Which motor driver would be best to drive these two LAs?

Hello all,

For a summer project, I’m looking to convert my ‘sitting desk’ to an adjustable standing desk. To do this, I’ll be using two of these actuators: http://www.progressiveautomations.com/images/pdf/PA-04.pdf. Under full load, these actuators in parallel will require a maximum of 24A, I believe. They also require 12V. I’ll need to be able to control these actuators simultaneously (for obvious reasons (like preventing tilting)). Looking through the Pololu motor drivers, and doing research, has left me conflicted. I’ve read that a simple VNH3SP30 can control up to three motors, which would be great because it’s cheap, but looking at the data sheet, this is unclear. I’m no electrical engineer, though, I’m a mechE, so I could be totally wrong :smiley:. I was leaning towards either the Dual VNH2SP30 Motor Driver Carrier MD03A or the Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Driver Shield for Arduino. These do seem a little pricey, but if they’re what I require, then there’s nothing I can do, I suppose. Would one of these two drivers do what I require? Or is there a better way I can accomplish controlling the two actuators?

I’d appreciate any help. Thanks!


It sounds like the VNH5019 or VNH2SP30 could work for you, but I recommend the Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Driver Shield for Arduino. The dual shield could control one actuator per channel since each channel can drive a 12A load. If you want to connect the motors in parallel on the same channel, the motor outputs on the shield can be combined to deliver up to 24 A continuous.

It seems to me that even if you are running both motors in the same direction at the same time, it still might be best to have both actuators on independently controllable channels. If you try to control them in parallel and the performance characteristics of the motors are slightly different, it could lead to the two actuators performing slightly differently, and potentially straining against each other. Being able to independently control your motors would allow you to have some other things in your system that could correct for this.

By the way, the VNH3SP30 IC only has one motor channel, so it can only control one motor independently.