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I have three small motors, and I know you should use a motor shield or driver when working with the arduino, but would it be safe to use these with the arduino by themselves without a shield? And if so, what would be the best way to work with them and control their speed? the motors

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You will damage the Arduino chip if you connect a motor directly to one of the outputs. I've used the Adafruit motor shield with motors like that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, it's weird though, I bought an arduino kit and it came with the motors, but did not provide a motor shield. It is safe to run a servo without a shield though, correct? \$\endgroup\$ – a sandwhich Feb 3 '11 at 17:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ If your kit came with a transistor - electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/7235/… \$\endgroup\$ – Toby Jaffey Feb 3 '11 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes it did. I guess that explains it. \$\endgroup\$ – a sandwhich Feb 3 '11 at 17:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Although I use H-Bridges nowadays, when I first started, I plugged brushed motors in directly to outputs and it didn't damage anything as far as I can tell. This was a few years back and it's the only arduino I have. I think these ATmegas are pretty dang tough. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Williamson Feb 4 '11 at 1:44
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Not possible...

The Arduino can not drive that type of motor - the start up surge would damage the chip, also a diode is needed to handle the 'back emf' when the motor is turned off.

A servo has internal electronics to switch the motor. you just provide a repeating pulse of the correct length.

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