Dual Motor GearBox

Dual gearbox from Tamiya. This is an excellent way to get started quickly with robotics! You may have read many websites about servos, gear head motors, DC motors, stepper motors, and the pit-falls associated with each. We swear by these gearboxes because of their price, their ease in assembly, and the ability to be controlled by low-cost motor driver ICs. This gear box can drive two wheels independently in either forward or reverse. The twin-motor gearbox can also be configured for two different gear ratios (fast and faster). Gearbox comes unassembled as shown.

  • Includes gears, housing, motors, lube, and allen wrench
  • 58:1 and 203:1 gear ratios possible
  • Motors operate from 1.5-3V
  • Can be controlled by L293DNE, SN754410, and other low-cost motor drivers
  • Mounting holes and hardware included

Dual Motor GearBox Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

2 Robotics

Skill Level: Rookie - You will be required to know some basics about motors, basic motor drivers and how simple robotic motion can be accomplished.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

1 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • It took me around an hour to assemble as it was included lots of small parts but it was easy though despite that it runs great. I recently bought one from here http://goo.gl/bDPUkY and I think I made the right choice. It has two motor and gearbox sets to have wheels running in different directions and great for hobbies or educational project.

  • Troy J. Farrell / about 18 years ago / 4

    Assembly took me about one hour due to the small parts involved. This works well with the Pololu Round Robot Chassis. Each of the included motors draws ~0.35A at 5V when unloaded. Short circuit current is ~0.75A at 5V. The useful voltage range is ~2.0-8.4V.

  • BrandonB / about 14 years ago / 2

    Is it safe to use these motors with an Arduino mega? More specifically does the Arduino have the current capacity required for both motors?

    • MikeGrusin / about 14 years ago / 1

      Unfortunately the bare pins on an Arduino can't supply enough current to directly run these motors (the pins can output 40 mA, but the motors require hundreds of mA). However, you can run the outputs through a motor driver board, such as the Ardumoto (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9213), which will supply the necessary current and give you other nice features such as forward/reverse, etc. Check out the Robotics / Drivers section of our website for more information.

      • Member #341578 / about 11 years ago / 1

        I had a hard time powering the Dual Motor GearBox motors at high pwm's with the Ardumoto driver board; possibly because the motors that come with this gearbox operate best at a low voltage (1.5-3.0 V). I recently purchased some 6 volt replacement motors from Pololu (http://www.pololu.com/product/1117) that fit perfectly into the gearbox and move well at both high and low pwm's.

  • AdamBaba / about 15 years ago / 2

    I have purchased and assembled this but both wheels move at the same time. The description says it can drive 2 wheels independently.
    Is there any trick to get this to work in differential drive? I want each wheel/shaft to move separately.

    • AdamBaba / about 15 years ago / 2

      nevermind, i had both allen screws tightened on the hex shaft. You are only supposed to do 1 side for differential drive.

      • pre / about 14 years ago / 1

        Thanks so much! I'd made the exact same mistake of binding the drive shaft on both sides. I removed one of those screws and now both sides function independently as expected. :)

  • macpod / about 15 years ago / 2

    With stock motors the Related products (COM-00315) "H-Bridge Motor Driver 1A" is not a good choice to drive these. The included motors draw 2.2A each when stalled and are only "supposed" to be operated from 1.5 to 3v. Driving them higher significantly reduces their life. Take a look at the FA-130RA datasheet from Mabuchi.
    Mabuchi does make motors that operate on higher voltages and have lower stall currents which can be substituted with the motors that come with this gearbox.

    • mobofruit / about 12 years ago * / 1

      Three requests that would be useful for all....

      Is it absolutely essential to grease the gearbox when using the Tamiyo tank treads? This sounds obvious, but I think some extra recommendation could be useful.

      What is the recommended driver shield for an Arduino Uno given that the Ardumoto is out of stock and the SN754410 is only 1A? The 1A is not sufficient as the motors are spec for 2A on stall.

