I'm trying to get the value of a single pin from an rc receiver (receiver info at bottom). What's the correct way to read the value coming in? Here's my existing code:

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO

GPIO.setup(23, GPIO.IN, pull_up_down = GPIO.PUD_DOWN)

while True:


More info:

I have an RC receiver that controls servos / brushless motors. I've been having trouble finding a data sheet for it but an image of the receiver is below:

rc receiver

  • Have you identified a ground pin? Not much point in reading a pin unless you also connect its ground to the Pi. Have you confirmed that the range of voltages on the pin is Pi safe, i.e. between 0 and 3.3V? If so the code will read the pin's level as high (>2) or low (<1), The pull down is redundant.
    – joan
    Mar 2, 2015 at 8:02
  • I know the ground column is the furthest right in the photo. You can see a little diagram on the receiver just left of where you see "BAT". I just read on my multimeter for the throttle signal pin an ACmA range of 2.4(low) - to 3.74(high). FYI the Throttle is CH3 with left-right pin order of signal, hot, ground.
    – Jacksonkr
    Mar 2, 2015 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


I'm affraid there is no "value" here that you can read easily with RPi.


Long story short: you would have to measure the time between pulses, use interrupts and python will be not fast enough to do that. C code will be more suited.

GPIO interrupts, read here:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=7509 http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=9207

And on electrical part of a problem. Those RC receivers works on 5V, GPIO is 3.3V. Voltage divider required.

  • I was planning on using C but it sounds like rpi still isn't the right tool for me. What if I plugged my analog pins into an arduino and then shipped the info off to rpi via digital? It might require some sort of "digital encapsulation" but it's doable ya?
    – Jacksonkr
    Mar 5, 2015 at 17:23
  • 1
    They are not even "analog". What I would do is: use Arduino (or even better bare Atmega) to measure length of pulses and communicate with RPi via I2C. Arduino/Atmega would be I2C slave and RPi master Mar 6, 2015 at 7:52
  • 1
    Starting with the arduino may be a good idea here as there is source code available. Mar 6, 2015 at 11:54

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