Hardware

Prep Boards

Grab the Adafruit Motor Shield V2 and the Adafruit Bluefruit LE SPI Friend module. We need to stacks the module on top of motor shield. To do that, we need to solder the included headers to the pins on the Adafruit Bluefruit LE SPI Friend.

Install headers to Bluefruit SPI Friend

Insert the header into pins and cut it down to size.

I recommend using tack putty to hold the header in place while soldering.

You can use a panavise to hold PCB in place while you solder the header to the pins on the module.

Be sure to solder all the pins in place and double check your work for any cold solder joints.

Install Adafruit Bluefruit LE SPI Friend to Motor Shield

Once the headers are soldered to the SPI Friend, insert the them on top of the prototyping area on the motor shield. Reference the photo to see best placement.

Again, I recommend using tack putty to hold the PCB in place while you solder. Fitting a small amount underneath the PCB will elavate it.

Flip the board over and use a panavise to hold it in place.

Solder the header pins in place.

 

Prep Wires for Motor Shield

Next up we need to prep some wires for connecting the SPI friend to the Motor Shield. The prototyping area on the shield doesn't connect to any of the Arduino pins, so we'll use wires to connect the pins from the SPI friend, to the pins on the Arduino. 

Measure the length of the wires using prototyping area as a measuring guide.  

I recommend using 26AWG silicone-coated stranded wire because they're flexible.

Measure and cut and 8 wires in total. Use wire stripper to remove about 5mm of insultation from the tips of each wire.

Solder wires into the pins on the Motor Shield

OK, now that we have some wires to work with, let's start by soldering the voltage and ground pins. Locate the VIN and GND pins on the Arduino. We need to connect a wire from those to the VIN and GND pins on the Bluefruit LE SPI friend.

Start soldering by wiring to the ground and voltage in pins to the pins on the motor shield. Tin the header pins on the Bluefruit LE SPI friend and solder the wire from the motor shield to the header pin. Repeat this process for the 8 connections.

Motor Shield + Bluefruit LE SPI Friend Wiring Diagram

Use the diagram above to reference the wiring connections. Because we're working underneath the PCB's, it's hard to guage which pin is what. The diagram includes labales and colored lines to represent connections.

The wiring may require a bit of finesse. I'm left handed and found myself in some tight spots where I had to solder the wires in a certain order. Ensure there isn't any cold solder joints and that the wires are properly soldered to the header pins.

This might be the most difficult part of this whole project. Take your time and have patience.

Measure and cut headers for the Motor Shield

The final wiring looks like a knot, I know - wish they were as clean as the diagram! Anyway, I used 26AWG silicone-coated wires cause it's less likely for these wires to break with the given stress-relief.

Next up grab some headers left over from the SPI friend and cut them down to size so they fit the pins on the Arduino Uno.

Install headers to Motor Shield

The easiest way I found to solder the headers to the Motor Shield is to insert them onto the Uno first.

Once the headers are seated, lay the Motor Shield PCB over the Arduino Uno and line up the pins so they are seated to the Motor Shield.

With that in place, go ahead and solder them in place. Again, double check and ensure there is no cold solder joints.

This part may be the most fun. Soldering headers is easy and actually good for practice!

Double check for any cold solder joints.

A very talented Dragon once said, "the solder joints should look like Hershey's Kisses™." 

Install the VIN Jumper to the Motor Shield

The Motor Shield comes with a little black piece. This is the VIN jumper. Insert the VIN Jumper shown as the tall black handle right next to the green Power LED below. Without it, the thing won't power!

It's a little bit too tall to fit inside the enclosure so you can snip it short using wire cuts or scissors.

Wiring Complete

Congrats! The wiring portion of this project is done. Next up, we'll assemble the hardware and 3D printed parts.

This guide was first published on Oct 01, 2015. It was last updated on Oct 01, 2015. This page (Hardware) was last updated on Apr 25, 2019.