Different Types of Motor Drivers

Connecting motors to micro-controllers or controller board such as Arduino directly in order to control them is not possible. Since, they need more current than a micro-controller can drive so we need drivers. The driver is an interface circuit between the motor and controlling unit to facilitate driving.

L293D & Motors :

Motors used in academic robots normally operate at 5, 6, 9, 12 or 24 volts and their current is about 100 mA to 5A. Depending on the model, the manufacturing method, price, etc.

If motor connected directly to a battery, then it spins at its maximum speed in a particular direction, but when we need to control the motors (on and off, speed control, direction control, and position control) we use controllers. The output of micro-controllers are 5V and 200mA and can not spin the motor. So we need intermediate circuits to connect the controller to the motor, called drivers.

L293D Motor Driver/Servo Shield for Arduino :

L293D shield is a driver board based on L293 IC, which can drive 4 DC motors and 2 stepper or Servo motors at the same time. Each channel of this module has the maximum current of 1.2A. This does not work if the voltage is more than 25v or less than 4.5v. Proper motor according to its nominal voltage and current should be chosen.

LOADS :

  1. In the case of using Servo motor as load, pins 9, 10, 2 are in use.
  2. In the case of using DC motor as, pin11 for #1, pin3 for #2, pin5 for #3, pin6 for #4 and pins 4, 7, 8 and 12 for all of them are in use.
  3. If using Stepper motor, pins 11 and 3 for #1, pins 5 and 6 for #2 and pins 4, 7, 8 and 12 for all of them are in use.

If separate power is supplied to Arduino and shield, then make sure to disconnect the jumper on the shield. We need this because, the arduino pins can only supply ~40mA max, which insufficient to drive most motors. Also motors produce voltage spikes when being switched on/off that might damage the arduino.

Features :

  • Cheap price (compared to other drivers).
  • Proper shape and size, easy control, no need for protective circuit and diodes.
  • No need for heat sinks and good resistance to temperature and high-speed variations.
  • This IC can set up motors with a voltage between 5V to 36V and a current of up to 600 mA.
  • The frequency of this IC is 5 kHz.
  • Separate Input-Logic Supply.
  • Internal ESD Protection.
  • High-Noise-Immunity Inputs.
  • Output Current 1 A Per Channel (600 mA for L293D).
  • Peak Output Current 2 A Per Channel (1.2 A for L293D).
  • Output Clamp Diodes for Inductive Transient Suppression (L293D).

Voltage Specification :

VCC is the voltage that it needs for its own internal operation 5V, L293D will not use this voltage for driving the motor. For driving the motors it has a separate provision to provide motor supply VSS (V supply).  L293D will use this to drive the motor. It means if you want to operate a motor at 9V then you need to provide a Supply of 9V across VSS Motor supply.

The maximum voltage for VSS motor supply is 36V. It can supply a max current of 600mA per channel.Since it can drive motors Up to 36v hence you can drive pretty big motors with this L293D. Don’t Exceed the Vmax Voltage of 36 volts or it will cause damage.

L293 and L293D

  • The L293 and L293D devices are quadruple high current half-H drivers. 
  • The L293 is designed to provide bidirectional drive currents of up to 1 A at voltages from 4.5 V to 36 V.
  • The L293D is designed to provide bidirectional drive currents of up to 600-mA at voltages from 4.5 V to 36 V.
  • Both devices are designed to drive inductive loads such as relays, solenoids, DC and bipolar stepping motors, as well as other high current / high voltage loads in positive supply applications.
L293D

Difference between L293 and L293D, letter D in the name indicates an internally fitted diode and means that we don’t need to add any external components. 

  • The Continuous current in L293 Outputs is 1A and in L293D Outputs is 600 mA.
  • The Peak current in L293 Outputs is 2ampere and in L293D Outputs is 1.2 A

LIMITATION: There are certain limitations to this L293D IC when it comes to High Load or High Current Motors, one of them is peak Current.

PIGGYBACKING L293D :

Put one driver IC on top of the other and solder them in parallel. A High Current DC Motor Driver. L293D piggyback configuration is an Easy Way to Double (or in my case triple) The Current as well as the power of L293D Motor driver IC to drive high torque/ high current motor/ high resistance load. (This strategy should work for any L293D chips). L293D Piggyback is a speedy and simple technique to double the current output to the motor.

So solder another L293D chip straightforwardly over the present one. Pin to Pin. This puts the two chips in parallel mode so the voltage will remain the same as before but the current increases. These chips are evaluated at about 600mA constant or up to 1.2A for a brief period. After piggybacking two of them together, they will provide output with 1.2A persistent current and 2.4A for brief periods.

