Building a remote-controlled lawnmower may seem intimidating, but it’s easier than you think. I built the one in this project in just a few hours! This tutorial will show you everything you need to know to complete your own.
The first thing you will need is a good lawnmower. Many of the newer lawnmowers are made of plastic or have plastic mounts. We want to stay away from those and choose an all-metal lawnmower for our project. The one I used in this project is this Yard Machines 20″ with side discharge.
The key to this project is the motor controller, it is essentially the brain, so we need to choose a controller capable of handling this task. There are two controllers that I like to use and they are both great options. The one in this project is the Cytron SmartDriveDuo 30. However, I also like the Sabertooth controllers and have used them before.
Whichever controller you choose, there are a few things to note. The Cytron controller is plug and play and comes with 3 pin hobby wires that you will need. The Sabertooth controller will require you to adjust the DIP switches on the board for your particular project. Also, it does not come with hobby wires. Adjusting the Sabertooth is simple and there are instructions that come with the controller.
In order to send and receive the signals required for the motors and motor controller, we will need a good transmitter and receiver. I used this FlySky hobby RC controller and I prefer them. However, you could use other brands that offer the same functionality.
The motors we will be using can be run at 12v or 24v. A 12v setup will be sufficient enough to cut the average persons yard. However, if you run at 24v you will increase your runtime and speed. The batteries can be run in parallel or in series to achieve a longer runtime at 12v or a faster 24v system. A 12v setup will run at a top speed of roughly 3mph, but a 24v system will run at top speeds of 6-7 mph. Choosing the right batteries are imperative here, you want a high amp hour battery. I recommend 18-22 amp hour batteries like these MightyMax brand batteries.
The front wheels in this project are EazyMow zero-turn casters. They are very well made and allow easy height adjustment for cutting. You could always fabricate your own and use other casters, but I recommend these because you can simply bolt them on and go.
Powered wheelchair motors or mobility scooter motors are the best choice for this project. They can be sourced many places but I recommend buying them used from Ebay or marketplace. In this project I used Pride Mobility motors and wheels. I have also used Jazzy chair motors in the past.
5/8 threaded rod and nuts made this project super simple https://amzn.to/2Blc2AG
I also recommend a quick disconnect for the batteries like this one. https://amzn.to/3hwHZW3
A set of flexible battery cables like this https://amzn.to/2Z1eDHT
Here is a video walk-through on this build. If you have any questions or need help with your build don’t hesitate to ask.