Let's Make Robots!

Motor controller/shield

Hi there

Im looking for a motor controller/shield like this one. The problem is, that I dont own the skills to solder a shield. So i am looking for something else with these requirements: 

1) Cheap

2) Comes assembled

3) It should work with an Arduino UNO 

4) I should run at least 2 DC motors + 1 servo with out i should add any components beside the motors :) 

5) It should be beginner friendly! :)

6) I can easily connect sensors to the arduino when the motor controller/shield is connected.

Wow, thats was many requirements! Hope you guys can help me! :) - Thanks alot! 

Oh, wait. Last question: How Can i add wires (The wires that connects the motor to the controller) to the DC Motors without soldering? :)

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If I could pick that up for U$25 locally I probably would. The variable temperature and built in station are add ins that run a lot higher at RS.

Well - It sounds like i have to get me a soldering iron. Can it really be true that Robotshop.com don't sell cheaper soldering irons in their european store than this?

Be aware that the shown Adafruit Motor Shield has no connectors on top. You can not stack another shield onto it. If you buy this shield you can not add digital pins without soldering. The analog pins can be exposed with a Arduino Sensor Shield you stack between the Arduino and the Motor Shield.

I use this shield now.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-V3-Arduino-Driver-Motor-Controller-Shield-L298N-2A-2-Motors-Module-/170792695437?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c409b68d#ht_4830wt_1396

The DC motor can be connected to the Arduino with a male jumper cable connected to a crocodile cable connected to the plug on the DC motor... But sooner or later we'll see you soldering. Our bet.

If you live close to a Harbor Freight, they have a great 30w one on sale this weekend for $3.00!  I usually pick these up in bulk because they're cheaper than the replacement tips for my RadioShack model. They also have the rosin core solder.

Chris is absolutely right-being a roboticist who can't solder is kind of like trying to be a Formula One racer who can only drive an automatic.  Also, soldering well is rewarding.  When you look at the bottom of a PCB that you did yourself and it looks as good as a mechanically welded one you feel pretty smug.(Not that I always get every joint right...)

I'd add a heat sink and DIP sockets to Chris's shopping list, though I know a lot of guys think those are for sissies (and there is some question about eventual corrosion/contact problems with sockets) but if you're just learning to solder you might save yourself some frustration and worry about whether or not you burnt the semiconductors by using them.  I sink everything but connecting wires, sockets and terminals when I solder-resistors, caps, transistors (especially transistors), diodes, etc...

You should not be scared of soldering, my friend.

Soldering is an incredibly important skilll to learn and as it happens, an incredibly easy skill to pick up. Your projects now and in the future are going to be pretty limited without this skill.

I would say, just bite the bullet and learn it. There are about a million tutorials out there, you need about $20 to get started and you can learn without screwing anything important up.

Go get youself a super cheapie iron (I have seen models at Radio Shack for as little as $8)
Get a piece of perf-board (protoboard) and a roll of 22g solid copper wire
Grab a roll of .032 rosin core (flux core) solder

Simply strip some of the wire and cut it into a lot of 1" (3cm) long pieces. Bend them in 1/2 and stick a bunch through the perf board.

Solder them.

If you do one protoboard worth of these "pins" you will be a soldering master. It will take you one single afternoon.