Electronics > Electronics

bringing life to the common VCR


Due to the recent popularity of digital video discs, I have acquired 2 working VCRs (exempt both their record functions, for some reason :-\).  What I plan to do with these, is rig at least one of them into an RC robot/killing machine/something.  What I am thinking on doing here, is first replacing the Power supply with a Lead-Acid battery.  I plan on replacing the play motor with a transistor switch driving a much larger DC motor (remember those old power wheel jeeps?), for a main drive motor.  This will likely drive a rear axel.  For the steering, Im gonna have to give a look in there for some solenoids to beef up.  Maybe if im lucky I can find a way to steer from the volume or channel buttons.  I plan on keeping the original PCB/ remote intact.  Maybe I'll even keep the original case.  I'm hoping if I can get this to work, it can become a beginner robot for other people starting out in robotics, as VCRs are slowly becoming obsolete and are easily obtained.  Suggestions?  Advice? 

i dun think vcr's have solenoids . . . plus they are bad for steering anyway . . . did you mean steppers?

i think keeping the remote would be great tho. can add remote control functions just by hacking the reciever.

and dont use lead acids. they suck, use NiMHs or NiCads . . . unless you got lead acids lying around for cheap . . .

i also heard of someone turning a floppy drive into a robot, google it for ideas. floppy drives are soooo common now that they are useless.

I figured there might of been solenoids for moving things into play, fast forward, etc etc, but it turns out it uses a motorized gear system.  The play motor is some sort of weird stepper motor or something, its got its own little PCB with a 7 pin connector.  This complicates things.  Maybe I can find out how to control the bidrectional motor for steering, but Im unsure if It could handle the load of steering [a]  moving wheel(s).  If not,  I'm thinking I can make some sort of wicked RC device, like a blender, or something... any suggestions? Theres the aforementioned bi-directional motor, and a gear motor to work with.  And some fucked up mechanical gears and junk.  The case is the same for both VCRs, so I'm assuming its universal.

As for lead acid batteries, I can get them for about 10 bucks at the local Princess Auto.  They have various shapes and sizes, I could definately find one to fit in a VCR.  With some modifications ;)

grated_geek 3000!:
The batteries in Power Wheels (and similar) little kiddie cars are not really that big.  They are pretty much like the motors you would find in an R/C car, just geared down a TON.  The motors themselves are no bigger than your fist.

And to do low/high speed, they just have two 6-volt batteries.  In parallel for low speed, series for high.

Hmm.  Princess Auto.  What state/country do you live in?  And since when do auto stores carry lead-acids?  I can understand car batteries but...

In Canada, Princess Auto is a chain of surplus stores (among other products).  They carry a whole whack of shit for repairs and stuff, lots of motors, gears, chains, and all things mechanical.  Its pretty dandy.  Anyhow, I havnt been doing alot of poking around with the vcrs lately, but with the new school year comes my all-afternoon electronics class.  Should be interesting :)


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