4.a. Assembly for Use as a General-Purpose Motor Driver

  1. Logic connections: The 13 small holes along the left side of the board, highlighted in red in the above diagram, are used to interface with the motor drivers. You can optionally solder a 13×1 piece of the included 0.1″ male header strip to these pins. Soldering the pins so they protrude down allows the logic side of the motor driver to be plugged into a standard solderless breadboard or perfboard. You can also solder 0.1″ female headers or custom connectors to these pins.
  2. Motor and power connections: The six large holes/twelve small holes on the right side of the board, highlighted in yellow in the above diagram, are the motor outputs and power inputs. You can optionally solder the included 5mm-pitch terminal blocks to the board to enable temporary motor and motor power connections, or you can break off an 12×1 section of the included 0.1″ header strip and solder it into the smaller through-holes that border the six large motor and motor power pads. Note, however, that the terminal blocks are only rated for 16 A, and each header pin pair is only rated for a combined 6 A, so for higher-current applications, thick wires with high-current connectors should be soldered directly to the board.
  3. Additional power capacitor: The motor driver shield includes three pre-installed 47 uF electrolytic power capacitors, and there is space—highlighted in blue in the above picture—to add an additional capacitor (e.g. to compensate for long power wires or increase stability of the power supply). An additional power capacitor is usually not necessary, and no additional capacitors are included with this shield.

With the exception of the pins labeled “MxEN A=B” and “MxCS_DIS”, all of the through-holes not highlighted in the above diagram are only relevant when using this driver as an Arduino shield. The “MxEN A=B” and “MxCS_DIS” pins are explained in the “Pinout” portion of Section 4.b, but they will not be needed in typical applications and can generally be ignored.