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I have one Arduino and I need to be able to control five to seven 12V motors that each draw about 4 amps.

Would I be able to use four Sabertooth 2X5 Regenerative Motor Drivers for this? Each driver controls two motors and takes a 0-5V analog input. Would I be able to connect the input ground (for analog input) all to the same GND on the Arduino, and then individually connect each drivers' analog input to a PWM-capable Arduino output pin? Would that work? I'm a bit new to electronics, specifically linking multiple circuits like this.

Thanks for your help!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You should be able to control the drivers from your arduino, yes. But with each motor drawing 4A, you're gonna need a hefty external power supply. Are all the motors going to be on at the same time? \$\endgroup\$ – NickHalden Sep 7 '11 at 17:43
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Yes.

using RC servo signals

This looks like it will work great with the DIP switches set to "servo" mode. The documentation at that link implies that motor driver accepts 2 independent standard "R/C servo" inputs to drive 2 independent motors, and its output to those motors appears to be compatible with your 12 V 4 A DC motors (I'm assuming you have 2-wire DC motors, rather than 3-wire, 4-wire, or 5-wire motors).

The Arduino Servo library claims it can control 12 independent RC (hobby) servo motors on most Arduino boards, driving them from 12 independent digital output pins.

using analog 0 to 5 V signals

I'm not sure this will work for you with the DIP switches set to "analog" mode. The Arduino analogWrite() library appears to only support controlling 6 independent motors on most Arduino boards. As long as you are fine with independently controlling at most 6 motors per Arduino board, the "generate PWM and filter to get analog" approach looks like it would work just fine, also.

Related: Can Arduino Mega handle 6 motors independently

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Taking a quick look at the link, I would say yes you could use them. They mention a built in 5V supply intended specifically for a microcontroller or R/C receiver. I'm assuming you intend to supply the main power from batteries?
There looks to be quite a lot of documentation, even an example of hooking up to a PIC which you could use as a reference for the Arduino also.

Glancing at the manual confirms that you can use the analog input with PWM and a simple RC filter, along with three other operating modes (RS232 simple/packetised and R/C)
I would have a good read of the manual and if there is anything you don't understand ask again here. It looks like quite a well thought out board though.

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