Mobile 12 V power supply for adafruit motor shield

I'm working on a BT-controlled tracked vehicle using an Adafruit motor shield and two 12 V DC motors (up to 210 mA each) and have trouble finding a suitable power supply. From what I've heard, 9 V batteries (which would only provide 3/4 the voltage anyways, but I thought of using them first as I've used them before for smaller motors) have problems with higher currents. I've also looked at A23 batteries, which would provide the full 12 V but apparently have trouble with high currents as well. Would several of those in parallel go anywhere? Any ideas for more suitable power supplies?

Car battery, steady 12 output. Smaller versions are available for small solar sets.

Though with 2.5W motors you might want something a little lighter :slight_smile: So how about 3 LiPo batteries. 3.7V nominal, so 11.1V total. Fully charged at 4.2V so you’d get 12.6V. Motor voltages are usually not that critical. Or throw in a fourth (voltage up to 16.8V) for a bit more oomph. You can always dial it down a bit using PWM.

The LiPo batteries seem like the best out of these. How about charging them? Are there any funny quirks to charging LiPo cells or can I just build a sort of "battery pack" by connecting them in series and charging with 12 VDC? I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that with Li-Ion, and most proper Li-Po packs seem to have more complicated charging

Lipos are Li-ion cells, just in a different packaging. And they do need proper charging using CC/CV methods or you will kill them very quickly, possibly burning your house down at the same time. However chargers are readily available and not expensive.


Li-Po cells' gel electolyte supposedly doesn't leak as easily and makes them safer, but I guess not safe enough?

I can't seem to find singular Li-Po cells, only single-cell batteries that already have a protection circuit. Other protection circuits also seem to take care of charging, do all of them work like that or do I still need a separate charger? How about actually using them, would connectiong several in series confuse the circuits? AFAIK batteries usually a circuit for the battery rather than each cell having their own.

How about NiMh or NiCd cells? Aren't they a bit easier to live with? I'm assuming I'll still need a proper charger

Also sorry if some of my questions seem dumb or obvious, I'm entirely new to DIY batteries (as in I'm only now thinking of the option as a result of this thread)