Remote Controlled Vehicles

HideShow resource information

What is Soldering

Soldering is the process of melting a metal onto other metal components in order to bind them.

  • Soldering differs from welding. In welding, the component pieces are melted together; in soldering, a softer metal with a lower melting point is used to connect them.
  • Because soldering doesn't melt components, it's useful for more delicate applications, such as electronics work, or plumbing.
  • The purpose of soldering is to bind two other components. Solder can be thought of as a sort of “metal glue.” It can be used to fill in gaps or hold pieces in place, but doesn't serve any more complicated purpose.
  • Since solder is metallic, it conducts electricity, which is another reason it's so popular for connecting electronic components.
1 of 20

How to Solder

Set a piece in place. Put a component in the spot you want to solder it. If soldering to a PCB, be sure the wires of the component are appropriately placed through its pinholes. For most components, use a small clip or clamp to hold them in place once you've set them.

Pick up the solder wire. Hold a length of solder with your non-dominant hand. Use a long length to ensure that you'll be able to keep your hand well away from the tip of the iron.

Heat the component. Touch the tip of the iron to the component you want to solder. Only touch it for about one second. This warms the metal so that it can handle the solder more flexibly.

  • Quickly touch your solder wire to the soldering point, and apply the iron to it. The solder should melt immediately. Soldering to a PCB board should never require more than about 3-4 seconds' worth of molten solder.
  • If more solder is required to secure the connection, feed it smoothly with your hand.
  • Your solder should pool loosely, forming concave sides as it spreads around the component wire. It shouldn't ball up or look lumpy.
2 of 20

The Environmental Impact of Batteries

By throwing batteries in the trash and into local landfills, you are essentially introducing such harmful chemicals as lead, lithium, cadmium, and mercury to nature. These substances and pose serious health issues to both humans and animals.

Like all other garbage, batteries undergo a photochemical reaction as they decompose in landfills. This reaction causes gas emissions. Such harmful chemicals can produce O-Zone via the photochemical reaction, which can contribute to the greenhouse effect here on earth.

The harmful chemicals found in batteries can also run off into local water supplies. Not only is this dangerous to the people who drink from the supply, but the chemicals can kill both plants and animals, putting the ecosystems of streams, rivers and lakes in serious jeopardy.

3 of 20

Electronic Component Symbols


4 of 20

PCB (Printed Circuit Boards)

The boards are made from glass reinforced plastic with copper tracks in the place of wires. Components are fixed in position by drilling holes through the board, locating the components and then soldering them in place. The copper tracks link the components together forming a circuit.

5 of 20

Advantages of using circuit and PCB software

1. Circuits can be simulated on screen without the need to build a circuit on a breadboard with real components.
2. Errors can be corrected and alterations made to the circuit by simply replacing components from menus.
3. No soldering is needed, simply move components with a mouse.
4. Using simulation software is safer than soldering with hot soldering irons and avoids dangerous fumes being produced whilst soldering.

5. Once a PCB has been designed it can be printed onto transparencies repeatedly, all to the same high quality.
6. PCB layout software is more accurate than drawing a circuit by hand.

6 of 20

Manufacture of PCB's

PHOTO-RESIST BOARD is a piece of glass reinforce plastic. One of the sides is copper clad and this copper has a photosensitive coating.

The PCB mask (now on a transparency) is placed underneath the photo-resist board, touching the sensitive surface. Remember the plastic film must be removed. PCB mask and board are then transferred to the UV light Box.

The lid is shut and the box switched on. The photo-resist board, with PCB mask are left underneath the lid for 2 ½ minutes. The photo-resist board is then placed in a tank filled with developer.

When the board is taken out of the developer it must be washed in clean water before transferring to the etching tank.

The etchant is held in a ‘bubble etch tank’ and is heated. This solution slowly etches away the unwanted copper, leaving the tracks only.

7 of 20

Final Stages of Manufacture of the PCB

When removed from the etching solution, the PCB is washed and a PCB eraser is used to remove any film from the tracks. The tracks can be checked using a magnifying glass. If there are gaps in the tracks, sometimes they can be repaired using wire but usually a new PCB has to be etched.

The last stage is drilling the holes for the components. A small PCB drill is used for this purpose.

8 of 20

Vacuum Forming

Vacuum forming is a manufacturing technique whereby thin plastic such as high density polystyrene is shaped by heat and force.

This process will be used to create the plastic parts of the RC vehicle such as decorative items and the frame.

The first stage of vacuum forming is to manufacture a precise mould. This is a skilled job as any imperfections to the mould will show up every time it is used to shape plastic such as high density polystyrene. The mould can be used hundreds and even thousands of times to produce the same plastic part. Each part will be exactly the same.

The mould is placed in the vacuum former. It is placed centrally. A sheet of high density polystyrene is paced above the mould and clamped in position.

The heater is turned on. When the machine is being used from ‘cold’ it takes approximately five to ten minutes to warm up to the temperature needed to heat the polystyrene sufficiently. Once warm, polystyrene of this type takes only four or five minutes to heat up before vacuum forming can begin.The plastic (polystyrene becomes pliable and flexible after a short time. It must be very flexible before it can be formed properly.

When the polystyrene is ready the shelf is then lifted up towards the polystyrene sheet. The air underneath the former is pumped out and the polystyrene takes the form of the mould.

9 of 20

Injection Moulding

Materials such as polystyrene, nylon, polypropylene and polythene can be used in a process called injection moulding. These are thermoplastics - this means when they are heated and then pressured in a mould they can be formed into different shapes.

