Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Internet of things - Rasberry Pi - Alamode Arduino Shield

AlaMode User Guide
Revision 1.0


The AlaMode is an integrated Arduino compatible board. It is designed as versatile, general  purpose data acquisition and control module that stacks on the Raspberry Pi computer and provides a direct connection to Raspberry Pi GPIO connector (26 pins).

The AlaMode includes AVR ATMEGA328P microcontrollers, precision real time clock (RTC), micro SD card reader, reset button & standard shield headers. ATMEGA328P microcontroller includes the Arduino bootloader and works as a bridge between Raspberry PI and Arduino. You can use the standard ARDUINO environment and graphical interface for Windows or Linux for the software development and programming this chip through ISP connector or Serial interface (USB to Serial TTL converter).

ATMEGA328P is connected to Raspberry Pi with I2C, SPI & Serial UART. In AlaMode ATMEGA328P is slave device on I2C bus and Raspberry PI is a master. AlaMode board includes 3V-5V buffers to connect Raspberry Pi with ATMEGA328P. In AlaMode ATMEGA328P uses 5V signal level.

It provides an easy way to add analog sensors, servos (see user contributed notes here), GPS modules, etc. Since the board has standard ARDUINO connectors, it allows direct connections to the shields specially made for Arduino. Its footprint is similar to that of Raspberry Pi.

Main Features of AlaMode

1.      Programmable directly from the Raspberry Pi GPIO, no cables required
2.      Temperature-controlled precision Real Time Clock (RTC) DS3231 with battery backup
3.      Micro SD Card reader
4.      Two-way voltage level shifting for safe and accurate communication between Raspberry Pi and AlaMode
5.      GPS interface for Fastrax UP501 module
6.      Arduino Uno compatible with standard shield header (* See Warning below *).
7.      AVR ATMEGA328P microcontroller which includes the Arduino bootloader
8.      Interfaces with Raspberry Pi computer via I2C, SPI or Serial UART
9.      Analog reference can be set to either 5V0 or 3V3 and GND headers to allow interfacing three wires directly
10.  Servo headers with 5V0 and GND connections to allow interfacing of 3 wire servos directly.
11.  Servos can be powered via onboard 5V0 or from external 5V0
12.  FTDI (5V0) or ISP headers for programming & loading sketches
13.  Power via external 5V0 to micro-USB socket or directly from Raspberry Pi header.
14.  5V0 and 3V3 indicator light
15.  Reset button.
16.  General purpose “Blink” LED on digital pin 13

Front view of the board

Rear view of the board


To avoid burning out your Raspberry PI and your AlaMode, please read these safety instructions first

The AlaMode is an Arduno compatible board , BUT it does not have identical functionality as standard Arduino Boards, unless a few changes are made.

The device "as supplied" is only rated to work from an input voltage of 5V DC. This restriction includes input applied to the VIN terminal in the POWER header. A regular Arduino will accept between 7V to 12V at the VIN  terminal.

By adding a couple of components, the AlaMode can be upgraded to work off 7V to 12V supply voltage.

HARDWARE CHANGES (refer to the schematic diagram) :

1.   REMOVE resistor R14 (0 ohms)
2.   Install voltage regulator U3 (NCP1117ST50T)
3.   Install Barrel Socket P10
4.   Install Diode D5 (MBRM110LT1G) - this provides reverse polarity protection at the Barrel socket. OR
5.   Use the 0 ohm resistor removed from R14 and install it at the D5 location - doing this does not provide reverse voltage protection , so use with appropriate caution.

Instructions for safe use

     Please supervise children using the AlaMode
     This product should be operated in a well-ventilated environment.
     This product should be placed on a stable, flat, non-conductive surface in use and should not be contacted by conductive items.
     During operation do not expose it to water, moisture or place on a conductive surface.
     Take care while handling to avoid mechanical or electrical damage to printed circuit board.
     Do not connect or disconnect AlaMode from Raspberry Pi while connected to power supply.
     Please observe electrostatic discharge (ESD) best practice when handling.

Use of Fonts

Normal text appears like this.

Terminal Interaction appears like this ~ Courier New with grey background.
Each line is prefixed with the command prompt “pi@raspberrypi ~ $” which you do not type.

