Getting started

Hello. Have spent a bit of time reading all the product descriptions on the site and need some guidance.

I recently gutted my daughters Barbie Hot Wheels motorcycle - I ended up with 2 motors/gearboxes and a 12V battery from the teardown. The motors are geared pretty good, as the “toy” was capable of hauling a 35lb kid around the yard.

I’d like to order the Orangutan SV-328 Robot Controller (although I’m open to other suggestions) to play around with, and would like to use the motors/battery that I have. My stumbling block seems to be the 1A restriction, and whether I need to insert a motor controller (or some completely different setup) between the controller and the motors.

Hoping someone can point me to clarification, otherwise I see my next step as running the motor at full speed and attempting to measure the current draw - so I know what I’m shoppnig for. End goal is motoring a small PVC framed robot, certainly not 35 lbs worth but capable of carrying sensors and perhaps a laptop someday…




The motor drivers on the Orangutan SV-328 are almost certainly not going to be powerful enough for those motors. I think that you should get a better sense for the current draw of those motors before you purchase anything to drive them. A good spec to know is the stall current, as this is a reasonable upper bound for the current your motors might draw during normal use. One way to approximate this is to stall the motor at a low voltage (e.g. 1 V) and measure the current. You can then use V = IR to compute the coil resistance, which in turn lets you compute the stall current at an arbitrary voltage. If your motor is too difficult to stall, you can use a multimeter to measure the coil resistance, which can be used to compute the stall current. This method isn’t as accurate because the resistance is typically very small, but it’s better than nothing and can at least give you a lower bound on the stall current.

Once you have a better sense of the current you need to be able to supply, you can choose an appropriate Orangutan (e.g. the Orangutan X2 has much higher-power motor drivers) or motor controller.

- Ben