OPTION 2 - The Not-So-Simple Approach
2 channel hobby RC transmitter and receiver
2 x 3 pin female to female Servo leads -
available through hobby stores, or make your own
5 pin plug to connect the converter PCB to the
Wheelchair controller's Joystick connector.
RC to Joystick Converter Assembly (Details Below)
Get the Schematic, PCB and Assembly details HERE
all, here's the wheelchair controller box:
The battery charging
socket is on the front panel. The green button is the
main power to the controller. The joystick can be seen
on top - this will be replaced by my controller
On the rear panel is the socket for the main wiring
loom. Above it is a dial used to limit the top speed of
the wheelchair... I mean lawnmower - handy!
Side view. This is a BEC controller with (very old)
Time to dismantle it. Taking off the front
cover, we can plainly see the connector for the joystick
(pic 1 below).
Go about removing the
joystick altogether. Save it for a future project :)
how I made the first controller. I apologize in advance
that this version is a bit of a hack job and a proper
PCB doesn't exist for it. You must make the PCB provided
and perform some modifications to it to get it up to
scratch. Alternatively, you can download the PCB file
provided in the DOWNLOADS
section and modify it yourself before building.
If this doesn't
appeal, I am working on version 2.0 which is MUCH
simpler and easier to build (not to mention cheaper).
If you're REALLY keen
to get yours going, maybe the
SIMPLE approach will do until Version2.0?
Otherwise, here's how
I got Version1.0 going:
Get the PCB file and
Schematic from the
The Schematic is up
to date and if you're savvy on reading this, you can
tell what modifications need to be done. Unfortunately,
I don't have the schematic that matches the PCB :(. I
accidentally over-wrote it :-x
See the pics below for
extra details (click to enlarge and show modification
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
The next step is to
squeeze the controller interface along with the RC
Receiver into the original wheelchair controller box.
First, pop the end
off the box (only 2 screws on mine)
Before it all went
back together, I needed an exit hole for the receiver's
antenna, so using a hole that was already in the
controller (previously a mounting hole), I took an M5
bolt, drilled a hole thorugh the centre of it, and
placed it through the mounting hole from the inside
Then I threaded the
antenna wire through it from the inside like the pics
below. Getting the controller box open was tricky at
first. It required two long brass pieces of wire to be
knocked out through two channels near the joins on the
two halves of the box. Once I worked that out, it was
easy to split it open.
Once it was all back
together, I sealed the hole where the joystick with a
custom perspex cover my mate Jamie made (thanks dude!).
This way I could see the calibration LEDs easily
everytime I turned on the controller.
Lastly, I made a
strong, but flexible antenna tube out of a black
irrigation sprinkler riser and screwed it down onto the
exposed thread of the bolt where the antenna wire exited
the controller box.
Voi la! The
controller is done!