Remote control is a popular radio application. It’s used for things such as RC car toys and, on the more complex end of the spectrum, drones. In this project, you learn how to build a DIY RC transmitter using an Arduino and control components. And while you’re at it, you’ll get a taste of printed circuit board (PCB) design, too!
To begin with, let’s take a look at the circuit diagram. The brain of this RC controller is an Arduino Pro Mini which is powered using 2 LiPo batteries producing around 7.4 volts. We can connect them directly to the RAW pin of the Pro Mini which has a voltage regulator that reduced the voltage to 5V. Note that there are two versions of the Arduino Pro Mini, like the one I have that operates at 5V and the other operates at 3.3V.
On the other hand, the NRF24L01 module strictly needs 3.3V and it’s recommended to come from a dedicated source. Therefore we need to use a 3.3V voltage regulator which is connected to the batteries and convert the 7.4V to 3.3V. Also we need to use a decoupling capacitor right next to the module in order to keep the voltage more stable, thus the radio communication will be more stable as well. The NRF24L01 module communicates with the Arduino using SPI protocol, while the MPU6050 accelerometer and gyro module uses the I2C protocol.