Hardware Assembly

You will receive AlaMode hardware without headers installed. The headers are similar to the ones used in Arduino Uno R3. The headers are supplied as a kit and can be soldered if you would like to be able to use standard Arduino shields. If you do not plan to use a shield, a low profile can be maintained by installing right angle headers instead.

For experienced solderers, it should take 5 - 10 minutes to solder the headers. For beginners, do not worry...It will only take you a little longer, about 15 minutes, to solder the headers to the AlaMode.
PRO TIP: push the headers onto the pins of an Arduino Shield before soldering.  This holds them perfectly aligned while you solder them in.

Turn the AlaMode upside down where you will find round slot ,i.e., coin type battery holder. If your application requires, you can maintain time information between reboots by populating the RTC backup battery CR1632:
This will also supply 3.3V backup to both RTC as well as GPS. Now your Alamode is ready to for experimenting.

Note: Pay attention to the polarity markings on the holder and battery

Rasberry Pi - Flashing the SD Card using Windows

Using the Win32DiskImager program

1.   Download the distribution from the raspberrypi.org downloads page or from a mirror or torrent. Make sure the distribution is for the Raspberry Pi, as others will not work. Usually these are zipped (compressed) files ending in .zip or .gz (something like "distribution-name.zip").
2.   Extract the image file from the downloaded .zip file, so you now have "distribution-name.img".
3.   Insert the SD card into your SD card reader and check what drive letter it was assigned. You can easily see the drive letter (for example G:) by looking in the left column of Windows Explorer. You can use the SD Card slot (if you have one) or a cheap Adapter in a USB slot.
4.   Download the Win32DiskImager utility (it is also a zip file). You can run this from a USB drive.

5.   Extract the executable from the zip file and run the Win32DiskImager utility; you may need to run the utility as Administrator! Right-click on the file, and select 'Run as Administrator'
6.   Select the image file you extracted above.
7.   Select the drive letter of the SD card in the device box. Be careful to select the correct drive; if you get the wrong one you can destroy your data on the computer's hard disk! If you are using an SD Card slot in your computer (if you have one) and can't see the drive in the Win32DiskImager window, try using a cheap Adapter in a USB slot.
8.   Click Write and wait for the write to complete.
9.   Exit the imager and eject the SD card.
10. You are now ready to plug the card into your Raspberry Pi. See RPi_Hardware_Basic_Setup for the other things you need.
In Windows, the SD card will appear only to have a fairly small size once written - about 55 to 75 MB. This is because most of the card has a partition that is formatted for the Linux operating system that the Raspberry Pi uses which is not visible in Windows. If you don't see this small directory with files such as kernel.img then the copy may not have worked correctly.

Configuration WIFI wia the command line

Make your Internet of Things device cable-free by adding WiFi. Take advantage of the Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone's USB port to add a low cost, but high-reliability wireless link. We tried half a dozen modules to find one that works well with the Pi and Bone without the need of recompiling any kernels: its supported by the Bone's Angstrom/Debian installation that comes with each Bone as well as Raspbian and just about any other modern Pi operating system. You'll have wireless Internet in 10 minutes! Works great with 802.11b/g/n networks.
If using with a Raspberry Pi: The latest Raspbian distributions support this module out-of-the-box.  Check out our detailed tutorial for how to set up WiFi networking on the Pi If you have a model B you may find that you need to have a powered hub to use this adapter, so if you're having power flakiness with your Pi, try a hub!
This method is suitable if you do not have access to the graphical user interface normally used to set up WiFi on the Raspberry Pi. It is especailly suited for use with a serial console cable if you don't have access to a screen or wired Ethernet network. Also note that no additional software is required; everything you need is already included on the Raspberry Pi.


To scan for WiFi networks, use the command sudo iwlist wlan0 scan. This will list all available WiFi networks along with other useful information. Look out for:
  1. ESSID:"testing". This is the name of the WiFi network.
  2. IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1. This is the authentication used; in this case it is WPA2, the newer and more secure wireless standard which replaces WPA1. This guide should work for WPA or WPA2, but may not work for WPA2 enterprise; for WEP hex keys see the last example here.
    You will also need the password for the WiFi network. For most home routers this is located on a sticker on the back of the router. The ESSID (ssid) for the network in this case is testing and the password (psk) testingPassword.


