Ryanteck motor controller now available on Adafruit

Ryan Walmsley is one of our favourite people. Towards the end of last year he had a successful fundraising effort on Tindie for his RTK-000-001 low-cost motor controller kit. As part of his ongoing campaign of world domination (seriously, how many seventeen-year-olds choose a product namespace with a million possible entries?*), the kit is now available for sale on Adafruit’s website. If you’re in the US, want a low-cost way to drive a couple of DC motors from your Pi, and aren’t afraid of a bit of soldering, this could be the board for you.

Ryanteck motor controller board, fully assembled

* Assuming that number is in decimal. What if it’s hex? Yikes!


Rachel Rayns avatar

And he’s dead good at troubleshooting lapdock cables.

Jim Manley avatar

Only 11 available as of Monday dinnertime GMT … get ’em while they’re stocked … and hot! Hmmm, don’t want it to get too hot though, so take it easy with the golf cart motors! :lol:

Ben Shamsian avatar

Awesome, I just ordered one, cannot wait to use it

Ben Nuttall avatar

A million? I’ll have to ask him what RTK-000-000 was supposed to be.

clive avatar

And of course the letters RTK are entirely random, giving 17.5 billion products to look forward to.

BlueSky avatar

That assumes the numbers are in base 10, they could be binary or Hex.

Andy avatar

And, if we assume all eleven characters including hyphens are ASCII, he could be intending to sell 138624799340320978519423 different items (I don’t believe he could use FF – delete, though I could be wrong)

clive avatar

Or sexagesimal. Those crazy Babylonians.

BlueSky avatar

Good effort for a 17 year old but surprised that Adafruit didn’t notice the lack of protection diodes on the board see http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-motor-shield/power-requirements

KEith Ellis avatar

If it using an L293 H Bridge the diodes are built in.

BlueSky avatar

Not according to the Doc’s it uses a SN754410, from the article linked ‘the output diodes were designed for ESD protection only and that using them as kickback-protection’

Ryan Walmsley avatar

In all the tests we have run and the voltage and amperage we sell the board for we have found this chip perfectly fine. If the user wishes to use another chip other than that we provide they can, we also used the socket so if the chip does explode or break the user can replace it.

I have used the chip in multiple projects and its always been fine even at the higher voltage ratings.

BlueSky avatar

I don’t want to be negative about what you have done as it is good that you have taken an interest in electronics and that is to be encouraged.

But there is a difference between something apparently working and making it using best practices. I wish you success with your endeavours.

Ryan Walmsley avatar

It would be something that would have to be thought about. Although pin for pin compatible the L293D costs double the price than the SNE (I an order 1000SNE for less than 500 L293D after looking at multiple suppliers).

I do know that the diodes are required for stepper motors but the board is only designed to be used with normal DC hobby motors.

RobV avatar

RTK-000-002 ?

Jim Manley avatar

The Adafruit site is suggesting stepper motors in addition to DC motors on the page featuring the RTK-000-001. I haven’t been able to find mention that stepper motors aren’t supported, although there isn’t a warning not to use them, either. I haven’t found an Adafruit tutorial that discusses adapting the RTK-000-001 to be used with stepper motors, but there may be one. Seems like this point should be clarified one way or the other in the product description.

Chas avatar

Ryan’s product is being stocked by one of the most innovative and respected electronics companies in the business. Congratulations on your successful endeavours Ryan :)

Stewart Watkiss avatar

I went through the same thoughts when I was creating my circuit using the same SN754410 IC.

The (Texas Instruments) datasheet schematic shows a diode across the output, but then in the example circuit external diodes are used.

In my initial design I included external diodes. The diodes only cost a few pence each and I thought it would be worth including to be on the safe side. With the diodes included it made the breadboard messy and difficult to wire up. As my project is designed to be easy to assemble I tested it without the diodes and decided to drop them from the design. This was before the Ryantech board was available.

I have added a section in my document “With diodes or without diodes” through which I state that I dropped them from my design for this particular project, but that if using larger motors then it may be worth considering adding the diodes back in.

The document is still in progress, but will recommend the Ryanteck MCB as an alternative to the breadboard design.

I think it provides a good low-cost motor control board which is ideal for building hobby projects.

edwinj85 avatar

Now I am jealous, how excactly does one get a custom pi board printed with their name on it?

When he sticks this on his CV, employers will be clawing at each others eyes to hire him.

Well done Ryan!

Des avatar

An SN754410 is equivalent to a L293 NOT a L293D (D for diodes?)

If you look at this datasheet all is revealed. http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/l293d.pdf

“On the L293, external high-speed output clamp diodes should be used for inductive transient suppression”

Jon avatar

Come on guys. Give the kid a break. He’s seventeen, and he has the mental capacity of actually getting something useful done at that age, and getting it sold as well. How many of you actually had anything but hormonal surplus at that age? It might not be a Best Practice created device, but being the first device he has manufactured, and getting sold on Adafruit, still goes for a major plus in my book. I really cannot recollect creating anything remotely that brilliant when I was seventeen…
Nope! My chrystal ball containing the hazy fog of my boozed up teenager life shows me nothing but trying to survive school, and trying to get laid ;-)

@ Ryan: Never mind us, the grumpy old men. We’re just jealous.

Martin avatar

agreed. well done Ryan

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Thanks Ryan!

This is a great little board – and something that has saved the effort of having to make my own. I am using the same IC for controlling the motors on my robot vehicle and was at one point looking to make my own PCB, but thanks to this I didn’t have to.

I made a few minor pin changes on my breadboard circuit so it is now compatible with the Ryanteck model – so it can now be made using a breadboard or the PCB.

I soldered my board last weekend and it’s now up and working. I will be including this in some detailed documentation which is currently in progress.

riskpw avatar

good price !!!

we had made in motor shield for Korean RaspberryPi User.
It’s the called multi-Pi that raspberrypi DEV. shield.
we made for raspberrypi open project meeting.
When it’s used made in the Multi Controller RC Car for Raspberrypi.

Every Monthly, we open project meeting Section one(Multi controller RC Car), two(Multi media for Raspberrypi), three(Networking system for Raspberrypi) and It’s made in it on the raspberrypi that Tracking RC Car, TFT-LCD, CCTV, Multi-Duino(Arduino)ETC …

So,I’m glad and enjoy it with the many people.

since, we are will make in the new shield for raspberrypi for korea raspberrypi user.

my web site is address that http://www.rasplay.org and http://www.openmake.cc

Andy avatar

Oh, grief, I see brilliant ideas like this all the time, and wish I’d a) got enough unemployment benefit to buy one and
b) had enough of a convoluted mind to build a 5-dimensional cube, all linked via an umbilical to the GPIO pins, so I could connect ’em all at the same time.
(Note to self: OK, skinflint – just buy a couple more Pi’s. After all, one is going to be stuffed up a bear’s bottom in the Finnish forest in the spring. Not fancying getting that one back!)
Well done, Ryan!

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