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Description:  This dual bidirectional motor driver, from Cana Kit, is based on the very popular L298 Dual H-Bridge Motor Driver Integrated Circuit. The circuit will allow you to easily and independently control two motors of up to 2A each in both directions.

It is ideal for robotic applications and well suited for connection to a microcontroller requiring just a couple of control lines per motor. It can also be interfaced with simple manual switches, TTL logic gates, relays, etc.

The circuit incorporates 4 direction LEDs (2 per motor), a heat sink, screw-terminals, as well as eight Schottky EMF-protection diodes. Two high-power current sense resistors are also incorporated which allow monitoring of the current drawn on each motor through your microcontroller.

An on-board user-accessible 5V regulator is also incorporated which can also be used to supply any additional circuits requiring a regulated 5V DC supply of up to about 1A.

The circuit also offers a bridged mode of operation allowing bidirectional control of a single motor of up to about 4A.

Features:

  • Motor supply: 6 to 35 VDC
  • Control Logic: Standard TTL Logic Level
  • Output Power: Up to 2 A each
  • Current Sense Outputs
  • Onboard Power Resistors Provided for Current Limit
  • Enable and Direction Control Pins
  • External Diode Bridge Provided for Output
  • Heatsink for IC
  • Power-On LED indicator
  • 4 Direction LED indicators

Dimensions:  3 x 2.5"

Documents:

  • User's Manual

     


Comments 37 comments

  • Bought a couple of these to evaluate for some autonomous robot kits. To be honest I was a bit disappointed.

    Firstly on the plus side:

    1. The 5V output, direction LEDs and current monitoring features are very helpful.

    2. The heatsink on the L298 is good and looks cool :)

    BUT I would like to provide some feedback…

    1. The assembly quality was appalling. I have seen high school students with better soldering and the components were mounted really badly.

    2. Unless the PCB is made with 2oz copper I would have little faith that the tracks for the motors could handle the specified 2A for any extended time. They would probably do the job but there is plenty of room to make them wider.

    3. If you are using say 12V motors, the 5V regulator will NEED a heatsink to put out 1A (7W). Even if you are using 6V motors, that will result in 1W which is doable but at approx. 65deg/W a heatsink is still recommended. With a 35V input at 1A the regulator will be dissipating 30W!!!! So the claim of 6-35V input with up to 5V 1A output is misleading at best. Biggest problem here is you can’t physically fit a heatsink on the regulator due to the two 3W resistors being in the way, so you will never be able to get that 5V at 1A.

    So yes it is a reasonably priced kit, yes it has some decent functionality, if that is all you are concerned about, go for it. But I think the specifications are misleading and the overall quality disappointing. We ended up spending the time and money to develop our own with all of the above short comings addressed using the SMD version of the L298 and a 25W 5V output.

  • Schematic please??? For the cause???

  • Is it correct to assume that motor speed can be controlled with a pwm signal on the IN pins?
    Possibly from an rc servo tester attached to the 5volt output?
    or pulse the enable pins?

    • I was on the L298N product page and somebody asked the same question. The answer was yes, the inquirer made note of sending pwm to enable pins. PWM to enable pins seems more reasonable to me. Can anyone verify?

  • Some good critical feedback on our KCMD, Nate. I didn’t notice the low 30V voltage diodes in that design - that’ll be corrected immediately. Will have to investigate a heatsink for it too as an option for those pushing the thermal limits.
    Thanks again,
    Dave

  • I dont want to sound rude… but this is a complete rip. you can buy an equivalent motor driver based off the l298 for half the price at a bunch of other places…
    Solarbotics for example, has one that also provides a regulated 5v out:
    http://www.solarbotics.com/products/k_cmd/

    • Rude? Not at all! We appreciate savvy customers. Solarbotics rocks and so does their kit but:
      1) This is a fully assembled/tested unit vs the kit from Solarbotics.
      2) This board includes heat sink for L298. You won’t get 4As out of the L298 without it. It’s gold - which is just cool.
      3) Canakit uses precision cement high-power current sense resistors allow for full 4A operation. Overkill, but covers full range of operation. Solarbotics doesn’t use the current sense feature.
      4) This board uses 1000V diodes where Solarbotics uses 30V. Again, possibly overkill, but you could easily pop the Solarbotics board at the full 35V motor load. No way their board will go up to 50V (as they advertise).
      5) This board is bigger, allows for standoffs. Solarbotics board doesn’t look like you can get screw heads on there. It’s so small you probably won’t be able to mount it.
      So if you’re proficient with an iron, and running no more than ~12V and about 1A, the Solarbotics kit is the way to go. If you need more power (who doesn’t?) you should consider this board.

