You might be wondering what you can do with an RC car that doesn’t have a remote if you have an old one laying around, find one at a garage sale, or find one at a friend’s house.
The RC car will obviously be something you want to keep and utilize, but how can you accomplish it without a remote?
After the remote is broken or lost, there are a few different ways you can still operate an RC car. The two simplest options are to buy a new remote control or upgrade the RC car so that it can be driven using a mobile device.
We used the word “easy” to describe both of these possibilities, but it is clear that one is much simpler than the other.
Setting up your RC car to accept controls from a phone or app is significantly more difficult than finding a new remote that would work with it.
That does not, however, imply that you should pick the option that is the simplest. It might be advantageous to update the RC car so that it can be operated with a mobile device if it is an expensive model or a custom-built vehicle.
Some people enjoy the more contemporary features of the hobby, but I personally prefer the feel of the vintage controllers to using my phone. To assist you to choose which choice will work best for you and which one you should take, we will go into more depth about each of the options stated above in the remaining sections of this post.
Remote Control or Radio-Controlled
Another name for remote-controlled cars is radio-controlled vehicles. Even though remote-controlled cars are operated from a distance and radio-controlled cars are operated by radio waves, in today’s society these two names are frequently used to refer to the same vehicles. Therefore, radio-controlled and remote-controlled vehicles are essentially the same. To function, any remote-controlled vehicle needs a radio system. Remote controls can broadcast radio signals to an appropriate receiver by using a hand-held transmitter mounted on the remote control automobile. The receiver then transforms the signals into action commands, which are sent to the hardwired components so they may carry out the instructions via electronic or mechanical processes.
You might be asking if these remote controls are interchangeable and if you can use one from a different model or brand for your RC car if you’ve lost or broken the remote control for it.
You can use several makes and models of RC remote controls interchangeably, but you’ll need one that operates on the same frequency as your original and related controllers.
For instance, you wouldn’t use a remote control from an RC plane to operate an RC boat. To make another RC controller compatible with your RC car, you can also change it. You can alter your car’s frequency if the frequency of your car and the replacement remote are not the same.
Get Your Rc Car a New Remote
By far, this is the simplest procedure to follow, especially if you have a nearby hobby store or if the RC car isn’t that old. Replacement remotes for more recent RC cars should be accessible at any hobby store or even online.
If the RC car is more recent, you might only need to purchase the transmitter (remote) and tune it to the correct frequency. You should get a new remote that includes both the transmitter and receiver if the remote is for an older remote-controlled automobile or if you have trouble finding a replacement for it.
Even though buying the transmitter and receiver together will typically cost a bit more, doing so is frequently simpler than attempting to locate the best controller for your RC vehicle. You should be aware that buying a new controller and receiver is not exactly affordable, so if you have a name-brand low-cost RC car, it might actually be less expensive to buy a BRAND NEW one! This has become increasingly true in recent years as generic and off-brand products become more readily available online.
Link Your Rc Vehicle to Your Phone
Although it is widely believed that this approach is extremely expensive, if you do it yourself, you can usually complete the task for approximately the same cost as purchasing a new remote and receiver.
While they both cost about the same, it takes far more time to manage your remote-controlled car using a phone.
The first RC car you acquired or gave to one of your kids certainly brings back pleasant memories when you hear the words “RC car.” Though the distance between you and the automobile can’t be too long or you risk losing the signal, you can simulate the feel of the remote in your fingers as the engine buzzes through the house or around the driveway. Today, you have the option of using your phone to operate your remote-control car!
How Can You Use My Phone to Drive an Rc Car?
Some of the most recent RC car types are capable of being operated via a smartphone. To be able to use your device to operate an older RC car, you will need to take some time and make some adjustments to your device.
Most remote-control automobiles do not have phone control capabilities out of the box. Continue reading to learn how to make your old RC car smartphone-controllable!
How Can You Tell if My Remote Control Car Can Be Operated with Your Phone?
If you want to be able to operate your RC car with your phone, there are few features you should look for when buying one. The Bluetooth feature will be the most important one. There is a good probability you can download an app to gain control to your device if the automobile has Bluetooth functionality.
Some remote-control cars are offered with full smartphone control. This will likely be the simplest method to ensure that your RC car can be operated with your phone, if you can find one of these gadgets.
When buying an RC car online, the majority of them list their capabilities in the product description or on the packaging (if purchasing at a local store). It is a sure bet that you won’t be able to manage the vehicle using your smartphone if the description or box don’t mention it.
There Is No Phone Control Capability for Your Vehicle, What to Do Next?
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have an RC car with a remote that no longer functions, that you are tired of buying remote batteries, that you have misplaced the remote, or that you simply want to simplify and use your phone instead of the remote.
Whatever your purpose for reading this post may be, there are a few things you can do to easily drive your remote-controlled automobile.
Recognize that while you are getting ready to modify your RC car, it will need time, patience, and you will need to get the right supplies to perform the task properly.
You’ll Need the Following Elements in Order to Add the Phone Control Capability:
- Arduino Nano
- L298N Motor Driver
- HC05 Bluetooth Module
- 18650 Li-ion Battery(2ps)
- Old RC Car
- Male to Female and Female to Female Jumper.
- Arduino Bluetooth RC Car App
- Soldering materials
- Hot glue
This is not a comprehensive list of everything you might need to turn your car into a smartphone-controlled vehicle. You can convert your car using a variety of techniques, but one of the simplest is the one on the list above.
You can transform your car using a ton of online techniques. When looking for ways to convert your car, use caution because some might seem very simple, but they actually take much more work and require you to write your own coding in a certain program. You might not want to take this approach if you are not very tech knowledgeable.
