Sabertooth Motor Controller Experience

Hey all!
Does anyone here have experience with the Sabertooth line of motor controllers from ? (2x5 is what I'm looking at, but experience with any of them would help)

If any of you have used them with SLA batteries, did you notice a difference in battery charge life due to the regenerative braking?

The chassis I'll be using is tank-drive, so I'm curious whether the regen system justifies the added expense over a cheaper, more simple H-bridge.



  • 6 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes

  • Have used several Sabretooths ( 2 x 25A), IIR. Great units to work with. They were non-regens but could do dynamic braking, I think.

    For what its worth, I don't think the tank tread will coast sufficiently to do much for battery charging.

    Tom Sisk
    Sisk Consulting Inc.
  • What sort of motors are you planning to use?

    Do you want current feedback? Do you plan to use encoders?

    I haven't used a Sabertooth motor controller but I've used other Dimension Engineering products. I think they make good stuff but it's often at a higher price than many of the other options.

    You're probably already aware of the options from Parallax but here are a couple of links anyway. I've used both these h-bridges myself. The MC33926 dual h-bridge can supply two motors with 3A continuous with 5A burst. The MC33926 provides current feedback. The DHB-10 can control two 10A motors with encoder feedback.

    If you're looking for more options you should check out Pololu. They have lots of motor control options.
  • xanaduxanadu Posts: 3,165
    edited April 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've used a few different regenerative controllers with both wheeled and tracked vehicles, I don't think it's enough to notice. With normal use anyway.

    Edit: About 1/3 of the way down is a good explanation and sample formula. Small robots don't have much inertia, especially if you're using gear motors. You won't see much of a return.
  • I forgot the MC33926 had current feedback.... that is one of the features I want on this 'bot. are the motors coming with the tank chassis.

    I doubt I'll be able to mount encoders on the chassis, but I may be wrong.

    I've used the MC33926 before, pretty solid driver.
  • MacGeek117MacGeek117 Posts: 742
    edited April 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Well, darn..... No justification for the shiny toys.... :)

    I'll most likely end up going with the MC33926, thank you for reminding me of that, Duane.

    Building this project with a friend, so most likely won't be posting anything specific about it until May or June.

    Thank you all for your comments!
  • jdoleckijdolecki Posts: 692
    edited April 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I like them
    I use them in my tank track projects
    Wheel chair motors with snowblower tracks
    The new ones have some new features.
    Like a separate circuit for the motor brakes and the ability to switch from RC mode to serial mode

    This was the last one I built
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