      • Schottkys provide better back EMF protection than 1N4007 power diodes. Switching time is much faster. Looking at the Motorola datasheet at http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~herniter/Rose_Classes/ECE250/notes/ECE250 Diode Switching Speed.pdf, 1N4007’s have about 5 us recovery time and 1N4001-5’s have about 3 us. You can swap in 1N5819’s for the 1N5818’s if you need 35V operation.

  • I was quite impressed with this driver… until… I switched from one of the little gear head motors to a window “regulator” motor (the gear head motor that drives a car window up and down). I tested the motor beforehand. Under load (nearly stalled) it draws a little over 1A.

    I had the CS enable while I was using it and the current never went over 1A. However, when I reversed the direction of the motor I got a pop and the magic smoke came out… The L298 literally exploded.

    I’m assuming this is a back fly-back problem? Can someone confirm? How can I avoid this? I thought this board had the right diodes on board.

    • The motor was likely still spinning under momentum, turning it into a generator. If it was a permanent magnet motor. So feeding opposite voltage to reverse it probably spiked the current. Try using the brake function to bring motor to a full stop before switching direction.

  • All of these L298 based boards are some slight variation of the MFG’s suggested circuit in the app notes. The more universal the board is the more it will cost. That is the more features you can use the more parts and jumpers you are going to have. The higher voltage the caps and other parts are to take advantage of the full voltage rating of the L298 the more cost. And you do want to run at a high voltage (24-36 ish), to get speed out of stepper motors for instance. Also I can tell you that “cool” heat sink is not going to cut it, especially with a stepper motor at of near the full current rating. Standby current reduction is a really good feature to implement to keep the heat down on these. I have a board that implements most of this parts features I did for a work project, but I never thought about selling any copies because they would be too expensive for most folks. Pick the one that covers your needs. And “stall current” is really not a consideration, these limit current to what ever you set up. Up to 2A an output.

  • how much stall current can this take without damage?

  • This one looks like its built very solidly, comparatively speaking to one i recently purchased, namely https://solarbotics.com/product/39290/

    The one i purchased overheats the L298 socket in about 20 seconds causing shutdown. (I am running a 12V, 1A Nema-14 Stepper Motor with it, well within the recommended guidelines), Alright, lets go find a heatsink. So i find one off an old motherboard I have lying around the house, drill a hole thru it, and mount the sucker on the shield. Then I glanced at where I have to hook in the Power Wires. sadly I now have to redrill a new hole, and mount this heat shield way off center, and its going to look like … now, all because the power terminals are right where this heat sink needs to be. Point of it is, this model looks a complete product, not one you have to F with just to get it to work.

  • Can this board easily be used with one of my grandson’s k'nex 3v motors? Or the Arduino version?

  • can someone help me.I am new in this.i bought this Motor Driver 2A Dual L298 H-Bridge.i want to build something like barn-door tracker with stepper motor.I just want to know can i use this motor driver for driving the motor? what kind of motor would be suitable for this.i googled quite a lot but confused.do i need to buy that arduino controller? kindly suggest the stuff i need to build this.

  • Any examples of using the current sense outputs with an Arduino? I want to be able to sense a stall and to perform actions such as stopping and reversing.

    *update It wasn’t easy to find, but here’s an example.

  • Hi

    I’m using a Netduino and the output is only 3.3V, would that be enough to set the “IN1”, “IN2”, “ENA”…etc. to high? Or must it be 5V, similar to what an Arduino output provides?

