something like part of a ball-point pen tube to the end of it, making the geometry work more in your favor.

If you were really devoted / nuts , you could build a totally new remote by figuring out the control code and sending it over your own transmitter. http://hackaday.com/2012/03/23/decoding-then-cloning-an-ir-helicopter-toys-control-signals/

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HavocRC (author)Tomdf2013-03-25

Yeah that would be a good idea to change the pots. Yes, guess I could replace the pots all together! Maybe I'll buy and experimental aircraft and try that!

Thanks!

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steveastrouk (author)2013-03-23

See if you can measure the performance of the sticks. It might be that they're causing the problem, if they are damaged. Worth trying to see if the output volts is proportioanl to stick position, at least crudely

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HavocRC (author)2013-03-22

Haha you don't realize that I fly 6 channel helicopters, helicopters that fly upside down. This helicopter's remote is just junk. I move it as slow as possible and it's just like jerk, jerk!

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frollard (author)HavocRC2013-03-22

That's terrible! I hate low quality 'junk' -- just makes it harder than necessary! I really want to give the true 4+ channel copters a try but it makes for expensive mistakes while learning! Probably gonna stick to a quad/optocopter :)

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HavocRC (author)frollard2013-03-22

Yes I LOVE my quadcopter! Actually it's my first helicopter and my favorite! The only problem is it's terribly beat up and it's getting a little mentally ill (after I flew it into the pool ;-) !!!!!
I'll buy some replacement parts for it and my 6 channel soon (I flew my 6 channel upside-down at full speed into the POWER LINES!!!!) so I can get back to flying.

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rickharris (author)2013-03-22

Not easily - Practice will allow you to get used to it.

Your rc control works by sending a variable width pulse - The control know effects the width of this pulse - If you change anything you effect the top speed or maximum movement This may not be a good idea.

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HavocRC (author)rickharris2013-03-22

Hmm, I guess that would mess it up. What about a capacitor like iceng said?

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frollard (author)HavocRC2013-03-22

agreed with rick: I've got a couple cheapies, and you just have to RELAX when flying them - sudden big movements are sure to cause a crash; just force yourself to go slowly!

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iceng (author)2013-03-22

Remember one of your previous answers.

Capacitors slow things down ( Integrate and appreciate :)

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