      There is a Pololu Low Voltage Dual Serial Motor Driver, which is recommended with this gearbox however I am having difficulty locating an appropriate H-Bridge digital line driver. The serial requires extra byte code which is fine, however, it does not have an H-Bridge for reverse direction and I am sure other users would also like to investigate any other recommendations.

      Any posts and recs welcome. :)

      • Member #451726 / about 11 years ago / 1

        I have tried Motor Driver 1A Dual TB6612FNG with success on this motor and gearbox. Quote "The TB6612FNG motor driver can control up to two DC motors at a constant current of 1.2A (3.2A peak)." I love this little motor but it is noisy!

  • This product appears to be http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/item.php?product-id=70097

    The instructions can be downloaded from that link. They specify that you should use M3 screws to mount the gearbox (3mmx8mm tapping screws into wood/plastic w/ a 2.5mm pilot hole, or 3mmx10mm screws with a 3mm nut through "thin plate"), but they don't specify the distance between mounting holes.

    The motor is specified as an "FA-130" which presumably means http://www.mabuchi-motor.co.jp/cgi-bin/catalog/e_catalog.cgi?CAT_ID=fa_130ra There are two different models, with nominal voltage 1.5V and 3V, respectively. Don't know which one comes with the kit.

  • Could someone post the mounting footprint for this box? I'd like to put mounting holes for this on my PCB...

  • Member #273723 / about 12 years ago / 1

    What is the rpm.,. ??

  • Robotics Guy / about 12 years ago / 1

    Is it just me, or are the gears in this extremely loud?

  • Member #321388 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I purchased this motor gear box, but after putting it together, the two motors don't turn independently - they are connected via the middle shaft. They are supposed to run independently, right? What did I do wrong, please? Anybody had this problem?

    • Member #321388 / about 12 years ago / 2

      Problem solved. One incorrectly positioned nut :).

  • Robotics Guy / about 13 years ago / 1

    What motors come in the kit?

  • nrs522 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have found a very small motor driving company called Driver Dudes:
    They make a board that works very well with this gearbox:
    I recommend getting the board fully assembled as soldering all the tiny components (especially the IC is kind of a pain in the butt)

  • nerdboy64 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    Is the "ArduMoto" motor driver shield you sell here a good fit to work with these motors? Also, is it possible to get a spec sheet so I can design a custom enclosure for this and the other parts of the thing I am building?

  • inthebox / about 13 years ago / 1

    Will this fit / work on http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/item.php?product-id=70108 ???

  • adrianTNT / about 13 years ago / 1

    Seeing that you can setup different gears on each wheel maybe you would think that you can start your robot in one gear and then change gear by starting the other motor but that doesn't work because if only one wheel spins then the other one would be dragged; you need to spin both motors at once.

  • Member #208646 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    i have a question and I would be greatful if anyone could help me, I do not know how to kenect the 2 toy motors in the dual motor gearbox to the arduino inventors kit and have them run independently? Someone please HELP!!!!!

  • I have a problem. A big problem. A HUGE problem! Y'know that little pinion gear with the hex shaft that you put the wheels on?
    Well, half of 2 teeth on that gear mMyYsStTeErRiIoOuUsSlLyY stripped off! And it was on the half where I need them the most! Help meeee!!! I don't wanna return this because it's already assembled!!! Too much hassle!!! NNNNNOOOOoooooooo...

    • Nevermind! I emailed them and they should be mailing me a replacement part! Thanks SparkFun!

      • I got it yesterday! Yay! Let's see now, I need a hobby knife to cut the auto-reset trace on my Arduino, an understanding of kickback diodes and motor drivers...

  • Mecharius / about 13 years ago / 1

    Would anyone be capable of providing the profile dimensions of this, I need to be sure that it will fit in the limited space I have.

  • Robotics Guy / about 14 years ago / 1

    The directions are absolutely terrible. After being put together, though, it does seem like a nice little gearbox.

  • RoBoTnErD / about 14 years ago / 1

    is there any specs for the motors? i would like to know the max RPM they can produce

  • RoBoTnErD / about 14 years ago / 1

    I'm surprised that no one mentioned how the instructions are written in Japanese.

