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.
To wrap up this round of distributor introductions, I would like to welcome the following new Pololu distributors in Asia:
See the full list of over 200 distributors to find one in your area.
In celebration of Independence Day (July 4th), we are putting our entire catalog on sale at 10% to 25% off through the end of Monday, July 6. Note that we will be closed tomorrow, so orders will not ship until Monday, July 6.
For more information, including all the discount coupon codes, see the sale page.
Happy 4th of July!
We’re now selling the latest V5 versions of the RoboClaw 2x5A, 2x15A, and 2x30A dual motor controllers from Ion Motion Control. Like the previous V4 RoboClaws, they can drive a pair of brushed DC motors at voltages from 6 V to 34 V, but the 2x5A now has a USB serial interface (in addition to TTL serial, RC, and analog inputs) like its larger siblings, and the 2x15A and 2x30A have a new heat sink design that should improve cooling. We expect to have updated documentation for the new versions soon.
We are excited about our new 0.1″ terminal blocks because they can typically be soldered to PCBs in place of standard 0.1″ male and female headers, offering alternative board-to-wire connection options that can be especially convenient in cases where you know you will be dealing with stripped, unterminated wires. For example, the following picture shows an 8-pin terminal block spanning the control connections of a VNH5019 motor driver carrier:
There are some low components (e.g. resistors and capacitors) near the motor driver’s 0.1″ holes, but the terminal block is able to comfortably sit on top of them. In cases where there is not sufficient clearance from tall, nearby components, it might be possible to use the terminal blocks on the bottom side of the PCB. The following picture is an example of this, with a 4-pin terminal block used for the motor and motor power connections of a DRV8801 motor driver carrier:
And in case these pictures are giving the illusion of large PCBs rather than tiny terminal blocks, we have for your viewing pleasure a picture of these terminal blocks in a 0.1″ prototyping board (Adafruit’s Perma-Proto prototyping PCB) next to some standard 0.1″ male header pins:
These terminal blocks cannot be combined into longer strips or placed side-by-side on a 0.1″ grid, so you will need to get the exact lengths required by your application. Fortunately, we have nine lengths to choose from, from two pins through ten pins!
We now have a shorter (20 mm) 12 mm Hex Wheel Adapter for 6 mm Shaft as an alternative to our original 35 mm extended version. These adapters work well with our 37D mm metal gearmotors, allowing you to use them with many common hobby RC wheels.
|12mm Hex Wheel Adapter for 6mm Shaft connecting a Wild Thumper Wheel to a 37D mm Metal Gearmotor.|
For our full selection of these adapters, see our hex wheel adapter category.
These drivers each offer wide operating voltage ranges, with the BD65496MUV operating from as low as 2 V up to 16 V and the MAX14870 operating from 4.5 V all the way up to 36 V. They can each supply over an amp to a single, bidirectional brushed DC motor. These are the highest-performing integrated motor drivers we know of short of substantially larger units such as the MC33926 and VNH5019. For more information on these drivers, click on the related products below:
Most electronics projects (and many Pololu products) require soldering. That’s why we’re excited to offer a soldering station and other accessories that we can wholeheartedly recommend! We are now carrying Hakko soldering and desoldering tools and Hakko hand tools (cutters and pliers). We use Hakko tools in our own manufacturing, and we believe they offer a great mix of reliability, performance, and price. Continued…
Continuing with our belated new distributor introductions, we are happy to welcome these six new Pololu distributors in South America:
See the full list of over 200 distributors to find one in your area.
A contact at Mexican distributor Cosas de Ingeniería wrote to let us know about a contest he is helping organize in Juriquilla, Querétaro, Mexico. The Mexican Mechatronics Asociation (Asociación Mexicana de Mecatronica A.C.) will be hosting the 14th National Congress of Mechatronics (14º Congreso Nacional de Mecatrónica) 2nd Robotics Competition on October 15th through 17th this year. The three-day event will host several robotic competitions:
- Autonomous Vehicle Competition (based on the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition)
- Insect Robot Race (insectoid robots try to be the first to travel 2 m over obstacles and uneven surfaces)
- Mini-Sumo Competition (autonomous robots, similar to the one pictured above and our Zumo robots, fight to stay in a designated area)
- Line Following Competition (autonomous robots follow a line-marked course as quickly as they can)
We are excited to introduce new versions of our high-power micro metal gearmotors with long-life carbon brushes in place of the standard precious metal brushes:
|Micro metal gearmotor HPCB long-life carbon brushes (left) next to micro metal gearmotor HP precious metal brushes (right).|
So far, we only offer these on motors with HP windings, so the brushes being a lot more robust can just move the failure point if you try to push the motors too hard. However, if you use them at around 6 V and keep the continuous load under around 20% of the stall torque, the carbon brushes allow the HPCB motors to last several times longer than HP versions with precious metal brushes.
