Software Support > Automated Projects

Drives Reviews


DaOld Man:
I thought I would start a thread with reviews to ready made drives you can use to rotate your monitor, or anything else you need a motor to do.
If you bought a ready made drive and would like to post a revue of it, please do so.
But please include some basic info:
Drive model number, where purchased (optional).
A picture of the drive if possible.
Any hookup info or a web link to this information.

I want to start with a drive I recently purchased off It is called a L298N stepper drive.

It was pretty cheap (approx. 6 US dollars, including shipping).
It was also pretty small. Here are the dimensions, and a pic with a US quarter for size comparison:

The L298N is actually the number of the chip it uses. This chip is a dual H drive integrated circuit. (AKA "IC" or "chip")
The drive is actually two drives in one. If you are controlling a stepper motor, you will need both the outputs, or it can control one or two regular DC motors.
It's major drawback is the maximum amount of current it can output: 2 amps. (The auto windshield wiper motor commonly used to rotate monitors will probably draw more current than this.)
However, according to the manufacturer, you can connect the two outputs together to increase the current to 4 amps. (I haven't tested this yet).
Another drawback is that it came with no paperwork at all, so I sent the seller an email ( and they promptly sent me the specs on this drive.
To save me a ton of typing I have copied and pasted what they sent me:

 A low-cost motor driver based on the L298 dual H-bridge IC.  This module will allow you to drive 2 DC motors independently (or 1 two-phase bipolar
 stepper motor)  using logic-level inputs from an Arduino or other microcontroller board.
 A 5V regulator is included onboard along with an output to power your board or project without a separate regulator.

 All important pins are broken out to terminal blocks or 0.1" centered headers.

 *Operating Instructions:*
  1. Attach motor pins to the relevant motor terminal block(s) (see pinout  below)
  2. Remove jumpers U2 and U4
  3. Apply 7-46V DC to the VMS pin on the module and connect ground to GND
  4. To enable bridge A (motor A) apply 5V to ENA; to enable bridge B (motor B) apply 5V to ENB


 Terminal Blocks
# NameDescription
 1  A-   Motor A- (OUT 2)
 2  A+ Motor A+ (OUT 1)
 3 VMS Supply voltage
 4 GNDGround
 5 5V output
 6 B-Motor B- (OUT 4)
 7 B+ Motor B+ (OUT 3)
 6-pin 0.1" male header
 # NameDescription
 1 ENA Bridge A enable
 2 IN1Input 1
 3 IN2 Input 2
 4 IN3Input 3
 5 IN4 Input 4
 6 ENBBridge B enable
  - ENA and ENB enable the H-bridges A and B, respectively
  - Jumpers U1-U4 allow for easily tying IN1-IN4 to 5V.  To allow for full control of the H-Bridges remove these jumpers.
  IN1 and IN2 control bridge A; IN3 and IN4, bridge B. 
  The following example specifies control of  bridge A using IN1 and IN2, but the same logic applies using IN3 and IN4 to control bridge B
  - To move the motor forward: IN1=H, IN2=L, ENA=H
  - To move the motor backwards: IN1=L, IN2=H, ENA=H
  - To quickly stop the motor: IN1=L, IN2=L, ENA=H *OR* IN1=H, IN2=H,  ENA=H
  - To slowly stop the motor (free-run stop): ENA=L (IN1 and IN2  ignored)
  - The 5V_EN jumper enables the onboard regulator
  - The CSA and CSB pins are the current sense pins for bridge A and  bridge B and can be used to sense the motor current. 
    These are also broken out to jumpered headers.  If not using current sense leave the pins jumpered to ground
  - When using in a parallel driver arrangement (to drive motors at up to 4A), OUT1 and OUT4 are tied together and
    go to one side of the motor. OUT2 and OUT3 are tied together and go to the other side of the motor.  Then, to
    control the motor, IN1 and IN4 pins are tied together and go to an I/O pin on the microprocessor, and
    the IN2 and IN3 pins tied together and go to  another pin on the microprocessor. 
  (special thanks to jcwren!)

Quick and dirty pinout pic of the above info:

That pretty much explains how this motor drive connects to the real world.
When I first tested it, I found the outputs were staying on all the time until you touched one of the in inputs to +5vdc from the drive.
I found that I needed to sink the inputs to ground by connecting a 2.2 K ohm resistor from each input to ground. Then the drive would output when you touched an input to +5VDC.
I also was confused by what the U1 through U4 jumpers did, but the email cleared it up. I found that if you remove these jumpers you don't need the pull down resistor to ground.
I plan to test this on a motor soon, and will post more info on how that goes. I also plan to post hookup instructions to use this with either the parallel (printer) port, or the serial (com1) port on a PC.

This Looks Handy .... I am electronically challenged but managed to build from scratch a PinCab with all the toys bells and whistles. Circuit boards and IC chips ... no thank you ... this solution is what i need

Change that title, friend. I thought we were going to get showtunes.  :cheers:

DaOld Man:

--- Quote from: yotsuya on September 15, 2014, 12:04:11 pm ---Change that title, friend. I thought we were going to get showtunes.  :cheers:

--- End quote ---

I was wondering if anyone was going to notice.


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