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RPi Node-Red: Car Kit Assembly

Goal:
Assemble a Rpi Car from the parts kit

What you will learn:
Special considerations for connecting sensors and screens, and how all the parts go together.

What you will need:
Full RPi car kit

Table of Contents

  1. Mounting the Raspberry Pi computer
  2. Installing the Battery Mount
  3. Mounting the Front Camera
  4. Prep and Mount the Motor Controller
  5. Connecting the I2C pins (SDA, SCL, VIN, GND)
    1. Voltage Regulator
    2. IR Laser
    3. BME280 Temperature/Humidity Sensor
    4. OLED Display
  6. Install the VIN and GND wires from the Battery mount
  7. Assembling the Chassis
  8. Connecting the motors to the motor shield
  9. Connecting the Buzzer
  10. Final build

1. Mounting the Raspberry Pi computer:

Line up the Raspberry Pi with the mounting holes here using the short 2.5mm screws. (Note the orientation of the GPIO pins and the usb port).

2. Installing the Battery Mount

With double-sided tape, install the battery mount as indicated below. (Note the orientation of the + and – signs).

Also, with ONLY one side of the double-sided tape removed, place the adhesive side on top of the HDMI port. This acts as padding to prevent any electrical shorting between the Raspberry Pi and the motor shield.

Also attach the INA219 volt + current sensor with two longer 2mm screws.

3. Mounting the Front Camera

Place a piece of double-sided tape to the back of the camera module.

Mount the camera to the front of the chassis.

Attach the camera connector to the Raspberry Pi camera connector. To learn more on how to connect an RPi camera to the Raspberry Pi computer, refer to this tutorial: https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/projects/getting-started-with-picamera/3

4. Prep and Mount the Motor Controller

Locate the 16 colored wires (4x Red, 4x Black, 4x Green, 4x Yellow) on the bottom of the motor controller.

Create a set containing one of each color by twisting them as so.

Repeat for the rest of the wires. You should have 4 sets of each color as so.

Once you are finished combining the wires, install the motor shield on top of the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins (Note the layout of the wires).

5. Connecting the I2C pins (SDA, SCL, VIN, GND)

Several components use the I2C protocol for connection. This includes the OLED display, BME280 and IR laser. Using the twisted wires from the previous step, connect those sets of wires to the following.

a. Voltage Regulator

The I2C connection to the voltage regulator allows data reading of voltage and current. Connect the wires and mount onto the car plate using short 3mm screws as shown below.

RED –> VCC

BLACK –> GND

GREEN –> SCL

YELLOW –> SDA

b. IR Laser

Be careful, the IR laser module looks very similar to the BME280 temperature/humidity sensor. You can identify the IR laser module by its name, UL53LDK.

Connect the wires to the IR laser module and mount using double-sided tape as shown below.

RED –> VIN

BLACK –> GND

GREEN –> SCL

YELLOW –> SDA

c. BME280 Temperature/Humidity Sensor

This module can be identified by its name, BME/BMP280. This module is capable of measuring temperature and humidity information.

Connect the wires and mount onto the car plate using double-sided tape as shown below.

RED –> VIN

BLACK –> GND

GREEN –> SCL

YELLOW –> SDA

d. OLED Display

The OLED display is used to display important information, such as connection status, battery level and IP address. Connect the I2C wires as shown below. (IMPORTANT: Note the pin layout on the OLED)

BLACK –> GND

RED –> VCC

GREEN –> SCL

YELLOW –> SDA

To mount the OLED display onto the car plate, use 2x 2.5mm long screws as shown below.

Notice the camera ribbon was folded under the OLED display, holding the camera ribbon cable in place.

 

6. Install the VIN and GND wires from the Battery mount

Unscrew the terminal connectors on the motor shield to install the Red (+) and Black (-) wires from the battery mount to the motor shield. Tighten the terminal blocks to secure the connections.

7. Assembling the Chassis

Place a DC motor on each corner of the chassis. The layout of the chassis mount should fit in one direction as shown below. Mount each motor using their respective nut and bolt.

Place double-sided tape on the chassis and mount the car plate.

8. Connecting the motors to the motor shield

Loosen the terminal connectors to install the motor connectors. Tighten the terminal connectors to secure them.

The motor wires can be routed through the chassis slots by the battery holder like this:

 

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