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Motor driver board plus BBC micro:bit
This board has been redesigned and improved and is now available in a more compact version here.
This motor driver board for the BBC micro:bit allows two motors to be driven simultaneously with forward, reverse & stop control, making it ideal for designs such as buggies. It is based on the DRV8833 motor driver IC, which has built-in short circuit, over current and thermal protection.
The board includes an integrated Edge Connector slot for your BBC micro:bit to easily slot into. It also features external connections to the button A and button B inputs. This allows additional switches/inputs to be connected to the motor driver board and the state of these can then be read by the BBC micro:bit.
There are 2 additional inputs/outputs. These can be used for connecting a range of parts and can be used in either digital or analogue modes.
The board also produces a regulated 3V supply that is fed into the 80 way connector to power the inserted BBC micro:bit, removing the need to power the BBC micro:bit directly
The board has been designed so that the BBC micro:bit can be inserted either way around (facing forward or backwards) however if you wish to use the broken out pins the LED matrix on the BBC micro:bit must be facing them.
- Drive 2 motors with full forward, reverse and stop control.
- Terminal blocks for easy connection of motors and inputs.
- 4 inputs (2 analogue inputs and 2 provide external connections to Buttons A and B as inputs).
- Includes Edge Connector for the BBC micro:bit to slot into.
- Provide regulated power to the BBC micro:bit.
- Access the other BBC micro:bit pins easily and conveniently.
- Ideal for designs such as buggies and other robotics projects.
- Operating Voltage of 3V to 10V.
- 1 x Edge Connector Motor Driver Board for the BBC micro:bit - V2.
- Length: 67mm.
- Width: 61mm.
- Height: 18mm.
- 1 x BBC micro:bit.
- 3V - 10V Power Supply.
- 2 x DC Motors (that are compatible with the power supply used).
- 1 x Flat-headed Terminal Screwdriver.
|Operating Voltage (Vcc)||3V to 10V.|
|Number of motor channels||2 (2 motors with forward + reverse control, controlled by P0, P8, P12 & P16).|
|Digital only inputs||2 (button A / B)|
|Digital or analog input / output pins (P1 & P2)||2 (P1 & P2)|
|Typical motor output Voltage (Vm) @ 1.5A output per channel||Vm = Vcc – 0.3V.|
|Max Current per motor channel||1.5A.|
|Digital output drive current||5mA|
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Thank you for your question, best thing to do is to have a look at the sample python code we have on our github repository. We have a guide / directory for those on the link below.
The code for the robotics board is the closest we have to a guide on the motor driver as they work very similarly.
Which is correct? :-)
I am building a robot and have the motors working, driven by 4 AA batteries. I now would like to use an ultrasonic sensor to avoid obstacles. This needs 5V - how do I get this supply?
Thank you for your question, you wouldn't be able to draw the power directly from the board. You would need to power the sensor separately and twin the ground with one pin reading the data.
In theory it is yes you could link it to an input pin on the Pin break out for the motor driver board.
Thank you for the question, in theory you could use this with an RC, though it would depend on the specifics of what you are trying to build e.g the voltage and current of the motors you want to run. The board operates the motors directly connected to it so it is not set up to be a hand held controller for motors but could receive radio commands from another micro:bit to control the motor outputs.
Thank you for your question, that should be possible. Simply attach a switch to the 3V and one pin 1 or 2 on the gold break out strip. You could then code it so that pin being high or low acts as an extra input for the code.
I have now connected the microbit to the motor controller and I am able to get the motor controller to turn on a 6 V relay when I press the start button. What I now want to do is to get the 6 V relay to turn on in response to switches being turned on that are connected to pins 0, 1, and 2 of the microbit (or their equivalent since these portions of the board are no longer accessible; they are buried in the motor controller). I see the motor controller has a ground and pin markings for 0, 1, and 2, but when I connect a switch across ground and pin 1 and press it (with the code I wrote for my other games), it doesn't seem to work the same way. Do you know what is going on? (I realize my question is a little complicated!!).
By the way I am trying to get the motor controller to turn on the relay for a few seconds when a switch is triggered so that I can control a 12 V pump and make games that spray water but only for a few seconds (everything is working except my ability to get the relay to respond to the pin value jumping from 0 to 1 due to the switch being turned on).
Thanks for any help you can give. I do appreciate it!!
Thank you for your message, I have had a look for you and it is because pins 1 & 2 are the pins used to run the motor so if you swap to a different set of pins that should all work for you!
I am in the process of developing step by step wiring diagrams for students using your break out motor board. Have you any CAD drawings for your motor driver board that could be used to show connections etc. Also I use Fritzing mainly for producing circuit diagrams in school and students respond well to it. Does Kitronik have any part blocks available for Fritzing or any plans to develop same. At present I can use a Microbit part in Fritzing but students become confused when using a breakout board.