L298N 2A Based Motor Driver Module :

  • L298N 2A Based Motor Driver is a high power motor driver perfect for driving DC Motors and Stepper Motors.
  • It uses the popular L298 motor driver IC and has an onboard 5V regulator which it can supply to an external circuit.
  • It can control up to 4 DC motors, or 2 DC motors with directional and speed control.
  • This motor driver is perfect for robotics and mechatronics projects and perfect for controlling motors from microcontrollers, switches,  relays, etc.
  • Perfect for driving DC and Stepper motors for micro mouse, line following robots, robot arms, etc.

The module has two screw terminal blocks for the motors A and B, and another screw terminal block for the Ground pin, the VCC for motor and a 5V pin which can either be an input or an output. 

The module has an onboard 5V regulator which is either enabled or disabled using a jumper. If the motor supply voltage is up to 12V we can enable the 5V regulator and the 5V pin can be used as an output, if the motor voltage is greater than 12V we must disconnect the jumper because those voltages will cause damage to the onboard 5V regulator. The 5V pin will be used as input as we need to connect it to a 5V power supply in order for the IC to work properly. It can drive two motors at the same time.

Features :

  • Double H bridge Drive Chip: L298N.
  • Current Sense for each motor.
  • Heatsink for better performance.
  • Logical voltage: 5V.
  • Drive voltage: 5V – 35V.
  • Logical current: 0 – 36mA.
  • Drive current: 2A (MAX single bridge).
  • Max power: 25W.
  • Using a standard logic level signal to control.
  • The module can utilize the built-in stabilivolt tube 78M05 to obtain 5v from the power supply.
  • Two built-in H-bridge, high voltage, large current, full-bridge driver.
  • High operating voltage, which can be up to 40 volts.

LIMITATION : This IC has a voltage drop of about 2V. So, if we use a 12V power supply, the voltage at motors terminals will be about 10V i.e., we will not get the maximum speed out of our 12V DC motor.

L298N Dual H-Bridge DC/Stepper Motor Driver Controller :

This Module is for driving two robot motors. It uses the popular L298N Dual H-Bridge Motor Driver chip. It is powerful enough to drive motors from 5-35 Volts at up to 2 Amps per channel. The flexible digital input controls allow each motor to be fully independent with complete control over speed direction and braking action. Dual-channel H-bridge driver working mode creates higher working efficiency.

This module has a built-in 5V power supply, when the driving voltage is 7V-35V, this supply is suitable for power supply.

DO NOT input voltage to +5V supply interface, however ledding out 5V for external use is available.

When ENA enable IN1 IN2 control OUT1 OUT2. When ENB enable IN3 IN4 control OUT3 OUT4

Dual Motor Driver 5 Amp ( RKI – 1004 ) :

  • Dual motor driver is dual H-bridge module
  • Input voltage: 12V to 18V
  • Output voltage 3V to 5V
  • Output current rating per Motor(2 DC Motor / 1 Stepper Motor) : 0 to 5A
  • Can control 2 DC motors at a time or one stepper motor
  • With the help of battery/power supply to circuit it will drive the motors as per the input from RC circuit / Microcontroller / PC output or any other circuit it can control motor in bipolar mode.
  • Supports high PWM signal

Features :

  • 5 Amp. per motor capacity
  • Works with any circuit that gives 3 to 5 v high output
  • Soft Start and Stop provides long life to gearboxes.

Dual DC Motor Controller & Driver (20A Rated-40A Max) :

This controller combines an Arduino development board with a dual FET H-bridge motor driver. The heart of the board is an ATMega328P AVR micro-controller which comes loaded with the Arduino boot-loader and some simple control code. T’Rex driver and controller with an Arduino compatible motor controller designed to power and control dc motors and servos. 

  • This board includes 2 drivers 20A each (40A max)
  • The Dual H bridges are rated for stall currents of 40A per motor and average currents of 20A per motor.
  • Each motor has independent variable electronic braking. Self-resetting PTC fuses prevent damage from stalled motors.
  • The driver is equipped with accelerometer sensor for angle and impact detection and also factory calibrated hall-effect sensors measure current draw of each motor.

Features :

  • 6V -30V operation with built in solid state power switch
  • Programmable with the Arduino IDE (ATMega328P, 5V @ 16MHz)
  • Dual FET “H” bridge rated 20A with self resetting PTC fuses
  • Electronic braking and current monitoring for each motor
  • 3-axis accelerometer provides angle and impact detection
  • Auto-detects RC, Bluetooth, or I2C control
  • 6x Servo Outputs

5A H-Bridge Module MC33886 :

The module based on MC33886 from NXP, MC33886 is a monolithic power IC comprising control logic, charge pump, gate drive, and low RDS(ON)MOSFET output H-Bridge circuitry in a small surface mount package. MC33886 is a monolithic h-Bridge ideal for fractional horsepower DC-Motor and bi-directional thrust solenoid control.

