Motor speed, timing and direction control - newbie

I have a very basic project and zero knowledge of electronics but am keen to get my project off the ground and wondered if anyone can point me in the right direction.

If anyone can suggest a parts list and maybe point me in the direction of any “how to’s” that I may need to read in order to assemble what I have described below it would be greatly appreciated.

I would like to control a 12v motor to:
Run at a specific speed for a fixed duration (e.g. 7 seconds in one direction at 45 rmp).
Reverse direction after fixed duration (i.e. stop and do as above in reverse direction).
Be able to program these durations and speeds via a pc.
Be able to turn the unit on and off or control it by some kind of switch.

The motor needs to be able to rotate a 2kg drum (via a fly wheel rolling against the drum)
The power would come from a 12volt adapter plugged into the AC.
Max rpm for the motor would be about 90rpm.

I am looking for the simplest out of the box solution I can find.
I would prefer to buy pre-assembled parts where I can.
Budget would be maybe $200 max.

Attached is a pdf example of what the motor will rotate.

Looking to replicate something like this (but in a dry environment)

Any assistance with the above would be appreciated.
jobo roller.pdf (251 KB)


Since you do not have much experience in electronics, I recommend that you consider looking at an Arduino based system. This will allow you to get a good start into the programming required to accomplish a task like this without having too much prerequisite programming experience. You might consider using an Arduino with a Pololu dual VNH5019 motor driver shield.

This shield will let you control two motors bi-directionally. You can find more information about the programming that is required to use the shield in section 3 of the dual VNH5019 motor driver shield user’s guide.

I am not sure if you already have a 12V motor that you would like to use, but if you do not, you can find our selection of 12V motors here.

Lastly, you should be careful about the 12V adapter that you use, since some are not rated for high enough current to drive a motor.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about our products, and good luck with your project.


Hi Clint,
Thanks very much for your reply.

Can you recommend a way to power the Arduino and the motor?
Would I just be using something like this:

After reading through the dual VNH5019 motor driver shield user’s guide I believe the process should be reasonably straight forward (I’m going to be using the unit in a pretty basic way so I’m assuming I’m not going to need to get into using the VNH5019 as a Using as a General-Purpose Motor Driver - i.e. no breadboard required).

My parts list would be then:

Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Driver Shield for Arduino

Arduino Uno DIP Edition

67:1 Metal Gearmotor 37Dx54L mm

Pololu Universal Aluminum Mounting Hub for 6mm Shaft Pair, 4-40 Holes

Pololu Wheel 90x10mm Pair - Black

High-Traction Sticky Tire (one tire)

Wall Power Adapter: 12VDC, 1A, 5.5x2.1mm Barrel Jack, Center-Positive

Elenco JW-350 350-Piece Wire Kit

Greatly appreciate if you could let me know if I am missing anything (or have made a wrong turn) or could suggest alternatives to what I have listed if there are better options.



Hello, Sean.

Your list looks good, but there are a few things that you should look out for. One is the compatibility of the high-traction tire with the 90x10mm wheels that you have listed. The information on the high-traction tire’s product page says that they will work best with the 70x8mm Pololu wheel, but it can be stretched to fit on the 80x10mm. I believe that it will be very difficult to get the high-traction tire to fit onto the wheels that you have selected, so I suggest that you should choose one of the other two wheels that are more compatible.

Also, the power supply that you have selected is not really powerful enough to handle the 37D motor. That particular power supply is only rated for 1 A of current while the 37D motors have a stall current of 5 A. Unfortunately, we do not have a power supply in stock that can provide adequate current for your motor, but you might be able to find one from a local vendor.