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Feb 20, 2014, 01:24 AM
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More RC car exercise


RC car range test (4 min 20 sec)



Finally did the range test with the RC car by running up & down a 1/2 mile segment of road. That was really hard. The voltage was regulated at 7.4V. It went 9.5 miles at a constant 7.1mph downhill, 6.7mph uphill. Speed quickly faded after 9 miles.

The recharge was 85 minutes at 2A. The run was also 85 minutes, giving 2A of consumption. This 8 year old battery was originally rated at 3.3Ah & still has 3Ah of capacity, if run all the way to destruction at 2A.

So the speed was constant but the range was 2 miles longer than stock 1.5Ah AA's. It put a lot more wear on the tires than stock batteries. It's practical for a tempo run, but not for a long distance movie. The voltage would have to be reduced, which would require another range test. The long distance movie would be more easily done with an unregulated 2S battery than a regulated 3S battery.

It still takes a lot of energy to drive & run simultaneously, despite the ergonomic controller. It was also after running 4.85 intense miles the day before. Turning around every 1/2 mile probably made it harder.

It's interesting to note the elevation change on the circular course was only 45 feet, yet had a significant impact on the car's speed. The challenge in running uphill on that segment is not just psychological.

Foam under the camera greatly aided the oscillation.

2 voltage steering (7 min 51 sec)


RC car modification using 2 fixed voltages for steering. This works better than any other method. It's hard to know when the stick is doing anything. 4 buttons might be easier than the joystick, but it's convenient to have full deflection right there.

2 voltage steering was better, but far from perfect. There are times when the low voltage isn't enough. When it hits a rock or a crack, it needs more correction.

A straight line driving algorithm would be nice. For all the applications of GPS, you would be hard pressed to make a rover drive in a straight line by GPS. A path following algorithm would be very difficult, but more worthwhile.
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