DIY Heavy Class R/c Vehicle- (electronics)

About: i am a 20 year college student that goes to HCC Engineering .I am aspiring work in robotics but while i still have time i love to do all kinds of projects that come my way.

ever built or played with a small r/c car and got nowhere but a very flat surface? those little cars can't go much of anywhere and can't carry much of anything either, what you need now is a heavy duty vehicle. Now your in the Pro league. This Instructible will teach you the basics of what you might electronically need to build such a vehicle.

Step 1: Electronics

This will include the all the necessary components to control the bot.... you will need motors around 12v, the motor-controllers that change their speed, signal boosters (for use in my set up),Tx & Rx ( transmitter and receiver),tank signal mixer, main power source, battery for Rx, and chargers for all power sources.(also a fuse or breaker is needed for safety)

Step 2: Motors

The motor i used is from, this company offers many of the parts needed to drive this project. well not just any 12v motor can work this hard. you will need something with a little more 'Umph' or 'kick' you will need a motor that can supply the torque and speed  you need for your desired vehicle.other motors you can use can be scooter motors,electric car motors, and any other large motors. Along with the motors you will need an equally qualified ESC ( motor controller), that can handle the amp draw of the system.....

Step 3: Esc

these are the ones i used for my motors... they can be any make , but they have to be able to stand up to the amp draw.( once again from Vex pro )standard receivers will not be able to transfer the signal, so you will need a signal booster...

Step 4: Signal Boosters

simple inline booster used for in between Esc and Rx....
-PWM Signal Driver

Step 5: Transmitter and Receiver

any transmitter you have will do.if you do not have one ,for a cheap and reliable system, i would recommend Spectrum 2.4ghz radio with receiver....  i use it for all of my new r/c projects.

Step 6: Power

for the radio you will need a receiver battery, that pairs with your Rx. Also you will need the main power source. for this project it has to be generally large because of the power consumed by such a massive machine. i used a 12v 35ah rechargeable..... with this battery you will need a fuse or breaker. i used a auto reset breaker ,so would not have to  reset every time i turn it on (generally the motors have a spiked amp draw when first started up).

Step 7: Tank Mixer

this part is not essential, but very useful in the long run. it takes two channels on the radio and then mixes their outputs so that you can push on toggle forward instead of both when driving tank style....

Step 8: The Rest Is Up to You.. (summary)

you can make it what you want. you can have a tank, a car or any vehicle so desired, in the end what ever you decide make sure you are able to commit to it. After all ,these are expensive projects that take a lot of care ,time ,and money. but in the end its all worth it.

Step 9: My Tank

codename "Shredder"
for its very sharp tank tracks,one brush by and your legs are torn in two. this massive beast weighs in at 50 lbs ,made of mostly high grade aluminum and some wood and clocks in at speeds in excess of 25mph. as you can see shes not quite finished yet. I have to add armor (cover) , a paint job,and a turret mount, along with some little tweaks here and there. This took me over a year to build and over $1500 . but it is worth every cent, "once your in to a project .........there is no way of getting out"

P.s. -for parts you can look at any robot parts store like vex or robot marketplace.



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    19 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Very nice setup. Did you ever get the turret mounted?
    How hard would it be to adapt it to become autonomous and include a camera?


    3 years ago

    Hi there, what size sprocket and chain did you use for the tracks??

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    #35 chain and sprocket,... although, if you have the availability the better option would be chain called 'attachment' chain (it has brackets pre built on to them...), although more expensive, it is beyond worth it, if you can find it.

    ^this is my fb ID I'm telling you because I also built a robot and am thinking to make additions to it I like your chassis very much can you help me make one just like yours if yes then contact me on the above ID (Facebook User name: LivinglikeaDemon). Here are a few pictures of my robot.

    P.S. Its the Black one.

    3 replies

    what part are you referring to? the frame? the tracks?,if the frame its just a thick piece of sheet aluminum thats bent into its shape, that has been first cutout on a plasma cutter.if you are reffering to the tracks that should be easy to tell by the pictures... that and they are a little flawed use double chain instead so you would not have to cut sprocket teeth.

    The whole chain sprocket tires suspension etc... if you still have it please disassemble it and reassemble the bot making a video and post that video. If you can. And can I use an attachment chain ( one of the types of a rolling chain)?

    I am unable to access my tank at this time..suspension system is faulty to say the least... I have redone that part a while ago.. the tracks itself is just roller chain with brackets bolted to every other chain link... if you can, yes use attachment chain if you can find it.. that way you do not have to cut off every other tooth of your sprockets.... the suspension works with a spring that pulls an arm that is attached to a rotation point. all you need is a drive sprocket, a idler sprocket up front and if you can some spring loaded arms with sprockets known as trucks...if you need any more look up homemade rc tank tracks. as before don't forget to look at the other pics in this instructable.. many more pic angles.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you. If it doesn't take too much of your time, could you please explain me how that works? I have a school project on rc tanks and I initially thought of just the skid mechanism but it seemed tricky to control.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    The mixer is sold by , all it does is mix reciever output signals so that the two motors drives it like a tank. the mixer sets it up so that you can use regular steering instead of two throttle sticks for moving ... meaning the left stick is throttle and the right is steering on your remote.

    G.J. Dyason

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Is the track made with bicycle chains? and where did you get those sprockets? I'm planning on building a nitro tank with the suspension of the ripsaw ms1 made by howe and howe tech. Your tank is great inspiration and I'm glad to hear that tracks like yours can handle speed since I intend to go very fast!

    1 reply

    this thing has vex pro parts in it. they are number 35 sprockets and roller chain and work off of cim motors,of which i now learned are useless with the heavy battery on board. all of it you can get from .and in terms of the sprockets i had to machine every other tooth off to get this set up to work. after my experience with those chains i would suggest to use 2 double chains instead of 2 single chains, that way you could do without cutting the sprocket tips off. learn from my mistake... but this setup is the strongest possible,it will take whatever power you put into it. it is extremely strong and able to put a high power motors or engines on it.if you can, stay away from vex, those parts are ridiculously expensive and the motors are rather weak for the chain setup.. i'm assuming your nitro is gas, so.. that should work..Good luck and Happy building!


    5 years ago

    I like ur tank track design and intended to build one resemble to this. What kind of sprocket r u using?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    #35 sprocket with every other tooth machined off, but as i am learning while i am building this, i found that
    it would be worth it to get doubleroller chain and attach the track
    plates to one piece and keep the sprockets whole