Successfully rewired the RSv1 remote (swapped L<->R)

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Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture
Successfully rewired the RSv1 remote (swapped L<->R)

Yesterday at the second hand clothes market (the used (and in most cases, broken) toys are occasionally appearing there) I spotted an RSv1 remote. It had a strange yellow/red color scheme (not a classic WowWee black/white one) and without a battery compartment door.  But at less then $2 price I bought it just immediately. Later at home, after a disassembly, washing the case and rubber keys and reassembly, it proved to be fully functional (I tested it with my Femisapien).

BTW the range of control impressed me much. Femisapien relyably reacts to the commands all around the room (small room in fact) end even when remote was aimed to the opposite direction to that where Femi stands or to a ceiling (so, even a reflected signal is readable for Femi)! Simply not comparable with a range of control from a PPC (Asus MyPal A696).

And after a short euphory walking my Femi around a room, I realized that standard for WowWee "martian" approach to defining "left" and "right" (you know, what I mean Wink) is not awkward, it's just unbearable frustrating. I remember, this theme was discussed before here at robocommunity, but no practical recommendations was given. Just a theoretical thoughs about reprogramming the PIC of the remote and doubts about a practical possibility of rewiring. 

So, I opened a  remote again and spent quite a time deciphering the keyboard matrix and then rewiring it to swap left and right keys.

Now I'm happy walking my Femi everywhere I want just like any other remote controlled vehicle. And I can say: It's completely real to do in just one evening by anyone, who have some experience in cutting the PCB tracks and soldering a wires !

If anyone is interested, I can share more detailed info on the RSv1 remote keyboard matrix and it's rewiring to swap left and right buttons.





MrScott's picture

...or just hold it upside down or rotated 180 degrees...

I never did buy into WowWee's explanation that this is a "feature" to help young kids control the robot.

Yes, it makes the left arm of a robot that is facing you controlled by the button on that side of the remote (i.e. the right button), but that whole contrivance falls apart as soon as you try to control the robot when it's not facing you.

Very non-intuitive, and a usability failure that WowWee has stuck with for far too long.

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Both holding remote upside-down or rotated at 180 degrees are impractical.

As for me, rewiring is a permanent and simple enough to do solution for this case. Strange to see, it's not a popular mod among the WowWee robo-hackers folks. I personally begin to think it's a "must have" mod for anyone, accustomed to controlling any non-WowWee RC toys.

P.S. Two questions to MrScott as a board moderator:

1. Can you point me to some "how to" post an images to a RoboCommunity board without having to use an external file hosting?

2. Is it possible (and how) to author of the post to correct a typos in a first message in thread?


MrScott's picture

I was somewhat joking about rotating the remote 180 degrees. That is the "official" advice that WowWee was giving at one point as reply to questions about how to deal with the reversal of buttons.

You also could use a RoboRemote to define the four buttons any way you might wish.

Regarding your community questions, that's "ex" moderator, and, yes, I can answer those questions.

Here's the howto for uploading pics.

Capable Networks, the owner of these communities, also added a Gallery feature that the author of each thread can create with a button click on the top of their opening post.

As for editing the top post, the author of every opening thread post should be able to click on the "Edit" button on the top post. There is also the "Edit" button on the bottom of any subsequent thread posts that you make in at thread.

MrScott's picture

Heh heh. I just dug out the "current" RoboSapien FAQ on the WowWee website, and it still offers this tidbit.

Why does Robosapien seem to operate in the opposite direction from the controller?

- The remote is set up so it's like you are holding the Robot in your hands. This turned out to be quite natural for most people, like you are directing an actor on a stage.

The left side of the controller always operates Robosapien's right side; the right side of the controller always operates his left side. So, if you are standing in front of him, the controller buttons line up directly to the side which will move; if you are standing behind him, the controller buttons line up vertically to the side which will move.

- Try working the remote upside down if that is more comfortable for you.

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Thanks for hints, MrScott. I somehow missed the fact that you are ex-moderator now.

The "edit" button for the first post in thread is just on the unusual place at the very top. There is no conventional red "edit" option under the first message in thread.

And what about that "upside down" workaround from WowWee - it indeed sound like a (bad) joke. Along with the suggestion for lowering the volume of RSv1 sounds by sticking a scotch tape to the speaker openings Tongue out.

GWJax's picture

A schematic or a how to article would be nice for those who would like to convert their Japan remotes to a real working remote hehehe