atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7544: Well, it is fixed, I guess.

For Valentine's Day, Mrs. Fungus got me this nifty little remote-controlled sand rail. I'm confident she didn't spend a lot on it, because it's Chinesium, and the controller is digital: "on" and "off", both for speed and for turning. You can go forward or backward at full throttle, or you can turn hard left or hard right.

It's pretty f-ing fast, though, and it came with two battery packs so you can charge one while you run the other. Independent front suspension, rear suspension is basically a hinge on which the motor and axle pivot. Mostly plastic, but with metal body panels.

And naturally, I broke it. It got hung up on the cat's bed and I squeezed the throttle too hard--I cannot seem to escape the "press harder when stuck" impulse--and it went crick and then it would either go forward very fast, or not move.


So this evening, lacking anything else I wanted to do, I opened up the controller. And as expected, there was a tiny little momentary contact switch for each function, and the one that handles "forward" was broken. However, it looked as if all I had to do was to put the body of the switch back into the frame and bend the tabs back over, and it would work.

Naturally, then, in the process of getting what I needed to do this operation, the little metal disk in the switch, that actually makes contact when you press the button, went missing.

I spent a fruitless fifteen minutes searching on and around my desk for it, but finally gave up on that. Then I realized that the button on the remote for "resync" (which basically changes the channel so you can operate the thing next to another car of the same make) was the same type, though a different form factor. So I sacrificed that switch to get its metal disk, put it into the broken "forward" switch, and presto! It works again.

Buttoned everything back up and took it for a brief test drive, which was enough for now.

If worse comes to worst, I can always bodge together a new housing for the controller and use different buttons. There's no reason it couldn't be four buttons arranged more like a traditional radio control (this one is the "trigger" for throttle and a steering wheel for turning). The circuit board is dead simple and the switches are soldered into vias, so it wouldn't take much but the switches, some wire, and some kind of box to put it all in.

* * *

Anyway, it's Friday night, and not a moment too soon.

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