The MC33886 is able to control continuous inductive DC load currents up to 5A. A Fault status output reports under-voltage, short-circuit, and over temperature conditions. Two independent inputs control the two half-bridge totem-pole outputs.

Designed to use in Robotics, Power tools, Automotive application.

Features :

  • Supply 5V to 28V
  • TTL/CMOS compatible Inputs
  • Continuous DC Load Current up to 5.2A min
  • Output Current Limitation at min. 5.2A with PWM Current Regulation
  • Short-Circuit Shutdown for Output Currents over 8A
  • Logic Inputs TTL/CMOS Compatible
  • Operating Frequency up to 10 kHz
  • Over temperature and Short Circuit Protections
  • Under voltage disable Function
  • Output control via two independent inputs (forward, reverse, free-wheeling low/high)
  • Two disable inputs are provided: Low =True and High =True

IRF520 MOSFET Driver Module (HCMODU0083) :

This little module (HCMODU0083) is a breakout board for the IFR520 MOSFET transistor. The module is designed to switch heavy DC loads from a single digital pin of your micro-controller.

Its main purpose is to provide a low cost way to drive a DC motor for robotics applications, but the module can be used to control most high current DC loads. Screw terminals are provided to interface to your load and external power source. An LED indicator provides a visual indication of when your load is being switched.

Features :

  • Model number: HCMODU0083
  • Voltage: 3.3 – 5V.
  • Ports: Digital Level.
  • Output load voltage: 0-24 V.
  • Output load current: <5A (1A above need to add heat sink).
  • Platform: Arduino, MCU, ARM, raspberry pi.
  • Using original IRF520 Power MOS, you can adjust the output PWM

LOADS :

  1. DCMOTOR – A standard DC type motor driven via a transistor or driver module.
  2. DCMOTOR_H_BRIDGE – A standard DC motor connected via a H-Bridge driver module allowing for forward and reverse directions.
  3. STEPPER – A stepper motor connected via a standard stepper motor driver (Step/CLK & Direction).

10A Motor Driver Shield – MD10 :

SHIELD-MD10 is an Arduino shield for controlling high current brushed DC motor up to 10A continuously. It is compatible with Arduino UNO, Arduino Duemilanove, Arduino Mega, Arduino Leonardo and possibly other pin compatible main boards. SHIELD-MD10 uses full solid state components which results in faster response time and eliminates the wear and tear of the mechanical relay.

Features :

  • Bi-directional control for 1 brushed DC motor.
  • Support motor voltage ranges from 7V to 25V.
  • Maximum current up to 10A continuous and 15A peak (10 seconds).
  • 3.3V and 5V logic level input.
  • Fully NMOS H-Bridge for better efficiency and no heat sink is required.
  • Speed control PWM frequency up to 10KHz.
  • Stackable I/O header pin.
  • Selectable digital pins for PWM and DIR.

Cytron SmartDrive40 40AMP DC MOTOR DRIVER (PEAK 80AMP) MDS40A :

This Cytron Dual channel 10A Motor Driver UNO Robot Controller is Arduino UNO compatible with the built-in dual-channel 10A motor driver. The onboard Atmega328P is the same micro-controller on official Arduino UNO and it is loaded with latest optiboot and you can select Arduino/Genuino UNO in Arduino IDE to develop the program.

Cytron 2 channel 10A UNO Robot Controller also offers several enhancements such as support for both locked-antiphase and sign-magnitude PWM signal as well as using full solid state components which result in faster response time and eliminate the wear and tear of the mechanical relay and reduce the time for wiring.

The board incorporates most of the components of the typical applications. With a minimum interface, the board is ready to Plug and Play.

Features :

  • Bi-directional control for a single brushed DC motor.
  • Support motor from 7V to 25V.
  • Maximum current up to 80A peak (1 second), 40A (5 minutes) or 30A (> 20 minutes) continuously.
  • 16 KHz switching frequency for quiet operation.
  • Reverse polarity protection.
  • LiPo battery low voltage warning.
  • Thermal protection.
  • Current limiting base on temperature.
  • Multiple input modes: RC, Analog, PWM, Simplified Serial and Packetized Serial.
  • On board push button for manual operation.

LIMITATION: The Driver has NO Reverse polarity protection Double Check connections before Power On.

Enhanced Cytron 40Amp DC Motor Driver (Peak 80amp) MDS40B :

Enhanced SmartDrive40 is an enhanced version of the MDS40A.