Open the wpa-supplicant configuration file in nano:
sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
Go to the bottom of the file and add the following:
In the case of the example network, we would enter:
Now save the file by pressing ctrl+x then y, then finally press enter.
At this point, wpa-supplicant will normally notice a change has occurred within a few seconds, and it will try and connect to the network. If it does not, either manually restart the interface with sudo ifdown wlan0 and sudo ifup wlan0, or reboot your Raspberry Pi with sudo reboot.
You can verify if it has successfully connected using ifconfig wlan0. If the inet addr field has an address beside it, the Pi has connected to the network. If not, check your password and ESSID are correct.
Install Lightly httpd and PHP so that you can reach a web server on the PI
The web server can now be use to isten to Arduino TTY to send command to arduino app running on Alamode on board ATMEL or output data sent by arduino app running on Alamode onboard ATMEL. 
If both your wifi device such as your iPhone/Android tablet and the Rasberry Pi are connected to your homw WIFI then you can access the web server running on the PI from anywhere in range.

Install Arduino IDE for Raspberry Pi

We recommend you download either the latest version of Raspbian Wheezy from the download site of www.raspberrypi.org or Occidentalis, which is distributed by Adafruit and is based on Raspbian Wheezy. The instructions given below should work for either version. These instructions assume you have your Raspberry Pi connected to the internet. You will find the icon for LX Terminal on your desktop.

LX Terminal in Raspbian

Open LXTerminal and type following commands:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get update
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install arduino

To make the necessary changes for the Arduino IDE to recognize AlaMode, download AlaMode set up from the link given below.

From the command line, unpack and install it:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ tar -xvzf alamode-setup.tar.gz
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ cd alamode-setup
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo ./setup

The above lines will install Arduino IDE and get it ready to work with the AlaMode. The standard install will work out of the box with any Arduino-compatible board that has an FTDI interface, but Uno's /dev/ttyACM0 and the Raspberry Pi /dev/ttyAMA0 are not recognized by Arduino IDE. To do that we have created some "udev rules" that create symbolic links to those devices that are named /dev/tty/S1(Uno) and /dev/ttyS0 (AlaMode) respectively.

As suggested, you can add some udev rules. I edited the ~/alamode-setup/80-alamode.rules to contain:
SUBSYSTEM=="tty", KERNEL==”ttyAMA0” , SYMLINK+="ttyS0", GROUP=”dialout”, MODE:=0666
You can check for the variables of your device by running
udevadm info -a -p  $(udevadm info -q path -n /dev/ttyAMA0)
There is a more in depth guide you can read on http://www.reactivated.net/writing_udev_rules.html

Reload kernel
sudo udevadm trigger
Verify what happened:
ls -l /dev/ttyS0 
will show what ttyS0 number the symlink went to. If it's /dev/ttyAMA0, then verify who owns that and to which group it belongs:
ls -l /dev/ttyAMA0
Then just for the fun of it:
udevadm test -a -p  $(udevadm info -q path -n /dev/ttyAMA0)

Interfacing with Raspberry Pi & Powering Up

AlaMode comes with built-in matching 26 pins female header and for direct interfacing with Raspberry Pi through GPIO pins. A bit of care is required when putting the two devices together. It is easy to insert just one row of pins into the socket, but all of the pins need to be connected.
The following GPIO pins available to AlaMode are I2C, SPI, UART, GND, 3V3, 5 V 0, GPIO pin # 1 for reset. It is advised to interface both the devices without connecting to power.

The AlaMode can be powered in three ways:

(1) Directly from Raspberry Pi, you can put jumper on the pins labeled “5V_Link” to the ON position.   With this jumper in this position, the AlaMode gets its power through the GPIO interface, so you will need a power supply for the Raspberry Pi (RPi) that is capable of supplying a current of at least 1A.

5V_Link in ON position.

5V_Link in OFF position.

(2) From external source by connecting it to 5V0 using micro USB port available on the other side of the board. In this case the “5V_Link” jumper has to be put in OFF position.

(3) Using a 5V FTDI cable.  In this case the “5V_Link” jumper has to be put in OFF position. WARNING: If you leave this jumper in the ON position you will ruin your Alamode board. (To use the FTDI from Windows, select Arduino UNO in the Board selection of the IDE.)

Note: Do not connect the power supply to the power connectors if you use the FTDI for the communications with AVR ATMEGA328P microcontroller. FTDI cable or USB to Serial converter will provide USB 5V power to board.

Once you interface and power up, you will note that LED light D1 and D2 are glowing. which indicates AlaMode is powered.

