Suggest me a controller for my 4 motors

I want to use Pololu motor controllers to control my DC motors and i’d like to receive some suggestions from you before to buy them.

At the moment, i have the situation showed in the image below.

I have a mobile cart with four DC motors with these data (the motors are all the same):

V: 24V
A: 40A
P: 1000W

Do you think I can use High-Power Motor Controller 24v23?
Can I use one motor controller to control two coupled motors? In this way I use two controller: one for each side ( a controller for 1 and 3 and another one for 2 and 4).
Or I have to use four motor controllers?

If this controller model is not suitable for my application, what kind of Pololu model I have to use?

Thanks a lot to everyone.


Can you clarify what the 40 A current rating for your motors means? Is that the stall current or something else?

- Ben

Hi Ben, thanks for your answer.

My motors absorb 40A when they runs, however, they can absorb more current (ie. 50-80A) if they need it to overcome an obstacle or if they have to move a load.

I use two 24VDC / 165Ah batteries to power my four motors.

So you are saying that if your motor is just spinning freely in air it draws a continuous 40 A? Unfortunately, it sounds like we do not carry any motor drivers powerful enough for your motors.

- Ben


Just to be clear, do you mean each motor is 40A, or each motor is 10A and together they use 40A?


Each motor use 40A.

To be more precise, I have a kart version which has 4 motors and each one use 25A with 24VDC.

I have another version with two motors and each motor use 40A with 24VDC.

I’d like to find a controller which i can use both for the first and the second model.

I haven’t used their controllers myself but places like Roboteq and Dimension Engineering seem to have controllers at the power you are interested in.

- Ryan

Thank to all for the answers.

I take some current measurement and even if the motors can reach 50A, they use at max 5A during the normal operations.

So, if each motors uses 5A (in total 20A), can I use two of your 18v25 motor controllers?

From your web catalog, i’m not able to find the 18v25 assembled version with the USB connector: is it possible to receive them already mounted?

Are you talking about the Simple Motor Controller 18v25? There is no full-assembled version because the header blocks are only rated for 16 A, which would in turn limit the current rating of the motor driver. You definitely should be using higher-current connectors or soldering wires directly to the driver for your application. Also, the 18v25 version is not appropriate for a 24 V system. If you plan on running your motors at 24 V, you should use the SMC 24v23. Whether these controllers will work for you I think will depend a lot on how much load you put on your motors.

- Ben

Is it possible to have SMC 24v23 fully assembled?

I’ve read your guide and i realized that all controllers come with a software kit; however, i have to use your controllers under Ubuntu and I have to include them in a C program.

It is possible to have a C library which I can use to control the controllers?
I see that there are C# samples, but i found no C code.

No, for the same reasons I gave about the 18v25. As I said in my previous post: You definitely should be using higher-current connectors or soldering wires directly to the driver for your application.

The Simple Motor Control Center and SmcCmd are available in Linux. You can write a C program that just runs SmcCmd, or you can use the source code for SmcCmd as the starting point for your own program that uses libusb to communicate with the controller directly. Note that if you don’t need to dynamically configure controller settings from your program, you can control it by sending serial commands to the controller’s virtual COM port.

- Ben

I’ve read the SMC 24v23 specifications and I think it’s really very near to my needs.
I see it cannot support encoders, is it true?
It is not possible to read encoder information throught the controller USB or serial interface?

Unfortunately, we do not currently have any motor controllers that support encoders. You would need another device/microcontroller to read the encoders.

- Ben