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Reverse Engineering an RC Car
Transcript of Reverse Engineering an RC Car
Device Name: Shifter RC Car
Name of Manufacturer: RadioShack
MODEL #: 60-4251
Other RC Vehicle Manufacturers: Air Hogs
History of the Radio-Controlled Car
How An RC Car Works
Parts of the Device and Their Functions
The reason why we chose this RC car as our device is because we had used this toy in the past for fun and thought it would be interesting to find out the processes inside that made it work. We learned that RC cars respond to our commands by sending radio waves, and that an integrated circuit within the car can decode those waves. We found it interesting to learn that toy cars once ran on gas, and found out what was inside of a circuit board. The challenges we faced were the many locks and screws we had to open while taking the device apart, but the entire process was interesting and fun.
by Amrita Palaparthi and Sofia Ferrer 3rd Period
The Radio-Controlled Car is a relatively new invention. It was first sold in 1966 by the Italian company El-Gi. Prior to this, the only RC vehicles were boats and planes. These had only two options for speed: stop and go. The steering on these vehicles was also either left, center, or right, which was not applicable for cars. The RC car's ability to steer in every direction was the cause of its instant popularity. Another RC car pioneer was a British company called Mardave. The cars they produced ran on gas engines.
RC cars are still raced by children of all ages today. This pastime was popular during the early days of the RC car as well. An early organization to hold races in the United States was Remotely Operated Auto Racers, or ROAR.
The RC car then slowly developed into the offroad vehicle we know today. The first off-roader was released in 1984 by Associated Electronics, and contained shock absorbers. Additionally, Gil Losi Jr. founded an organization known as Team Losi, studying injection-molded plastics and creating the first rubber tires for RC cars.
An RC car is a common battery-powered toy. The remote that controls it has two joysticks to control the direction and speed of movement. When a joystick is moved on the remote, the remote sends a radio wave to the car, which is caught by the receiver (antenna). The circuit board in the car then processes the signal sent by the remote and responds by changing the direction and speed at which the wheels turn.
1. outer casing-- keeps all components in one piece
2. Inner casing-- protects small components
3. AA Batteries--supply power to the RC car
4. Front lever/wheel and axle--allow the car to turn and keep moving
5. Rear wheel and axle--allow the car to move forward and backward
6. Springs--act as shock absorbers
7. Motor--converts electricity into motion to move wheels
1. Integrated Circuit--acts as RF amplifier to receive and amplify radio signals
2. Resistor--reduces current flow through the circuit
3. Capacitor--stores electric charge
4. Transistor--uses a small amount of current to control a larger amount
5. Inductor--a coil of wire that resists any change in the amount of current flowing through it
6. Diode--allows electricity to flow in only one direction