Assembly Guide for SparkFun JetBot AI Kit

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Contributors: Evan_Double_U
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3. Motor Driver Assembly & Configuration

To get started, make sure that you are familiar with the SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver Hookup Guide.

We also recommend a detailed review of the Hardware Overview of the SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver Here.

Annotated front SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver

You will need to solder both triple jumpers labeled below as "I2C pull-up enable jumpers" as the SparkFun pHat utilizes the I2C protocol. The default I2C address that is used by the pre-flashed SparkFun Jetbot image is 0x5D which is equavalent to soldering pad #3 noted as "configuration bits" on the back of the SparkFun serial controlled motor driver; see below. You will need to create a solder jumper on pad #3 only for the SparkFun Jetbot Image to work properly.

Annotated rear SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver
Layout of jumpers on the Serial Controlled Motor Driver.

Properly Jumpered SCMD
Jumper 3 of the Configuration Bits properly soldered.

Your completed Serial Controlled motor drive should look somewhat similar to the board shown below.

  • The 2-pin screw terminals are soldered to the "Motor Connections."
  • Break off 4 Male PTH straight headers and solder into the "Power (VIN) connection" points.
  • Break off 5 Male PTH straight headers and solder into the "Expansion port" points. These will not be used, but will provide additional board stability when installed into the mini breadboard.
  • Break off 5 Male PTH straight headers and solder into the "User port" points for connection into the included Female Jumper Qwiic cables.

completed motor driver

completed motor driver 2

Break off 5 Male PTH straight headers and solder into the breakout points on the SparkFun microB USB Breakout.

Install both the SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver & the SparkFun microB Breakout board on the included mini breadboard so the "GRD" terminals for each unit share a bridge on one side of the breadboard.

Utilize the included 2 in - 22 gauge solid core hookup wire (red) to bridge the "VCC" pin for the SparkFun microB Breakout to either (VIN) connection point on the SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver as shown below.

motor driver and usb to breadboard
Required power connections between the micro-USB breakout and the Serial Controlled Motor Driver.

motor driver and usb to breadboard
Competed assembly of the micro-USB breakout and Serial Controlled Motor Driver on the breadboard.

Utilize a small flat head screwdriver to loosen the four connection points on the screw terminals. When inserting the motor connection wires, note the desired output given the caution noted in section #1 of this assembly guide.

Note from section #1: Do not worry about the motor orientation as you will determine proper motor operation in how you connect the motor leads to the SparkFun Serial Controlled Motor Driver.

These connection points can be corrected when testing the robot functionality. If your Jetbot goes straight when you expect Jetbot to turn or vice versa, your leads need to be corrected.

motor cables to motor driver

Set this assembly aside for full installation later.