1. Granules of plastic powder (note the plastics listed above) are poured or fed into a hopper which stores it until it is needed.

2. A heater heats up the tube and when it reaches a high temperature a screw thread starts turning.    

3. A motor turns a thread which pushes the granules along the heater section which melts then into a liquid.  The liquid is forced into a mould where it cools into the shape (in this case a DVD storage unit).

4. The mould then opens and the unit is removed.

10 of 20

The Lathe- Health and Safety

The guard must be placed in position at all times, during the operation of the lathe.
The material to be machined, must be placed in the chuck securely. The chuck key must not be left in the chuck. If the lathe is switched on, the chuck key could ‘fly’ out, at high speed, injuring the operator.
The metal being machined should extrude from the chuck, only a small distance. The more metal extruding from the chuck, the more likely an accident will take place.
Micro switches should ensure that the machine cannot not be turned on, if the guard is not in position, or if the headstock door is opened.
The operator must wear safety goggles when using the lathe. Hands and fingers must be at a safe distance from rotating metal / parts. Entrapment!

All lathes should be fitted with emergency stop, foot or knee switches.
The machine must be set to operate at speeds and feeds recommended for the specific metal being machined. If the metal rotates too slowly/fast or the feed is too slow/ fast, accidents are likely to occur.

Appropriate coolants should be applied to the material being ‘turned’ on the lathe.

11 of 20

Non-Ferrous Metals Properties

12 of 20

Ferrous Metals Properties

13 of 20

Advantages of CNC Machines

1. CNC machines can be used continuously 24 hours a day.
2. Each manufactured product will be exactly the same.
3. Less skilled/trained people can operate CNCs unlike manual lathes / milling machines etc.
4. CNC machines can be updated by improving the software used to drive the machines
5. Training in the use of CNCs is available through the use of ‘virtual software’. This is software that allows the operator to practice using the CNC machine on the screen of a computer.
6. CNC machines can be programmed by advanced design software such as Pro/DESKTOP®, enabling the manufacture of products that cannot be made by manual machines, even those used by skilled designers / engineers.
7. Modern design software allows the designer to simulate the manufacture of his/her idea. There is no need to make a prototype or a model. This saves time and money.
8. One person can supervise many CNC machines as once they are programmed they can usually be left to work by themselves.

9. A skilled engineer can make the same component many times. However, if each component is carefully studied, each one will vary slightly. A CNC machine will manufacture each component as an exact match.

14 of 20

Disadvantages of CNC Machines

1. CNC machines are more expensive than manually operated machines, although costs are slowly coming down.
2. The CNC machine operator only needs basic training and skills, enough to supervise several machines. In years gone by, engineers needed years of training to operate centre lathes, milling machines and other manually operated machines. This means many of the old skills are been lost.
3. Less workers are required to operate CNC machines compared to manually operated machines. Investment in CNC machines can lead to unemployment.
4. Many countries no longer teach pupils / students how to use manually operated lathes / milling machines etc... Pupils / students no longer develop the detailed skills required by engineers of the past. These include mathematical and engineering skills.

15 of 20

Vinyl Graphics

Stage 1: Design letters and direction sign using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software

Stage 2: Cut letters and direction sign using Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Stage 3: Weeding (removing unwanted vinyl)

Stage 4: Use low tack film/tape is used to lift the vinyl letters and direction sign from the backing film.

Stage 5: Position the lettering and arrow before removing the low tack film to reveal the final design.

16 of 20

RC Cars

Radio controlledcars are battery powered model cars or trucks that can be controlled from a distance using a specialized transmitter or remote.

Electric models are powered by small but powerful electric motors and rechargeable nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, or lithium polymer cells.

Four Main Parts:

  • Transmitter - You hold the transmitter in your hands to control the toy. It sends radio waves to the receiver.
  • Receiver - An antenna and circuit board inside the toy receives signals from the transmitter and activates motors inside the toy as commanded by the transmitter.
  • Motor(s) - motors can turn wheels, steer the vehicle, operate propellers, etc.
  • Power source
17 of 20

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Electric RC Car

Less Maintence
Better for at-home use
Cars have faster acceleration in general
Limited run times
Need to wait hours to recharge batteries
Brushless motors are expensive

18 of 20


There are two different types of rc motors: Brushed and Brushless. Each motor type has its own kind of ESC (Electronic Speed Controller). Without an ESC, your motor would just do nothing or go full throttle when you wanted to drive. Brushed motors are cheap but very ineffecient and lact power. The ESC's are also cheaper. Brushless motors are efficient, powerful, fast, and last much longer. Brushless motors and ESC's do not really have an expiration date, while brushed usually last about 6 months to a year. The main visual difference between the two is the brushless is sealed completely and has three wires, while the brushed has ventilation holes and two wires.

19 of 20

Client Requirement

1. I want to have a family friendly car that i can drive immediatly when i want to
I want a car that is a little faster but dont mind taking more time to prep and costs more
2. I want a durable car and am willing to spend more money
I want a cheap car that may break in the future
3. I want an offroad car
I want an onroad car
I want something inbetween
4. I want a fast car
I want a slower but cheaper car
5. I want a fast car
I want a slower but cheaper car
6. I want a fast car
I want a slower but cheaper car
7. I want an offroad car
I want an onroad car
I want something inbetween
8.  I want a fast car
I want a slower but cheaper car
9. I want a fast car
I want a slower but cheaper car
10. I want a fast car
I want a slower but cheaper car

20 of 20


No comments have yet been made

Similar Engineering resources:

See all Engineering resources »See all RC Vehicles resources »