The Pololu high-power motor driver is a discrete MOSFET H-bridge
designed to drive large DC brushed motors. The H-bridge is made up of
one N-channel MOSFET per leg, and most of the board’s performance is
determined by these MOSFETs (the rest of the board contains the
circuitry to take user inputs and control the MOSFETs). The MOSFET
datasheet is available under the “Resources” tab. The board has an
absolute maximum voltage rating of 50 V; higher voltages can permanently
destroy the motor driver. Under normal operating conditions, ripple
voltage on the supply line can raise the maximum voltage to more than
the average or intended voltage, so a safe maximum voltage is
approximately 44 V.
The versatility of this driver makes it suitable for a large range of currents and voltages: it can deliver up to 20 A of continuous current with a board size of only 1.8" by 1.2" and no required heat sink. With the addition of a heat sink, it can drive a motor with up to about 32 A of continuous current. The module offers a simple interface that requires as few as two I/O lines while allowing for both sign-magnitude and locked-antiphase operation, and an optional third control input unique to this board allows for coasting. This board also features a current-sensing circuit that measures bidirectional motor current with a magnitude up to 30 A and outputs an analog voltage.
Integrated detection of various short-circuit conditions protects against common causes of catastrophic failure; however, please note that the board does not include reverse power protection or any over-current or over-temperature protection. We recommend you use the integrated current sensor to keep the driver from delivering more current than it can safely handle.There are currently nine versions of the high-power motor driver, each with a different operating voltage and current range.
The motor and motor power connections are on one side of the board, and the control connections (5V logic) are on the other side. The motor supply should be capable of delivering the high current the motor will require, and a large capacitor should be installed between V+ and ground close to the motor driver to decrease electrical noise. Two axial capacitors are included and one or both can be installed by soldering them into the V+ and GND pins (labeled '+' and '-' on the bottom silkscreen) along the long edges of the board. Such installations are compact but might limit heat sinking options; also, depending on the power supply quality and motor characteristics, a larger capacitor might be required. There are two options for connecting to the high-power signals (V+, OUTA, OUTB, GND): large holes on 0.2" centers, which are compatible with the included terminal blocks, and pairs of 0.1"-spaced holes that can be used with perfboards, breadboards, and 0.1" connectors.
Warning: Take proper safety precautions when using high-power electronics. Make sure you know what you are doing when using high voltages or currents! During normal operation, this product can get hot enough to burn you. Take care when handling this product or other components connected to it.
The logic connections are designed to interface with 5V systems (5.5 V max); the minimum high input signal threshold is 3.5 V, so we do not recommend connecting this device directly to a 3.3 V controller. In a typical configuration, only PWMH and DIR are required, but PWML can be used to enable coasting if both PWML and PWMH are driven low. PWML is pulled high and PWMH is pulled low internally. The two fault flag pins (FF1 and FF2) can be monitored to detect problems (see the Fault Flag Table below for more details). The RESET pin, when held low, puts the driver into a low-power sleep mode and clears any latched fault flags. The V+ pin on the logic side of the board gives you access to monitor the motor’s power supply or pass it on to low-current devices (). The board also provides a regulated 5V pin which can provide a few milliamps (this is typically insufficient for a whole control circuit but can be useful as a reference or for very low-power microcontrollers). This pin can be shorted to VCS to power the current sensor, or VCS can be supplied with 5 V externally. If the 5V output pin is used to power VCS, it should not be used for any other purpose as the current sensor will draw close to the limit of the current the 5V pin can supply. When the current sensor is powered by applying 5 V to VCS, the CS pin outputs 66 mV/A for currents between -30 and 30 A centered at 2.5 V (typical error is less than 1.5%).
|V+||This is the main 5.5 – 30 V motor power supply connection, which should typically be made to the larger V+ pad. The smaller V+ pads along the long side of the board are intended for power supply capacitors, and the smaller V+ pad on the logic side of the board gives you access to monitor the motor’s power supply (it should not be used for high current).|
|5V (out)||This regulated 5V output provides a few milliamps. It can be shorted to VCS to power the current sensor. This output should not be connected to other external power supply lines. Be careful not to accidentally short this pin to the neighboring V+ pin while power is being supplied as doing so will instantly destroy the board!|
|VCS||Connect 5 V to this pin to power the current sensor.|
|GND||Ground connection for logic and motor power supplies.|
|CS||ACS714 current sensor output (66 mV/A centered at 2.5 V).|
|OUTA||A motor output pin.|
|OUTB||B motor output pin.|
|PWMH||LOW||Pulse width modulation input: a PWM signal on this pin corresponds to a PWM output on the motor outputs.|
|PWML||HIGH||Control input that enables coasting when both PWML and PWMH are low. See the “motor control options” section below for more information.|
|DIR||LOW||Direction input: when DIR is high current will flow from OUTA to OUTB, when it is low current will flow from OUTB to OUTA.|
|RESET||HIGH||The reset pin, when pulled low, puts the board into a low-power sleep mode and clears any latched fault flags.|
|FF1||LOW||Fault flag 1 indicator: FF1 goes high when certain faults have occurred. See table below for details.|
|FF2||LOW||Fault flag 2 indicator: FF2 goes high when certain faults have occurred. See table below for details.|
A 20-pin straight breakaway male header, two 100 uF capacitors, and two 2-pin 5mm terminal blocks are included with each motor driver. (Note: The terminals blocks are only rated for 15 A; for higher power applications, use thick wires soldered directly to the board.) Connecting large capacitors across the power supply is recommended; one way to do it is between the '+' and '-' holes, as shown below. The four mounting holes are intended to be used with #2 screws (not included).