Dimension Engineering - Sabertooth

The Sabertooth motor driver allows you to interface RoboRealm to DC brushed motors. The Sabertooth is available from Dimension Engineering and can support up to two DC motors at 5A per board. To ensure reliable communication RoboRealm utilizes the packetized serial mode communication with the Sabertooth.

You can control up to 8 Sabertooth boards from a PC totaling 16 DC motors by specifying the appropriate address on the Sabertooth board using the provided DIP switches. See the Sabertooth documentation for more information as to how to set those DIP switches.



1. Select the appropriate COM port that the USB or Serial cable is attached to.

2. Select the highest possible baud rate (typically 38400)

3. Move the sliders next to the correct motor address (128 to 135) and number (left/right side motor) to test the movement for that motor.

4. Select or type in a variable that will contain the power value that should be sent to the motor controller.


To connect the Sabertooth to a PC you will need a level converter circuit to reduce the serial COM/USB power levels that ranges from +12V to -12V to the 5V TTL levels that the Sabertooth requires. You can construct your own circuit using a MAX232 chip or use prebuilt solutions such as USB to TTL Cable.

To setup the USB connection you need to connect the black wire (ground or Blk-) from the USB cable to the 0V connector on the Sabertooth and the green wire (ttl in or TX) to the S1 connector. Note: do NOT connect the red wire to the 5V connector as that is used to power external circuits as apposed to receiving power from the USB cable. Also note that the serial cable may use different colors so check the cable documentation before attaching.

For more instructions please see Controlling a Sabertooth with Roborealm.

See Also

Phidgets Motor Controller
BasicMicro RoboClaw

For more information

Sabertooth dual 5A motor driver

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