My son has made a crane with 6 EV3 motors connected to an EV3 hub. He's used ports A,B,C,D and 1,2.

But two of them don't work. Are ports 1-4 just data ports for sensors, not motors?

Is 4 the maximum number of motors?

What happens if we invest in a Spike hub?

1 Answer 1


On Powered Up hubs like SPIKE Prime, all ports are the same and can be used with motors or sensors. That means you can use 6 motors and no sensors if you need to on SPIKE Prime.

On EV3, ports A-D are for motors only and ports 1-4 are for sensors only. So EV3 is limited to 4 motors (NXT is similar but limited to 3 motors).

EV3 and SPIKE software and motor/sensor hardware are not compatible, so if you invest in SPIKE Prime, you will need to make a new program and adjust your build since the motors don't have the same form factor.

Another alternative could be to daisy-chain two EV3s. This would allow up to 8 motors since each EV3 can have up to 4 motors.

  • Can't you have two EV3's paired in some way to enable more ports for motors?
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 20:35
  • 2
    Yes, daisy-chaining two EV3s could be a possibility (4 motor ports per EV3 * two EV3s = 8 motor ports). Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 22:54
  • Perhaps this could be another option on top of the ones you've provided? Getting additional EV3 hub will be cheaper than investing in all new stuff compatible with SPIKE just for two additional motor ports.
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 5:21
  • Another alternative would be to make a mechanical multiplexer to handle an unlimited amount of motors but this has it's own advantages and disadvantages depending on the project requirements.
    – Ambo100
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 0:17

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