A shield alternative to JRK?

Hello. I am new to all of this, JRK, Arduino (A-Star, in this case) etc. I am trying to program and build a project that will control 3 linear actuators, all using feedback control. Rather then 4 separate boards, and wires all over the place (not to mention the relative pricy-ness of 3 JRK boards), are there any shields available that will control Pololu Concentric Actuators with feedback? I’d much rather just stack them on top of the A-Star 32U4 Prime SV microSD with LCD, write the control as part of the master sketch, and be done with it. If these don’t exist, would anyone else be interested in them? A JRK-type shield, controlled via Arduino Sketch code would seem like a natural!



Thank you for the suggestion; we will keep it in mind.

The jrk motor controllers are the only motor driver boards we currently make that accept analog and frequency/tachometer feedback, and we do not carry an Arduino shield version of them. You might be able to use one of our motor driver shields (e.g. the dual VNH5019 shield or dual MC33926 shield) to drive the linear actuators, but you would need to handle the feedback processing with the A-Star since the shields do not support feedback inputs. Also, if you wanted to independently run three different actuators, you would probably want to use one of the dual motor driver shields for the first two actuators and a separate single motor driver carrier (the VNH5019 carrier or MC33926 carrier) for the third actuator. Stacking another shield on top of the first would be more complicated since you would need to manually remap some of the pins to other compatible pins not used by the first shield.

Alternatively, if you are going to process the feedback with the separate microcontroller, you might consider using three Simple Motor Controller 18v7 boards (one for each actuator). Since these motor controllers accept TTL serial signals, the wiring would be minimal and they are a bit less expensive than the jrk controllers.


Thanks Brandon. Given the relatively small price savings, the JRK seems more the way to go, as either way I am giving up the compactness of a shield solution (i.e. lots o’ wires). I’ll think about it an see which way I want to go. Maybe stock arduino motor control shields would be best - except the pin mapping issues.

Thanks again.