TB6612FNG Hookup Guide

Contributors: M-Short
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Selecting the Right Motor Driver

Before we get started, let's talk about how to find a motor driver for your needs.

The first step is to figure out what type of motors you are using and to research their specifications. Picking a motor driver for a motor that is not powerful enough isn't helpful. Also, keep in mind there are different motor types (stepper, DC, brushless), so make sure you are looking for the correct type of motor driver.

You will need to spec your motor driver and make sure its current and voltage range are compatible with your motor(s).

First, you need to make sure your motor driver can handle the rated voltage of your motors. While you can usually run motors a bit above their ratings, it tends to reduce the lifespan of the motor.

Current draw is the second factor. Your motor driver needs to be capable of driving as much current as your motors will pull. As a general rule, go straight to the stalled current number for a motor (the current draw present when you are holding the motor still). A motor will pull the maximum current when it is stalled. Even if you don't plan on stalling your motor in your project, this is a safe number to use. If your motor driver can't handle that much current, then it is time to find a new motor driver (or motor). You may also notice motor drivers often have max continuous current and max peak current listed. These specs are worth noting depending on your application and how much stress your motor will endure.

This guide covers the TB6612FNG motor driver which has a supply range of 2.5V to 13.5V and is capable of 1.2A continuous current and 3.2A peak current (per channel), so it works pretty well with most of our DC motors. If the TB6612FNG does not fit your project's specifications, check out our various other motor driver boards.

Big Easy Driver

Big Easy Driver

SparkFun Servo Trigger

SparkFun Servo Trigger

SparkFun AutoDriver - Stepper Motor Driver (v13)

SparkFun AutoDriver - Stepper Motor Driver (v13)

SparkFun Servo Trigger - Continuous Rotation

SparkFun Servo Trigger - Continuous Rotation

Selection of Motor Drivers

As with any board, there are other things to consider such as the logic voltage, which is basically the voltage it uses to talk to your microcontroller, and heat dissipation. While these things definitely need to be considered, they are relatively easy to fix with things like level shifters and heat sinks. However, if your motor is trying to pull more current than your driver can handle, there isn't much you can do to fix it.