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Assuming we wish to control a small toy car with an arduino - meaning spinning the right and left wheels forward and backward and being able to break and control the speed, where each wheel has it's own engine (but of course two engines on the same side will run on the same speed and direction).

We saw we have two main options - Buying and wiring up a H-Bridge or buying a motor shield (which is based on one).

Are there any advantages for using a motor shield?

Thanks in advance.

  • The shield is just plug and play. The bare H-bridge requires a bit more work. E.g. you'd have to add some capacitors. You can look at the schematic of the motor shield to see what other components you need (not much). – Gerben Jan 19 '15 at 14:41
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If I were a beginner, I'd go with the Motor shield.

I'm even personaly using the one from DfRobot, which as @Gerben said, is just plug and play.

It also allows you to select the input power for the motors, which can be either from the 5V Arduino pin or from an external battery. This is pretty convenient if you need more than 5V to power up your motors. It can also support 2A of current draw, which is more than enough for small arduino toy cards.

Here is the shield: https://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1180&search=2A&description=true

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    Thank you (and Gerben), I've decided to go for the motor shield, also because it allows me to see the current the motor is using so I can easilly detect whether it's stuck or blocked by something. – Avenger Jan 19 '15 at 17:23
  • Glad I could help :) – ladislas Jan 19 '15 at 19:45
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    While not unworkable, an L298 based board like that, or any with a bipolar bridge, is a relatively poor choice for a battery powered device as there will be substantial loss across the transistors (essentially one of your cells will go just to that). MOSFET based bridges such as the TB6612FNG work much better with low voltage supplies, and are sold on modules as well. – Chris Stratton Jan 20 '15 at 5:00

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