3.a. What You Will Need

The following tools and components are required for getting started using this motor driver as an Arduino shield:

  • An Arduino. Using this product as an Arduino shield (rather than a general-purpose motor driver board) requires an Arduino. This shield should work with all Arduinos and Arduino clones that behave like a standard Arduino. You will also need a USB cable for connecting your Arduino to a computer. We have specifically tested this shield (using our Arduino library) with:
  • A soldering iron and solder. The through-hole parts included with the shield must be soldered in before you can plug the shield into an Arduino or before you can connect power and motors. An inexpensive soldering iron will work, but you might consider investing in a higher-performance, adjustable soldering iron if you will be doing a lot of work with electronics.
  • A power supply. You will need a power supply, such as a battery pack, capable of delivering the current your motors will draw. See the Power Connections and Considerations portion of Section 3.c for more information on selecting an appropriate power supply.
  • One or two brushed DC motors. This shield is a dual motor driver, so it can independently control two bidirectional brushed DC motors. See the Motor Connections and Considerations portion of Section 3.c for more information on selecting appropriate motors.

* Note for Due users: The voltage on the current sense pins will exceed the Due’s 3.3 V limit when the current draw exceeds ~23 A. The Due should generally be able to handle this since the MCU’s integrated protection diodes will clamp the input voltage to a safe value (and since the CS circuit has a 10 kΩ resistor in series with the output, only a few hundred microamps at most will flow through that diode). However, if you really want to be safe, you can use a 3.3 V zener diode to clamp the current sense output voltage to a maximum of ~3.3 V. If you want to get the full range of current feedback while using the Due, you can disconnect the shield’s current sense pins from the Due and then reconnect them through a voltage divider; see Section 6.a for more information.