I built myself a remote control, Arduino based of course. I needed something that was more practical to use then just an Arduino Uno with various parts connected to it. My old remote control consisted of an Arduino Duemilanove with a joystick, wireless nRF24L01 module, Lipo battery and LCD attached. I had to hold all these parts in my hands to play with my Rover 5. My new remote control will be a bit more practical to use.
I bought a joystick shield that fits on top of the Arduino. I then measured it and started drawing 2 plates in Autocad. I found a local company that has a laser cutter and they cut me 2 acrylic plates, not cheap but worth it. The 4 x 20 I2C LCD sits in the top, very handy for debugging while your robot is driving around. I made a PCB with a 3,3V regulator and female header pins to put the wireless nRF24L01 module in, the nRF24L01 module needs 3,3V. The smaller modules can be powered from the 3,3V regulator on the Arduino but the bigger modules with amp and preamp need a separate regulator. The connection from the joystick shield to the nRF24L01 module and the I2C LCD I made by soldering some thin wires directly on top of the shield.
Power comes from a small 2 cell 500mAh Lipo battery. I soldered a connector that distributes the power from the battery to the Arduino and 3,3V regulator. The Arduino Uno is mounted on 10mm brass spacers, and between the 2 plates there are 4 30mm spacers. The reason I didn’t use my Duemilanove is that these only have 3 mounting holes, so you can’t properly mount them. Which is necessary with a joystick shield on top of it, as you will be putting a downward force on it. Thankfully I had an Uno (Chinese clone) laying around. I’m quite happy with the result 🙂