Rokenbok Forums Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > All Things Rok > Rok General
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: Conversion from R/C to infrared
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Conversion from R/C to infrared

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
wlw3 View Drop Down
ROK Newbie
ROK Newbie
Avatar

Joined: Nov/02/2010
Location: MA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Post Options Post Options   Quote wlw3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Conversion from R/C to infrared
    Posted: Nov/02/2010 at 5:00pm
I have converted several vehicles from R/C to infrared without any difficulty (I am handy, to be fair)

I encourage Rokenbok to start selling conversion kits, at our risk (i.e. no guarantees)

Since several vehicles are not in production any more (like the bobcat or speedster), I converted those for my son.  They work great.  I was even able to install tailights on the fire truck because the new I/R card has these.

The infrared is a huge upgrade in general, and we greatly prefer it to the old system, so my hat is off to the engineers who worked on perfecting it.  I ordered a bunch of the infra vehicles already, but we also spent over a five hundred dollars on "old" Rokenbok vehicles and we feel that the company should offer us a way to convert them, at our labor cost, at our risk.  I was able to do it easily on the speeder, firetruck, and bobcat.

I just took apart a new Sweeper, carefully removed the card and infrared receiver, made a few small mods to the old vehicle, and swapped the new card and receiver in for the old ones.  the IR receiver fits perfectly in the old R/C plug in slot (so the tooling would not have to change at the factory, presumably -- smart).  The bobcat was harder in that I had to keep the old "bottom" that had the treads on it.  Or, even easier, since the bottoms are a standard shape, you can just swap bottoms, new for old, and make a few wire splices to do the conversions.  bobcat required an extra (but easy) step.

Is it perfect? no -- the speeder runs at sweeper speed, because it has a sweeper card and bottom, but my son is Ok with that.  I am just noting that the conversion is pretty simple, and if we could buy just the card, bottom, and receiver, many of us who have large fleets of old vehicles (and paid rokenbok for them) could use these kits.  Otherwise, these expensive toys are useless.  If the kit came with a wiring harness that allowed the receiver to be disconnected and reconnected (small plugs), then you would have a kit that even a moron could retrofit.
Back to Top
Rokenblock View Drop Down
ROK Craftsman
ROK Craftsman
Avatar

Joined: Jun/29/2010
Location: Central WI
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 185
Post Options Post Options   Quote Rokenblock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/02/2010 at 7:51pm
I don't think they're useless, in fact, I like the old RC system and would use both at any time.
Back to Top
Legofan970 View Drop Down
ROK Craftsman
ROK Craftsman
Avatar

Joined: Aug/29/2010
Location: USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 127
Post Options Post Options   Quote Legofan970 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/02/2010 at 9:19pm
I, and many other Rokenbok builders, would probably love to see a way to convert the elevator.  I'm aware it uses a different board because it only has two motors but I'm sure a way could be found.
-Lifetime Rokenboker

Be sure to check out the unofficial building challenge in the Rok Construction forum. All are welcome to participate!
Back to Top
jj View Drop Down
ROK Apprentice
ROK Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: Aug/06/2010
Location: CA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 12
Post Options Post Options   Quote jj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/02/2010 at 10:13pm
hi wlw3 if i sent you a vehicle and some money would you be willing to convert it? 
Back to Top
Imatron View Drop Down
ROK Journeyman
ROK Journeyman


Joined: Jan/20/2010
Location: North Carolina
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 77
Post Options Post Options   Quote Imatron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/02/2010 at 11:28pm
hmmm I think wlw3 has just stumbled onto a money making plan XP
 
From the sound of it the process isnt perfect...Im curious about where the parts neccesary to receive the random generated control code from the controller to the vehicle could have been located for purchase. I gues the technology in the rok star machines must have come from another distributor rather than being something designed by or specifcaly Rokenbok to use? I didnt think this kind of conversion was actually possible given my understanding of the new and old rokenbok technology.
Back to Top
wlw3 View Drop Down
ROK Newbie
ROK Newbie
Avatar

Joined: Nov/02/2010
Location: MA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Post Options Post Options   Quote wlw3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 8:54am
I have used two methods.  The first time I did it, I used all the existing components in the vehicle I wanted to convert, except a new board and receiver - cut all the wires and reconnected them to the new ones -- you obviously have to understand that if you use the sweeper as your new card, and you are converting a loader, you will have an extra set of control wires (sweeper has an extra motor vs loader).  I just cut the extras flush w board and put elec tape over them

Then I realized that the vehicle bottom units (the part with the wheels and wheel motors, i.e. the lower half of the vehicle) is standardized across the fleet, with the exception of the tracked vehicles where the wheels are different.  So, to make it really easy, you unscrew the bottom half of the vehicle you want to convert, and discard it.  you have to cut the wires that go from the old card to the old R/C plug, and pull out the old plug base. 

