Need help with a simple remote control and servo

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  #1  
Old 08-22-19, 12:24 AM
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Need help with a simple remote control and servo

I'm not sure if this is the proper forum for this, but it seemed the best place.

This is an odd project I'm working on. I am friends with a famous taxidermist. He makes scenes for museums, full habitat recreations and all sorts of odd things. I used to help him a lot when I had more time. One thing I helped build was a remote controlled wolf. It's a stuffed wolf with a remote controlled servo in the neck and a spindle that the head mounts on and it turns back and forth remotely. It was a big hit and he sold it. Fifteen years later, he ends up with it again. It doesn't work, and he wants me to fix it.

I know nothing about remote control. When I did this, he supplied me with the components and I put it together. This time, he wants me to find a very simple controller... not a big fancy RC plane controller, but a simple little one with one thumbstick or something that can be held in your pocket or easily concealed. He just wants the left/right movement of the head and nothing else. I can't seem to find anything like that but I really don't even now what to search for. Also, he doesn't want one that returns to center. He wants to move it a little or a lot, and it stay there.

If there is no simple controller, we can use a big whiz-bang controller with all the functions but I still don't know what to do to make sure I have the right stuff. I'll need a controller, I suppose a receiver, power supply, and a servo that doesn't return to center and has a bit of torque but doesn't move too fast. It will control the head by a small belt with gear reduction so the head will move at a natural speed. He likes to put it in his storefront and startle unsuspecting people with it.

Hope someone can help me!
 
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Old 08-22-19, 04:03 AM
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perhaps a 433 MHz relay controller switch like you would use on a car with a small remote for different functions like lights or door locks or even garage door there fairly inexpensive 15-20 bucks on amazon.
to get it to function with a standard servo you would have to modify it and remove the electronics so you would only be using the motor leads most servos would only turn back and forth about 180 degrees anyway unless you take them apart and modify them witch turns it into a basic gear motor since its on a belt gear reduction system I would expect you would need more movement anyway.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 05:27 AM
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There are a couple things that can be done.
First question however, is it or will you be using a RC type servo?
Servos used in RC vehicles are controlled by frequency or pulse width modulation (greater pwm, the further off center it turns).
Best suggestion I can come up with to avoid getting super technical (and burning work time) is look for servo controller at a robotics shop (on line or in person). You should be able to get a simple circuit that will put out the specific PWM when signal is received. Should be simple.
I've been poking at this a bit but haven't gone full into it yet until my home office and workshop are ready. Will be working with Raspberry PIs however as the projects involve calculations and if/then reactions.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 08:06 AM
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Try the website below. It may be helpful. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/best-r...its-under-100/
 
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Old 08-22-19, 11:00 PM
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Thanks for the ideas. I don't want to design and build the circuitry, I'm not familiar enough with electronics to do that and I really don't want to put that kind of time into it. I am hoping to use a RC servo like we had in there before. I might use a wall wart for power instead of a battery, and I want to be able to move the head 2 degrees or 90 degrees, or anywhere in between, not just a full swing from one limit to the other. If I have to get a regular type of controller, that will work. Can anyone point me in the direction of a controller, receiver, and servo that will do what I'm wanting? I'm completely clueless of what I'm looking at when I look at this stuff online.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 05:11 AM
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hobbyking dot com is decent priced, but slow for shipping (to Canada anyway). If you have a local hobby shop, check with them for ideas and then go from there. I haven't worked with RC stuff in a few so I don't know pricing and what is new out there.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 07:10 AM
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I moved this to Automation Systems and Devices. I think it might be a better spot.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 08:39 PM
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The servo is the easiest part.
The receiver is pretty basic too.
The problem is a small "pocket size" type transmitter. Basically a two function transmitter.
 
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Old 08-24-19, 10:50 AM
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Here is $10 RF four button remote controller that activates 4 separate relays.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-4CH-Cha...cAAOSwebdcjxLM
 
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Old 08-24-19, 09:22 PM
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Here is a $5 complete linear activator with 2 button remote. Use one to move wolf head left and right and second to move head up and down.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-...HacdAKwTxGl-xQ

The 4 button remote in post #9 could be used to activate howls, eyes lighting, or whatever.

eBay is making life easier and cheaper for DIYers.
 

Last edited by doughess; 08-24-19 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 08-25-19, 09:43 PM
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Lots of good ideas, I like the activator with remote! I wonder if they make one that rotates instead of linear? I'll do some looking. The pocket remote is perfect. I wonder if it moves to the full travel one way with the click of the button or if you hold the button and it moves as long as you hold it and stops when you release it. I noticed the $5 is just for the mounting bracket. The entire actuator and remote and all is $55. I'd pay that though if it does what I want.
 
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Old 08-27-19, 08:39 PM
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Looking at that linear actuator, I think I might be able to substitute the servo I have for the actuator and make it work that way. I might go ahead and give this a shot. Thank you!
 
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