I’m new to electronics and even newer to Arduino but would like to attempt a simple Arduino object avoiding robot (2 wheels). Most of the Instructables, etc. show the L298N as the motor controller. I have read this is a really old design and even with a heat sink it’s prone to overheating and drains the battery more than needed so I’m hoping one of these will be a better option. The project will most likely be powered by a 9V battery but maybe less (definitely not more).
Can the DRV8833 and TB6612FNG motor controllers be used as direct replacements (other than possible code changes) for the L298N or is something extra needed? If these are a direct swap is there one that is more efficient than the other? Is there anything else to consider with these? Or is there another controller beyond these that will work?
If you need more info about the project let me know. I haven’t fully mapped out the project as there are a few Instructables and other similar projects I am reviewing and they are all slightly different in their builds.
When selecting a driver, it is important to consider your operating voltage as well as the max current draw you expect from your motors. We generally recommend using a motor driver that can handle the stall current of your motor continuously.
If you are looking for a direct replacement, you are probably concerned about the interface as well. The L298n is typically used with 1 PWM signal to set the speed and 2 digital signals to set the direction (per motor channel). So, the TB6612FNG carrier is probably the most direct replacement in this regard. The DRV8833 carrier uses 2 PWM signal per motor channel, which together control the speed and direction.
If you are okay using a different control method, I would recommend considering the DRV8835 carrier, which uses 1 PWM signal to control the speed and one digital signal to control the direction (per motor channel). It is very compact for a dual motor driver and we have an Arduino library that makes it easy to control. You can find a link to this library in the “Resources” tab of the DRV8835 carrier’s product page.
By the way, if you are referring to a 9V battery (and not a 9V battery pack), please note that we do not recommend powering motors from 9V batteries as they are not great at sourcing current, so you might consider a different power source. Rechargable NiMH AA batteries are usually a good choice; LiPo batteries are often used for their smaller and lighter form factors, but they are more difficult to charge and can be dangerous if accidentally shorted, so I would not recommend them for beginners.
Thank you Brandon!! This exactly answered my questions! I’m new to arduino and building things using it so I will probably take your advice and go with the TB6612FNG if it’s a closer match to the L298N. Once I feel more comfortable with coding/building one of these I might try the DRV8835 to get a better understanding of the differences.
Thanks also for the advice about the battery source. One of the references showed a 9V but I think most of the others showed battery packs (and one showed a LiPo) so I’m glad you called this out. Things like this are still part of my learning curve.
Thank you again for the reply! I was in a holding pattern purchasing some of my components but can now proceed with the info you provided.