Disassemble the new unit the same way (remove the bottom half) but do not cut any wires.  you may have to cut up the new sacrificial vehicle a bit to get the new I/R receiver out but it's not hard once you know the drill, without cutting the wires that go to the I/R receiver.  you do have to cut the wires that go to the dump motor and the sweeper motor - cut them at the motor end. 

The only challenge with this method is getting the new I/R receiver into the old vehicle you want to convert.  If you want to cut and resolder 6 or 7 wires it's very simple.  If you want to avoid this step, you have to get creative.  When I converted the firetruck I had to cut a small slit in the body, which was ultimately covered up.  you could use really small plastic crimp type connectors I guess, like wire line phone systems used to use, but I prefer the permanence of soldering.  these wires are very small, though.  Once the I/R receiver is in place (and it fits perfectly in the old R/C slot) then you just connect up any other motor circuits you need.  the sweeper has two non-propulsion motors; most others have one, so you cut one set of wires flush and hook up the other to the dump motor or whatever.  the speeder/firetruck has no extra motors so you cut both of those leads flush with the card.  I believe it's very straightforward.

We had major problems with the R/C technology, at close range even -- terrible performance, so bad that my 6 yr old gave up.  we bought 4 different bases, none worked right.

And regrettably, I have no interest in doing this as a biz.  it's not that hard to do yourself.  30 mins, once you have done a couple and know the guts of the units

I reiterate that we should encourage the Rok mgmt to supply kits for this - even just a bottom unit plus I/R receiver for $25 or something.
Back to Top
TBoneWVU View Drop Down
ROK Master
ROK Master
Avatar

Joined: Jun/13/2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 367
Post Options Post Options   Quote TBoneWVU Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 7:46pm
Seems like it would be hard to do, they should just make a ROK STAR insert that goes in the R/C Key slot.
LET'S GO PENS!
LET'S GO BUCS!
I HATE SCHOOL!
I HATE HOMEWORK!
Back to Top
Legofan970 View Drop Down
ROK Craftsman
ROK Craftsman
Avatar

Joined: Aug/29/2010
Location: USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 127
Post Options Post Options   Quote Legofan970 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 8:35pm
I think they would have done so if they could - it would have been far easier for them to convince users to adopt the new technology if they could do this.  It also would have allowed them to convert all of the vehicles to Rok Star immediately.
-Lifetime Rokenboker

Be sure to check out the unofficial building challenge in the Rok Construction forum. All are welcome to participate!
Back to Top
jj View Drop Down
ROK Apprentice
ROK Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: Aug/06/2010
Location: CA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 12
Post Options Post Options   Quote jj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 8:45pm
you would have to buy a rokstar vehicle to get the rokstar key so might as well just get rokstar Right?
Back to Top
Legofan970 View Drop Down
ROK Craftsman
ROK Craftsman
Avatar

Joined: Aug/29/2010
Location: USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 127
Post Options Post Options   Quote Legofan970 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 9:07pm
That's true unless you want a vehicle in Rok Star that isn't normally available - such as the transgripper, skip track, speedster, fire rescue, dozer, police defender, tower crane, or elevator.
-Lifetime Rokenboker

Be sure to check out the unofficial building challenge in the Rok Construction forum. All are welcome to participate!
Back to Top
jj View Drop Down
ROK Apprentice
ROK Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: Aug/06/2010
Location: CA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 12
Post Options Post Options   Quote jj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 9:49pm
yeah that's true, but what would happen to the rokstar vehicle you bought would you be able to "flip Flop" the RC and Rokstar.


Edited by jj - Nov/03/2010 at 9:51pm
Back to Top
Legofan970 View Drop Down
ROK Craftsman
ROK Craftsman
Avatar

Joined: Aug/29/2010
Location: USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 127
Post Options Post Options   Quote Legofan970 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2010 at 9:59pm
Don't think so.  It sounds like too much cutting, pasting, and digging around to be doing that often.  Still, some people would be willing to pay a good deal for certain vehicles in Rok Star.

