I want to take my RC car remote, which uses a potentiometer to control throttle, and connect it to an arduino in order to control the cars speed. The ardunio fits perfectly in the base of the remote.

I want to retain original functionality, however, this can be changed.

I am fairly new to electrical engineering and arduino in general.

TLDR: What would be the best way to "emulate" a potentiometer signal using an arduino that would then get sent into into the part of the remote that transmits signals?

EDIT: This is for a project on self driving vehicles. I will have a desktop PC with Java software that is grabbing images from a camera mounted on the actual car and telling the car how to react. The arduino in the base of the remote will be connected via a USB port. The android / Java part of the software is complete and I just need to get the arduino code working to tell the car "Move Left this much" and "Go forward for x seconds". This is all figured out except for that analog control.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You mentioned a potentiometer which controls the "throttle." Are you using a gas RC car or battery powered? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Battery powered RC car. It is a 5 cell 3300mah battery. the charger charges it at 4A. The remote runs on 9 AA batteries. \$\endgroup\$
    – Austin
    Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


Don't emulate it. Just go digital. Use a Digital Potentiometer. Some use i2c some use spi, some have a serial input. Just pick one with the same resistance range (Say 50k or 100k), and try to pick one with a high number of steps (different positions between the high and low ends of the potentiometer range). You can also get them in Log or Linear version.


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