Remote-controlled, or "RC", vehicles are beloved by enthusiasts around the world. However, they are also notoriously power-hungry, and will decimate even the hardiest batteries within a matter of hours.
Luckily, the renewable-energy craze has a fix. By harnessing solar energy in conjunction with basic tools and materials found at any local hobby shop and electronics store, you can construct a battery-free RC vehicle in a matter of hours.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- 4-inch by 4-inch square of wood panelling
- Two 3-volt DC motors w/rubber wheels
- Two 3-volt solar panels w/wires
- Soldering iron and 2 per cent silver solder
- Double-sided sticky tape
- One free-rolling rubber wheel and mount
- 2-channel remote control circuit w/remote
Position and mount the DC motors across from each other on the wood panel. Line them up and secure them with their mounting hardware.
Tape the solar panels to the wood with one strip each of double-sided sticky tape placed on the underside of each solar panel.
Mount the final, free-rolling wheel to the very front edge of the wood panelling to provide balance.
Mount the remote-control circuit to the back of the wood panel with two strips (or more) of double-sided sticky tape. Wire the solar panel's positive and negative wires to their respective terminals on the circuit board. Solder the connection.
Wire the RC circuit's power output wires to the positive and negative wires (respectively) on the DC motors. Solder the connection.
Place your construction in bright sunlight. The solar panels will charge and the car will run, steerable with your remote control.
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