Edited by Legofan970 - Nov/03/2010 at 9:59pm
-Lifetime Rokenboker

Be sure to check out the unofficial building challenge in the Rok Construction forum. All are welcome to participate!
Back to Top
Imatron View Drop Down
ROK Journeyman
ROK Journeyman


Joined: Jan/20/2010
Location: North Carolina
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 77
Post Options Post Options   Quote Imatron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/05/2010 at 11:31pm
Oh I understand now, your buying a rok star vehicle that is available and using it's control board and receiver to convert a vehicle that is not yet available into a rok star machine. Rokenbok's decision to use the old designs gives customers another benefit.
 
Ive had mixed luck with the RC tower too, I always thought the tower had a rather limited range, and two of my transgrippers had a particularly bad receiver. The transgripper that I had replaced specificaly for it's bad antanae can go ten times the distance that the other machines in my fleet can go. It makes me wonder if somehow every last rokenbok RC I bought had a bad antanae.
 
As for the conversion kit idea, I imagine Rokenbok may have to reject it for a number of reasons, but if they go for it, Ill specificaly put all the money I save on a conversion kit into buying more parts to build with.
 
@TBoneWVU, the key cards are not actually antanae, if you take a look at them each one has those two metal contacts on the sides, and each number has a unique set of ridges on the back. The ridges push in some of those buttons inside the slot to tell it which signal to look for, and the metal contacts serve to pop the machine out of sleep mode and to power the light on the top of the key. The radio antanae is actually inside the machine's shell, so a key is not possible. Rokenbok built protoype converter solutions but they were expensive and complicated to use, they opted not to sell us a peice of garbage and scrapped the idea.
 
Id personaly enjoy it if they made a radio-only command-deck-built-in controller just for the old machines, with a port on the back (or some kind of dongle plug) to attach a second original controller onto, but the chances of that happening are slim.
Back to Top
Mighty442 View Drop Down
ROK Newbie
ROK Newbie


Joined: Dec/21/2010
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1
Post Options Post Options   Quote Mighty442 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/21/2010 at 4:06am
I would be very interested in buying a conversion kits. Can someone at least post a how to article or a youtube video on how you did your conversions?
Back to Top
ROK warehouse master View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar
Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov/27/2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 551
Post Options Post Options   Quote ROK warehouse master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/21/2010 at 9:08am
I would love it if Rokenbok would eventually make all of the vehicles ever made with Rok star. It would take a while, maybe like 5 years even, but it would be worth it. I would not want to waste a new rok star vehicle and risk damaging an old and valueable vehicle just to have an incorrect motor inside the cabinet. To me, that's not worth it. I can just use the best of my 5 command decks with fresh batteries in the vehicles and that works fine for me.
Back to Top
ROK warehouse master View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar
Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov/27/2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 551
Post Options Post Options   Quote ROK warehouse master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/21/2010 at 11:14am

Maybe in like 10 - 15 years Rokenbok will have solar powered or semi-solar powered vehicles...

Back to Top
rokenbok100 View Drop Down
ROK Journeyman
ROK Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: Aug/17/2010
Location: Indiana
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 37
Post Options Post Options   Quote rokenbok100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/21/2010 at 6:05pm
the fact that we've been hearing the same hting about solar powered cars for the past 50 years leads me to believe its not gonna happen for a smal company like rokenbok
"It's a Jersey thing"
Back to Top
WalkaboutTigger View Drop Down
ROK Apprentice
ROK Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: Feb/16/2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 19
Post Options Post Options   Quote WalkaboutTigger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/15/2013 at 1:00pm
About solar-powered Rokenboks - the whole idea of the toy is for the user to integrate, develop, and improve their skills. If you use rechargeable batteries, go out to the Internet, buy a solar cell whose output is equivalent to the 3 batteries in series (4.5vdc) and connect it appropriately.

BEFORE you do this, however, build a solar-powered charging circuit for your rechargeables to prevent you from destroying a $60 vehicle.

Remember that charging batteries is a low-current application of DC power. Operating motors can be a relatively high-current use of DC power.

What you're going to find is that, due to the low efficiency of solar cells, you're going to need a 2-foot square solar array to provide the same power 3 high-energy AA batteries provide.

If you're interested in replacing the batteries in the current-generation conveyors, consider Googling battery eliminator circuit.

And for those of you who use non-rechargable batteries, please take your old, dead, even-leaking batteries to your local nationwide electronics store, or your local eWaste recycler.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
All those moments will be lost, in time, like tears in rain.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down