UART cable for RVR?

Hi all. Just got my RVR from the Kickstarter, and it looks really awesome. I didn’t see a UART cable in the box, though, I could only find a USB-C cable. Is there supposed to be one? If not, can someone suggest a cable to hook my Pi up to the RVR?

Congrats on the launch!

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For now I am using standard 0.1mm female to female jumpers / ribbon cables. It’s working well for now and I do plan to shop around for the official plug soon.

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What is the official plug size for the RVR UART?

This is not the official plug size, it will be about 10.4mm (0.41inches) in width.

Thank you. I guess a better way to ask is if I need to buy something specific like the JRT PH 4 pin female header to fit the UART. Is it a Sphero custom size or is there a recommended product I can get from Amazon/eBay.

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@Kinvert Do you mind sending me a link to the exact cable I need to connect RVR to a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+? I’m new to using Raspberry Pis and UART cables. Thanks! BTW, I love your Vector tutorials.


I don’t yet know the official ones to use. Currently I’m using run of the mill Female to Female Jumper Wires.

Note, two wires need to cross so you can’t just use servo cables etc.

I’ll probably look in to this more in depth Monday night and an article will be out hopefully Tuesday on this. I have a lot to juggle I just got our RVR in Friday and I have a very busy weekend. Wish I could be more help sooner for you :slight_smile:

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Thanks! I’m looking forward to the article.

@beaucarnes I am not sure if there will ever be an official UART cable, especially since you must be very careful wiring this up. You only want to use three of the four pins in the UART connector when connecting it to a Raspberry Pi. This is because one of the pins supplies 5VDC power, which is not used for serial communications, especially since the RVR’s and RPI’s UART pins are only rated for 3.3VDC.

Here is the Getting Started Guid from Sphero for how to wire the RPi to the RVR.

The jumper wires that most will use for this purpose are readily available. For example…

You just need to ‘peel off’ a group of three wires from the bundle, and then wire the two devices together as shown in the Sphero Getting Started guide.

Hope this helps!

@ogiewon Thanks! That was the exact info I was looking for.

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I haven’t located one to test my theory, but it looks an awful lot like the cd audio cable from an old pc.

Can anyone confirm or deny this before i try to dig one up?

Obviously it would need to be rewired, and probably shortened to be useful.

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There should be a lot of cables from computers that will fit. It’s a standard pin spacing. Some of the cables that run to the front panel for USB, switches, and LEDs should fit (if they are 4 pin).

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This probably won’t typically work with a standard cable since you generally need to skip the 5V and 2 pins cross over.

Female to Female jumpers seems to be the way to go with this.

We talk about some of the specifics here:

Sphero RVR Raspberry Pi

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The port looks like it supports a retention clip, I agree, it looks like the old cd connection.
@Moafy, did you find /try that cable?

Sphero must have used that port for a reason?

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It is just a standard 4 pin 0.1 inch cable and plug.

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Most of those I have seen are just flat, the RVR one seems to have a retention clip slot as well.
I’m going to see if I have an old PC CD audio cable lying around, its looks like that would work, they were 4 pin 0.1 inch with a clip.

Edit - Seems to be an MPC-2 connector?

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Not sure if anyone still needs or is interested in one, but I have probably 30 of these (maybe more). They are 3 pin connectors (no 5v line) on each end with the TX and RX already swapped. About 20-21cm long. They were well for a UART cable between RVR and Pi.

I am not conveniently located (a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!) but, if anyone is interested, I will put one in an envelope and mail it your way. I might be able to get some sent out over Mardi Gras break. If you’re patient postage-wise and you want one, message me a mailing address in the US and I’ll do my best.

Pase yon bon jounen!

Scott Bridges, N0SAB


Update: We’ve had visitors the last few days from the U.S., so cables will go out Friday with them and hit mailboxes in the next few days. Sorry about the delay, I’m between 6 and 7 hours from Port au Prince and that’s how things leave the country.

If anyone else would like a UART cable, send me a mailing address via private message and it will go out Friday as well.


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Finally got around to this, sorry it took so long. Just a standard cd audio cable, rewired for rvr and the sparkfun servo phat. Black for ground, red for rx, white for tx.