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.
Are the schematics of the motor driver board available? Is there any chance to access P19 and P20 (I2C) if the LED matrix of the micro:bit is oriented towards the DRV8833?
Posted byon Tuesday, 21 February 2017
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.
Is it possible to influence the speed of the motors? If I understand the DRV8833 data sheet correctly, the motor driver IC should be able to. Is it?
Posted byon Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Hi Marcus, 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.
I have just bought the motor controller for my 8 year old son. Are there any links I can follow to learn how to program the microbic to use this board? My son has a basic idea of Scratch, but neither of us has tried to connect stuff to the microbic before.
Posted byon Friday, 3 February 2017
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 https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/bbc-microbit-kitronik-university/, and we do have a breakdown of what the different blocks do to help understand what each section would do, https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/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
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.
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