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Arduino UNO and a pump.... :)

Hi everyone, Am using a vacuum pump in my project; it's 12 VDC operating on 12 W.. This is the one: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10398 I wanted to switch on/off the pump using an arduino UNO. Here are my questions: Is this motor driver the best one to use..? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9670 Also, do I have to use lithium battery or there are alternatives? Thanks a lot...

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Why not use a relay?

I think that triggering a relay off of an Arduino would still need a transistor and diode. The Arduino might not push enough current to hold the coil energized. It might provide some helpful isolation from the microcontroller though.

Nils, that schematic is wrong... like bdk6 says you must switch the pump and transistor if you use a NPN transistor. For power control I would not use a transistor, and certainly not a darlington transistor like the TIP series. They are a real waste, that why they invented mosfets :) A logic level mosfet with a low RDSon is much more efficient. I have a bunch of IRL2203N mosfets for these situations.

Thank you Bajdi and bdk6 for this correction. As I have in the past burnt some NPNs having this setup it seems that using a mosfet is better. So this is my second try:

Unfortunately this one might also be not that correct. Bajdi - could you give it a try and draw the simplest possible solution to this problem?


Like Max and Bird mentioned this is how I would try it too. Needs soldering. Use a digital output from the Arduino to trigger the NPN. Make shure you take a NPN that has an adequate Max Collector Current specified in the datasheet.

Shure you could add a 403 capacitor between the pump + and -. But the schema above is a good start.

You may also have a look at this project. It uses a motor driver. Look in the Further Readings section.


I would just use a transistor, a couple resistors, and a diode. Just make sure the transistor can switch the current of the pump.

You probably would be better off using a switching transistor than a motor driver. A motor driver is for bi-directional control with speed-this unit is only designed to run one way at full capacity. You can use whatever kind of battery you want as long as it has enough amp hours.

I forgot to mention, any battery will work. Just like Max says. You could even use a walwart, if your project will be close to an outlet.