  • amando96 / about 14 years ago / 1

    Instructions should be changed, I have seen many people complaining about the motors not being independent when using the ''fast mode'' when in fact they are, the instructions aren't very clear with that.
    I love mine by the way, pretty strong, motors draw a bit too much current though, piggy back two sn754410, and it shouldn't cause any harm.

  • Chris S / about 15 years ago / 1

    Tamiya sells great stuff. Just gone done build a track kit + chassis kit + twin gearbox tank to control with the Arduino.

  • robo3774 / about 15 years ago / 1

    hey..i was working on a grid follower robot which has to pick up blocks and all..for an event (A.N.T.Z ,IIT-Bombay(techfest))..should i go for this arrangement or I should use stepper motors(or DC or servos)..which will be best? n can i increase the distance b/w the tyres..plz reply..

  • youn00b.com / about 15 years ago / 1

    Assembly is pretty straight forward, instructions could be a little clearer, as the diagrams are only isometric. I was able to get it to turn fully assembled with a "AA" battery (1.5vDC). Not really enough lube for all of the bushings on it, as well as gearing.
    It did come with mounting spots, as well as with mounting hardware -- a nice feature. Overall, I give it a thumbs up.

  • amk503 / about 15 years ago / 1

    Dorsai65, the gearbox is small, about 10cm from the tip of one axle to the other. Each axle extends about 3cm from the gearbox. I can't find precise specs anywhere, I don't believe it was included with the product.
    I had no problem driving the motors with a SN754410 quad half H-Bridge. I used it on a small bot which weighed slightly under 1kg. In the high-torque configuration the bot zipped around at about normal walking pace, and had no trouble on slight inclines, thick carpet, etc.

  • Dorsai65 / about 15 years ago / 1

    What are the mechanical specs? How wide/long/high? How far do shafts extend from enclosure, and what diameter are they?

  • Praveen / about 15 years ago / 1

    This was a great little gear box. I used it on a Sumo Robot, which weight ~1kg. My requirement was to push other sumo robots out of the arena. Therefore I assembled it in the "HIGH TORQUE" mode. The instructions in the assembly process were very straight forward, and I believe anyone can do it. Took me about 30 mins. I used the SN754410 to control my sumo robot. I also used the "Tamiya racing wheels" (white ones). One of the most important things things when using this gear box is that, you need to build a cover for it. Otherwise, the gear box is very fast, that it can pick up unwanted stuff from the ground. A good example is hair. My sumo robot turned out to be a good success and i highly recommend this product for similar applications.

  • buro / about 15 years ago / 1

    this motor: http://www.mabuchi-motor.co.jp/cgi-bin/catalog/e_catalog.cgi?CAT_ID=fc_130rasa seems to fit the bill perfectly. Runs at 12v, with a 0.84A stall current and seems to be exactly the right size. If only I could actually buy one from somewhere!

    • golfer29 / about 14 years ago / 1

      How about http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/611 instead?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

Based on 3 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

7 of 7 found this helpful:

Surprisingly decent little gearbox and motors.

I have to be honest, when I ordered this I expected it to be junk since it's a lot of plastic. However, after watching the excellent SparkFun video showing proper assembly.. I got it built in no time without screwing up any gearing. I built a lightweight little tank 'bot around it and it works very well. I can't recall which gear ratio I utilized.. I think the same one shown in the video.. but it moves around at a very snappy pace. The included motors should be easy to replace if the need arises because they're a very common size. I wouldn't expect this to power a 'bot of any significant weight, but for your average room prowling cat-chaser, it's a good buy.

4 of 4 found this helpful:

Terrific little gear box for the price!

I used this gear box for my Arduino tank project and it works flawlessly. It's also nice that you can have a few different positions for the drive axles. I first assembled it with the ratio of 58:1 and the tank moved too fast, and didn't have the torque to get over a DVD cover. I disassembled it and made it 203:1. Now this tank has some torque and will really climb! Assembly is easy and reconfiguration is pretty quick. I recommend this to everyone and I'm actually thinking of getting a couple more! Thanks, Sparkfun!

it works fine

it is a very good for toys