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Having learned that Mindstorms EV3 doesn't work directly with Power Functions,

Q: Can you use Power Functions motors with the EV3 programmable brick?

A: No, the connector does not match.

I still wonder what could be possible workarounds to use them together?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can accomplish this with these two parts:

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8886 | (8871 & 8528) powerfunctions.lego.com/en-us/faq/default.aspx –  auselen Sep 8 '13 at 17:56
    
How does this accomplish anything? The cables are incompatible. Bad answer and non-helpful. @guestguy123's answer was better, even without details (which I added). –  eficker Jun 13 at 18:15
    
As of Nov 2014, the top link doesn't work. And, honestly, I don't think this was ever a valid solution. –  Nick2253 Nov 12 at 16:47
    
@Nick2253 The top link has since rotted. I've updated it to the new location. –  Timtech Nov 13 at 22:18

As mentioned by @guestguy123 and @eficker, it is easy to combine an EV3 cable and a PF cable to make a custom cable that allows the EV3 to control. This can even be done without soldering - I just twist the wires together and tape them with electrical tape. The full schematic is here: Schematic for cable

All you need is 2 resistors (1x1kOhm and 1x10kOhm) which are cheap to get at your local electronics store (e.g. Radioshack or Maplin's) and the willpower to cut through 2 good Lego wires (1 PF cable and 1 EV3 cable). But once you do, it recognizes a PF motor as an NXT style unregulated motor and you can send it commands.

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forgot to mention that I snipped that image from the youtube video - not my work ;) –  Phil B. Nov 21 at 2:38

You can use 3rd party modules:

Or third party cable NXT to PF Cable (however I am not 100% sure if it will work with EV3). Accoring to answer on lejos forum it should work with Lejos RCXMotor class.

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this explains how to make a conversion cable:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns3TODgRlCE

You take a cable from the EV3 and a power functions cable, add some resistors and solder it up. Not a tough mod, but you do have to sacrifice two cables to the cause. Although, the possibilities are worth it imo, as you can now control a lego train or other power functions sets with EV3.

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Can add details (in your answer) about how this cable is made before referring to this external link? –  pcantin Mar 9 at 15:00

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