Author Archives: Emily

Ham radio antenna rotor control using a Tic Stepper Motor Controller

via Pololu Blog

Pablo Lewin wanted a way to adjust the antenna for his Ham radio remotely, but was told his antenna controller was too old to upgrade for remote operation. That didn’t deter him though! He got creative and came up with a solution by connecting a stepper motor to his antenna controller and then using one of our Tic Stepper Motor Controllers. Now he can access the computer the Tic is connected to remotely and control the antenna’s position through the Tic’s software. Check out the video below to see his setup:


Here’s the video Pablo recommends at the beginning of his explanation to get up and running with your own Tic Stepper Motor Controller:

Independence Day Sale 2019

via Pololu Blog

We are having an Independence Day sale from now through Monday, July 8! Check out the sale page for more information. Please note that we will be closed Thursday, July 4, so orders placed after 2 PM Pacific Time Wednesday, July 3 will be shipped on Friday, July 5.

Performance graphs for our 20D Metal Gearmotors

via Pololu Blog

We now have published performance graphs (1MB pdf) for our 20D Metal Gearmotors! Each chart is based on hundreds of individual measurements that reveal how the speed, current, power, and efficiency of that particular gearmotor version depend on the applied load (i.e. torque). Our test methodology is the same as the one we used to make our Micro Metal Gearmotor performance graphs, so you can see our blog post about that for more information.

20D mm metal gearmotor undergoing dynamic performance testing.

These characterizations are yet another way we set our gearmotors apart from the many similar-looking alternatives out there. When you get your gearmotors from us, you know exactly what kind of performance to expect, and you can count on getting that same performance batch after batch after batch.

If you have any questions or feedback about these graphs or if there is additional information you would like to see available for our motors, please feel free to contact us (or just leave a comment below). And if you are wondering about graphs for our larger gearmotors, don’t worry, those are coming! (If you need something before those datasheets are done, just let us know and we might be able to get you preliminary data for a particular gearmotor.)

Performance summary table from 20D mm Metal Geamotor datasheet.

New High-Power Stepper Motor Driver 36v4

via Pololu Blog

Pololu High-Power Stepper Motor Driver 36v4 with large stepper motor.

I am very excited to announce the release of our new High-Power Stepper Motor Driver 36v4, our most powerful stepper motor driver yet, with more than twice the current capabilities of any of our alternative drivers. This driver can deliver a continuous 4 A per phase without any heat sinks or active cooling, and up to 6 A with cooling! This means we finally have a driver capable of powering our largest stepper motors like this beefy motor with a 2.8 A current rating.

This new driver also has a wide 8 V to 50 V operating range, making it great for use in 12, 24, or 36 V systems. And though you might be thinking that your stepper motor’s voltage rating is well below that max voltage so what do you care, keep in mind that running you stepper motor at a higher voltage while actively limiting the current (as you can do with all our stepper motor drivers) allows you to achieve higher step rates than you could using the rated voltage.

Other exciting features of this driver include nine different step resolutions down to 256 microsteps, STALL and BEMF (back EMF) outputs that enable more advanced control algorithms, and highly adjustable decay parameters and modes for creating ultra-smooth motion profiles. The driver is configurable through its SPI interface, and our Arduino library and example sketches can help you get started.

As usual, we are offering an extra introductory special discount on the High-Power Stepper Motor Driver 36v4 to help share in our celebration of releasing a new product. The first hundred customers to use coupon code HPSMDINTRO can get up to three units for just $8.95 each!

Distributor Active Robots attends micromouse challenge at Swansea University

via Pololu Blog

One of our UK distributors, Active Robots, recently had the opportunity to attend a micromouse competition at Swansea University in Wales. Students at the competition used many Pololu parts purchased through Active Robots including our laser-cut RRC01A chassis, 50:1 micro metal gearmotor LP, 42×19mm Wheel Pair, and 3/8″ Plastic Ball Caster.

Traditional micromouse competitions usually involve small autonomous robots competing to see which one can solve a maze the fastest. Swansea University’s competition didn’t include maze solving, but instead involved three tasks that the robots had to complete: line following, obstacle avoidance, and combat. You can read more about what the micromouse competition entailed and Active Robots’ visit on their blog.

Memorial Day Sale

via Pololu Blog

We are having a Memorial Day sale all weekend long with site-wide discounts of up to 25%! Check out the sale page for more information. Please note that we will be closed Monday, so orders placed after 2 PM Pacific Time Friday, May 24 will be shipped on Tuesday, May 28th.