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Balboa motor not working


#1

After playing with the Balboa on and off for about a year, its right motor (50:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor, https://www.pololu.com/product/3073) has stopped working.

The voltage across its leads is zero. Can I access PB5 somewhere on the board to see if it is getting any voltage. How do I troubleshoot this.

Thanks.


#2

Hello.

I am sorry your Balboa motor is no longer working. Since it sounds like you are measuring 0V across the motor leads when the Balboa should be driving that motor, checking to see if the PWM signal is being sent to the motor driver seems reasonable. I have attached a picture that shows where PB5 connects to the motor driver IC.

PNG

Can you also post pictures that clearly show that motor driver IC? It would be good to check for any visual signs of damage to that driver.

-Jon


#3

Hello.

It appears that the correct signal is being sent to the driver. With motors.setRightSpeed values of 200, 100, and 70, I can read 2.45V, 1.22V, and 0.85V at the location you pointed out.

Also both leads of the motor measure the same voltage (~5.6V) resulting in no voltage across them.

Should I be bracing for the sad news that the driver is busted. :anguished:


#4

In case it’s some kind of soldering or connection issue, can you try measuring the voltage directly at the motor driver outputs? I’ve highlighted those pins here:

balboa_right_motor_driver_outputs

-Jon


#5

Those two pins are measuring the same voltage (~5.6V) which also seems to be the voltages at both the motor’s leads.

(Actually, I have been using the left motor more than the right, so I don’t know what I could have done to the right that is causing this.)


#6

Thanks for doing that additional test. We have not heard of the driver on a Balboa failing like that before, so I’m not sure what might have caused it (in general, it’s not the kind of part that fails from being used a lot; my current suspicion is something like ESD).

If you email us with a reference to this thread and your order information, we should be able to help you out with a repair or replacement.

-Claire


#7

Thanks Claire and Jon for your help.

I assume that I have to email support@pololu.com. If not, do let me know.