Get your Arduino moving! This shield makes it easy to control two high-power DC motors with your Arduino or Arduino-compatible board. Its dual robust VNH5019 motor drivers operate from 5.5 to 24 V and can deliver a continuous 12 A (30 A peak) per motor, or a continuous 24 A (60 A peak) to a single motor connected to both channels. These great drivers also offer current-sense feedback and accept ultrasonic PWM frequencies for quieter operation. The Arduino pin mappings can all be customized if the defaults are not convenient, and the motor driver control lines are broken out along the left side of the shield for general-purpose use without an Arduino.
This versatile motor driver is intended for a wide range of users, from beginners who just want a plug-and-play motor control solution for their Arduinos (and are okay with a little soldering) to experts who want to directly interface with ST’s great motor driver ICs. The Arduino pin mappings can all be customized if the defaults are not convenient, and the VNH5019 control lines are broken out along the left side of the board for general-purpose use without an Arduino (see the right connection diagram below). This versatility, along with an option to power the Arduino directly from the shield, sets this board apart from similar competing motor shields.
For a lower-power, lower-cost alternative to this shield, please consider the dual MC33926 motor driver shield, which has a very similar design and can deliver a continuous 3 A per channel.
1 While the overvoltage protection typically kicks in at 27 V, it can trigger at voltages as low as 24 V, so we do not recommend using this motor driver with 24 V batteries, which significantly exceed 24 V when fully charged. If the shield is configured to power an Arduino or Arduino clone, the supply voltage must conform to that Arduino’s input voltage requirements.
This motor driver board ships with all of the surface-mount parts populated. However, soldering is required for assembly of the included through-hole parts. The following through-hole parts are included:
A 0.1″ shorting block (for optionally supplying shield power to Arduino) is also included.
You can solder the terminal blocks to the six large through-holes to make your motor and motor power connections, or you can break off a 12×1 section of the 0.1″ header strip and solder it into the smaller through-holes that border these larger holes. Note, however, that the terminal blocks are only rated for 16 A, and each header pin pair is only rated for a combined 6 A, so for higher-power applications, thick wires should be soldered directly to the board.
When not using this board as an Arduino shield, you can solder the 0.1″ headers to the logic connections along the left side of the board to enable use with custom cables or solderless breadboards, or you can solder wires directly to the board for more compact installations. Note that motor and motor power connections should not be made through a breadboard.
The motor driver includes three 47 uF electrolytic power capacitors, and there is room to add additional capacitors (e.g. to compensate for long power wires or increase stability of the power supply). Additional power capacitors are usually not necessary, and no additional capacitors are included with this motor driver.
The two mounting holes are intended for use with #4 screws (not included). They have a horizontal separation of 0.30″ and a vertical separation of 1.70″.
An Arduino is not included.
Each motor driver IC has a maximum continuous current rating of 30 A. However, the chips by themselves will overheat at lower currents (see the table above for typical values). The actual current you can deliver will depend on how well you can keep the motor drivers cool. The shield’s printed circuit board is designed to draw heat out of the motor driver chips, but performance can be improved by adding heat sinks. In our tests, we were able to deliver short durations (on the order of milliseconds) of 30 A and several seconds of 20 A without overheating. At 6 A, the chip gets just barely noticeably warm to the touch. For high-current installations, the motor and power supply wires should also be soldered directly instead of going through the supplied terminal blocks, which are rated for up to 16 A.
This product can get hot enough to burn you long before the chip overheats. Take care when handling this product and other components connected to it.
Many motor controllers or speed controllers can have peak current ratings that are substantially higher than the continuous current rating; this is not the case with these motor drivers, which have a 30 A continuous rating and over-current protection that can kick in as low as 30 A (50 A typical). Therefore, the stall current of your motor should not be more than 30 A. (Even if you expect to run at a much lower average current, the motor can still draw short bursts of high currents, such as when it is starting, if special steps are not taken.)
The voltages on the M1CS and M2CS pins are each approximately equal to 140 mV per amp of output current for the corresponding motor. The current sense readings are more accurate at higher currents.
The current sense output pins are designed for PWM frequencies of 5 kHz or higher. If you use a PWM frequency lower than 5 kHz and want to measure the current, we recommend adding an extra capacitor between the current sense output pin and GND to smooth out the signal. For example, if you use a PWM frequency of 490 Hz and want to measure the current of M1, you should add a 1 µF capacitor (or larger) between M1CS and GND.
Note that while the M1CS and M2CS voltages can potentially exceed 3.3 V at high currents, the current sense circuit should be safe for use with many 3.3V analog inputs. Most MCUs have integrated protection diodes that 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.
Note: The datasheet refers to the motor driver IC by the full part number VNH5019A-E, but the “A” seems to simply indicate that it was packaged in tubes. It mentions VNH5019TR-E as another valid part number for this IC (indicating tape-and-reel packaging).
This newer version (ash02b) of our dual VNH5019 motor driver shield replaces the original version. The new version adds pass-throughs for the four new pins on the Arduino Uno R3. Generally speaking, most users should not notice any other differences between the two shield versions; details can be found in this section of the user’s guide. The easiest way to distinguish between the two versions is via the silkscreen in the top left corner, where the new version is labeled ash02b and the original version is labeled ash02a.
|Size:||2.56″ × 2.02″ × 0.38″|
|Minimum operating voltage:||5.5 V|
|Maximum operating voltage:||24 V|
|Continuous output current per channel:||12 A|
|Peak output current per channel:||30 A|
|Current sense:||0.14 V/A|
|Maximum PWM frequency:||20 kHz|
|Reverse voltage protection?:||Y|