Let's test AlaMode using Simple Blink Test to get you going.

Open Arduino IDE.

If AlaMode is directly connected to Raspberry Pi through GPIO connector, then

        Select in Arduino menu: Tools ->Board -> AlaMode

        Tools -> Serial Port -> /dev/ttyS0

        File - > Examples - > Basics - > Blink.

The Blink sketch is loaded into the IDE.  Now press the upload icon or press cntrl + u to upload the sketch to AlaMode. You will see the green LED D6 is blinking, which means AlaMode is working.

(2) If you are using a 5V FTDI cable (check the connection), then
     Select  in Arduino menu: Tools ->Board -> UNO
     Tools -> Serial Port -> /dev/ttyUSB0    
     File - > Examples - > Basics - > Blink.


Those who have programmed with Arduino would have understood by this time, the alamode is nothing but an Arduino compatible clone. The alamode microcontroller is loaded with an Arduino Uno (optiboot_atmega328.hex) boot loader.
We will see in brief about the underlying things about the alamode. Since it‘s based on the Arduino platform, you have to code the Arduino sketches and then upload the same to alamode. We will be setting up the alamode to install Arduino IDE and then we will have a look into other configurations which are required for the Raspberry PI and Alamode communication using serial interface. If you are curious to know the program which is responsible for uploading the hex file contents of your sketches to Arduino, then you will have to take a look into the below link for avrdude documentation. Yes it is the avrdude, an executable which is a program for downloading and uploading the on-chip memories of Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers which is also being used by alamode. http://www.nongnu.org/avrdude/user-manual/avrdude.html
If you want to know how the Raspberry PI and alamode communicates with each other, you will have to understand the basics about UART (Universal Asynchronous Reception and Transmission).
Feel free to have a look into the below link to have some understanding on UART

 Note - The alamode supports I2C, SPI or Serial UART when you are interfacing with Raspberry PI. But it makes use of Raspberry PI’s Serial UART for uploading sketches.
Before we dig into the details, let us see how the Raspberry PI supports communication with the external device.
Here’s the typical interfacing mechanism that you see in connecting two devices and communicate with each other by sending and transmitting data to and fro using TX and RX connections.   
The serial interface in Raspberry PI consists of two signals the TX and RX which are used for transmitting and receiving bits. In order to communicate with an external device with serial communication over UART, you will have to connect the TX of Raspberry PI to the RX of the connected device and similarly the RX of the PI has to be connected to the TX of the connected device such as Arduino.
Note – The TX and RX is a part of the GPIO pins in Raspberry PI.
It might look very simple, but there is something which we have to understand that is, the Raspberry PI runs with a voltage level of 0 and 3.3V logic levels whereas the Arduino runs with a voltage level of 0 to 5 volts.
There is a voltage difference between these two devices and you wouldn’t be able to directly connect the TX and RX of each of these devices. You need an additional circuitry that is the voltage divider or a logical level convertor. However when you are dealing with I2C communication with Raspberry PI as master and the connected device such as Arduino as slave, you don’t need a voltage divider.
Let us now see how the alamode makes use of Raspberry PI’s serial UART for communication

Compile or Upload the sketch which will compile and upload the HEX code for our blink sketch to Alamode. You should be able to see the LED blinking at PIN 13.
Note – There is a small LED onboard in Alamode on D13, which should start glowing with a 1s delay.
Common Problems

1) One common problem which you might encounter while uploading the sketch that is
avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
This happens for various reasons. If you wish to know more information about the problem, under Arduino preferences, you can set the show verbose output during upload so that should give more information about the problem.

I had encountered a similar issue, the microcontroller was unable to respond during the upload and there wasn’t any issue with the Alamode but I lately realized the fact that the GPIO pins of Alamode was not rightly in place with the Raspberry PI.
There was a slight gap and I happened to slant the Alamode a bit so that the Raspberry PI’s GPIO is fully in contact with the Alamode.

2) There are cases where the serial port is in use, in such cases you won’t be upload the sketch. Make sure the serial port is /dev/ttyS0 is not in use while you are uploading the sketch.

3) There are times you are unable to select the serial port from Arduino IDE. Note – this should not happen if you have installed the Alamode correctly.


Adding AlaMode RTC as real time clock for Raspberry Pi via I2C

(Appreciation to AdaFruit Industries for providing the tutorial.  This is simply a re-writing of that tutorial).

