NOTE: this is a roadtest review for the motor driver shield TLE94112LE, i am writing the blog for the same since i am not able to post a review at the official location. This might be a technical problem of the site and i have had a conversation with rscasny and once i get the option to write the review i would post it over the official link.
The infineon motor shield incorporates a TLE94112LE chip that can power upto 6 bidirectional motor simultaneously and 11 motors in cascade, delivering power upto 3.6A peak. This board is a single solution for driving small motors while designing hobby projects and small toys. However when it comes to high current applications the shield should be avoided if one don't wants to see the beautiful blue smoke. The board has 12 half bridges each of which can drive upto 0.9A peak current and comprises of an active reverse polarity protection. The design is similar to the footprints of well known arduino UNO since the shield is designed to sit on top of the arduino board or the bootkit that was provided with it.
The package however had an XMC1100 boot kit for uploading the code for motors through the I2C protocols but i used the arduino UNO board for all the testing and project integration since i needed more pins to be accessed for other sensor and button integration.
The shield is a low power motor driver for dc bidirectional motors and can carry peak current upto 3.6A, it has 12 half bridges with a peak current rating of about 0.9A.
Operating voltage range:
5.5volts to 18 volts under normal condition
upto 20 volts under extended high voltage applications.
40 volt maxm. input voltage.
Variable speed configurations are possible by using one of the PWM modes of 80Hz, 100Hz and 200Hz, moreover multiple shields can be stacked and the chip selection pin can be used to choose between the different shields while communicating with it.
The board is built over a central chip that gives the required twelve half bridges by connecting lesser components that reduces the board space.
Schematics are easily available from the official datasheet that can be found at the below link.
The board schematic is roughly divided into three parts that are:
The TLE94112LE itself including all the discrete components.
The header part of schematic deals with the motor headers that are required to connect our motors and the female headers which are inserted in the arduino board.
The overall design is very robust because of the single motor driver chip, while connecting to the motors however there were no serious heating issues encountered. I was quite happy by the design itself.
Note that while using multiple shields over a single arduino board the Pin 10 of the Arduino Uno is used by default to control CSN (Negated Chip Select) input of the TLE94112EL. Alternatively, the pin 9 of the Arduino Uno can be used instead to stack two shields. In this case, the resistor R7 must be desoldered and a 0 ohms resistor (case 0805) must
be soldered on the footprint of R8.
in order to get started with the shield we just need to plug in it on top of an arduino uno board and installing the IDE for uploading the code. For getting started and testing the dc motor working i used the test code available at the infineon official website, i am however making some changes to the code for my final project and including some sensors to the arduino.
The above link comprised following code and the code can be readily used to test the dc motors, the given code first pumps the connected motor in one direcction for one second and then applies brake for 300ms, it then reverses the direction of motion for one second and again brakes for 300ms.
The code has been tested on a dc motor that runs on a current of 50-100mA under no load condition which are extended to about 400mA under maximum load for our application.
i connected six of these motors together and uploaded the test code to obtain the basic current values for individual motors. I must say that the shield performed really well without giving any heating issues which were expected since i kept the system running for about one and half hours. the video shows all the connections and monitoring data obtained over the arduino serial monitor.
The motors used during the test are normal brushed dc motors which would be mounted on a USV(unmanned surface vehicle) and would be tested on water, these motors are aimed to hit a peak current of about 400mA thus the TLE94112LE would suffice, however there would be few sensors and a communication module be added to the board in the final design.
Till now the basic frame of the USV is built and i would be testing the same by joining the motors in a nearby pool in order to get familiar about the physics of the USV in water.
the six motors with their propellers would sit on the USV and connected with the shield to power them, i would write blogs related to the other parametric performance of the shield and the final project in my future blogs.
The single chip dc motor driver shield is a well built and robust product for hobby projects and low current applications. I was quite happy with the performance of the shield, moreover the documentation provided is also very good and easily sets one going towards using the shield.
The cost of the board however seems to be an issue since small current motor drivers come in handy built over L293D chips and they are really cheap and easy to use while dealing with the dc motors. However some more featured boards such as the microcentre's MOBO6 motor driver shield (Wicked Device Motor Shield 6 DC Motors MOTO6 - Micro Center
is a competitor with almost similar features.
The CSN pin however gives the shield an edge since it enables use of multiple shields over a single arduino, SPI communication protocol is very good and the feedback data can be utilized really well by using the serial monitor.