Welcome to the Pololu Blog, where we provide updates about what we and our customers are doing and thinking about. This blog used to be Pololu president Jan Malášek’s Engage Your Brain blog; you can view just those posts here.
We are thrilled to announce the release of our wheels for micro and standard sized servos. These wheels are similar to our wheels for 3mm D shafts and consist of a durable ABS hub with a silicone tire. They are currently available in 40, 60, 70, and 90 mm diameter options. All but the 40 mm size feature mounting holes that are compatible with various versions of our universal mounting hubs and slots in the spokes that allow additional accessories to be mounted to the wheel such as decorations or parts of an encoder system.
Black Pololu Wheels for Standard and Micro Servos – 90, 70, 60, and 40 mm diameters.
The 40 mm and 60 mm sizes are compatible with micro servo splines with 20 teeth and a 4.8 mm diameter and can be used with the following continuous rotation servos that we carry:
- FEETECH FS90R Micro Continuous Rotation Servo
- FEETECH FT90R Digital Micro Continuous Rotation Servo.
The 70 mm and 90 mm sizes are compatible with standard servo splines with 25 teeth and a 5.8 mm diameter and can be used with the following continuous rotation servos that we carry:
- FEETECH Continuous Rotation Servo FS5106R
- Power HD Continuous Rotation Servo AR-3606HB
- SpringRC SM-S4303R Continuous Rotation Servo
- Parallax Feedback 360° High-Speed Servo
If you plan on using the wheels with a servo not listed above, be sure to check your servo’s specifications for compatibility as servo splines are not standardized for particular sized servos.
These wheels, like many of our plastic parts, are designed by us at our Las Vegas facility and then injection molded in China. Usually, we ship bulkier parts made overseas by boat, which can take several months to get here. We were so excited about these, though, that we couldn’t wait that long! So, we had a small amount shipped by air to make them available as soon as possible. This means the initial stock of these is limited, and while we’ll have more coming by boat, the upcoming Chinese New Year will delay that even more than usual. So if you don’t want to miss out on these initial units, order yours soon!
As usual, we are offering an extra introductory special discount on these wheels, to help share in our celebration of releasing new products. The first hundred customers to use coupon code SERVOWHEELS can get 22% off up to 3 pairs of each size!
We are excited to share that we have expanded our line of 37D Metal Gearmotors to include 24 V options. These brushed DC gearmotors are the largest and most powerful we carry, measuring 37 mm (1.46″) in diameter. They are available in gear ratios ranging from 6.3:1 to 150:1 and with or without integrated 64 CPR quadrature encoders on the motor shafts. The 12 V and 24 V motors offer approximately the same performance at their respective nominal voltages, with the 24 V motor drawing half the current of the 12 V motor. The table below summarizes all of the options we now have available. Please see our newest revision of the 37D metal gearmotor datasheet (2MB pdf) for the full specifications and performance graphs for all the options.
|Gear Ratio||No-Load Speed
|(kg ⋅ cm)||(oz ⋅ in)|
|12 V||5.5 A||0.2 A||1:1 (no gearbox)||10,000||0.5||7||–||–||item #4750|
|6.3:1||1600||3.0||42||12||item #4747||item #4757|
|10:1||1000||4.9||68||12||item #4748||item #4758|
|19:1||530||8.5||120||12||item #4741||item #4751|
|30:1||330||14||190||12||item #4742||item #4752|
|50:1||200||21||290||10||item #4743||item #4753|
|70:1||150||27||380||10*||item #4744||item #4754|
|100:1||100||34||470||8*||item #4745||item #4755|
|131:1||76||45||630||6*||item #4746||item #4756|
|150:1||67||49||680||6*||item #2829||item #2828|
|24 V||3 A||0.1 A||1:1 (no gearbox)||10,000||0.55||8||–||–||item #4690|
|6.3:1||1600||3.5||49||14||item #4688||item #4698|
|10:1||1000||5.5||76||14||item #4689||item #4699|
|19:1||530||9.5||130||13||item #4681||item #4691|
|30:1||330||15||210||13||item #4682||item #4692|
|50:1||200||23||320||12||item #4683||item #4693|
|70:1||140||31||430||10*||item #4684||item #4694|
|100:1||100||39||540||8*||item #4685||item #4695|
|131:1||79||47||650||6*||item #4686||item #4696|
|150:1||68||56||780||6*||item #4687||item #4697|
|* Output power for these units is constrained by gearbox load limits; spec provided is output power at max recommended load of 10 kg⋅cm.|
Note: The listed stall torques and currents are theoretical extrapolations; units will typically stall well before these points as the motors heat up. Stalling or overloading gearmotors can greatly decrease their lifetimes and even result in immediate damage. The recommended upper limit for continuously applied loads is 10 kg-cm (150 oz-in), and the recommended upper limit for instantaneous torque is 25 kg-cm (350 oz-in). Stalls can also result in rapid (potentially on the order of seconds) thermal damage to the motor windings and brushes; a general recommendation for brushed DC motor operation is 25% or less of the stall current.
