I don’t know why, but a few weeks ago I felt like improving my AE-DC1 DC motor controller. At least the results were pleasing. The AE-DualDC3A module is considerably easier to use than its predecessor. It is just a little bit larger, but has twice the capability!
One of the reasons why the DC1 was giving me a few headaches every now and then was its lack of connectors. Having terminal pads perfect for soldering can be very annoying when you need to move the controller from one place to another, or when you want to change the load.
It was also not appealing at all for me to solder every board into my test bench only to desolder it a few minutes later so that I could ship it to the new customer. I myself would not like to receive a NEW item just to find out that it is in reality used! With terminal blocks, I was able to get rid of all these problems.
Another aspect I changed was the need for a SENSE resistor. On the DC1, the SENSE resistor selects the maximum current the motor will see. However, the current regulation on the DRV8800 is not like the current regulation you see on a stepper. So having the H Bridge disable at say 1.0 amps and for 1.5 ms really does not buy that much. And DC motors only use whatever current their loading requests in the form of torque, so limiting the current did not seem like a necessity.
By removing the SENSE resistors and tying the SENSE pin directly to GND, the DRV8800 will now provide up to 3A of current before reaching ITrip. That should be plenty! I really do not intend to run extremely small motors with these drivers and I do not foresee too many customers needing such a requirement. Buf if they do, there is always the AE-DC1 as an option.
The AE-DualDC3A seems like a good deal! We’ll see how well it does out there. In the mean time, feel free to check this little video I put together detailing some of the functionings of my latest DC motor controller: