L293D Motor Driver IC

(Datasheet) and product at RS Components

The L293D has four outputs that can sink 600mA, each of which can pull up to a voltage as well as down to 0v. This makes it ideal for driving motors in forwards and reverse, as each side of the motor can be connected to an output. Outputting 0 and 1 will make it turn one way, and outputting 1 and 0 will make it turn the other.

It's available in a few different types, but we're interested in:

  • 16 pin DIP package : This is great for BreadBoard or making your own PCBs
  • 20 pin SOIC: This can be soldered directly onto the Espruino board

Connections

L293D pinout

To use, simply connect as follows:

Pin Function Connect To
VS Supply Voltage Battery Positive, or Bat on the Espruino
VSS Logic Supply Voltage Bat on the Espruino
GND Ground Ground on Espruino and Battery
ENABLE 1/2 Enable Outputs Bat on the Espruino (if you always want them on)
INPUT 1/2/3/4 Logic Inputs Any logic pin on the Espruino board
OUTPUT 1/2/3/4 Power Outputs Your Motors/etc

If you're soldering the 20 pin SOIC onto the board, we'd suggest that you connect as follows:

L293D connections to Espruino

L293D Espruino
1 - ENABLE 1 BAT
2 - INPUT 1 A3
3 - OUTPUT 1 Connect to pin strip
4 - GND GND
5 - GND GND
6 - GND GND
7 - GND GND
8 - OUTPUT 2 Connect to pin strip
9 - INPUT 2 A2
10 - VS BAT
11 - ENABLE 2 BAT
12 - INPUT 3 B10
13 - OUTPUT 3 Connect to pin strip
14 - GND GND
15 - GND GND
16 - GND GND
17 - GND GND
18 - OUTPUT 4 Connect to pin strip
19 - INPUT 4 B11
20 - VSS BAT

That way, every output can have PWM.

Software

To use this, you just need to send a 1 or a 0 out of Espruino. If you've wired up as suggested, the simplest code to turn output 1 on is digitalWrite(A3,1).

However with multiple outputs it's often easier to reference them by number:

var outputs = [A3,A2,B10,B11];

digitalWrite(outputs[0],1); // output 1
digitalWrite(outputs[3],1); // output 4

You can also use analogWrite (using PWM) to turn an output on for half of the time:

var outputs = [A3,A2,B10,B11];

analogWrite(outputs[1], 0.5, { freq: 100 }); // Turn output 2 on, 50% of the time, at 100 Hz

Using

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