I'm planning to do a simple DIY car that is controlled with a smartphone. I'm new to DIY electronics, and would like to get all of the needed electronic components with a single order. Could you check out this list and tell me if i'm missing anything essential?

  • RPi3B
  • 2x DC motors
  • Motor controller
  • Power supply or batteries
  • Non-electronic stuff (4x wheels, chassis etc.)
  • Wires (What type of wire should I buy?)

As i have understood the RPi3B comes with onboard WiFi and bluetooth and has the ability to setup a hotspot, so all I need is a smartphone and programming skills for a wireless connection (?)

  • Does your motor driver support controlling 2 motors?
  • Have you thought about talking to your motor driver(from the Pi)?
    • keep in mind the Bluetooth does use up the Pi's UART! (see comments for more information)
  • For quick wiring, those are great, either many of them, or in bulk like the one I just found(you could also tear them apart when needed)
  • For solid constructions, you should consider soldering classic copper wires as well as getting connectors, to not have to solder to your components directly
  • Yes, the Pi3 has WiFi and BT, but you only need 1 of them for your remote control, unless the Pi itself is supposed to be controlling the car remotely
    • e.g. Smartphone -> Wifi -> Pi -> Bluetooth -> RC car

Regarding programming, you would need to write both sides on your own, a smartphone app, utilizing either BT or WiFi and the Pi's response, which will be talking to your motor driver.

  • Um, are you sure "the Bluetooth does use up the Pi's UART" on the Pi 3? It's my understanding that the bluetooth node uses ttyAMA0, but that is not the UART on the breakout -- it uses a different node than previous models, ttyS0. They should both be usable at the same time.
    – goldilocks
    Jun 28 '16 at 14:36
  • Yes, I am. ttyS0 is just the mini UART, which is not reliable as it is based on the cpu clock.
    – mystery
    Jun 28 '16 at 14:37
  • 1
    Ah. Well at least there appears to be a way to swap one for the other at boot time see the end, about device tree, here. Otherwise I will be mailing mine straight back when it get here, lol.
    – goldilocks
    Jun 28 '16 at 14:44
  • That is indeed possible but I would not recommend it for neither the motor controller nor bluetooth since communication failures won't be fun there. The only workaround would be to set the CPU frequency to a fixed value. Other than that, the mini UART does not lack crucial features his fully fledged brother provides in such applications. See page 10
    – mystery
    Jun 28 '16 at 14:47
  • @mystery The UART is only unreliable if the core clock frequency changes. You can set a fixed core clock frequency and take a small performance hit (the performance hit wouldn't even kick in for this sort of application).
    – joan
    Jun 28 '16 at 15:30

Every thing is fine just for a simple car. If you want you can add some LED's . And in case of wires use Jumper Wires

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