Getting Started: Wire up Your Creation

Wiring has always been a pain for DIYers. Normally you need to find a single pin from the sea of inputs/outputs repeatedly while worrying about loose cables and potential harm to your hardware/yourself from short circuits. Fortunately, this situation does not exist in the world of Makeblock.

Introducing RJ25 Wiring System – it is a simple method to connect your electronic modules with your controller board. Even a child can correctly match the colors of the sockets and build their circuitry of sensors; besides, RJ25 cables and connectors are sturdy, excelling in large robotic projects or classroom teaching.


Red for Red, Blue for Blue

The basic idea is that an electronic module must connect to the port (in the controller) having all the colors labeled in that electronic module. For example, a Me Motor Drive have a red label, which means it need to connect to a red port in the controller board; a Bluetooth module has blue and grey, so it needs a port that includes blue and grey in its label – only port 5 in the image below satisfy this requirement.

RJ25 Adapter

On-board Motor Drivers

Want to make your robot move? Makeblock Orion Controller Board includes two motor drivers. You can connect motors directly(as shown below) and control them with PORT_1 & PORT_2 in the software. But please note that you need an external 12V DC Power Supply to power these motors – USB power supply won’t work with motors.

You can attach additional motors through Me-Motor Drivers.


Use Adapters

Devices such as connect servos, micro switches, temperature sensors, and LED strips need a Me-RJ25 Adapter to connect to controller boards. The following images show how to use these adapters.

Connect Servos


Connect Micro Switches

MicroSwitch Wiring

Connect LED Strips


Connect Temperature Sensors

Orion&Temperature Sensor


Power Supply

Finally. You need power to make your motors move and sensors read. If your creation only includes sensors, plugging in a micro-USB cable from your computer could be just fine; but if you have motors to move, an external 12V DC Power Supply is required (then the device can work without USB cables).

This is a USB-powered controller board, which works with sensors but may not drive motors:

USB power supply

This is a 12V DC Supplied board, which works with both sensors and motors:

Power Supply

Know What the Colors Mean

Curious about the meaning of these magical color labels? The following table explains them “color by color” to satisfy your engineer mind.

Tag Color Meaning Typical Me Modules
Makeblock_Orion_Red_Tags Red represents the output voltage of Vin (6-12 VDC), which is the power input voltage. Generally, it is connected to some voltage driver module with 6-12V. Me Motor Driver
Me Servo Driver
Me Stepper Driver
Makeblock_Orion_Yellow_Tags One way digital interface Me Ultrasonic Sensor
Me-Limit Switch
Makeblock_Orion_Blue_Tags Dual digital interface Me 7 Segment Serial Display
Me PIR Motion Sensor
Me Shutter
Me Line Finder
Me Infrared Receiver Decode
Makeblock_Orion_Grey_Tags Hardware serial port Me Bluetooth BLE
Me Bluetooth Module(DualMode)
Makeblock_Orion_Black_Tags Dual & one way analog interface Me Light and Grayscale Sensor
Me Potentiometer
Me Joystick
Me-Sound Sensor
Makeblock_Orion_White_Tags I²C port Me 3 Axis Accelerometer and Gyro Sensor

Use with Arduino and Raspberry Pi

Most Makeblock modules include reserved slots for jump wires. You can connect them with other Arduino compatible controllers. Please refer to the documentation of specific modules to get the definitions of these slots.

The following photo shows how RJ25-based Me Modules working with Arduino Leonardo:


This photo shows wiring Me Modules to Raspberry PI:

Next Steps

Control your robots with mobile Apps

Programming with mBlock


Related Links

Buy a Makeblock robot



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