Tutorials/Arduino Projects/RC car Hacking Project/Connecting the Arduino

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Physically connecting the Arduino can be a challenge or fairly simple depending on the size of the vehicle. Skip to the section appropriate to your vehicle.

A Large vehicle

On a large vehicle, like the Interceptor or the Gymkhana, we will be using a full-size Arduino UNO, as well as a small breadboard.

Finding room

The first thing to do is analyze the vehicle and find where we can place both the Arduino and the breadboard without impeding the placement of the covering as we aim to replace this once the hack is completed.

The control board

The first important decision you will need to make is whether or not to keep the control board. Keeping the control board will allow the Arduino to receive radio signals from the remote control, which can then be translated by the program. In the case of the Interceptor, there was plenty of room to keep the control board.

In the Gymkhana, there was no possible place to put the Arduino which allowed the cover to fit unimpeded. However, if we removed the control board, there was just enough room for the Arduino to fit. Because the Arduino was approximately the same size as the control board, it was a good compromise as it had a perfect location so not much securing would be needed.


After this decision has been made, you need to find the best place to fit the Arduino and the breadboard.

Looking at the Interceptor, a good place for the Arduino and breadboard seems to be here:

We'll place the Arduino in front of the control board and the breadboard behind.

We were very lucky with the Gymkhana. We fit the breadboard and the Arduino like so:

There was just enough room for both components.

Attaching the Arduino

Now we need to investigate how to attach the components. The Arduino is above a hollow surface so it will need to stand off it by an inch or so. To do this, we will use standoffs. You can use any type you like. We used TETRIX standoffs as their screws fit the Arduino nicely.

Warning.png WARNING: Adult supervision required when using power tools!

You need to drill holes in the base of the chassis which line up with the Arduino. You will need no more than two.

Drill the holes to line up with the Arduino's holes.

Now, it is a simple matter to screw in the standoffs...

Screwing in the standoffs.

And finally attach the Arduino to the top.

Attach the Arduino.

Attaching the breadboard

Since the breadboard is not as vital a piece of equipment, and because it comes with an adhesive backing, using zip-ties to secure it will be perfectly fine.

Attach the breadboard. If the holes are too far away, you can 'double up' your zip ties by attaching one to another.
Be sure to trim the zip tie ends.

Now that you have attached the components, you are ready to begin wiring.

A medium-sized vehicle

A small vehicle