With the addition of this new HPCB motor variant in ten different gear ratios (10:1 through 1000:1), our selection of popular micro metal gearmotors now spans more than fifty options, giving you control over the motor winding, gearbox, and shaft arrangement:
@ 6 V
@ 6 V
@ 6 V
(Gearbox & Motor)
|1600 mA||3000 RPM||4 oz-in||10:1 HPCB|
|1000 RPM||9 oz-in||30:1 HPCB|
|625 RPM||15 oz-in||50:1 HPCB|
|400 RPM||22 oz-in||75:1 HPCB|
|320 RPM||30 oz-in||100:1 HPCB|
|200 RPM||40 oz-in||150:1 HPCB|
|140 RPM||50 oz-in||210:1 HPCB|
|120 RPM||60 oz-in||250:1 HPCB|
|100 RPM||70 oz-in||298:1 HPCB|
|32 RPM||125 oz-in||1000:1 HPCB|
(same specs as
|1600 mA||6000 RPM||2 oz-in||5:1 HP|
|3000 RPM||4 oz-in||10:1 HP||10:1 HP dual-shaft|
|1000 RPM||9 oz-in||30:1 HP||30:1 HP dual-shaft|
|625 RPM||15 oz-in||50:1 HP||50:1 HP dual-shaft|
|400 RPM||22 oz-in||75:1 HP||75:1 HP dual-shaft|
|320 RPM||30 oz-in||100:1 HP||100:1 HP dual-shaft|
|200 RPM||40 oz-in||150:1 HP||150:1 HP dual-shaft|
|140 RPM||50 oz-in||210:1 HP|
|120 RPM||60 oz-in||250:1 HP|
|100 RPM||70 oz-in||298:1 HP||298:1 HP dual-shaft|
|32 RPM||125 oz-in||1000:1 HP||1000:1 HP dual-shaft|
|700 mA||2200 RPM||3 oz-in||10:1 MP||10:1 MP dual-shaft|
|730 RPM||8 oz-in||30:1 MP|
|420 RPM||13 oz-in||50:1 MP|
|290 RPM||17 oz-in||75:1 MP||75:1 MP dual-shaft|
|220 RPM||19 oz-in||100:1 MP||100:1 MP dual-shaft|
|150 RPM||24 oz-in||150:1 MP|
|75 RPM||46 oz-in||298:1 MP|
|25 RPM||80 oz-in||1000:1 MP||1000:1 MP dual-shaft|
|low-power||360 mA||2500 RPM||1 oz-in||5:1|
|1300 RPM||2 oz-in||10:1|
|440 RPM||4 oz-in||30:1||30:1 dual-shaft|
|250 RPM||7 oz-in||50:1||50:1 dual-shaft|
|170 RPM||9 oz-in||75:1|
|120 RPM||12 oz-in||100:1||100:1 dual-shaft|
|85 RPM||17 oz-in||150:1|
|60 RPM||27 oz-in||210:1|
|50 RPM||32 oz-in||250:1|
|45 RPM||40 oz-in||298:1||298:1 dual-shaft|
|14 RPM||70 oz-in||1000:1||1000:1 dual-shaft|
Note: Stalling gearmotors can greatly decrease their lifetimes, occasionally resulting in immediate damage to the gearbox. This is especially true for the higher gear ratios, such as the 298:1 and 1000:1 versions, which can generate enough torque to damage themselves. The stall torque values given for the two 1000:1 motors are theoretical, and we strongly recommend you avoid stalling them. Prolonged stalls (on the order of seconds) can result in thermal damage to the motor windings and brushes, especially for the versions that use high-power (HP) motors.