Although the aforementioned assets need installing an app, there is no computer code required, making the conversion very simple.
The longest part of this project will probably be the time spent gathering your materials. It will be crucial that you become familiar with the items you will be using if this is a work you have never accomplished before.
Even if their use is straightforward, you still need to be able to tie your objects together. Reading and watching videos online are the greatest ways to get familiar with the materials. Most likely, you found a technique for converting your car that you would like to utilize. Prior to starting, spend some time reading the instructions or viewing tutorial videos.
It’s crucial to make sure you have the right tools when getting ready to turn your automobile into a Bluetooth-capable vehicle. You don’t want to start a project only to discover that you are missing some supplies and will have to wait a few days for them to arrive.
Step-by-Step Preparation for Converting the Rc Car
You are prepared to start the project now that you have the resources. Make sure you have provided yourself with adequate time and space to finish the job before you start.
Make sure your workstation is free of anything that could potentially be harmed before starting this activity because it is not a good idea to do it on an irreplaceable antique table or close to anything valuable. You’ll likely tell yourself, as you would with any pastime or person in general, that you’ll be cautious and nothing bad will happen.
Believe us! No matter how often you say it, Murphy’s Law still holds true. You can’t stop everything that happens, so take the time to set up your office.
Set out the tools you’ll need for the project, along with your work mat. Even though it could be a touch excessive, a checklist will be useful at this time. My free-spirited buddies are rolling their eyes while all of you type A types are cheering this.
You can connect your Arduino to your computer if it is on and nearby. Keep in mind that the computer software will need to write the code, not you, in order to correctly connect your car to your phone.
Your computer can upload the code to the Arduino if you connect it to it. Once you’ve established the connection, you won’t have to worry about completing numerous steps to load the code onto your device because the Arduino business does an excellent job with a step-by-step setup.
Take out your phone and install the appropriate app—in this example, the Arduino Bluetooth RC Car—on it.
Prepare to connect each component’s wires. Each module must be properly positioned and its wiring connections must be precise. You may discover a wide selection of diagrams online. To ensure that the wiring is done correctly, make sure to choose one that matches what you can see on your RC car.
Get ready to attach the modules to your RC vehicle. You should use hot glue to secure the modules while mounting them. Hot glue is NOT being used on the wires! Only the hot glue is used to keep the module in place. For the wires, solder will be used.
You must solder your wires so they remain intact when the module is placed.
You are prepared to rebuild your RC car once you have successfully soldered the wires. Make sure not to pull or snag any wires as you reinstall the body onto the vehicle. To maintain the structural integrity of your car’s body, make sure to replace all necessary screws.
Turn on the remote control car and pair it with your Bluetooth device using the RC car App.
Start the automobile and have fun driving.
You are now prepared to use your phone to control your remote-control car after finishing this project. But what if the phone connection to the car is unsuccessful? What ought you to do?
You may be getting to the point of frustration at this point from working so hard on this assignment for so long. Don’t give up. It can probably be fixed easily.
Use the steps below to examine your work.
1. Check the settings on your phone. Is Bluetooth enabled on your device? Is the RC car’s switch turned on?
If the answers to both questions were affirmative and nothing is transpiring, it is time to dig a little more.
2. Please use brand-new batteries,
- If so, move on to the next phase.
- If not, try your car and change the batteries.
3. Are you positive your computer program and the Arduino have been fully integrated? If you want to be sure the programming was done correctly and without any mistakes, you might need to re-plug the component into your computer system.
If the Arduino is correctly programmed, you should inspect your wiring after that.
The car won’t operate if any of the cables are improperly connected. For the car to function, there MUST be a complete and closed circuit.
4. Examine the wires. Do they all share a connection?
If so, move on to the next phase.
If the answer is no, pause, and establish the appropriate connection. After completing this, try starting your vehicle once more (before putting it all together again).
5. Did you connect the car’s battery properly?
- If so, continue to the next phase.
- If the answer is no, halt and connect the battery wiring.
6. It’s time to take the module out of the automobile body to give it a closer look whether all the wires are connected and seem to be linked correctly. Examine the wiring and soldering that you accomplished carefully after removing the module from the automobile.
Now is the moment to correct any loose wires or solder joints.
Check the locations where the wires are clipped together as well. To ensure the connection is made, the clips occasionally need to be pressed in firmly.
7. Without the module attached, try starting the vehicle once more.
Re-attach the module to the car if it functions properly, and you are now ready to go.
You might need to disassemble the modules and start over if it doesn’t work.
An exciting yet time-consuming project is adapting an RC car to work with your smartphone. Congratulations if the conversion was successful! Don’t give up if the project didn’t go exactly as you had hoped! Most likely, the mistake was fairly easy, and it will assist to repeat the procedure.
Make sure the electronic component isn’t malfunctioning, as with anything involving electronics. It’s always possible that the component is flawed. Of course, completing the same task repeatedly can be very frustrating (especially if the problem was the part and not an error on your part).
You can always get in touch with the business that sold you the goods if you believe the problem is not mechanical but rather human error. For circumstances like this, the majority of tech companies provide excellent customer service.
Prepare to be patient, learn something new, and enjoy your newly modified RC car!
United States Air Force veteran (SSgt), who is dedicated to making a difference. Her experiences in the Air Force and as a Writer.
Ashlynd Flowers loves writing about RC cars, RC buggies, and RC trucks. She has a passion for these vehicles and loves to write about them in a way that is both educational and fun. Ashlynd is a contributing writer for RCBEE.NET. She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to RC vehicles, and her articles are sure to be enjoyable and informative for readers.