Let's Make Robots!

Connecting Rover 5


I've been looking at this post from last year http://letsmakerobots.com/node/27513. Regnatus posted a mock up diagram and I've been trying to follow it.

I've got the same boards as these with the Rover 5.

A few things... is the GND (black cable) from Motor Controller connected to A0 on the Spider? Also, does it matter which pins on Spider (D1 - D13) I connect to? Lastly, can I connect 9V to the Motor Controller (6 x 1.5 Alkaline batteries)?


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It looks like you are using Alkaline batteries. If so then change to NiMh. The alkaline batteries won't deliver enought current. The switch mode power supply draws short burst of high current. Alkaline batteries are not suitable.

Ok. Will get some. Thanks.

You have not connected the GND pins on the motor controller, the ones next to the pwm pins. I strongly advise you not to use the female header for the 5V logic on the motor controller. If that wire comes loose while you are running the motors you will blow up the fets on the motor controller. It looks like you are using very thin wires. Those 4 motors can draw +5 amps at full tilt, you should use much thicker wires (vbat on the motor controller).

Where can I plug in to GND on the Spider board? Reading from the manual -

'The center male pin is +5V and the pin closest to the outer edge of the PCB is ground.'

So say for CH4 GND on the Motor Controller...where do I plug this in on Spider?


Every I/O pin is terminated with a female header and a 3 pin male header which includes vcc and gnd. You have 70 gnd pins to choose from!

Ok, connected all 4 to gnd on Spider.

Everything looks ok (as per pics with gnd now)...code in place but still nothing :-S

Not sure what I'm doing wrong? Can't even get the one motor moving.

Until you get some decent batteries it wont do anything. Your alkaline batteries are just going to curl up and die everytime you try to use them. Alkaline batteries are pretty well useless for robots. If you only use NiMh or LiPo then you will have far fewer problems.

The Alkaline batteries voltage is too high for the motors  anyway. They are rated at 6V typical and 7.5V maximum.

I thought the 5V logic connection in front was more risky rather than using the female header. I suppose it's my thin wires though as you said...I'll look into it. Thanks.

Could you post some good sharp pictures of your setup? So we can see how everything is connected. The code looks ok, it should run one motor, that is if everything is connected right...

Thanks for reply Bajdi. I feel it's something really obvious and stupid lol. Here are some photos..