We have a new set of regulators to announce: the D36V50Fx family of step-down voltage regulators. Measuring a compact 1″ × 1″, these regulators support input voltages up to 50 V and can typically deliver around 5 A of current, although some versions can output much more under certain conditions.
Step-Down Voltage Regulator D36V50Fx, bottom view with dimensions.
The family consists of six fixed output voltage versions between 3.3 V and 12 V:
- D36V50F3: Fixed 3.3V output
- D36V50F5: Fixed 5V output
- D36V50F6: Fixed 6V output
- D36V50F7: Fixed 7.5V output
- D36V50F9: Fixed 9V output
- D36V50F12: Fixed 12V output
We can also manufacture a customized version for you here in our Las Vegas facility. For example, we could make regulators with a different output voltage that your project needs, or we could replace the 40 V reverse voltage protection MOSFET with a 20 V one for slightly improved efficiency if your input voltage will always be lower than 20 V. If you are interested in customization, please contact us us for more information.
Comparison to other regulators
D36V28Fx and D36V50Fx Step-Down Voltage Regulators.
The D36V50Fx regulators are larger and more powerful counterparts to the D36V28Fx family we introduced last year, with the same input voltage ranges and mostly similar characteristics. What distinguishes the two families in performance is that the D36V50Fx regulators can provide roughly double the output current! (At the high end of the input voltage range, the difference is generally less dramatic.)
Comparison of the maximum continuous current of Step-Down Voltage Regulators D36V50Fx and D36V28Fx.
Comparison of the maximum continuous current of 5V Step-Down Voltage Regulators D36V50F5, D24V90F5, and D24V50F5.
As usual, we are offering an extra introductory special discount on these new regulators, to help share in our celebration of releasing a new product. The first hundred customers to use coupon code D36V50FXINTRO can get up to 3 units of each version for just $11.95 each!
We have expanded our line of micro metal gearmotors to include versions with a 15:1 gear ratio. As with all of our other micro metal gearmotors, these units are available with five different motor options:
- Motors with precious metal brushes
- Motors with longer-life carbon brushes (HPCB)
Each motor is available with or without an extended back shaft, which rotates at the same speed as the input to the gearbox and offers a way to add an encoder, such as our encoders for micro metal gearmotors (see the picture above). This makes ten new versions in all:
(Gearbox & Motor)
|(kg ⋅ cm)||(oz ⋅ in)|
|0.75||0.06||2200||0.25||3.5||1.4||15:1 HPCB 12V||15:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft|
|1.5||0.10||2100||0.25||3.5||1.3||15:1 HPCB 6V||15:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft|
|1.6||0.07||2000||0.30||4.2||1.5||15:1 HP 6V||15:1 HP 6V dual-shaft|
|0.67||0.04||1400||0.20||2.8||0.70||15:1 MP 6V||15:1 MP 6V dual-shaft|
|0.36||0.02||860||0.17||2.4||0.37||15:1 LP 6V||15:1 LP 6V dual-shaft|
More detailed specifications for all our micro metal gearmotors can be found in their datasheet (2MB pdf).
These new versions bring our total micro metal gearmotor selection to 130 options, with gear ratios ranging from 5:1 to 1000:1! To see them all, visit our micro metal gearmotor category, and visit our metal gearmotor category to see all of our metal gearmotor options. Keep in mind if you don’t see an option that suits your application, for sufficient volumes, modifications such as customized output shafts are available.
Once you find the perfect gearmotors for your project, don’t forget to check out our great selection of accessories. These were all designed either specifically for our micro metal gearmotors or with their compatibility in mind:
- Wheels and tracks
- Universal mounting hubs with #2-56, #4-40, or M3 holes.
