Hookup Guide for the Qwiic Motor Driver

Contributors: Ell C
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Hardware Overview

Let's look at some of the various features of the hardware.


  • 1.5 A peak drive per channel, 1.2 A steady state
  • Operates from 3 to 11 volts with 12v absolute max
  • 3.3V default VCC and logic
  • 127 levels of DC drive strength.
  • Controllable by I2C or TTL UART signals
  • Direction inversion on a per motor basis
  • Global Drive enable
  • Exposed small heat sink shape
  • Several I2C addresses, default UART bauds available

Front of Qwiic Motor Driver


There are two separate power circuits on this board . Power for the motors is supplied through the VIN Connectors - you can provide anywhere from 3.3V to 11V to the "MAX 11V" and "GND" connections. Power for the PSOC and logic circuits is provided by the 3.3V inputs on the Qwiic connectors. Both are needed for proper functioning.

VIn inputs

Motor Power Ports: Ground (Left) - VIN(Right)

Qwiic Connectors

There are two Qwiic connectors on the board such that you can provide power or daisy-chain the boards should you choose to do so. If you're unfamiliar with our Qwiic system, head on over to our Qwiic page to see the advantages!

Qwiic connectors on either side of the board

Motor Ports

The screw pin terminals at the top of the board allow for two motor connections. They are labeled on the backside of the board.

Screw terminals for motor inputs

From left to right on the front: B2-B1-A2-A1

Function / Connection
Group Name Direction Description UART I2C
Motor Port A1 O Winding of first addressable location Motor A winding
A2 O Winding of first addressable location Motor A winding
B1 O Winding of second addressable location Motor B winding
B2 O Winding of second addressable location Motor B winding


Jumper Usage Table

There are 2 sets of jumpers to configure on this board. There are pull-up enables for I2C and 4 config bits that select operational mode.

Name Description Usage
I2C Jumpers I2C pull-up enable Opening these disables theI2C pull-up resistors used for I2C communication. If multiple I2C devices are being used, these pull-ups should be disabled on all but one device. If UART is being used, the pull-up resistors should be disabled.
Address Jumpers Serial and function selection The config bits are 4 bits that form a configuration nybble. A closed jumper is a '1' and an open jumper is a '0'. See config table for more information.

I2C Pull-Up Jumpers

I2C Jumpers on the lower right side of the back of the board

Address Bits

The configuration is set by encoding a number into the 4 config bits on the bottom of the board. Close a jumper to indicate a 1, or leave it open to indicate a 0.

Address jumpers on the back of the board

Use this table to see what the user port, address, and expansion port will become in each configuration:

Pattern Mode User Port User Address Expansion Port
0000 UART at 9600 UART N/A Master
0011 I2C I2C 0x58 Master
0100 I2C I2C 0x59 Master
0101 I2C I2C 0x5A Master
0110 I2C I2C 0x5B Master
0111 I2C I2C 0x5C Master
1000 I2C I2C 0x5D Master
1001 I2C I2C 0x5E Master
1010 I2C I2C 0x5F Master
1011 I2C I2C 0x60 Master
1100 I2C I2C 0x61 Master
1101 UART at 57600 UART N/A Master
1110 UART at 115200 UART N/A Master
1111 N/A Reserved N/A N/A

Bold text is the default setting for the Qwiic Motor Driver

Thermal Conduction Area

The Qwiic Motor Driver is designed to operate small robot drive motors without a heatsink; we were able to run up to about 1.1A continuous current without going above 100°C. If you find that you need a heatsink, you can use our Theragrip Thermal Tape to attach three Small Heat Sinks across the thermal conduction area on the back of the board.

Thermal conduction area on the back of the board

If you need more information on how to determine whether or not you need a heat sink, kick on over to the Serial Controlled Motor Driver Hookup Guide and scroll down to Typical Application Motors and Heat Sinking.

Small heatsinks on the back of the Qwiic Motor Driver

Small Heatsinks on the back of the Qwiic Motor Driver

Board Dimensions

All measurements are in inches. The Qwiic Motor Driver PCB measures 1x1 inch, with slight overhangs for the power and motor screw terminals.

Board Dimensions