Arduino-based High Sierra Sidekick Motor Controller


Arduino Motor Controller

I'm planning a controller for my High Sierra Sidekick antenna. This page documents my progress.

I built the Arduino motor controller from Adafruit.

It has two L293D H-bridge chips. There are boards for the Arduino pin layout with less stuff on them, but they cost more.

I ran this sample code from the test page and it worked to run the Sidekick motor. At PWM 200/255ths it worked.  At 100 the motor just hummed.  I may need to change the PWM frequency to something lower than 64 KHz.

The motor draws about 0.25-0.30A when running, and 0.85A when stalled. The bare-bones High Sierra controller lights an incandescent lamp when the motor stalls, but does not cut power to the motor.

#include <AFMotor.h>

AF_DCMotor motor(1, MOTOR12_64KHZ); // create motor #1, 64KHz pwm

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);           // set up Serial library at 9600 bps
  Serial.println("Motor test!");
  motor.setSpeed(200);     // set the speed to 200/255

void loop() {
  Serial.print("tick");;      // turn it on going forward

  Serial.print("tock");;     // the other way
  Serial.print("tack");;      // stopped

Motor Shield Software

Below are links to information about the Motor Shield software.