trying to build the arduino motor shield

Hello forum,

I am starting to work on a project in which I will need to drive several motors, so I ordered the arduino motor shield board and kit from "pcb europe" (I was going to link to the page, but the site is down at the moment, try later: http://pcb-europe.net/catalog/index.php?cPath=29). The schematics of the board can be found here: http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3dacu/arduino/shields/motor_control/motor_control_v1_PCB_300dpi.png .

Being a beginner, I have several questions:

  • do I need one shield per two motors?
  • what do I connect to the E1 and E2? - does PWR stand for the power supply of the motors? how do I know where to put the plus?
  • same for LEDs. How do I know where to put the plus?
  • what are the two pushbuttons for? It is up to the programmer?
  • are the flat capacitors without polarity (I don't know if this is possible)?
  • I guess the 4 pins on the far left are for the output motors. Does anyone know how they are ordered?
  • what is the advantage of using a shield over connecting the L293D motor driver properly to the arduino? (I don't know what "connecting properly" means). Which of the components do I absolutely need if I want to use an L293D motor driver?

Moreover, in the kit I got there was a third LED and nothing that could possibly go into E1 and E2. Did they do a mistake? The third LED is even listed in the part list they sent me.

Edit: now I get it, the third LED is there to be put on the PWR pins, to indicate the power, the input for the motor power (9V) is next to the 5V one.

Has anyone built this? If yes, where did you get the parts?

Thanks for your help, Nikos

Hi Nikos, I bought the same shield as a kit from pcb-Europe, as an absolute newbie to things Arduino I am also struggleing a bit however........

Yes one sheild will drive two motors, in a bi-directional fashion. E1 and E2 are i/o pins from the chip and are not used. The two LEDs for the switches should be fitted like this, LED1 has its flat toward SW1, LED2 has its flat towards the edge of the PCD, away from SW2, pressing either of these SWs will light its corresponding LED and place a low on the input pins of the Arduino. I can't find any sketches yet that go with this shield, and make use of these switches. The flat capacitors are not polarised and can be fitted either way. The four pins are for the motors. and are simply 1+2 motor 1, 3+4 motor 2. The adavantage of the sheild is that it is all wired up for you just add power,motors and your own software(or someone elses, but there is nothing to stop you building the same cicuit on a breadboard you don't need the switches if you don't want them.

Hi brum,

Thanks a lot for your answer. I have come across this guide on how to assembly the shield. Indeed, the missing parts are not related to the L293D so we can ignore their existence :)

http://mcukits.com/?p=15

Thanks again, Nikos