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Old Feb 16, 2015, 02:50 PM
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United States, OR, Redmond
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Foot Operated Throttle for Cancer Patient?

Hello,

My friend's 12 year old son has brain cancer. He lost the use of the left side of his body and can no longer play with his R/C cars and planes.

He uses a pistol grip type tx with the small wheel on the side.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to connect a potentiometer to give him a gas pedal to push with his foot? The pedal assembly is something I can have built, just need help with the electronics.

I have a 5K ohm Curtis PB-6 pot box full size electric cars use to signal the controller, but don't know if it's compatible. Any advice appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 12:34 AM
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United States, UT, Herriman
Joined Jan 2012
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If the radio has a trainer port, you could probably feed a PPM signal in there and have it control the throttle. What radio are you working with? I'm sure we can get something going for you.
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 01:19 AM
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SF Bay Area, CA
Joined Jul 2002
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It might be possible to adapt one of the foot pedals that's used in computer racing car games. I see these things with their steering wheels at thrift shops (Salvation Army, Goodwill) all the time for next to nothing. The base is a good size to prevent moving around too much and the better ones' are weighed. The steering wheel might be useful if he's interested in RC cars too. The pots inside a typical pistol grip transmitter are usually 5K ohm so all you'd have to do is install a connector to the transmitter, disconnect the wires from the internal pot and connect them to this connector. You can then connect the foot pedal to the transmitter through that connector.
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 05:43 AM
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Pontefract, Yorkshire, UK
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Would a PC-style joystick suit him, with steering via left-right joystick and throttle on the trigger?
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 06:20 AM
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SF Bay Area, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil_g View Post
Would a PC-style joystick suit him, with steering via left-right joystick and throttle on the trigger?
That's an excellent idea, a joystick for flight simulators. Problem is, on most of them the finger trigger is an on/off switch and not proportional. But, some have rudder control where the joystick itself rotates. This can easily be adapted to throttle control instead, or steering and have the throttle on the joystick; push forward for, well, forward and pull back for reverse. Not sure of exactly which sticks can do this, but I do know that Microsoft made one called the Sidewinder Precision 2. I believe it to be out of production, but widely available on eBay. This article from Tom's Hardware might be of some interest/use:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ion,386-2.html

Perhaps someone from the "RC-USB Joystick Files" threads can offer some help: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=508122
I hope that you don't mind that I've already posted a request for help there.

Best of luck with your project. I only wish I were closer in order to give some hands-on help.

-Wes
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Last edited by babblefish; Feb 17, 2015 at 06:47 AM.
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 12:16 PM
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United Kingdom, England, Luton
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Could just use a normal plane type transmitter and have steering and throttle / brake on the same stick ?
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 03:16 PM
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Kansas City
Joined Dec 2009
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If the transmitter you're using already has at least one spare potentiometer (either throttle or trigger), can you just wire the foot pedal's potentiometer in its place with a length of wire (2 meters or so)?
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 05:44 PM
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SF Bay Area, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddiesel View Post
Could just use a normal plane type transmitter and have steering and throttle / brake on the same stick ?
Heh, the simplest solution yet...
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Old Feb 17, 2015, 09:18 PM
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United States, OR, Redmond
Joined Dec 2013
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Thank you to everyone for your input.

I'm waiting to hear from my friend to give me more specific info on the type of transmitter(s) his son has.

I like the idea of just having the throttle, brakes, and steering on one stick.

I also checked the local Goodwill for a foot pedal from a computer game but no luck. If I can find one, it would be nice to swap one 5K pot for another.

I will post when I know more. Thanks again to all of you!
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