Raspberry Pi with DRV8835 Motor Kit - Add more components?

Hey everyone, I’m new here.

I’m currently working on a project where I’m going to drive a Zumo Bot using Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

I have just finished soldering the DRV8835 Motor Driver Kit for Pi, and have successfully driven two brushed dc engines without issues.

Now I want to hook up a NeoPixel LED Stick to the Pi as well, but since the motor driver kit takes up so many pins, it’s not possible at the moment.

I’m trying to figure out how I can rewire everything to be able to give the NeoPixel Stick access to some power and ground.

What pins are the DRV8835 Kit actually using?
How can I expand from the Kit so I can use the pins that the kit is not using?
How would you recommend I rewire this? I have an Adafruit Perma-Proto Hat to help me.

Very thankful for any help I can get.

While the DRV8835 Motor Driver Kit for the Raspberry Pi plugs into the GPIO header on the Raspberry Pi, it only uses 4 control pins (GPIO05, GPIO06, GPIO12, and GPIO13 as shown below). It also shares a common ground and gets its logic power from the 3V3 pin. You can find more details about this in the “Using the motor driver” section of the DRV8835 Motor Driver Kit for the Raspberry Pi product page. Additionally, if you are powering the Raspberry Pi from the motor driver board using an external regulator, you will need to connect the 5V pin too, as this is how the regulator gets its power.

There are many ways you could go about breaking out the other pins to have access to them for your NeoPixel. For example, you could solder jumper wires to the top of the unused pins on the motor driver kit. Since you have the Adafruit Perma-Proto Hat, you might consider using one of the alternative headers mentioned on Adafruit’s product page that you linked to so the motor driver kit can sit on top of the Perma-Proto Hat…


Thank you for your reply, Brandon. Very useful information!

Although I am concerned how I will deliver 5V to the NeoPixel. I’m using the voltage regulator recommended on the DRV8835 product page to drive the Pi from the same power source.

How can I provide the neopixel with the voltage necessary from the same power source. I can’t really seem to figure out how to connect the neopixels power in series with the Motor Driver.

Are any of the 5V pins unused? Sorry if I am a bit confused, I’m still getting the hang of this.

Thanks in advance, again!

The three pins labeled as “5V” in the picture from my last post are all connected together, so you can use any of them. Additionally, it looks like Adafruit’s Perma-Proto HAT provides a 5V rail (which is most likely connected to those same Raspberry Pi pins).