It is possible to use AlaMode’s RTC as a real time hardware clock for Raspberry Pi. For this you need LXTerminal.  Since the DS3231 and the DS 1307 follow the same protocol, we can follow the excellent tutorial provided by AdaFruit Industries.

First you have to get the I2C drivers into the kernel and assuming the user is using the Raspbian distro which already has it in, but unfortunately it is disabled so you have to add comment (#) before the two lines. Follow the steps on LXTerminal as shown below

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf

Like this:

Add # in front of two lines as shown below…
#blacklist spi-bcm2708
#blacklist i2c-bcm2708
Like this:

Press cntrl + x and press y to save it.

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo nano /etc/modules
and add i2c-dev at the last line and save it.

Install the I2C tools:
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get update
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install i2c-tools

Then type following lines:
pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo i2cdetect –y 0 // RPi Model B revision 1 brd
pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo i2cdetect –y 1 // RPi Model B revision 2 brd

You will see from the figure below that there is a device occupying address 0x68 which is the address for RTC.
    0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  a  b  c  d  e  f
00:          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
10: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
20: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
30: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
40: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
50: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
60: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 68 --  -- -- -- -- -- --
70: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Continuing the tutorial, let’s load up the RTC module by running the following command:
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo modprobe rtc-ds1307

The following commands need to be run as root.  The command “sudo bash” changes to the root user. And “exit” returns you to normal user mode.

pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo bash
root@raspberrypi: /home/pi #  echo ds1307 0x68 > /sys/class/i2c-adapter/i2c-0/new_device // for revision 1 board.
oot@raspberrypi: /home/pi #  echo ds1307 0x68 > /sys/class/i2c-adapter/i2c-1/new_device // for revision 2 board.
root@raspberrypi: /home/pi #  exit

If everything goes well, then you can check the hwclock time. If the time is not correct or if you are not connected to internet, you can set the time by running following script:

It will set this time to hwclock and once the time is correct, check it with date command.

pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo hwclock ––set ––date=”2013-01-31 20:00:00”

If you are connected to the internet, you can instead update the RTC from the system time:
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo hwclock –w
and verify it with
pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo hwclock –r.

Next time you will like to add the RTC kernel module to the /etc/modules list, so it is loaded automatically when the machine boots. For this, run :

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo nano /etc/modules

and add rtc-ds1307 at the last line i.e. after i2c-dev and save it.

It is also required to create the DS1307 device creation at boot, edit /etc/rc.local by running

pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo nano /etc/rc.local

And add after line containing fi (note “\” is a continuation line that means the command continues on the next line)

pi@raspberrypi ~ $  sudo modprobe rtc-ds1307
pi@raspberrypi ~ $  echo ds1307 0x68 > \
     /sys/class/i2c-adapter/i2c-0/new_device // for revision 1 board.
pi@raspberrypi ~ $  echo ds1307 0x68 > \
     /sys/class/i2c-adapter/i2c-1/new_device // for revision 2 board.
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo hwclock -r

before “exit 0” and save it. 

see the screenshot in the next page.

To make this effective, you need to reboot the system by running sudo reboot.

Now, the RTC of AlaMode is added as real time clock for Raspberry Pi.


More help

Join us at the Wyolum user forums on Google+



Example 1: AlaMode Test

This is the factory test we use for AlaMode.  It tests the Serial port, I2C, real time clock, and SD card.  A side benefit is you can see both sides (the Pi side and the AlaMode side) of each of the ports.  I am using the AdaFruit “WebIDE” to run this example.  This is a great way to develop on the Raspberry Pi without setting up a display.  Give it a try, or use your favorite method.
1.  Download or Copy/Paste the sketch AlaModeTest.ino (or get the raw file) from bitbucket into the Arduino IDE.
2. Upload the sketch to AlaMode by clicking the button with the right arrow on it: .
3. Download pyserial 2.5 and install pyserial.  This is a super easy library that allows connections through any serial port.
4. Download or Copy/Paste the python AlaModeTester.py file into a new file in the WebIDE.
5. Run AlaModeTester.py by clicking “Run” in WebIDE.  Success!  (Mostly.) I did not have an SD card installed in AlaMode at the time of the test.  The SD test is run on the AlaMode once at boot up.  To retest, insert an uSD card in the AlaMode, then hit reset on the AlaMode, then rerun the test by clicking “Run” in WebIDE.

