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Perfectly waterproof RF remote controls usable with Pypilot
#1
With the latest HAT and his arduino, Sean has designed a fabulous autopilot with excellent ergonomics. The use of RF remote and a tablet now makes it possible to do without display and buttons on the outside of the boat. An LED connected to the clutch output of the controller arduino can provide additional information. But using two buttons to engage and disengage the autopilot eliminates the need for  LED and display.

However, remote controls  must be fully waterproof to navigate in all sea conditions.

I have found waterproof 4-channel radio remote controls 433 MHz with code EV1527 for less than € 4.
 https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/329550964...6c373vXClG

They are powered by 6V and are less powerful than the Sean model powered by 12V. For a boat longer than 10m or with teak on the deck, it is probably necessary to use the more powerful Sean model by adapting a waterproof protection to it. On my 9m Superchallenger MK3 with the computer 1.5m from the descent, this 4 channel waterproof remote control is perfect.

They are equipped inside with a thick waterproof silicone protection of the keys which covers the printed circuit.

However, prolonged immersion tests have shown me that the seal needs to be improved. I first chose to completely seal the back of the PCB using Loctite SI5398 (RTV silicone resin), but a few remotes have one or more push buttons that no longer work very well. They have oxidized with the gas from the polymerization.

In the end, I chose to reuse another method that had already worked well with other RF remote controls for several years. I spray TALAMEX WP100 inside the half boxes as well as both sides of the PCB. I also spray both sides of the batteries. This greasy product intended to protect the electronics from water also improves the seal between the silicone gasket and the cover. The push buttons on remote controls sprayed several years ago work perfectly. I even submerged the circuit boards of my old 315MHz RF remote control in water without damaging them.

Now I only use the WP100 which allows the batteries to be replaced, improves the sealing of the silicone gasket and improves the contact of the push buttons.

To open the RF waterproof remotes without breaking the clips, follow the instructions following:
  • Insert a knife blade on the side opposite to the cord fixing hole by levering it.
  • Once the half-boxes are ajar, they must be slid between them, moving the one with the buttons away from the cord fixing hole.

I designed protections made in 3D to handle the keys more safely without having to look and also to avoid any involuntary activation of the keys. The protection made of ASA with 15% infill also provides good buoyancy for the remote control. The stl files are on Thingiverse

https://www.thingiverse.com/j-marcmarseille/designs

• protection for a RF waterproof remote 4 buttons (buttons -1, +1, -10 and +10)
• bracket for a RF waterproof remote 4 buttons to be installed on an Autohelm helm drive with buttons -1, +1, O (desengage), I (engage)
• protection for 2 RF waterproof remotes 4 buttons to get 8 buttons
• bracket for two remote controls (4 or  2x4 buttons)


Attached Files Image(s)
       

.pdf   Pypilot+arduino.pdf (Size: 70.15 KB / Downloads: 101)
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#2
you used 2x 4 button remotes to get 8 buttons correct?

I have also tried sealing remotes with silicone and found was an issue in the switches and battery, so your method must be better.

Is it really submersible? I don't think you can replace the battery. I have a design that uses 2xaaa batteries and it boosts to 12 volt to get the best range still, I'm working on making it waterproof and with those batteries it can last a very long time.
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#3
Thanks for sharing, excellent post. It got me enthused for getting a remote myself - kept it at bay until now.

(2021-05-18, 10:09 AM)Jean-Marc Douroux Wrote: They are powered by 6V and are less powerful than the Sean model powered by 12V.

Can you tell me where this model is documented/presented, and how you hooked up your remotes? I always have the feeling that there is some source of information that I still haven't found ;-) Thx!
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#4
(2021-05-18, 03:48 PM)seandepagnier Wrote: you used 2x 4 button remotes to get 8 buttons correct?

I have also tried sealing remotes with silicone and found was an issue in the switches and battery, so your method must be better.

Is it really submersible?   I don't think you can replace the battery.  I have a design that uses 2xaaa batteries and it boosts to 12 volt to get the best range still, I'm working on making it waterproof and with those batteries it can last a very long time.

Yes Sean. There are two 4-button remote controls in the 8-button one. A screw on the back of the protective case holds the top one.

The remote controls are waterproof but I have some that did not support prolonged immersion. That's why I waterproof them with RTV resin. 

Loctite SI5398 makes a flexible autoclave seal that adheres perfectly. The autoclave effect allowed by the flexibility prevents any infiltration by capillary action on the sides. I use it to seal coils and electronics which must undergo water and steam qualifications at 150 ° C. It adheres so well that I also use it to protect electronics against piracy. The components are torn off if someone wants to remove this resin that acids cannot attack.

The two CR2016 batteries are almost as expensive as the remote control.

(2021-05-18, 03:50 PM)ironman Wrote: Thanks for sharing, excellent post. It got me enthused for getting a remote myself - kept it at bay until now.

