Tuesday, 12 May 2020

The Rkub2 Microbit edge connector board

I've been tinkering with the micro:bit a lot more recently having used them for a couple of product reviews and tutorials for hackspace magazine. I was shopping around for an edge connector that I could use as part of a robot build that would break out the pins but also was able to handle voltage from a 3 cell 11.4v lipo battery. This RKub2 board was available on eBay for £4.99 delivered as a solder-able kit so it was worth a go.

It's relatively straightforward to put together with all the components being larger through hole types apart from two power regulators which are SMD but massive enough to be able to handle without tweezers! Once assembled it has all the pins broken out to a header socket row (or you could make this a row of header pins if you wanted to insert it into a breadboard more often). For power input it has a few interesting options. The first thing of note is that it has a connector for 3.3v which can receive the standard micro:bit battery box connector and therefore you can power the bit and have all the extra pins broken out using the standard 2 AAA batteries. On the other side of the board is a barrel jack connector which can receive a 12v input and also next to it are two pads for a 12v input. this is very handy as we can solder some wires with an XT60 connector to it and directly attach out 3 cell lipo battery. When powering the board from either 12v input a connected micro:bit is powered from the on board 3.3v regulator automatically and the whole unit can be switched on and off with the small switch. When powered by 12v (or 11.4v in our case) the board has a section on the lower right with power rails for 3.3v, 5v, and 12v (or the 11.4v input in our case).

For the project we had in mind for this board its been excellent as we were driving some motors with 12v driver boards and this board meant we had all the different power voltages and the micro:bit supply on the one board.

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