Motor Driver connection

I recently attempted to connect a Pololu High-Power Motor Driver 18v15 to a progressive automations linear actuator using a breadboard a voltage generator.

link to the actuator: … od_70.html

I hooked outA and outB to the actuator. V+ to the 20V+ and GND to the common. I haven’t set up my rotary switch yet, but I was wanting to see how the controller would work, so I hooked it up to a breadboard. GND went to ground, DIR to ground, and RESET to the 5V(out). I thought this would bring the actuator in, because when it is low current flows from outB to outA. When I hooked it up this way, nothing happened. Can anybody give me a suggestion on how to set this up?


It sounds like you’re not doing anything with the PWM pin; for now, you should be able to just tie it high (5V) to run your actuator at a 100% duty cycle, assuming it works the same way a normal motor does. Are you familiar with PWM in general?

Also, you shouldn’t need to tie RESET high since the default state of that pin is high. See the table on the product page:

- Kevin

We were wondering if it had something to do with PWM. I’ll try that putting that to the 5V(out) tomorrow. I am not really familiar with the PWM. I am pretty new to all of this haha. Thank you so much for your help

Ok. I hooked the PWM to the 5V(out). This worked fine and brought the actuator in. We then wanted to see if we could get it to go the other way. We hooked the DIR to ground to try to make the actuator go in the opposite direction. This somehow killed the motor driver. We are using a 12V battery as the power source. Any help?

Is there any chance you accidentally shorted something while you were rewiring the DIR line? If you touched it to the V+ pin while it was powered, for example, that could have damaged the driver. It is a good idea to disconnect power before you change any connections.

Another possibility is that your actuator was drawing too much current and burned out the driver. Does your actuator have limit switches to prevent it from stalling at the limits of its range of motion, and do you know its current consumption characteristics? Did you notice the motor driver board getting hot at any point?

You said that you connected V+ to 20 V in your first post, but you specified a 12 V battery just now. Which one was it?

- Kevin

I meant a 12V. It looks like the actuator uses under 5A of current. It also says it has built in limit switch that cannot be adjusted. Is it possible for it to work twice then burnout?

How did you measure the current draw of the actuator? Also, could you answer the rest of my questions?

- Kevin … metric.pdf

That’s all of the information I have on the current requirements. The board never felt warm to the touch. I was told by the guy that purchased the battery that it was around 10A and the motor driver can handle up to 15A. The driver he used did not break. I am beginning to think that the guy that checked my circuit may have accidentally put the PWM wire to the V+ on accident. That is the only thing I can think of.