PiRoCon from 4tronix

pirocon1Draft information

The PiRoCon from 4tronix is a robot vehicle controller board with direct support for 2 bi-directional motors, 2 servos, an Ultrasonic Module and 8 input/outputs that can handle 5V and 3.3V devices so its very useful for just plug and play robotics πŸ™‚

As well as the above, you can plug an additional expansion module – the Adafruit 16 channel PWM/Servo Board into it and control those outputs as well.

The script on the left shows the variables that it responds to

Tilt can be from -70 to 80, Pan from -90 to 90, MotorA/B from -100 to 100.

Setting Tilt or Pan to off is available to help extend battery running time and the servos will just stay in there last position.

The Ulrasonic support input is exactly the sameΒ  as previously documented except no need to wire any resistors as the PiRoCon board does that for you πŸ™‚

If you plug in the Adafruit board, then the pins can be reffered to as Servo1 to Servo16 or Power1 to Power16 if just needing normal PWM outputs for driving motors(thru extra buffer electronics) or direcly varying LED brightness

30 thoughts on “PiRoCon from 4tronix

  1. Hello,
    I tried the sensor on the PiRoCon but it doesn’t work…and I don’t know if it is a sensor problem, a hanlder problem or my scratch knwoledgement problem…

    Could you post an example ?

    Thanks !

      • Right – so those 4 pins need to go into the special Ultrasonic 4 pins inputs on the PiRoCon.
        Then do a broadcast Ultra8
        and then goto sensing blocks and on the second bottom block – click on the the little arrow and select Ultra8 and then tick the box so you can see it updating in your main Scratch window


    • Hi – I’ve wired my PiRoCon back up and ultra8 is working for me using ScratchGPIO4 so I don’t think its a software bug this time 😦
      I’d check your wiring just to make sure all the wires are going to right place

      BTW it read 299 if no object is detected (its it max reported value setting)
      The MotorACount is me testing to see if I can read the motor encoders that come with an Initio Robot – are you using the Initio chassis or something else?

      Can you get hold of another Ultrasonic sensor to test?

  2. Hi,
    i Have the PiRoCon Board on the Initio Platform, Motors and Servos work fine,
    but i have a few questions:

    1. The Ultrasonic (HC-SR04 sonar) works sometimes, and sometimes not:
    when i do a broadcast Ultra8 (or Ultra23 tried both) i can not always find the Ultra 8 in the
    Sensing Blocks List, i have to disable RSC and enable it again, but even by doing this, the
    Ultra8 is only every third to fifth time in the list and the pin numbers in the list vary, sometimes
    4 pins (11,12,13,15) sometimes none sometimes two pins are shown in the list…
    what could cause this behavior?
    iΒ΄m goning to orde a second PiRoCon, maybe my first one is faulty, but it takes some delivery
    time, so iΒ΄m trying to fix the first one πŸ˜‰

    2. The Initio came with speed sensors;
    Fromt this site(http://4tronix.co.uk/arduino/4tronix-initio.php) i figured out the colors
    (Black – Ground, Red – 5V, Orange – Interrupt, Brown – Direction)
    is it possible to use the speed sensors with Scratch GPIO 4?

    thanks for your answers.

    • Hi
      1. If your Ultra sensor is not near anything – then it doesn’t return a value. Try putting an object 10cm away. I will make it it returns a value in future πŸ™‚

      2. This is a slight bug that has been fixed in development version and I will release it shortly πŸ™‚

      3. I am currently working on this with 4tronix to see if its possible and have had some encouraging resultsbut it might need a little add on on board.


      • thank you very much for your answers!
        seems all my problems will be fixed in future updates πŸ˜‰

        thanks for your great work on scratch GPIO!

    • Could you email me your Scratch script to just make sure that is right first please πŸ™‚

      (or take a picture and post it here if that’s easier)


  3. Hi, Thanks for the reply. The motors now work. I think I hadn’t used the correct version of scratch.
    I find that the Initio won’t run for more than a few minutes on batteries. How long do they normally run on fully charged batteries?
    Any help to get it to last for more than a few minutes would be appreciated.

  4. Hi,

    I have got 1 Pirocon V1 and 3 Pirocon V1.2. I’ve made up a program with scratch for the Pirocon V1 and everything is OK. Then I change the Pirocon V1 for the 1.2 version, it doesn’t work anymore. The motors turn but sometimes the motor A turns instead of motor B.
    That’s the case for the 3 Pirocon V1.2 that I own.
    Is it a hardware equipement problem or a software problem?
    I’m a frenc teatcher and sorry for my english!!
    Thanks a lot

  5. sorry I was wrong sd card. I installed Scratch GPIO5 and modified Addon PiRoConB. Engines are running well! . Tomorrow I continue with sensors.Thank you

  6. there just has a problem with scratching. When you click the icon, the software does not start
    I have to go through the file manager

  7. there just has a problem with scratch. When you click the icon, the software does not start
    I have to go through the file manager

  8. Hi Everyone, Just built my robot my only real issue is that the spin left and spin right actually run forward and reverse on my raspberry pi b+ Checked the wiring all seem to be ok any clues ?

    • You know. I’ve seen this before but I can’t rember what the solution was 😦 are you using ScratchGPIO5 or the test version ScratchGPIO6Alpha?

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