How to power 12V motors and 5V servos from a single battery?

Hello! I have been researching for a while how to best supply power to a robot I'm building and haven't been able to figure out if I'm on the right track. I'm hoping that someone who is further along on their quest to master electronics can provide some insight. Here's my thinking so far:

This robot will use:

  • Four of these 12V DC motors
  • Three of these 5V Continuous Rotation Servos (controlled by this Adafruit PWM driver)
  • A few sensors (all of which take 5V)
  • An Arduino Mega 2560

I think my first question is, can both the 12V and 5V components be powered by the same battery? My best guess at how to do this would be to use a 12V battery like this one for all 12V applications, but to then also hook it up to a DC/DC buck converter that would create the 5V that I need. Is this feasible? If so, how would one go about achieving that wiring-wise, "splitting" the power and redirecting into two different places (both to the 12V applications and the buck converter)?

Or is there a better way that I'm missing? I figure that powering components with different voltage needs from a single power source is a common problem when building robots.

Thank you!
-an Arduino noob

Is this feasible?

Yes. To wire, connect the 12V battery to the 12V inputs of the motor drivers, and in parallel, to the input of the 5V switching regulator.

Mind the current requirements. Motors briefly draw the stall current (3.8 Amperes for the 12V motors) every time they start moving.

Personally I would choose to have separate 5 volt regulators for the servos and the Mega. Make sure You decouple all the motors so no motor noice will reach the 5 volt converter, especially the one feeding the Mega.

jremington:
Yes. To wire, connect the 12V battery to the 12V inputs of the motor drivers, and in parallel, to the input of the 5V switching regulator.

Thanks for the reply! Would you achieve this (connecting to both the motor and the input of the switching regulator) through a breadboard?

Mind the current requirements. Motors briefly draw the stall current (3.8 Amperes for the 12V motors) every time they start moving.

I'll definitely keep current in mind. I'll be using these motor drivers from Pololu:

Does the battery I linked in the original post seem like it could provide enough power to the motors?

Railroader:
Personally I would choose to have separate 5 volt regulators for the servos and the Mega. Make sure You decouple all the motors so no motor noice will reach the 5 volt converter, especially the one feeding the Mega.

Thanks for the help!

I would prefer something more “heavy” than a breadboard to distribute the 12 volt. Strenghtening the breadboard and using short ways between the most power consuming items might work.

Railroader:
I would prefer something more "heavy" than a breadboard to distribute the 12 volt. Strenghtening the breadboard and using short ways between the most power consuming items might work.

Got it. I will look for a heavy-duty option for distributing the 12V. Thanks!

Breadboards are not intended for high currents and the tracks will burn. Use 20 or 22 AWG stranded wire and carefully solder connections between motors, motor drivers and the motor power supply.

The suggestion to use separate regulators for the servos (high currents for the servos!) and Arduino is a good one.