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Tech Thursday #017: How to Remotely Start/Stop Your Lawn Mower

Today’s Tech Thursday topic is using RC switches to hack your lawn mower for a remote start and stop. We’ve done this with our 4WD remote control lawn mower and our Remote Control snow blower. Here’s how we did it.

We used the following components:

Spektrum DX6 Controller with AR6210 Receiver
Pololu RC Switch
Relay Board (you can use a 5V relay)
Servo pigtails

The RC switch is needed to communicate with the DX6 controller. On one end it is plugged into the AR6210 Receiver and on the other end it is wired to a relay. The receiver sends the signal from the controller and the relay switches the starter and kill circuits. Here’s how we wired the RC switch to output 5V for the relay:

rc-switch-wiring

We soldered the pigtail wires as shown into the RC IN, VIN, and GND terminals. We then jumpered the terminals shown with the blue paths. This sends 5V across the shown terminals when the receiver receives the signal.

relay-and-switch

We used a relay board for ours, but the same result can be achieved simply by using a 5V relay. So we wired the output of the switch into the coil side of the relay.

At this point you’ll need to find your starter switch and kill switch. You’ll need one switch/relay assembly for each. Our starter switch was a normally open pushbutton switch so we cut the wires going into the switch and wired one to the common terminal and one to the normally open terminal on our relay. Our kill switch was also normally open so we configured it the same way.

Once you have your RC relays wired, you’ll need to plug your servo pigtails coming from the RC switch into the Spektrum receiver. We used the Gear and AUX1 channels, which correspond to the Gear and Flap switches on the controller. Now all you need to do is bind your controller and receiver together and your switches will now operate the lawn mower. Note that when you start the mower, the kill switch must not be activated. Then you can toggle your starter switch and wait until the mower starts. Then toggle the starter switch again to switch off the starter circuit on the mower.

#TechThursday #RemoteControl #LawnMower

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