Today, we present you with the newest Yoctopuce product: the Yocto-Motor-DC. It's a motor controller enabling you to drive brushed or carbon motors. Let me show you around...
The Yocto-Motor-DC is a double width module: 58x50mm. There is a USB socket on one side and two large connectors on the other side: one connector is for the power supply, the other one for the motor. There is also a large heat sink on top, and a smaller one on the bottom.
The Yocto-Motor-DC enables you to drive a brushed motor both forward and in reverse, and even to brake. You can also know the power supply voltage, the mean current consumption, and the module temperature. The Yocto-Motor-DC also contains protections against overheating, overload, and undervoltage. You can even define your own overload and undervoltage limits, thus enabling you to protect the driven equipment and the power supply battery. The Yocto-Motor-DC can use any direct current power source between 3V and 18V. However, the module is not protected against surges and polarity inversions: you'll have to be careful :-)
Icing on the cake: the Yocto-Motor-DC is an insulated module. The USB part is electrically insulated from the power component. It saves you from the risk of destroying the control computer.
Performances and limitations
For performances, we could do like everybody else and simply tell you that the Yocto-Motor-DC can drive motors up to 30 amps, but this would be lying by omission :-) Theoretically, the Yocto-Motor-DC electronics is even able to commute up to 48 amps, but in real life, as for all power devices, there is a phenomenon which must be taken into account: overheating. The Yocto-Motor-DC does have two heat sinks, but they won't help if they can't exchange their heat with the outside. To keep it simple, there are three working modes with the Yocto-Motor-DC:
- Natural convection cooling: in the open air, you can hope to run the Yocto-Motor-DC up to 10 A continuously. Note that "in the open air" means that air can naturally circulate, so don't even think of putting the module in an enclosure without vents.
- Active cooling: if you put the Yocto-Motor-DC in a location where air circulation is guaranteed, with a small fan for instance, you can then go up to 20 A continuously.
- Current peaks: the Yocto-Motor-DC fully supports current consumption peaks up to 30 A, as long as they don't last more than a few seconds.
If you try to go above the Yocto-Motor-DC capacities, it won't be damaging. The module will detect the issue and automatically stop. Note that the voltage, current, and temperature sensors integrated into the module can help you anticipate the issues.
There is no recommended enclosure, but for applications requiring a very small amount of current, you can use a YoctoBox-Watt-Transp.
The Yocto-Motor-DC is a module enabling you to control many projects with ease and precision, whether or not they are based on motors. Indeed, there are many other applications for the Yocto-Motor-DC. We'll get back to them at the first opportunity...