It is an add-on board that you can plug on top (or on the bottom) of a D1 Mini ESP8266 development board (also the D1 Mini Pro and D1 Mini Lite) to control up to 16 hobby servos, or anything else that takes PWM signal. Thanks to I²C address selection jumpers on the back, you can stack up to 64 such boards and control over 1000 servos this way! The servos can be powered from the same source as the D1 Mini, or separately (selected with a jumper).
This board is very simple, it only contains a PCA9685 chip, a bunch of required resistors and capacitors, and the sockets for connecting the servos. It is compatible with the many other servo controller boards based on the same chip, and can be used with the same libraries:
Or you can write your own code, based on the PCA9685 datasheet.
Because I want everyone to build awesome moving things, such as robots, mechatronics, remote controlled toys, interactive sculptures, smart homes and so on. And I want them to be able to build them easily and cheaply. I released it under an open license in hope that it gets copied and produced even cheaper around the world.
It's much smaller than the other PCA9685 boards available, and it plugs directly into the D1 Mini board, without the need for any cables.
You get the board with all the components and servo plugs soldered, except for the stacking headers, which you also get, but you have to solder them yourself. You can also solder your own headers instead, if you prefer. This was necessary to keep the shipping costs low and avoid damaging of the pins during transport.
This version is no longer assembled by hand by me, but instead fabricated at a real electronics factory. That means professional soldering and more in stock, but unfortunately it also means a higher price (turns out I was selling myself short). There are also small improvements to the board's layout, most notably, the pin headers are now staggered, so if you are using normal male headers (not the thin stacking headers added to the board), you can just friction-fit them without soldering, and it will work in a pinch (but for high currents with lots of servos I would recommend soldering it anyways). Also the PCBs are red.
Paul | July 5, 2017
Peter | June 1, 2017
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A hobbyist, playing with electronics and MicroPython.