Kids RC toy—hack?

Thread Starter

robismod

Joined Sep 22, 2015
217
Curious…we have a kid’s RC toy car with a simple two joystick controller. It’s way too fast/reactive, even for an adult.
Is it feasible that a simple hack could be done to slow it down some?
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,772
More information would be appreciated. By "Too Fast" do you mean the car speeds way too fast? Or do you mean the controls are extremely touchy? One problem means a mod to the car while the other means a possible mod to the controller.
 

Thread Starter

robismod

Joined Sep 22, 2015
217
More information would be appreciated. By "Too Fast" do you mean the car speeds way too fast? Or do you mean the controls are extremely touchy? One problem means a mod to the car while the other means a possible mod to the controller.
Oops, sorry about that…let’s see…
Controls are touchy, or I’d call it very sensitive, but the controller is very small and the joysticks are short, so I can understand that. And yes, the car is “fast”…the slightest movement to a joystick and it seems wide open. And, the right joystick controls right wheel, left controls left wheel…
It’s a car that’s designed to do wheelies, and spin. It does that very well…LOL
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,772
At this point it seems like just two sticks with single action (forward and reverse). Push both controls forward and you're probably switching a switch in each stick, turning both sides of wheels full forward. I'm assuming that if you push one stick forward and the other back the car will spin, much like a tank would if you put left forward and right reverse, the tank would pivot to the right.

A picture or part number or a description of where we can see information on such and we can probably redirect you.

You can answer this: If you push a stick forward can you control the speed of the wheel(s)? If you have speed control then the mods can be more open. Less sensitive stick or less responsive motor(s).
Maybe I could just reduce the output to each wheel motor?…
That's not as easy as you make it sound. Motors draw current. Reducing that current with resistance WILL slow the motors, but depending on how much current they take and the voltage applied, reducing the power to the motor means probably quite a hefty resistor (wattage wise). Thus far all I'm doing is guessing at possible scenarios.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,151
How big is the vehicle? If it’s small, the motor draws an amp or two. I suspect an amp would be sufficient.

You could try placing a diode or two in reverse parallel pairs in one of the motor leads. One diode pair will drop 0.5-0.7 volts to the motor. What I mean by a reverse parallel pair is connect two diodes cathodes to anodes and place them in series with one of the motor leads. Use diodes rated 1 or 2 amps.

You could also try a full bridge rectifier and place the AC terminals in series with a motor lead. It might save space. This will give a 1-1.5 voltage drop to the motor.

You can experiment with a single diode; the motor would only work in one direction but you can see if that slows the motor down sufficiently.

I did this to a large (LGB) model RR engine for a Christmas layout to prevent the kids from running it too fast.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
3,935
"" It’s a car that’s designed to do wheelies, and spin. It does that very well…LOL ""
.
If You calm-down the Reaction-Time, or Motor-Power,
the Toy probably won't Pop-Wheelies and Spin any more.
It will become a lot more boring.
.
.
.
 

Thread Starter

robismod

Joined Sep 22, 2015
217
"" It’s a car that’s designed to do wheelies, and spin. It does that very well…LOL ""
.
If You calm-down the Reaction-Time, or Motor-Power,
the Toy probably won't Pop-Wheelies and Spin any more.
It will become a lot more boring.
.
.
.
Very true. I’m thinking at this point that our latest grand baby would be more satisfied in the long run by being able to “travel” with it. The “wheelie spinning” gets old pretty quick. However, you give plenty of food for thought…
I know—how about a switch to toggle between slow and fast modes? HaHa…
 

Thread Starter

robismod

Joined Sep 22, 2015
217
At this point it seems like just two sticks with single action (forward and reverse). Push both controls forward and you're probably switching a switch in each stick, turning both sides of wheels full forward. I'm assuming that if you push one stick forward and the other back the car will spin, much like a tank would if you put left forward and right reverse, the tank would pivot to the right.

A picture or part number or a description of where we can see information on such and we can probably redirect you.

You can answer this: If you push a stick forward can you control the speed of the wheel(s)? If you have speed control then the mods can be more open. Less sensitive stick or less responsive motor(s).

That's not as easy as you make it sound. Motors draw current. Reducing that current with resistance WILL slow the motors, but depending on how much current they take and the voltage applied, reducing the power to the motor means probably quite a hefty resistor (wattage wise). Thus far all I'm doing is guessing at possible scenarios.
I believe your beginning analogy is right on…
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,772
I knew that. MY suggestion is for DC. Why did you think I thought it was AC?
You could try placing a diode or two in reverse parallel pairs in one of the motor leads.
Forgive me if I fail to see the reason for a reverse polarity diode, but to me it would seem more useful on an AC motor than on a DC motor. I assume you're dropping a Vf. I really don't understand the reverse parallel pairs. Please don't read this in a negative tone, I mean no disrespect.

I had a couple of those cars a long time ago. The grandkids loved them to death. Literally - they died (the cars). The joy sticks were not analog, they were simple switches. The stick was just there to make it appear to be more "Radio Control" (like an RC airplane) but all they did was activate a tactile switch. Two sticks, one for the left, one for the right.

Anyway, it'd be interesting to watch and see what comes of this thread.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,151
Forgive me if I fail to see the reason for a reverse polarity diode, but to me it would seem more useful on an AC motor than on a DC motor. I assume you're dropping a Vf. I really don't understand the reverse parallel pairs
Because the car runs in reverse. If you only had one diode, the motor would only run in one direction. By reversing another diode in parallel, it drops Vf of the diode in both directions.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
17,777
Years ago I had a couple of Radio Shack RC jeeps that ran like that. The reason that the controls seemed so sensitive is because they were switches, not resistors. the options were forward, stopped, and reverse, the directions were Straight Left, and Right. So it was much different from driving i the real world. A lower speed came from a manual PWM mode, shallow turns came feom very quick blips left or right. Driving was interesting, and the scheme was fine for my quite young son.
 
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