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.
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.
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 Micro Switches
Connect LED Strips
Connect Temperature Sensors
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:
This is a 12V DC Supplied board, which works with both sensors and motors:
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|
|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
|One way digital interface||Me Ultrasonic Sensor|
Me RGB LED
|Dual digital interface||Me 7 Segment Serial Display|
Me PIR Motion Sensor
Me Line Finder
Me Infrared Receiver Decode
|Hardware serial port||Me Bluetooth BLE|
Me Bluetooth Module(DualMode)
|Dual & one way analog interface||Me Light and Grayscale Sensor|
|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: