Lights Control for Model Cars

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The author gave his partner a radio controlled (RC) model car as a gif t. She found it a lot of fun, but thought that adding realistic lights would be a definite improvement. So the author went back to his shed, plugged in his soldering iron, and set to work equipping the car with realistic indicators, headlights, tail lights and brake lights. The

Lights Control for Model Cars
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basic idea was to tap into the signal from the radio control receiver and, with a bit of help from a microcontroller, simulate indicators using flashing yellow LEDs and brake lights using red LEDs. Further red LEDs are used for the tail lights, and white LEDs for the headlights. Connectors JP4 and JP5 (channel 0) are wired in parallel, as are JP6 and JP7 (channel 1), allowing the circuit to be inserted into the servo control cables for the steering and drive motor respectively. The ATtiny45 micro-controller takes power from the radio receiver via diode D1. T1 and T2 buffer the servo signals to protect IC1`s inputs from damage. IC1 analyses the PWM servo signals and gen-erates suitable outputs to switch the LEDs via the driver transistors. T3 drives the two left indicators (yellow), T4 the two right indica-tors, and T5 the brake LEDs (red). The red tail lights (JP2-8 and JP2-8) and the white head-lights (JP2-9 and JP2-10) are lit continuously. The brake lights are driven with a full 20 mA, so that they are noticeably brighter than the tail lights, which only receive 5 mA. If you wish to combine the functions of tail light and brake light, saving t wo red LEDs, sim-ply connect pin 10 of JP2 to pin 14 and pin 12 to pin 16. Then connect the two combined brake/tail LEDs either at JP2-5 and JP2-6 or at JP2-7 and JP2-8. JP3 is provided to allow the use of a separate lighting supply. This can either be connected to an additional...

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