H-bridge not available

I’ll be getting a decorative but useless PC board next week.  It is a good thing it only cost me $50.

It turns out that the H-bridge that was recommended to me, Infineon’s TLE-5205, is made of unobtanium.  I thought I had checked Digi-Key’s stock before starting my design, but I must have mistyped the part number, as Digi-Key customer service just called me to say that they haven’t had any since Sept 2010 and don’t expect any in the next 18 weeks.  They do have a few  TLE-5206-2 still in stock, probably because it is a less useful part, not having the Hi-Z output state. I must have checked that part instead of the TLE-5205-2.  Probably no other distributor has any TLE-5205-2′s either, if Infineon has been unable to make any since last September.

I didn’t know that Digi-Key had customer service reps working at 8p.m. on a Saturday night—it is good to know that a supplier cares enough to keep engineer hours.

In any event, I’m going to have to completely redesign the board. The TLE-5205 is unavailable even in the surface mount packages, so I can’t just change packages.  I’ll have to find and use a different H-bridge, which will be a major pain, as the TLE-5205 came close to being ideal for this application. I suspect that since the 5206 is still available, that the problem might be with the freewheeling diodes.  Since the 5206 always has either the high-side or low-side on, it doesn’t need Schottky freewheeling diodes.  Unfortunately, most of the other H-bridges I’ve looked at expect external diodes—the TLE-5205 was attractive because it had built-in diodes, saving a lot of board space.

Filed under: Hexmotor H-bridge board, Printed Circuit Boards Tagged: Arduino, design errors, motor controller, Printed circuit board, robotics

[original story: Gas station without pumps]