  • I would like to get some more information: what is the exact wiring for arduino (Which inputs go to digital I/O, which go to PWM) and is it possible to control the speed of the motors (variable speed)

    Thanks for all the help!

  • Hello, what is the header can I take to connect this board with an arduino please ?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyWYHzohguY&list=UUqYpQWY5T2Xg49YRLLStrDw&index=1&feature=plcp

    This is the l298 running a small dc motor through my arduino mega 2560 :) simply using digital and analogWrite functions. :)

    (Im still new to all this so i was happy to get this working ) :)

    Thanks for an awesome motor driver Sparkfun!

  • Can I control this with a PWM signal thru the IN pins?

  • Is this motor driver is compatible with arduino mega 2560? Is this similar to motor controller so it can drive two motors at same speed (same RPM)?

  • Hi guys, newbie here. Ordered this as well as an Arduino Uno and Tamiya dual gearbox. Will I be ok driving the motors with this setup? Should I look out for anything? Should I just walk away slowly? Have experience with Arduino’s and servos, just never touched DC motors. :Op Any help would be so greatly appreciated as I’d hate to fry any of the above items. Regards, Marco

  • Amazing..it’s actually less expensive to buy this here than it is from CanaKits themselves. AND I’m in Canada! They sell this for $39, so it’s $5 more expensive from the source! Then because I’m buying from Canada I have to pay 15% sales tax which brings it to almost $45. Then the shipping is another $18. So all together it’s $63 dollars to buy it from CanaKit and have it shipped within the same country.
    Now, if I buy it from Boulder, CO. It’s only $34.39 CDN. Plus another $9 for the shipping. Under $44.
    I like saving $20. Thanks Sparkfun.

  • My application works fine. A picaxe 20x2 controls the board which drives a modified electric screw driver gear motor at 6 volts 1.6 amps and a 12 volts worm drive motor. I pulse the screw driver motor to control the speed.
    One problem, when the battery is connected backwards, the board smokes, bummer, I sure hope I have some spare chips.

  • Can you supply the 6-35 VDC power to the motor driver and then power your microcontroller through the regulated 5v out on the motor driver?

  • In case any Solarbotics folks come back on here: I love your kit! I DID manage to overload it though…Ill be getting another :)<br />
    <br />
    [FYI: When I last wrote SB about getting more spacing for 4-40 screw heads, they said the newer version of the kit should take care of it.]

  • does anyone have any documentation on running this controller in bridged mode for using 4A ?

    • igain- Have you had any success in running in bridge mode? I’m looking for the same information! Anybody? jwax@nycap.rr.com Thanks!

  • Can this be used to drive the coils on a bipolar stepper?

    • Well it’s kinda late response, but yes it can be used to drive bipolar stepper, just attach a coil to each pair of outputs, and feed this with a proper inputs

  • I just got mine and I love this thing. It’s so easy to use. Never having used a motor driver before I’m blown away by how cool this thing is. I’m using it in this project (RFID door unlocker).
    http://jrowarduino.blogspot.com/

  • I bought one of those a while ago.
    but it seems that I can’t test my pic program without connecting motors to the board…
    without the motors … LEDs are functionning well ..can anyone tells me why.. ??

  • Does anyone have the measurements for the distances between the mounting holes? Thanks!

  • I don’t want to add fuel, but Its hard not to compare this & the Solarbotics version and not notice how close the two are. There are differences; but compare with open eyes.
    If the guys at Solarbotics created a v2.0 with these same additions, everyone would jump on it as a clone, and I think the same should be said in reverse.
    Carbon Film resistors - the SB version doesn’t use current monitoring - the resistors are there to limit LED current and to tie enable pins high.
    30V Diodes - yep, this is what they are. Standard 5818 diodes - substitutable with 1N4007 if preferred for the 1000V reverse breakdown voltage. (Hobby robotics I seriously doubt run any risk of popping those diodes. They are only there for Back-EMF
    Bigger - allows for standoffs. The SB is labeled as ‘Compact Motor Driver’ - size is a consideration.
    We use the SB version in my robotics club and love it. I think Cana-kit could have given a nod in their direction as inspiration - at the very least.


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