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Handicap adapted RC controller

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Bspill1

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My goal is to make a standard RC Car controller into something more usable for quadriplegics.

http://www.hitecrcd.com/Radios/RadioHome.htm

The idea is to replace the small delicate joysticks of the stock controller. Using larger and more durable joysticks . I would like to spread them out some and mount them on a panel that could be attached to a wheelchair.

I do not know enough about electronics to deal with the proportional aspect of joysticks. I need to find a single axis joystick that is compatible with the stock controller. A small enough switch that would fit in the mouth for biting that could control acceleration might also be great.

Many quadriplegics are capable of driving their power wheelchairs , with a medium-sized joystick. I am just looking for some electronic advice and resources. Any assistance with this project would be greatly appreciated. I hope to be able to share some fun things with my handicapped friends.

Click on industrial. Click on single axis joysticks.

http://www.happcontrols.com/index.html?http://www.happcontrols.com/main.html!

Please help


Brian
[email protected]
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
The controls in an RC transmitter are simply potentiometers, moved by the joystick. This gives fully proportional control, rather than switched positions - unfortunately it does require a high degree of handling precision. You could replace them with simple switched resistors, where forward is one value, off is another, and reverse is yet another.

A great deal depends on what the RC is required to operate, most RC models need proportional control, so presumably you have something else in mind?.
 

Bspill1

New Member
Thank you very much for the response. I would like to still keep a proportional. I have found a variety of single axis controls at happcontrols.com. There is a link the previous post. I do not understand how to match up proper joystick with the current ratings and proportional values of the controler. I would like to make the controller work as much like the original as possible. And then go from there. I hope I was able to make more sense. Thank you again.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Bspill1 said:
Thank you very much for the response. I would like to still keep a proportional. I have found a variety of single axis controls at happcontrols.com. There is a link the previous post. I do not understand how to match up proper joystick with the current ratings and proportional values of the controler. I would like to make the controller work as much like the original as possible. And then go from there. I hope I was able to make more sense. Thank you again.
You just need to get one with the same value pot as used in the remote control transmitter, bear in mind that a joystick only moves the pot through a very small part of it's travel.

For a start I would get a sample of the RC transmitter you are intending to use and read the value of the pots. I seem to remember they are fairly standard, but I'm not sure of the value - 250K seems to sound familiar, but it might be from something else.
 

Ronn

New Member
Modifiing R/C Tx for Handicaped use

Hi

One thing you might consider, a lot of these transmitters have a buddy system input jack where you can plug in another transmitter in for training purposes, the FMS and other interfaces used for R/C flight simulators use this input as well.
If you look on various web sites there is a fair bit of info on how to use these.

Cheers
Ronn
 

Bspill1

New Member
Right on! I contacted one of the manufacturers about the joystick specifications. Hitec, one of the smaller companies, told me that their joystick uses a 5K on each side of its travel. Sounds like that's all I need to know. I had not thought about utilizing the trainer port. I might be able to do something with that. Thanks for the help guys.
 

Ronn

New Member
current rating

I presume you mean the current rating of the 5k pots. In which case no, the current draw is in the range of only a few milliamps. The only reason you would use wirewound pots is that they generally last longer in this situation. However good quality carbon pots will do just as well.
Dont forget, you need to use linear 'A' pots not 'C' log types

cheers,
Ronn
 

Bspill1

New Member
Good to know . thank you Ron. maybe you could check happcontrols.com for me. There is a five-page catalog , detailing the industrial single axis joystick. Every time I think I am sure I find something else out.
 

Ronn

New Member
Re Joysticks

Instead of the industrial joystick which is bound to cost a lot, might I suggest visiting your local hobbyshop and finding out who the local R/C equipment repair person is.
They usually have a junkbox full of economically unrepairable transmitters with perfectly good complete joystick assemblies.

Also try your local R/C model flying club. There is always at least one person who fiddles with and tends to hoard old R/C gear.

The pots in Transmitters are usually quite small and of good quality, the length of the stick can be adjusted to suit and the spring tension can usually be easily loosened to allow for movement with the head, mouth or even tounge.

Cheers Ronn
 

Bspill1

New Member
I am still concerned with the 2 Wat rating of the joystick I wished to use. Is this power rating relevant to the RC controller
 

Bspill1

New Member
what are the odds of different transmitter manufacturers(futaba, hitec, etc) using the same joystick proportional range (5k potentiometers)? thanks for the help
 
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