 It is designed to drive brushed DC motor, ranging from medium to high power motor with current capacity up to 80A peak and 40A continuously. The MOSFETs are switched at 16 KHz to ensure quiet operation and no whining sound.

Enhanced SmartDrive40 can also be hooked up with another similar unit and operates in the pair. This makes driving a robot with differential drive a truly plug and play experience. This SmartDrive40 is also suitable to use in Combat/Rumble/Fighting Robot as it is able to drive starter motor and operate in RC (Radio Control) mode. It is also equipped with a microcontroller unit to provide smart features such as multiple input modes, current limiting, and thermal protection.

Features :

  • Increased Vin range, up to 45VDC, so you can utilize more battery and control higher power motor.
  • Responsive current limiting sensor and algorithm to better protect the driver itself and also your motor.
  • High Ampere screw terminals for both battery and motor connection.
  • Additional terminal for activating or deactivate driver further cut off the power to the motor driver, eliminating the need for the high power switch.
  • Use a switching power supply for 5V regulation, higher output current (5V) and improved efficiency.
  • Option to add the fan for better heat dissipation, further increase maximum continuous current.
  • The ready header for RC receiver connection.
  • Protection of overvoltage
  • Maximum current up to 80A peak, reduce to 40A gradually according to temperature.
  • 16 KHz switching frequency for quiet operation.
  • LiPo battery low voltage warning.
  • Thermal protection.
  • Current limiting base on temperature.
  • Multiple input modes: RC (Radio Control), Analog, PWM, Simplified Serial and Packetized Serial.
  • On board push button for manual operation

ULN2003 Driver Module Stepper Motor Driver :

This is ULN2003 Driver Module Stepper Motor Driver, small size and easy to use. It uses the ULN2003 driver chip to amplify the control signal from the Arduino. This Ultra Lightweight and cheap option commonly used to run and control the small applications stepper motors.

The step motor is to a machine to convert pulse to angular displacement. So if you give stepper driver a certain pulse signal, it will drive step motor to a certain angle. you can control the angle the stepper moved by the number of the pulse. And you also can control the speed of the stepper rotate by the frequency of the pulse.

Features :

  • 5-12V power supply
  • 4-way signal indicator
  • Chip all the pins have Input leads Mounted for easy connection to use
  • XH-5P socket can be connected directly 28BYJ-48 Model stepper motor

Cytron Dual channel 10A Motor Driver UNO Robot Controller :

Cytron Dual channel 10A Motor Driver UNO Robot Controller is Arduino UNO compatible with the built-in dual-channel 10A motor driver. The onboard Atmega328P is the same microelectronic on official Arduino UNO and it is loaded with latest optiboot and you can select Arduino/Genuino UNO in Arduino IDE to develop the program.

Cytron 2 channel 10A UNO Robot Controller also offers several enhancements such as support for both locked-antiphase and sign-magnitude PWM signal as well as using full solid state components which result in faster response time and eliminate the wear and tear of the mechanical relay and reduce the time for wiring.

The board incorporates most of the components of the typical applications. With a minimum interface, the board is ready to Plug and Play. Simply add in power, do simple coding and this board is ready to drive brushed motor.

Features :

  • Onboard 1A (maximum) 5V voltage regulator.
  • Onboard 500mA (maximum) 3.3V voltage regulator.
  • 0-5V digital outputs with 3.3V compatible inputs.
  • 14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs).(4 pin used for Motor driver)
  • 6 Analog Inputs (Can be digital I/O too).
  • Maximum current up to 10A continuous.
  • ISP 6-pin Header.
  • 32k Flash Memory.
  • 16MHz Clock Speed.
  • R3 Shield Compatible.
  • TX, RX, Power, pin 13 LEDs are moved to edge.
  • LED indicator for I/0 pin
  • I/O extension
  • 2x HC-SR04 connector
  • Utilize USB Micro-B socket.
  • On board push buttons for fast test and manual operation.
  • Dimension: 100 x 76 x 13 (LxWxH) mm
  • Weight: 52 gm.
  • Support up to 30A  peak(10 seconds) and 10A(continuous) per channel.
  • Bi-directional control for two brushed DC motor
  • Current limiting at 30A.
  • Solid state components provide faster response time and eliminate the wear and tear of a mechanical relay.
  • Fully NMOS H-Bridge for better efficiency and no heat sink is required.
  • Speed control PWM frequency up to 20KHz (Actual output frequency is the same as input frequency).
  • Support both locked-antiphase and sign-magnitude PWM operation.
  • Arduino sketch compatible.
  • Able to drive brushed motor from 6V to 24V.
  • Single power input for both motor and the onboard controller.
  • SMD ATmega328 microcontroller with Optiboot (UNO) Bootloader.

LIMITATION: No polarity protection.

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