Hello everyone! We’ve been working really hard here at Hobby Components to increase our mLink range. If you’ve not seen it yet, this post is for you! I’m going to give you a quick round-up of the mLink modules we’ve already released and we’ll add more posts when new modules are added in the future. Enjoy!
First up – mLink Relays!
The mLink relay modules are a range of 5V relay modules that have been designed to be controlled either manually or via a microcontroller. For manual control there is a set of digital pin(s) that can be toggled to directly control the relay. For controlling via a microcontroller there is a serial I2C interface minimising the amount of pins required to control multiple relays or relay modules.
For Arduino users you can use the mLink library (see bottom of page) to control any type of mLink module. Only one single instance of the library is needed to control multiple types of mLink modules resulting in very little resources overhead and therefore making it great for Arduinos with small amounts of memory and pin counts.
The mLink Character LCDs are serial (I2C/IIC) LCD displays available in either 16 column by 2 row (16×2), or 20 column by 4 row (20×4) options. Because they use a standard I2C interface they are compatible with most microcontrollers including Arduino, are addressable (address can be changed in software), and only require 2 data pins for communication. Unlike standard serial or parallel character displays they require no configuration or setup to use them saving on development time and code size.
Text is displayed as a very clear white text on a blue backlight. The backlight’s brightness level is fully programmable and can be set in 10% increments allowing you to dim the display or turn it completely off to save power. mLink modules are also compatible with other mLink or standard I2C modules allowing you to daisy-chain several different types of modules together using only the two I2C pins of your microcontroller.
The mLink Home Sensor
The mLink Home sensor is a compact multiple sensor module featuring a DHT22 temperature/humidity sensor, a LDR light sensor and a PIR motion detector. These features make this module ideal for sensing occupancy and environmental conditions within a room.
Communication with the sensors is made via the modules serial (I2C) interface which is compatible with microcontrollers featuring an I2C interface including most types of Arduinos. Being an mLink module it is also compatible with other modules in our mLink range and can simply be daisy-chained together allowing multiple different mLink modules to be controlled via one serial interface.
mLink 6 Button Pad
The mLink button pad is a 6 button keypad with a serial (I2C) interface. The buttons are arranged in a d-pad format (up, down, left, right, plus select and back buttons). They have a tactile feedback when pressed and come with large (11mm) coloured circular keycaps that also make the module ideal for panel mounting. The module can also store up to 16 key presses in its internal buffer meaning that your software does not have to constantly scan the keypad to capture keypresses.
Because it uses a standard I2C interface it is compatible with most microcontrollers including Arduino. It is addressable allowing for multiple modules to be connected together (address can be changed in software), and only requires 2 data pins for communication.
mLink 4×4 Matrix Keypad
The mLink 4×4 matrix keypad is a panel mountable serial (I2C/IIC) 16 key tactile keypad. On the rear of the keypad is mounted a mLink module which continuously scans the keypad (with automatic debouncing) for any key presses. If a key is pressed the module stores the key as an 8 bit ASCII value which can then be read out of its serial interface. It is compatible with other mLink or standard I2C modules allowing you to daisy-chain several different types of modules together using only the two I2C pins of your microcontroller.
mLink RGBW LED Controller
The mLink RGBW LED controller is a serial I2C module designed to allow a microcontroller such as an Arduino to control common types of RGB (red-green-blue) and RGBW (red-green-blue-white) LED light strips. The module has screw terminals for connecting the light strips power supply and its +Ve, -red, -green, -blue, and optionally -white connections. It is capable of controlling 5V, 12V, & 24V LED strips that require a +Ve supply with -ve RGB(W) control inputs at up to a total of 2A per channel.
When connected to a microcontrollers I2C interface each LED output can be controlled independently with up two 256 different levels of brightness allowing for a combined RGB colour palette of over 16 million colours. Additionally, either predefined or user defined RGB colour cycling modes can be selected which can run independently of the microcontroller.
mLink NTC Temperature Sensor
The mLink NTC temperature sensor is a serial (I2C/IIC) module that interfaces to a wired remote NTC temperature sensor probe (supplied with module). The module continuously takes measurements from the sensor probe and provides the results as a temperature in degrees centigrade via its serial I2C interface. It is compatible with other mLink or standard I2C modules allowing you to daisy-chain several different types of modules together using only the two I2C pins of your microcontroller. Its default I2C address can be changed via software so that multiple NTC modules can be connected to one microcontroller.
mLink DHT22 Temperature & Humidity Sensor
The mLink DHT22 sensor is a serial (I2C/IIC) temperature and humidity sensor module. It adds the ability of your microcontoller/Arduino to measure temperature (in oC) and relative humidity (%RH) to 1 decimal place using only its I2C interface. It is compatible with other mLink or standard I2C modules allowing you to daisy-chain several different types of modules together using only the two I2C pins of your microcontroller.
mLink 12Bit I2C Digital Port Expander
The mLink port expander is a serial (I2C/IIC) digital I/O module. It allows you to add 12 digital input output pins per module to your existing microcontroller/Arduino using only its I2C interface. It is compatible with other mLink or standard I2C modules allowing you to daisy-chain several different types of modules together using only the two I2C pins of your microcontroller.
Got a Library for that? Sure!
Our Arduino library for Hobby Components mLink range of modules currently supports the following mLink products. And what’s even better is that you only need the one tiny library to control the entire range:
mLink 12 Bit port expander (SKU: HCMODU0180)
mLink DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor (SKU: HCMODU0181)
mLink 1 channel relay module (SKU: HCMODU0182)
mLink 2 channel relay module (SKU: HCMODU0183)
mLink 4 channel relay module (SKU: HCMODU0184)
mLink RGBW light controller (SKU: HCMODU0185)
mLink NTC temperature sensor (SKU: HCMODU0186)
mLink Matrix 4×4 keypad (SKU: HCMODU0188)
mLink 1602 & 2004 Character LCD (SKU: HCMODU0190A & HCMODU0190B)
mLink 6 Button Keypad (SKU: HCMODU0193)
mLink Home Sensor (SKU: HCMODU0198)
The library is available on our support forum here, along with instructions for using the library and installing it.