(2021-05-18, 10:09 AM)Jean-Marc Douroux Wrote: They are powered by 6V and are less powerful than the Sean model powered by 12V.

Can you tell me where this model is documented/presented, and how you hooked up your remotes? I always have the feeling that there is some source of information that I still haven't found ;-) Thx!

For Pypilot, you need so-called rolling code remote controls 433MHz with an EV1527 coding chip.

Programming is very easy.

Use a PC or tablet or phone to connect in Wifi to Pypilot and to the Pypilot web server 192.168.14.1
In the configuration tab, click on "configure LCD keypad and Remotes" at the bottom.
We arrive in the attached page.
The upper part is intended for the configuration of buttons possibly connected to the Pypilot. This is the second part which concerns radio remote controls. When you press one of the keys of an EV1527 remote control, the blue LED lights up on Pypilot and you see the unique identifier of this button displayed to the right of KEY. In the line below, you can read the function assigned to this key at the right of ACTION if there is already one registered. When there is none as in the photo, it is indicated NONE to the right of action and the blue Pypilot light remains on while waiting for the desired function to be clicked so that it is programmed or pressed. on another button. You can also click on the function before pressing the button on the remote control. In the event of an error, all you have to do is press the button on the remote control and choose a new function. It is the last function assigned to a button that is always retained. In addition, you can see on the right of each function the identifiers of the buttons assigned to this function. We can see that "engage" is programmed with 3 remote control buttons. It remains to exit the configuration screen.

The more I watch, the more I'm impressed with the job Sean does


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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#5
(2021-05-18, 03:48 PM)seandepagnier Wrote: you used 2x 4 button remotes to get 8 buttons correct?

I have also tried sealing remotes with silicone and found was an issue in the switches and battery, so your method must be better.

Is it really submersible?   I don't think you can replace the battery.  I have a design that uses 2xaaa batteries and it boosts to 12 volt to get the best range still, I'm working on making it waterproof and with those batteries it can last a very long time.

I opened one of the remote controls after an immersion test of more than an hour.
I could see that the Loctite SI5398 cured well after closing the case without engaging between the keys and the PCB. There is no trace of water in the transparent silicone protection of the keys. I would like to send pictures but I am limited on this post

The downside of AAA batteries is that they can leak acid. On a friend's boat, I had to throw away the Raymarine remote because the AAA batteries had leaked and it was beyond repair when we found out. You need a waterproof assembly with the outside but also with the batteries.
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#6
(2021-05-18, 05:30 PM)Jean-Marc Douroux Wrote: For Pypilot, you need so-called rolling code remote controls 433MHz with an EV1527 coding chip.

Thanks for this, but where did you get this information from? It's not on the pypilot.org web site, nor do I see any hardware or schematics that are available there that refer to the pypilot hat or this EV1527 chip. Is there another forum where this is discussed?

Thx,
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#7
(2021-05-18, 10:00 PM)ironman Wrote:
(2021-05-18, 05:30 PM)Jean-Marc Douroux Wrote: For Pypilot, you need so-called rolling code remote controls 433MHz with an EV1527 coding chip.

Thanks for this, but where did you get this information from? It's not on the pypilot.org web site, nor do I see any hardware or schematics that are available there that refer to the pypilot hat or this EV1527 chip. Is there another forum where this is discussed?

Thx,
I think I read in a post that Sean said that the arduino in the new HAT decodes rolling code.Also, the remote provided by Sean only exists to my knowledge for EV1527 decoding.

Please note, the existing waterproof 4-button remote controls in the 315 or 433 MHz version as well as in the rolling code or programmable code version. The printed circuit is the same for all 4 versions. Only the chips are different and not in the same location on the PCB. For Pypilot, only 433 MHz remote control with EV1527 decoding chip can be used. There is no problem using multiple remote controls. The key of each of the radio remote controls is individually programmable in the configuration menu of the Pypilot server.
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#8
Ok thx for the info; I understand now. So I guess this functionality only works when you purchase a tinypilot from the pypilot store?
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#9
(2021-05-19, 08:46 AM)ironman Wrote: Ok thx for the info; I understand now. So I guess this functionality only works when you purchase a tinypilot from the pypilot store?

I had already made my Pypilot but Sean's last hat is so much better than what I did that I preferred to buy him from pypilot store.

This new hat with an arduino is a great job with an NMEA0183 port,the 433MHz receiver and the display more stable than the Nokia. I do not regret anything because it consumes less than 100 mA with the controller, the backlight of the lcd, the receiver and the wifi connection established. With my Autohelm helm drive, everything consumes less than 200mA /h on my well balanced boat. For those who want to install the additional arduino, there is the schematic and code on github.

I prefer to have a stable Pypilot that works alone with the RF remotes and possibly a tablet. It is safer and it really does not consume much
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#10
I cannot find schematics for the hat that include an RF receiver. Besides, including the extra arduino just for the RF remote is a bit too much for me. A pity, but no hard feelings - I always said it's best to buy at the pypilot store and now it's even better!
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