This board provides a simple way to add motor driving capability to a BBC micro:bit. It allows two motors to be driven with full forward, reverse & stop control. It has terminal blocks to connect four input devices and a regulated 3V supply is fed in to the 80 way connector to power the inserted BBC micro:bit.
In this new version, the pins from the BBC micro:bit are now broken out to pads on the end of the Motor Driver Board. These pads can either be soldered onto directly, or they are the correct spacing for our PCB pin headers (see image below for a close up of the new pads).
It is ideal for designs such as buggies (see below).
It includes an integrated Edge Connector slot for your BBC micro:bit to easily slot into. It also features external connections to the Buttons A and B inputs. This allows additional switches to be connected to the motor driver board and the state of these can then be read by the BBC micro:bit.
Get up to speed quickly. Example Microsoft TouchDevelop code and example connections in the datasheet (below).
- 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.
- 1 x Edge Connector Motor Driver Board for the BBC micro:bit - V2.
- Length: 67mm.
- Width: 61mm.
- Height: 18mm.
- 1 x BBC micro:bit.
- 4.5 - 6V Power Supply.
- 2 x DC Motors (that are compatible with the power supply used).
- 1 x Flat-headed Terminal Screwdriver.
- Operating Voltage (Vcc) - 4.5V to 6V.
- Number of motor channels - 2 (2 motors with forward + reverse control, controlled by P0, P8, P12 & P16).
- Typical motor output Voltage (Vm) @ 1.5A output per channel - Vm = Vcc 0.3V.
- Max Current per motor channel - 1.5A.
- Digital only inputs - 2 (button A / B).
- Digital or analog input / output pins (P1 & P2) - 2 (P1 & P2).
- Digital output drive current - 5mA.
As has been highlighted in the most recent BBC micro:bit newsletter, we have just launched a new and improved version of our very popular Motor Driver Board for the BBC micro:bit, The Motor Driver Board V2.
This fun learning resource has been put together to provide teachers with an all in one design and technology challenge that you can set for your students over the course of a term or a year. The resource includes a number of different design and technology aspects; electronics, mechanical assembly, 2D and 3D design, using a laser cutter, using a 3D printer and coding and testing. There are also alternative production methods highlighted in the individual resources.
Martin Woolley explains how he wrote the Robot Buggy code using the Microsoft PXT Editor for the BBC micro:bit. Includes a link to the completed code. Martin not only wrote the code that we use for the remote controlled buggies, he also designed the Bluetooth profile for the BBC micro:bit and wrote and released the micro:bit Blue App, which we used to control the buggys.
The last part of our physical design challenge was to design a flag for a capture the flag style game. As with most of the design challenges that this project presented, we had some ideas and discarded the difficult and impractical until we were left with a simple but effective solution.
We looked at a few different ways of achieving our Robot Wars inspired buggy but quickly settled on keeping the buggy completely intact and cutting a top plate from a perspex sheet. We wanted it to be functional, aesthetically pleasing and also easy to produce. We had six buggies to design and build and only a few days to get them done.
Bluetooth is the technology that makes the remote control aspect of this project possible, fortunately, the BBC micro:bit comes with Bluetooth functionality as standard. Martin Woolley explains how to pair your Android device with the BBC micro:bit and how to use is micro:bit Blue App to control the Robot Buggy.
The line following buggy for the BBC micro:bit is a great kit for students to build as it combines several elements of design and technology; electronics, mechanical assembly and coding and it is this buggy that the Robot Buggies are built upon. The kit has relatively few parts and is simple to build, making it a suitable option as a classroom activity.
This is a step by step guide to building the BBC micro:bit Line Following Buggy. The buggy uses two light dependant resistors to control a line following board on the bottom of the chassis to 'follow' black lines.
This is a step by step guide to customising a toy crane to be controlled with a BBC micro:bit, using the Motor Driver Board for the BBC micro:bit and the built-in accelerometer to detect tilt and turn motions.
1. When a micro:bit is inserted in (reverse) orientation to use the breakout pads on the edge of the Motor Driver board, is the regulated 3V supply of the Motor Driver board still connected to the micro:bit's power inputs? This seems to be implied by the data sheet, but not explicitly stated. 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.
Posted byon Tuesday, 10 January 2017
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 https://www.kitronik.co.uk/4133-straight-single-row-pcb-pin-headers-254mm-36-way.html.
Friendly greetings! As of now in January 2017, it says "out of stock" ... Approximately when will this motor driver board V2 come back in stock? Or will you discontinue to produce this board in the future?
Posted byon Friday, 6 January 2017
Hi Tom, Currently we are in the process manufacturing another batch of the Motor Driver Board. Currently we are estimating this will be complete with stock available during w/c 16/1/17, although this may alter slightly.
I saw that Vcc range is listed as 4.5-6V however the DRV8833 data sheet shows a recommended range of 2.7-10.8V. I wanted to check whether it would be possible to drive the motor controller with a 7.2V RC battery pack (which would be convenient for my application) however wanted to check the rating for the 3V regulator to make sure that this doesn't fry the micro:bit.
Posted byon Wednesday, 4 January 2017
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.
Is the output voltage at the motor terminals the same as the input voltage to the unit (4.5V to 6V less some slight losses)? The Technical Data on website suggests Vcc of 0.3V (but it could be I'm reading the formatting wrong)
Posted byon Thursday, 1 December 2016
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.
Does this version allow PWM control of motor speed? The DRV8833 chip is capable of supporting this.
Posted byon Friday, 9 September 2016
Hi Steve, Unfortunately the board doesn’t allow for this as the only pin that can be used in this way is Pin 0. However you could either use two motor drivers (to drive four motors) or an edge connector and a motor driver. You would place the BBC micro:bit into the edge connector or in the motor driver (ensuring to activate the row of pins on the edge of the motor driver). You would then connect wires from the pins on the device with the micro:bit, which you can use as PWM pins to the row of pins on the motor driver and connect them to pins P12, P8, P16, P0 on the row of pins. If you require further help please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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