I did some tests with the truck on mains power and found that there could be a problem with traction. I did some experiments with elastic bands wrapped around the tyres and this really increased the traction, so I have decided to have a go at making some tyres out of silicon rubber using an alginate mould. I was quite excited about this until I realised that the rubber isn’t black!!! I decided to go ahead with the moulding anyway… annoying!
I also tried translating the instructions using Google translate, which made me feel a bit more confident in approaching the wiring. I was very confused about which wires to solder the capacitor on to. Based on images from one of the German forums I eventually soldered the capacitor across both the black and red wires on the motor (I’m far from an electrics wiz).
Finally, I cut away some of the flooring and fitted the servo, and the on/off switch.
Here is a video of the cars first trial run on mains power (with no steering).
So the next stage is to try and understand what is in the box.
I recognise a few of the parts in the box from previous radio control cars I have built (granted they were far, far bigger). I recognise a servo (and it is only 1.5 x 1.5cm!!!!).
The receiver is also shockingly small. The largest thing about the pack is the radio controller, which will easily squash the car. It seems that radio control has come on since I last dabbled. This new controller sends out a signal in Ghz rather than Mhz and seems able to be ‘programmed’ to the radio control receiver. No more of that band 1-4 crystal nonsense. This sounds like a step in the right direction. It apparently also means that you do not need such long aerials on the models, which I suppose has helped push miniaturisation forward.
My immediate concern is the wheel sets. This kit is designed to convert a lorry. I didn’t realise that it is designed for a lorry with a double tyre axle on the rear wheels, this might limit what I can convert.
I have three vehicles that may become the final RC prototype. The ground clearance is really good on the pick-up truck, but the wheels that come with the pack are much smaller than it’s current tyres. They are a much better fit to the NCB lorry, but that might be more tricky to convert.
The next step is to decipher the german component list. Let’s put google-translate to the test.