laneboysrc/rc-brake-lights: Easy-to-build light controller for RC cars that simulates realistic brake and reversing lights

laneboysrc/rc-brake-lights: Easy-to-build light controller for RC cars that simulates realistic brake and reversing lights

RC Brake & Reversing Light controller

This project is an easy-to-build light control for Radio Controlled cars that simulates naturalistic brake and reversing lights .
RC Brake Lights circuit board
RC Brake Lights 3D view
It hooks between your ESC and receiver.

The brake lights mechanically turn on for a inadequate, random time when the choke goes to neutral. The reversing lights turn on when driving backwards .
The light accountant supports diverse ESC modes to ensure the lights are in synchronize with the way your ESC controls the drive motive .
The aim of the project is to make it easy to build anyone with minimal electronics cognition. If you are unable to build it yourself please contact; we’d be happy to sell you one.
If you are looking for more than barely brake lights check out our full-featured DIY RC Light Controller .

Building the electronics

The core of the light restrainer is the cheap STC STC15W104. It is a modern interpretation of the august 8051 MCU. This MCU was chosen due to its very gloomy cost and because it can be programmed with an cheap USB-to-serial arranger, or using the series port on a Raspberry Pi .
You can find the STC15W104 normally on eBay, AliExpress, Electrodragon, LCSC …
Beside the MCU you need 3 resistors, a diode and a capacitor. The complete list of components can be found in the electronics/ folder
For convenience the schematics are available as PDF file .
due to the little act of command components, the light accountant can be well built on a perfboard. The keep up image shows how to wire everything up :
Perfboard construction
( The Fritzing beginning file for this draft is provided in the fritzing/ booklet )
If you plan to build several controllers it may be worth-while to order printed circumference boards. Gerber files for manufacture PCBS are provided, a well as the KiCad reservoir files. note that the PCB uses SMD components quite than through-hole. still, it is designed for hand-soldering .

Loading the firmware

You can find the pre-compiled firmware released as partially of the project .
If you want to build or modify the firmware you will need SDCC and GNU Make .
To flash the firmware into the STC15W104, practice STCGAL .

Loading the firmware with an USB-to-serial adapter

Follow the instructions at hypertext transfer protocol : // # installation to install STCGAL. This programming tool for the STC MCU requires Python 3, and the Python 3 libraries pyserial and tqdm .

  • Go to and download Python; install it.
  • Open a Command prompt (run cmd.exe)
  • In the command prompt execute pip install pyserial tqdm

Connect your USB-to-serial adapter to the RC-brake-lights accountant as follows :
Flashing with a USB-to-serial adapter
Do not connect + yet, only after starting STCGAL .
Download the firmware Intel-HEX file and perform STCGAL as follows :

python -t 12000 --option low_voltage_reset=true --option low_voltage_threshold=0 --option eeprom_lvd_inhibit=true -b 1200 -p COM7 rc-brake-lights.ihx

significant : supplant the COM port number with the one of your USB-to-serial arranger. In Windows consult the Device Manager to find out which larboard number to use.

once started, STCGAL prompts you to power-cycle the tour. plug in + and STCGAL should find the MCU and plan it. Your control is now ready to use .

Loading the firmware using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi has a serial port accessible on its GPIO pin-header, so we can use it directly for program .
Connect the RC-brake-lights control as follows :
Flashing with Raspberry Pi
Do not connect + even, only after starting STCGAL .
Download and unpack STCGAL :


Install the command Python 3 modules :

sudo apt install python3-serial python3-tqdm

Use sudo raspi-config and go to Interface Options, then P6 Serial where you can disable log in via the series console, and enable the serial hardware :

Would you like a login shell to be accessible over serial? Select NO
Would you like the serial port hardware to be enabled? Select YES

After rebooting, download the firmware Intel-HEX file and carry through STCGAL as follows :

python3 stcgal-master/ -p /dev/ttyAMA0 -t 12000 --option low_voltage_reset=true --option low_voltage_threshold=0 --option eeprom_lvd_inhibit=true -b 1200 rc-brake-lights.ihx

once started, STCGAL prompts you to power-cycle the MCU. Plug in + and STCGAL should find the MCU and program it. Your control is now quick to use .

Connecting the light controller to your RC system

The idle control has two parallel connectors on the input english. Connect your ESC to one of the plugs and connect the TH input of the recipient with a male-to-male servo cable to the other plug .
The B output drives two crimson LEDs in parallel for the brake light function, the R end product drives two white LEDs in parallel for the turn back light function .
Wiring diagram

Forward/Reverse setup

Depending on your RC system, out of the box the light up accountant may operate in the faulty direction ( forward and backward reversed ). To change this, press and hold the frame-up button on the abstemious restrainer for 3 seconds. The LEDs will start flashing cursorily .
now move the choke on the vector to the driving commission that would make the car travel forward. When LEDs will go extinct and the light restrainer has now learned the adjust direction of the accelerator signal for forward. This set is preserved, so you only have to do this once .

Changing the ESC mode

When it comes to brake function, ESC models behave differently. The light accountant can be programmed for the specific behavior of your ESC .
To change the ESC modality, perform the follow steps : crusade and hold the setup clitoris on the light control. After 3 seconds, the LEDs will start to flash promptly. Press the apparatus button one more time. The lightly restrainer enters the ESC manner set and flashes the current ESC mode count :

1 flash: Forward/Brake/Reverse with timeout

When driving forward and then immediately pushing the restrict to reverse, the ESC performs a brake function. The ESC only allows repel backwards if the ESC has remained in achromatic position for a few seconds .
model : The China 320A ESC, HPI SC-15WP

2 flashes: Forward/Brake/Reverse

After going forward and then into reverse, the ESC always performs the brake function — even if the strangle remained in neutral for a long time .
example : Tamiya ESCs

3 flashes: Forward/Reverse (Crawler mode)

Crawler ESC with puff brake, where the ESC switches from forth immediately into reverse .

4 flashes: Forward/Brake

ESC in race mode where revoke is not allowed .
Press the setup button repeatedly until the desire ESC modality has been selected. then press-and hold the frame-up button until the LEDs stop flash. The ESC manner has now been persistently stored .

generator :
Category : Car Brakes