Example 2: Firmata Blink

This is only useful if the Raspberry Pi and the AlaMode can interact.  The Firmata library is a messaging handling protocol that takes a lot of the difficulty out of two-platform development while only having to develop code on one the Pi side of the interface.  Firmata can also be extended on the AlaMode side of the interface to set up special message handling.   1.  First start the Arduino IDE.
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ /usr/bin/arduino &

(The “&” in the above line “backgrounds” the arduino process, so that you can still use the command line.)

2. When Arduino comes up, this can take 15 - 20 seconds.

Open File--> Examples--> Firmata → StandardFirmata.  

Make sure your selected board is “AlaMode” with serial port “/dev/ttyS0”.

3. Upload the sketch by clicking the button with the right arrow on it: .  The compiler does not run very quickly on the Raspberry Pi, so this takes about a minute.

4.  Now we need to install pyFirmata on the Raspberry Pi.  Extract the source code to “/home/pi/tmp”.

pi@raspberrypi ~  $ mkdir tmp # no harm if already exists
pi@raspberrypi ~  $ cd tmp
pi@raspberrypi ~/tmp $ wget \
pi@raspberrypi ~/tmp $ unzip 3f54748b2154.zip
pi@raspberrypi ~/tmp/... $ sudo /usr/bin/python2.7 setup.py install

5. Run pyFirmataTest through the WebIDE. (Create New File, copy/paste code), then click run.

If all went correctly, an LED on your AlaMode should be blinking!  Hooray!  Today a blinky LED, tomorrow the World!
Example 3: DS3231 Temperature Compensated Real Time Clock

In this example we access the time from the DS3231 real time clock.  Since it is connected directly to the I2C bus, we need play only with the Pi side of the house.
1.  Make a new directory called DS3231 by clicking “Make New Folder” in WebIDE.
2. Download AdaFruit’s easy-to-use I2C library into DS3231 (created in step #1)
3. Download WyoLum’s DS3231.py into the same directory.
4. Run DS3231.py by clicking “Run” in WebIDE.



Servo Control

The AlaMode board provides a convenient way to connect to servo motors. The photo of the top of the board shows an area labeled Servo 5V0 and GND. This area of the board has 8 sets of three pins. The first six sets are used to control servo motors; the remaining 2 sets select your power option. Each set of three pins has Ground, 5Vdc, and a PWM pin from the Arduino. The pin closest to the Arduino chip is the PWM pin; the pin furthest from the Arduino chip is the Ground. Counting from the edge of the AlaMode the PWM pins are D3, D5, D6, D9, D10 and D11. To connect a servo you push its three wire connector onto a set of pins. Be sure the orientation is correct.

You have two choices for 5V power to your servos. This choice is made using the last two sets of three pins: set 7 and 8. Rows 7 and 8 have identical function. You can select servo power by using only one of the two rows and leaving the other row empty. Or you can place an identical jumper in both rows to give you more current. (This document has an excellent photo of how this works :  http://wyolum.com/docs/Alamode/AlaMode_V1datasheet.pdf)

Using Board Power - By putting a jumper between the middle pin and the one closest to the Arduino chip you select to use the same 5V power as the AlaMode board is using. If your AlaMode board is using power from the Raspberry Pi GPIO connector, then you will not have much power left for your servos. If you are powering your AlaMode from its own mini USB connector then you can supply enough power to run several small servos.

Using Off Board Power - Your second choice for powering the servos is to remove the jumpers from rows 7 and 8. Instead you can connect an external 5Vdc power supply to the pins in rows 7 and 8. Ground connects to pin furthest from the Arduino chip and +5vdc connects to the center pin. The pin closest to the Arduino will not be used.

The Arduino IDE has a sample program for controlling servo motors.

AlaMode continues to reset - If you find that your AlaMode board resets when your servos are running with on board power, then you are overloading your power supply. Moving the servos is pulling your power supply voltage low enough that the Arduino resets. You should either use smaller servos, use fewer servos, or get a more powerful power supply. You should be able to run six micro servos with a 2.1A power supply.



We have included the schematics for the AlaMode in the following pages for further reference.

AlaMode Schematic - 1
AlaMode Schematic - 2

AlaMode Schematic - 3

AlaMode Schematic - 4

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