Driver for 20.4:1 Metal Gearmotor

I recently built a project using a stepper and the Pololu High Power Stepper Motor Driver 36v4. I found that the stepper ran too hot after about 20 minutes of operation and had insufficient power for the application.

After referring to the specifications for the gearmotors, I determined that the 25D 20.4:1 HP 12 volt metal gearmotor had the best balance of speed and power to drive the load.

Pololu suggests the VNH5019 for this motor but I also note that the driver 36v4 that I used for the stepper is able to drive dc motors as well. Since this driver is already integrated into the project, I would like to explore using it instead. The 36v4 has torque control and stall detection built in, which I used with the stepper. Would this be a workable choice with the dc motor?


We do not normally recommend the High-Power Stepper Motor Driver 36v4 as a DC motor driver, since we have other dedicated DC motor drivers that give a better ratio of performance to price, but it might be worth trying given that you already have it in your system.

You can find information about the driver’s direct PWM input mode in the DRV8711 driver’s datasheet, which can be found in the “Resources” tab of the board’s product page.

By the way, please note that it is normal for stepper motors to run hot (too hot to comfortably touch), especially when near their rated current limit. If you want to look into that further, please let us know.