I have been wondering how to remote control my arduino robot using an old 2.4ghz car toy transmitter which has 4 buttons, up down left and right. I have the nRF24L01(+) 2.4GHz transceiver to use it as a receiver.

Is there anyway to detect the signals going out from the remote controller and use them to make my arduino works, I am a newbie so i am sorry if any mistake.

Thanks guys!

1 Answer 1


You have two options:

  1. Use an nRF24L01+ on the Arduino and dismantle the controller to rip out the innards, replacing them with another Arduino and another nRF24L01+.
  2. Do not use the nRF24L01+, instead, rip apart the car and salvage the receiver from it, then work out how you can wire that to the Arduino.

The car's controller will not talk to the nRF24L01+. Yes, they may be in the same frequency band, but they do not talk the same language. After all, your WiFi is on the same band and that doesn't talk to the car, and your microwave, which is also 2.4GHz, doesn't sit and watch satellite TV all day. As you can see the 2.4GHz band is used by a huge number of devices (the band is actually getting quite crowded) and everything talked to everything else in the same band it would be utter chaos.

  • 2
    Its actually not entirely impossible that the existing system is on-air compatible with an nrf24l01 - many are based on workalike chips and have been reverse engineered. But without recognizing it as one of the known schemes for compatible chips, or recognizing the chip used and sniffing its spi traffic to determine the scheme, steps like you recomend would indeed be necessary. The fact that it has buttons and not proportional sticks may point to a cheap, unique chipset and not a distinct MCU and transceiver. Feb 29, 2016 at 13:52
  • @ChrisStratton Not impossible, granted, but either not likely or, as you say, too much work to decypher the protocol. Chances are it's all just a CoB anyway.
    – Majenko
    Feb 29, 2016 at 16:23

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