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PICList Thread
'[EE]: RC toy encoding'
2002\07\15@204824 by Spehro Pefhany

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Anyone have a handle on what modulation and encoding scheme(s) are used for
radio controlled toys?

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"             Info for manufacturers:
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:
9/11 United we Stand

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2002\07\15@223528 by kben

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I spent some time looking at the RadioShack Steering control
module. If this is of iterest let me know. I replaced the RC
component with an IR LED pic module and the steering control
with another pic circuit. As such I did not look at the RC signals
of the original controller.

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2002\07\16@133713 by Magnus von Rosen


In case you are asking about the actual RF signals... I haven't a clue! :)
But it wouldnt be that hard to plug the antenna into an oscilliscope, would
it? It's only about 27Mhz... (I'm not sure if that works)

If you want to know how the pulses from the Receieveing unit of a normal R/C
car goes: easy peasy:
the pulse is between 1 and 2 milliseconds long, followed by an 18-25 ms
pause (the pause is a bit random and changes between brands)
If the pulse is 1 ms, it would mean for instance turning hard left. 2 ms
pulse means hard right. Going straight forward means a 1.5 ms pulse.

There is some information available on the net on this, try searching google
or mail me again. (I have some links at work)

Greetings from Sweden,
Magnus von Rosen

{Original Message removed}

2002\07\17@141406 by Peter L. Peres

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On Mon, 15 Jul 2002, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

>Anyone have a handle on what modulation and encoding scheme(s) are used for
>radio controlled toys?

The most common is pulse train. You send CW for a reset time, say 10ms,
then a number of pulses, between 0 and 16, then repeat. The receiver uses
a binary counter and some gates that implement a state machine like: (long
transmit) -> latch counter outputs -> reset counter ->idle (short
pulse)->increment counter. With 4 bits you can use 4 independent channels
(2 motors f/r/stop f.ex.). There is another scheme that uses a shift
register built of flipflops and PWM pulses. Better toys use
digital-proportional modulation with a servo on at least one channel
(steering) and a crude PWM motor driver for traction. Then the encoding is
the same as for RC (0.5-1.5msec per channel, 20msec frame).


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