298:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor HP w/ Magnetic Encoder - Pair
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298:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor HP w/ Magnetic Encoder - Pair

( Pololu )

This kit comes with a pair of quadrature encoders and 298:1 micro metal gearmotors (extended back shaft version required). These encoder uses a magnetic disc and hall effect sensors to provide 12 counts per revolution of the motor shaft. The sensors operate from 2.7 V to 18 V and provide digital outputs that can be connected directly to a microcontroller or other digital circuit. Assembly required.


Specifications of Encoders

This kit includes two dual-channel Hall Effect sensor boards and two 6-pole magnetic discs that can be used to add quadrature encoding to two micro metal gearmotors with extended back shafts (motors are not included with this kit). The encoder board senses the rotation of the magnetic disc and provides a resolution of 12 counts per revolution of the motor shaft when counting both edges of both channels. To compute the counts per revolution of the gearbox output shaft, multiply the gear ratio by 12.

This compact encoder solution fits within the 12 mm × 10 mm cross section of the motors on three of the four sides, and it only extends 0.6 mm past the edge of the fourth side (note: if you need it to be flush with that last side, you can carefully grind the board down a little and solder to the remaining half-holes). The assembly does not extend past the end of the extended motor shaft, which protrudes 5 mm beyond the plastic end cap on the back of the motor.

Pinout and installation

The encoder board is designed to be soldered directly to the back of the motor, with the back shaft of the motor protruding through the hole in the middle of the circuit board. One way to achieve good alignment between the board and the motor is to tack down the board to one motor pin and to solder the other pin only when the board is flat and well aligned. Be careful to avoid prolonged heating of the motor pins, which could deform the plastic end cap of the motor or the motor brushes. Once the board is soldered down to the two terminals, the motor leads are connected to the M1 and M2 pads along the edge of the board; the remaining four pads are used to power the sensors and access the two quadrature outputs:

The sensors are powered through the VCC and GND pins. VCC can be 2.7 V to 18 V, and the quadrature outputs A and B are digital signals that are either driven low (0 V) by the sensors or pulled to VCC through 10 kΩ pull-up resistors, depending on the applied magnetic field. The sensors’ comparators have built-in hysteresis, which prevents spurious signals in cases where the motor stops near a transition point.

The board’s six pads have a 2 mm pitch, so they do not work with common 0.1″ connectors. One option for connecting to the board is to solder in individual wires, such as in the example below:


Once the board is soldered to the motor, the magnetic encoder disc can be pushed onto the motor shaft. One easy way to accomplish this is to press the motor onto the disc while it is sitting on a flat surface, pushing until the shaft makes contact with that surface. The size of the gap between the encoder disc and the sensor board does not have a big impact on performance as long as the motor shaft is at least all the way through the disc.

Specifications of Motor

This gearmotor is a miniature (0.94" x 0.39" x 0.47"), high-power brushed DC motor with 298:1 metal gearbox, similar to Sanyo’s popular 12 mm gearmotors. These units have a 0.365"-long, 3 mm-diameter D-shaped output shaft. This version also has a 4.5 x 1 mm extended motor shaft.

Key specs at 6 V: 100 RPM and 70 mA free-run, 70 oz-in (5 kg-cm) and 1.6 A stall.

These tiny brushed DC gearmotors are intended for use at 6 V, though in general, these kinds of motors can run at voltages above and below this nominal voltage, so they should comfortably operate in the 3 – 9 V range (rotation can start at voltages as low as 0.5 V). Lower voltages might not be practical, and higher voltages could start negatively affecting the life of the motor. The micro metal gearmotors are available in a wide range of gear ratios—from 5:1 up to 1000:1—and offer a choice between three different motors: high-power (HP), medium-power (MP), and standard.

The gearbox has a long (0.365" or 9.27 mm), 3 mm-diameter D-shaped metal output shaft, and the brass faceplate has two mounting holes threaded for M1.6 screws (1.6 mm diameter, 0.35 mm thread pitch). The gearmotor weighs approximately 0.35 oz (10 g). Versions with the extended motor shaft have a 1mm diameter round shaft that protrudes 4.5 mm from the rear of the motor, between the two motor terminals; this is not pictured in the above dimension diagram. In terms of size, these gearmotors are very similar to Sanyo’s popular 12 mm NA4S DC gearmotors, and gearmotors with this form factor are often referred to as N20 motors.


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