What do I need to connect the Photon to a 12V motor controller?


Hello, apologies in advance but I’m a total noob at electronics and this is my first project that I’m using to learn.

I’m trying to make this electronic coffee grinder. In order to save some money, I ordered a Photon to use on it instead of the Electron. However, I was just informed that the Photon can only take 5V, when the motor, motor controller, and power supply are all 12V.

I could try to get 5V parts instead, but unfortunately I already 3D-printed the 3D-printed parts, so I’m trying to order the same electronic parts as in the linked tutorial so everything fits… So I’m wondering if it’s possible to somehow still use the Photon to act as a WiFi switch for a 12V-powered thing? I did search for this, but was unable to find a solution.

The other parts that will be connected, as I’ve found them:

Thanks so much for any help!


@abs, the only thing that would be different with a Photon is to add a DC-DC step-down regulator to get 5V for the Photon (on Vin) from the 12V supply. There are lots of choices for those and members can recommend if you need help.


Thank you! I will get one of those as well then.


@abs, make sure the regulator is designed for 500mA or more.


Will do, thank you!


I linked a regulator before that I now think was overkill. Wondering if this would seem like a suitable option?


Thanks again!


@abs, that a Pololu unit which is a great choice with good efficiency at 12V input and 5V output.


Thank you! I’ll give it a shot :smiley: