L298N driver alternative that won't burn out?

Hello all,

I inherited a project that uses L298N dual H-bridge motor controller and a 12VDC power adapter to run a linear actuator. I don't know much about electronics and am a novice at Arduino, but I know the driver keeps burning out and I have to replace it every so often. (That is, it works super well, but it has an annoyingly short lifespan and I can feel the heat emitted from the sink especially whenever the load increases.)

How do I go about finding a more suitable alternative that will last longer? Any recommendations?

The linear actuator specs:

  • 2" stroke
  • 18N dynamic load, 0N static load (for my application)
  • Full load current: 5A
  • 12VDC power

link: Linear Actuator With Feedback and Potentiometer - Progressive Automations

(Apologies if I left out any information, I'm a newbie at this and don't know what info is important.)

On the site you linked, they sell a motor controller for that actuator with a 15a capacity so that’s probably where you want to be to have enough surge current headroom.

Sparkfun is selling a Pololu IRF7862PBF which is a more efficient (less heat and power loss) design that handles 15a as well.


  • Full load current: 5A

The L298 has a 4A current limit, and that's for both channels hooked together. If your actuator is on only one channel, it's a 2A limit.

So assuming you're actually pulling the 5A, that explains the failures, even if you are using both channels for one actuator.

For heavy duty linear actuators, I use and strongly recommend this motor driver from Pololu.

It has a current sense output that can detect when the actuator is overloaded and stalled.