ThunderBorg - Dual 5A Motor Controller with DC/DC & RGB LED
Availability: 88 Product Code: MMP-0892
5 or more £33.00
ThunderBorg is a powerful dual motor control board for making awesome robots with your Raspberry Pi. ThunderBorg is designed to handle up to 5A per motor connection, so it's great for bigger-than-your-average-buggy projects and making awesome robots from your Raspberry Pi.
Hello, I have two stepper motors of 1.5A. You can find the full specs here: https://imgur.com/a/XW6GPFX I also have two thunderborgs to control them. My question is: What is the optimal power supply and what is the cable configuration? Batteries are not an option, so only DC here. I am connecting them to Raspberry PI 3 B+. There is no constraint about the number of power supplies although the less the better. Thank you!
Do you have any recommendation on suitable power supply? What would be the maximum ampage/wattage to the thunderborg. The aim is to power 2 12v motor and the pi.
Well you'll need a 12V power supply, with enough amperage to power the Pi and the two motors. The Pi will need about 2A and the motors, well that can vary massively! If they are small 12V motors they may only need .5 amp but if they are larger motors then the ThunderBorg can provide up to 5A per motor!
Having a power supply with more current than required is not a problem as current is only supplied when it is needed.
I have a diddyborg V1. Can i simply purchase the thurderborg and swap it out on the v1?
It is possible to use a ThunderBorg on the DiddyBorg v1, but there are a couple of things which would need changing:
The mounting holes for the PicoBorg Reverse do not match the ThunderBorg holes. You could either drill some new mounting holes in the bottom plate (the board will fit) or mount the ThunderBorg over the Raspberry Pi (which will need longer wires to the motors).
The example scripts would need some adjustments to work with the ThunderBorg. Alternatively the DiddyBorg v2 scripts could be tweaked to the correct settings for DiddyBorg v1 instead. We can help you out with these changes :)
If you head over to our forums we'll be able to help you out with the scripts if you go ahead
Can I power the Pi separately instead of via the ThunderBorg?
I'd like the Raspberry Pi (3B in my case) to be powered separately, essentially "always on", while being able to cut power to the ThunderBorg. Could I just snip/remove the two 5V and one 3.3V connections between the two boards to achieve this? Or is there a better way? Or, is this not possible/recommended altogether? Thanks!
It is perfectly fine to power the Raspberry Pi separately :) The easiest way to do this is to only connect the following pins:
The ThunderBorg LED should come on when the ThunderBorg has power to V+ and GND and the Raspberry Pi is also powering the 3V3 line. The 3V3 line is only used by the logic chip, everything else on the ThunderBorg is powered from either the battery directly or from 5V via the DC/DC.
Could the Thunderborg theoretically be used to control LED strips and dim them?
Assuming they are the standard "dumb" LED strips then ThunderBorg should be able to dim them using the motor output power. We would recommend fitting a resistor in series to make sure the maximum current to the LEDs is not exceeded, this tool works well for selecting the correct value: http://ledcalc.com
If the LED strips are "smart" ones which can be commanded individually (such as NeoPixels) then the motor outputs on the ThunderBorg are not suitable for driving them. These type of LEDs are typically powered from a constant 5V supply and use one or two control lines to configure the LED brightness and colour. This can often be done using basic logic such as Raspberry Pi GPIO pins :)
are the pins on the RPi accessible or blocked by the thunderborg?
Whilst the ThunderBorg does sit on top of the Pi, plugged directly into the GPIO header, there is a small gap between the top of the GPIO pins and the board. So you could just about squeeze a jumper wire on.