How To Control A DC Motor With Your Raspberry Pi [3 Easy Steps]

Raspberry Pi computers are truly incredible devices that allow users to really customize their own experiences with them. It’s incredibly easy to install various software and hardware onto a Raspberry Pi computer, and this has helped to make them incredibly popular all across the world.

How To Control A Dc Motor With Your Raspberry Pi [Awesome Tips]

In fact, Raspberry Pi computers can even be customized to such a degree that you can control things such as motors for various devices, allowing you to become a total tech wizard. In fact, with a little bit of work, it is also possible to control a DC motor using a Raspberry Pi computer. 

But how do you actually control a DC motor with a Raspberry Pi? How do you actually connect the two together, and how do you ensure that they work properly in tandem with each other?

Well, we have the answers you seek!

What Is A DC Motor?

Before we find out how a DC motor can be controlled by a Raspberry Pi computer, let’s take a closer look at what such a motor actually is, and whether it is what you want to make use of!

Put simply, a DC motor is a device that converts electrical power into mechanical electricity that can be used by various devices. DC motors make use of magnetism and create their own magnetic fields, which in turn generate electricity to be used by different devices. 

The magnetism from the motor creates a constant rotation, which helps to generate energy. DC motors are often preferred by those building machinery because they are extremely precise, and can easily change their rotation speeds to allow for precise control of machinery.

Note: Keep in mind that A DC motor differs from a stepper motor when you’re looking to purchase or configure!

How Do You Control A DC Motor With A Raspberry Pi?

Now that you are sure that you want to make use of a DC motor, you will need to know how to connect it to your Raspberry Pi computer. 

First, you will want to make sure that you have the following things.

You will need the latest Raspberry Pi model that you can get a hold of, preferably a Raspberry Pi 3B+ or better! 

You will also need an appropriate DC motor that can connect to the Raspberry Pi. Make sure that the DC motor has the appropriate connectors to connect the device to the Raspberry Pi motherboard.

It is possible to connect two motors to one Raspberry Pi motherboard, but it is important to make sure that you do not overpower the Raspberry Pi or the motor. Choose a motor or two that cannot exceed a current of 1.2 amps.

In order to power the motor, you will also need a motor driver, which will be directly connected to the GPIO pins on the motherboard, and allow the motor to access enough power to spin.

Make sure to grab some connecting wires to bridge between the motherboard and the motor, as well as power supplies for both the Raspberry Pi and the DC motor.

You will need to keep in mind that the Raspberry Pi cannot provide enough power alone to power a DC motor, so you will want a 5v supply for your motor. 

Step 1 – Put Everything Together

Now that you have all of the components that you need, it is time to put them together to create your Raspberry Pi-powered motor. 

You will need to take a look at the specific requirements of each of the motors, as well as the specific requirements of the motor driver in order to ensure that you connect everything properly.

Each of these components will have specific outputs and inputs, so you will want to look up each one in order to see which connections you need to make to your motherboard depending on which Raspberry Pi model you are working with.

Step 2 – Put Together Your Code

Now that you have all of the various components connected together, it is time to put together the executables that the circuit board can use to put everything into action. There are all kinds of codes to be found online, with each one offering certain experiences. 

For example, some codes online may be used to help a single motor to rotate for a five-second period. Make sure that you do not make use of a code that provides too much amperage to the motherboard or the motor. 

Step 3 – Execute Everything

Now that you have put everything together, and you have chosen the perfect code to make everything operate as you want it, you will want to then execute the code that you have entered. 

Head to the terminal of your Raspberry Pi and enter the following code:

“sudo python ~/motor/”

Hit enter, then reset your Raspberry Pi, and your code will now be put into action as you wished.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can A Raspberry Pi Power A DC Motor?

Definitely not. While a Raspberry Pi can be used to give commands to a DC motor allowing it to spin and operate, it is not possible for a Raspberry Pi alone to provide enough power to the motor. Thus, you will need a separate power source for it.

Can You Control A Motor With A Raspberry Pi?

Definitely. With the right code, it is incredibly easy to command a motor to operate in any way you want while using a Raspberry Pi computer.

Can A Raspberry Pi Output 12v?

No. A Raspberry Pi definitely cannot provide that much power to an external device. At most, a Raspberry Pi can provide around 5V.

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To Wrap Up

Controlling a DC motor using a Raspberry Pi computer can be easily done in a few quick steps!

Erik D

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