- 12mm Hex Wheel Adapter for 3mm Shaft
- Mounting brackets in white, black, or extended options
- Magnetic and optical encoders
Our Black Friday Sale has come to an end. As we ship out the last of our Cyber Monday orders, we’d like to point out our Specials category where you can find great deals on Pololu products any time of the year! For the last couple years, we’ve released most of our new products with special intro coupons. If you see a product’s intro banner listed in the specials category, its intro coupon is still active! There’s lots of great deals waiting to be used up, so make sure to have a look before you place your next order!
Our Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale is going strong, and we have been working hard to make and ship the products that people are getting great deals on. Most of the sale coupons can be used on backorders if we happen to run out of stock, but you should still get your orders in early since lead times on some popular products can get long.
Please note that our usual same-day shipping guarantee is suspended during the sale, though so far we have been able to keep up with orders as they have been coming in, and we are closed Thursday, Nov 28th (tomorrow) for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!
26 November Update: We are no longer accepting doorbuster submissions. If you submitted wishes for doorbuster coupons, thank you! You should receive an email from us soon. All the sale details are now up on the Black Friday sale page.
What’s this? A 400-Point breadboard with mounting holes! We know you’ve been waiting for this your whole life.
Okay, maybe not. But hey, mounting holes are awesome, and now you can pick up some of our new 400-point breadboards and mount them all over the place!
This 3.2″ × 2.1″ breadboard is fairly standard in many ways. It has four bus lines spanning the length of the board and 30 rows of pins, enough for up to four 14-pin DIP ICs or three 16-pin DIP ICs. The rows and columns of tie points are conveniently labeled, multiple units can be connected for larger projects, and it has an adhesive backing for those of you who like sticking breadboards on things.
But this breadboard is also a little special. It has eight mounting holes for M2 or #2 screws spaced evenly down the center on a 1 cm pitch. Now you can do stuff like mount your breadboard to a Romi Chassis (or any robot chassis) with some standoffs like this:
Wow! So convenient! And they’re just $2.49 each! But, even better, we’ve got a special discounted price for the first hundred customers. Get up to 10 boards at just $1.75 each using coupon code 400PTBBINTRO!
Everyone wants encoders on their motors, but not everyone wants to solder a bunch of wires to a tiny encoder board. That is why I am excited to announce that we are now offering two new versions of magnetic encoders for Micro Metal Gearmotors that feature JST SH-type connectors:
- Magnetic Encoder Pair Kit with Top-Entry Connector for Micro Metal Gearmotors, 12 CPR, 2.7-18V
- Magnetic Encoder Pair Kit with Side-Entry Connector for Micro Metal Gearmotors, 12 CPR, 2.7-18V
These encoders are easier to get up and running than our previous design that requires soldering to through-holes with a 2 mm pitch. With these new encoders, you just have to solder the board to the two motor tabs (sorry, that part is not going away yet), put the magnetic disc on the backshaft, and plug in your cable (available separately in a variety of lengths)!
We think that the “micro” aspect of our Micro Metal Gearmotors is one of their coolest features since their small size make them useful in a wide array of projects. We designed these encoders with this in mind, making them within the profile of the gearmotor on three sides (the side with the connector extends a few millimeters past the motor). Since everyone’s constraints are different, we decided to make two encoder versions, one with a top-entry connector that lets the cable come straight out of the back, and one with a side-entry connector for applications where there isn’t much space past the rear of the motor. We are also continuing to offer encoder boards with through-holes, which allow wires to be soldered to the board for especially compact installations.
In case you are not as excited as I am yet, our intro special might help. Right now, you can get up to five of our new encoder pair kits for just $4.95 each using the coupon code MMGMENCINTRO! (Click to add the coupon code to your cart.) But you better hurry, this offer is limited to the first hundred customers to use the coupon code.
Looking to make an awesome Halloween costume or impressive yard display? Well, we want to help, so we’re having a sale through Wednesday, October 23 on hundreds of items you can use to make things that will impress or terrify your friends and neighbors! Visit the sale page for more information, and if you are in need of some inspiration, check out our Halloween-tagged blog posts for some sample projects.
By the way, we’d love to see more about the amazing things you all are building with our products, so please don’t hesitate to share them with us.