Thanks in advance.
Thank you for your question I have been looking into this for you unfortunately we cannot supply the CAD files for a lot of our kits. Any we do have are already available on the product pages. We have had a look into fritzing as it is not something we currently use and while it might be something we look at for future it is not something we currently have.
Thank you for your question so the micro:bit sites updated guides for getting started are here below. I believe that is the link that was on the previous question.
By the Github code I assume you mean adding the extra packages such as for the motor driver board that are hosted on github?
You can add these extensions to your project by clicking on the advanced section on the right hand side of the screen. You should then see an extra set of options at the bottom of these is a plus sign with the word "Extensions" next to it. If you press this you should then be presented with various extra packages you can add to the code. If you cannot see the one you want you can always search for it in the search bar.
I hope this helps!
16 Servo Driver Board allows up to 16 servo's to be driven by the micro:bit at any one time. The
All-in-one Robotics Board allows for up-to 4 motors or 2 stepper motors and up-to 8 servo's to be driven at any one time by the micro:bit.
Thank you for your question, it should work fine from this though you would likely need to do the coding manually rather than use one of our pre packaged block packs.
Do you have anything I could use for 4 motors rather than two?
Also, we are in the process of releasing a board that can control 4 motors and 8 servo's. This should be coming in the next couple of weeks.
I would like to use the motor driver pins 0, 8, 12 and 16 to control up to 4 x 5V relays. Normally when controlling motors you need to add a "flyback diode" to protect electric components when the magnetic field inside the motor or relay collapses. Can you please indicate if there is inbuilt protection on the motor driver board v2 or if I should add "flyback diodes to each of my relay circuits. One terminal of the relay will be connected to pin 0,8,12 or 16 and the other terminal will be connected to the ground of the supply terminal to the motor drive board.
Thanks again - enjoying the versatility of the motor drive board.
IÂ´m driving two servo with the board and when I use pin 8 and pin 16 everything seems ok.
Pin 8 is a 0-180 servo and pin 16 is Servo CR.
If I instead use pin 12 and pin 8, both for motor 1 there seems to be a problem.
Should I use different "motor"-pins or could I use both pins for Motor 1.
If I could use both pins for Motor 1 och both for Motor 2, then I thought I could use four servos, but that shouldnÂ´t be possible?
It looks like this:
Hi Marcus, It is possible to control the motor speed by using the Analogue Write Pin block. Because the micro:bit is limited to 3 analogue out channels at any time the technique to do this is: Use the Analogue Write Pin to drive one pin of the motor, and use Digital Write Pin to set the other pin to zero To drive the motor in the other direction swap the pins which are analogue and digital write over.
Is there any chance to access P19 and P20 (I2C) if the LED matrix of the micro:bit is oriented towards the DRV8833?
Hi Marcus, Unfortunately it isn’t possible to access pins 19 and 20 while the BBC micro:bit is facing the terminal blocks on the motor driver, you can only access this when it faces outwards.
Hi Kal, We don’t have any resources designed to give a step by step on creating circuits with the motor driver board, however we do have a few resources that might be helpful. Anything BBC micro:bit related can be found here bbc-microbit-kitronik-university, and we do have a breakdown of what the different blocks do to help understand what each section would do, getting-started-microsoft-block-editor. We also have the code for the line following buggy kit, 5604 available here to download so it may be that you could create your own buggy with son and adjust the code to suit your design, https://www.microbit.co.uk/app/#list:installed-scripts:script:5c7ac527-2145-475e-0c20-2280d1412664:overview:id=lapexp
2. Do the breakout pads contain plated-thru holes to insert and solder a 21-position, 0.1 inch terminal strip? This seems implied by the mention of "PCB pin headers" in the description, but the photograph appears to show small (via sized) holes in the pads plugged by solder mask.
Hello Bill, The answer to your first question is yes the BBC micro:bit would still receive power from the motor driver board regardless of which way it is placed into the connector. With regards to your second question the holes on the board shouldn’t contain and solder mask and I believe that the ay the image has been taken it applies they are blocked. The holes doe go completely through the board and a suitable item to use on these pins would be 4133-straight-single-row-pcb-pin-headers-254mm-36-way.
Hi Paul, The 6V’s that we state would be the maximum that the board could handle, this would be due to limitations on other components such as the regulator, however I don’t have full details all the maximum voltage for all the components so there might be a few more.
Hi Brendan, The formula in the datasheet states that typically at 1.5A as an output current the output voltage (Vm) will be 0.3V less than the voltage input(Vcc). So if you put 6V’s into the motor driver board you would typically get 5.7V’s as an output on the motor terminals.
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