SparkFun Pi Servo HAT

The SparkFun Pi Servo HAT allows your Raspberry Pi to control up to 16 servo motors in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner via an I2C connection. Thanks to its I2C capabilities, this PWM HAT saves the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO, allowing you to use them for other purposes. Additionally, the Pi Servo HAT adds a serial terminal connection, which will allow you to bring up a Raspberry Pi without having to hook it up to a monitor and keyboard.

Power to the SparkFun Pi Servo HAT is supplied by a microUSB connector that can be used to power the servo motors only, or to power the servo motors as well as the Pi that is connected to the HAT. This USB connector can also be used to hook up the Pi via serial port connection to avoid having to use a monitor and keyboard for setting up the Pi. To supply power only to the servo power rail (and not the Pi’s 5V power rail), you just need to remove a small blob of solder on the isolation jumper. Doing this allows you to drive heavier loads coming from multiple or larger servos.

Each of this HAT’s 16 servo motor pin headers has been spaced out the correct distance from the others to make it easier to attach your servo motors. They are pinned out in the proper order for most hobby-type servo motor connectors. The Pi Servo Hat is the same size and form factor as a Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W, but it can also operate with a regular Raspberry Pi.

Note: This HAT does not include headers to connect to a Raspberry Pi, those will need to be purchased separately. We recommend the 2x20 “tall” headers.

Get Started with the SparkFun Pi Servo HAT Guide

SparkFun Pi Servo HAT Product Help and Resources

Pi Servo Hat Hookup Guide

September 14, 2017

This hookup guide will show you how to connect and use the Pi Servo Hat in a project.

Setting Up the Pi Zero Wireless Pan-Tilt Camera

September 14, 2017

This tutorial will show you how to assemble, program, and access the Raspberry Pi Zero as a headless wireless pan-tilt camera.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

3 Robotics

Skill Level: Competent - You may need an understanding of servo motors and how to drive them. Additionally, you may need some fundamental understanding of motor controllers.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Customer Comments

  • Does anyone know if the Adafruit Python PCA9685 Library will work with this?

  • Can we change the address and use more than one to drive more servos?

    • I am interested in the same. After looking at the schematic, and board, I think the address pins are all left floating. I purchased a couple with the same intent and plan on soldering a wire wrap wire to the address pins so I can test this out. I wish the design would include a spot for a SMD DIP Switch or Jumper Block on the back, where there looks to be plenty of room, to assign the address more easily!

  • I am attempting to use this with servos that are standard size (though they are high torque..), and it seems like the current draw is still too much for this board when I’ve removed the blob of solder to have all power going to the servos. I have no problem using multiple micro servos.

    Is there a way to supply additional power to the board to deal with this?

    • How many servos are you attempting to drive? Can you pipe in power directly via one of the unused servo power pins? That’d be my solution.

  • To supply power only to the servo power rail (and not the Pi’s 5V power rail), you just need to remove a small blob of solder on the isolation jumper. Doing this allows you to drive heavier loads coming from multiple or larger servos.

    How much load requires a separate power supply?

    • If I were using a servo larger than the ones that came with the kit, or more than the two that came with the kit, I’d look at an additional power supply.

  • While the hookup guide mentions that you need to add a 2x20 female header before you can pop this on your Pi, the description does not. Considering every other HAT on the site either includes one or has it pre-installed, this requirement should probably be mentioned to prevent unpleasant unboxing surprises :)

    • Good thought. We are currently updating all aspects of our product pages and we’ll soon have a fix for this. Until then I’ll add a note. Thanks for the heads up!

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