I have currently started looking into raspberry pi projects. My background is in C# and Java. I do not have much experience with Python which seems to be the preferred programming language to do raspberry pi projects. I wanted to use the Arduino Motor Shield as my motor controller because it is the cheapest controller I can find that can control 4 separate DC/stepper motors as well as 2 servo motors. I've looked around the raspberry pi forums and found this https://github.com/lipoja/AMSpi to accomplish what I wanted. But there seems to a problem stopping the motors when running the test files. Once the motor starts running it will not stop until I manually turn off the raspberry pi. Can someone help me with this? I am using Raspberry Pi 3 Model B BTW.

  • Couple of questions: What happens when you try to kill the process using Ctrl+C? The example.py program has 8 stages: clockwise, stop, counterclockwise, stop, turn right, stop, turn left, stop and exit. How far through the test do the motors get?
    – goobering
    Jun 8, 2016 at 19:49
  • Have you contacted the author? They surely are in the best position to offer support. Personally I'd double check your wiring.
    – joan
    Jun 8, 2016 at 19:52
  • @goobering The results are surprisingly inconsistent. Sometimes its the 3rd motor that keeps spinning and sometimes its the 1st and the 3rd motor that keep spinning. The program closes itself but it does so before cleaning up the GPIO output. (somewhere the stop_motors is failing) I think that is why, the raspberry keeps sending signals to the Motor Shield.
    – Sophonias
    Jun 8, 2016 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


I did something similar.

See https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=16118

Also see http://abyz.me.uk/rpi/pigpio/ex_motor_shield.html

The (Public Domain) code I used was

#include <stdio.h>

#include <pigpio.h>

   This code may be used to drive the Adafruit (or clones) Motor Shield.

   The code as written only supports DC motors.


   The shield pinouts are

   D11 PMW motor 1
   D10 Servo 1
   D9  Servo 2

   D6  PWM motor 4
   D5  PWM motor 3
   D3  PWM motor 2

   The motor states (forward, backward, brake, release) are encoded using the
   MOTOR_ latch pins.  This saves four gpios.

typedef unsigned char uint8_t;

#define BIT(bit) (1 << (bit))

/* assign gpios to drive the shield pins */

/*      Shield      Pi */

#define MOTORLATCH  14
#define MOTORCLK    24
#define MOTORENABLE 25
#define MOTORDATA   15

#define MOTOR_3_PWM  7
#define MOTOR_4_PWM  8

   The only other connection needed between the Pi and the shield
   is ground to ground. I used Pi P1-6 to shield gnd (next to D13).

/* assignment of motor states to latch */

#define MOTOR1_A 2
#define MOTOR1_B 3
#define MOTOR2_A 1
#define MOTOR2_B 4
#define MOTOR4_A 0
#define MOTOR4_B 6
#define MOTOR3_A 5
#define MOTOR3_B 7

#define FORWARD  1
#define BACKWARD 2
#define BRAKE    3
#define RELEASE  4

static uint8_t latch_state;

void latch_tx(void)
   unsigned char i;

   gpioWrite(MOTORLATCH, PI_LOW);

   gpioWrite(MOTORDATA, PI_LOW);

   for (i=0; i<8; i++)
      gpioDelay(10);  // 10 micros delay

      gpioWrite(MOTORCLK, PI_LOW);

      if (latch_state & BIT(7-i)) gpioWrite(MOTORDATA, PI_HIGH);
      else                        gpioWrite(MOTORDATA, PI_LOW);

      gpioDelay(10);  // 10 micros delay

      gpioWrite(MOTORCLK, PI_HIGH);

   gpioWrite(MOTORLATCH, PI_HIGH);

void init(void)
   latch_state = 0;


   gpioWrite(MOTORENABLE, PI_LOW);

void DCMotorInit(uint8_t num)
   switch (num)
      case 1: latch_state &= ~BIT(MOTOR1_A) & ~BIT(MOTOR1_B); break;
      case 2: latch_state &= ~BIT(MOTOR2_A) & ~BIT(MOTOR2_B); break;
      case 3: latch_state &= ~BIT(MOTOR3_A) & ~BIT(MOTOR3_B); break;
      case 4: latch_state &= ~BIT(MOTOR4_A) & ~BIT(MOTOR4_B); break;
      default: return;


   printf("Latch=%08X\n", latch_state);

void DCMotorRun(uint8_t motornum, uint8_t cmd)
   uint8_t a, b;

   switch (motornum)
      case 1: a = MOTOR1_A; b = MOTOR1_B; break;
      case 2: a = MOTOR2_A; b = MOTOR2_B; break;
      case 3: a = MOTOR3_A; b = MOTOR3_B; break;
      case 4: a = MOTOR4_A; b = MOTOR4_B; break;
      default: return;

   switch (cmd)
      case FORWARD:  latch_state |=  BIT(a); latch_state &= ~BIT(b); break;
      case BACKWARD: latch_state &= ~BIT(a); latch_state |=  BIT(b); break;
      case RELEASE:  latch_state &= ~BIT(a); latch_state &= ~BIT(b); break;
      default: return;


   printf("Latch=%08X\n", latch_state);

int main (int argc, char *argv[])
   int i;

   if (gpioInitialise()<0) return 1;

   gpioSetMode(MOTORDATA,   PI_OUTPUT);
   gpioSetMode(MOTORCLK,    PI_OUTPUT);

   gpioSetMode(MOTOR_3_PWM, PI_OUTPUT);
   gpioSetMode(MOTOR_4_PWM, PI_OUTPUT);

   gpioPWM(MOTOR_3_PWM, 0);
   gpioPWM(MOTOR_4_PWM, 0);


   for (i=60; i<160; i+=20)
      gpioPWM(MOTOR_3_PWM, i);
      gpioPWM(MOTOR_4_PWM, 220-i);

      DCMotorRun(3, FORWARD);
      DCMotorRun(4, BACKWARD);


      DCMotorRun(3, RELEASE);
      DCMotorRun(4, RELEASE);


      gpioPWM(MOTOR_4_PWM, i);
      gpioPWM(MOTOR_3_PWM, 220-i);

      DCMotorRun(3, BACKWARD);
      DCMotorRun(4, FORWARD);


      DCMotorRun(3, RELEASE);
      DCMotorRun(4, RELEASE);


   gpioPWM(MOTOR_4_PWM, 0);
   gpioPWM(MOTOR_3_PWM, 0);

   DCMotorRun(3, RELEASE);
   DCMotorRun(4, RELEASE);


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