Introduction: Remote Control Altoids Tin

Altoids tins are great and can be used for lots of different things. This is due to their durability and accessibility. In this Instructable, I will be showing you how to make a remote control Altoids Tin.

Step 1: What You Will Need

What you will need:

  • -Altoids Tin
  • -RC helicopter (I had an old RC helicopter that had motors that still worked, but its flying days were definitely over.)
  • -Hand Drill
  • -Different sized drill bits
  • -Rubber bands
  • -Corks (you can choose the size, but I got the smallest they had)
  • -Double Sided Foam tape
  • -Mechanical Pencil
  • -Electrical tape
  • -Sand paper
  • -Super glue
  • -Possibly a Solder (If it comes to that)

Step 2: Scrap the Helicopter

You are going to need to take apart the helicopter and scrap it for the needed motors.

Unscrew all of the screws in the armor. The motors will most likely be fastened in small holes that hold them into place. To get these out, you can just push them out with a screw driver.

******BE CAREFUL OF THE WIRES!!!********

The wires are very thin and DELICATE! When you are taking apart the helicopter, you have to be very careful to not accidentally pull out any of the wires. You can always solder them back into place, but it is always nice if you can avoid the extra work.

You are only going to need the circuit board, motors, and the battery attached. I just cut off the two extra wires that were connected to the tail motor. You only need the two that are inside the armor.- not the one in the back.

Step 3: Drill the Holes in the Altoids Tin

When you are drilling the holes in the Altoids Tin, it is very important that you start off with a small bit. I tried to skip the gradual increase in bit size and it ended up denting the Altoids Tin material. I was able to un-dent it, but it is just easier to start out small and go bigger and bigger.

Total of 6 holes

Front:The motors have a diameter that is close to 1/4 inch. This means that you are going to need to drill bigger than this. Not too big, but this way they will be able to easily fit. The two front holes where the motors will go should have a hole just bigger than 1/4 inch. (total of 2 holes)

Back:The back two holes should have a diameter of about 1/4. You do not need to go bigger on these holes. (total of 2 holes)

*The placement of the holes is up to you, but I did it about 5/8 inch from both ends.

Sensor: It is really important that you drill a hole in the front, bottom, center, of the Altoids tin. This is where the sensor will be, and if it is blocked, it will not receive the signals from the remote. It is about 1/4 inch. (total of 1 hole)

LED: The LED hole is fairly small. It is about a 1/8 inch hole, and it is just off to the right of the sensor hole. You can place it wherever you want, but I just wanted the light to be able to come out from the front. (total of 1 hole)

Step 4: Take Apart the Pencil

I just took apart a mechanical pencil and used the inside tunnel as an axle for the back wheels. I couldn't find anything else and it turned out it worked pretty well. I had to trim it a bit but nothing serious.

Make sure it fits through the back holes- you might have to tweak it a bit.

Step 5: Cork Wheels

I used some small corks for the wheels.

I tweaked the wheels a bit and bulked them up so they would have better grip. I used foam tape and wrapped less than 1/4 inch width around the ends of the wheels. (larger end) You will most likely have to used more than one strip to make it around the wheel's width. I then got a rubber band (preferably thick) and cut it so it would fit around the wheels edge. I super glued it down because the foam tape wasn't quite strong enough.

*it did bulk it up though.

I then repeated this process because on each wheel I wanted them to have traction. (even on back)

However, on the front wheels I did it twice so they would be extra big. This is of course optional.

I also sanded down the Cork wheels a bit so they weren't as long.

Step 6: Fastening the Cork Wheels

When I put the cork wheels on, I had to be very careful to not drill too big of a hole or else the axles and motors would not fit snugly.

I drilled the holes so the axles would have a place to fit into. On the back wheels, I filled the holes with some superglue, then brushed the outer ends of the pencil tube. I held it in place for a few seconds. ***Try to get them as straight as possible because if you don't the wheels will not roll as smoothly as you would like.

With the front wheels, I drilled a REALLY small hole because I wanted the small metal poles to fit as snugly as possible. I pushed the wheels all the way up against the motor face, but left enough room for them to still rotate freely. Again I used super glue to fasten these into place.

***I used the Krazy Glue with a brush because it was easier to aim where I wanted it.

Step 7: Internal Organizing

I put the circuit board in the center front so the sensor would be right where the hole was drilled.

I placed the battery on the wall inside the Altoids tin so it wouldn't get in the way of the axle and the back wheels.

The LED goes right next to it. (left if you're looking at bird's eye view)

All of these I put into place with the foamy double sided tape.

With the motors, I rolled a layer of foamy double sided tape around them and stuck them in the holes. If you drilled the holes right, there should be absolutely no wiggle room whatsoever for the motors to jostle around. I then secured them even more with some electrical tape over the top.

Now you can PLAY!!!

P.S. If you liked my instructable, vote for it in the Tech Contest!


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