Introduction: Make My MotorBridgeCape Work!

About: Hello...I enjoy things. Stay there and someone will find you!


  • First off...
    • Why does my MotorBridgeCape not work when I open up the box and attach it to the BBB/BBG?
  • Secondly...
    • Who is there to assist in times when things do not go well with the MotorBridgeCape?

All in all, the device works and there are specific items that need to be addressed before this specific Cape can work with your current, past, or future Linux Distro.

If you look at the photographs, you can probably put all of it together yourself. I will just add some commentary so that things do not get too confusing. At first, especially since I have only owned this specific cape for about eight months, I was reluctant to keep using it because of an issue with its workings.


P.S. I will discuss more in the next couple of slides. Oh and I could have not figured out anything unless people from the #beagle at Freenode and googlegroups on sites helped me. There were people from their company that pitched in and a couple of people that had similar issues all banding to make this issue fade.

Step 1: RE: Step One and Getting Some Footing/Seth

Hello Again,

Again...the photos are for fun. Enjoy them, read them, and look over them. If you get the MotorBridgeCape from SeeedStudio, you can most likely be helped with this info. from the photos and the commentary in English.

  • First:
    • Plug in your board with the USB to your computer and add the Ethernet so you can have access to the www.
  • Second:
    • Use an SSH client like PuTTY or use a Linux Distro.
  • Third:
    • Sign into the board, respectively BBG/BBB w/ Debian (lower case "d" in Debian) as the user name and temppwd as the password w/ images relating to current on
  • Fourth:


We should have our software in our home directory, e.g. root@beaglebone:~/MotorBridgeCapeforBBG_BBB#.

Once you have used your "ls" command to find out what is in your directory, go ahead and search through it. Please do not change anything just yet. I will leave that for you to advance in. I just want my experience to grant you access to your MotorBridgeCape. We have a piece of software, some hardware, and nothing works just yet.


P.S. We will encounter what to do very soon!

Step 2: RE: Gaining Ground and Looking for What Works/Seth

Hello Again,

Redundant yes. Helpful...oh yea! We have some new photos to dig through. This should be helpful.

  • If you have not attached the Cape for some reason or unattached it, please attach it or reattach it.
  • Power on your board via USB and have a 12v Lead Acid battery handy w/ the correct leads and connections for your terminals.
  • You can use this site on if you want some other info:

  • There are some other informational ideas on that page and some software if you get bored.

  • Now:

  • We have to downgrade from the current image Adafruit_BBIO v1.0.10 to Adafruit_BBIO v1.0.3. To do this, simply remove Adafruit_BBIO by sudo pip uninstall Adafruit_BBIO and reinstall it by using this command in your terminal, sudo pip install Adafruit_BBIO==1.0.3.

  • That should get you ready for the update on line 37 of the software that can be found from cloning the SeeedStudio repo on

  • Do this: add, type in, a numerical value of 2 after a comma on that line 37. Finish it off w/ a parenthesis.

  • So...line 37 should look like this: MotorBridge = Adafruit_I2C(0x4b, 2)

  • Now...just run the software I have listed at /silver2row/bbg/MBC/ that I mentioned above w/ the correct motors attached at the Motor Bridge Cape. Use the screw terminals and tighten them well so that a little tug does not disconnect them.

  • Attach the battery in the respected screw terminals on the Motor Bridge Cape. Now, while in your terminal, type sudo python3

  • That should do it. You should be enjoying an onslaught of motor movement from the library and my additional software that I got started by listening to Seeed Studio's old forums.

  • Make sure your add-on cape is on working and not on standby. There is a switch on the center, left section of the Motor Bridge Cape.


P.S. So...we should have a working board now.

Step 3: RE: Oh and I Did Forget/Seth

Hello Once More,

Update the firmware...

That is it! It should work now. The updated firmware should run well and now you will be able to run DC Motors, Servo Motors, and Stepper Motors.



P.S. One last thing: go and get python-smbus downloaded to your Adafruit_BBIO library if it did not come w/ the install from earlier. If all else fails, contact someone at or I can walk you through issues that pertain to updating firmware and adding your python-smbus to your already configured system. Also, try the googlegroups section of if you are in doubt. I am sometimes scanning ideas and looking to answer specific questions.