We looked at the L293D in Lesson 9. The ULN2803 is a very useful chip.

Whereas the L293D effectively has four outputs whose polarity can be reversed, the ULN2803 has eight outputs that amplify the weak signals from the raspberry Pi GPIO pins allowing them to switch much higher currents.

However, unlike the L293D an output from the ULN2803 can only sink current, so the common positive red lead of the stepper motor is used. So, rather than use the whole of the coil between say the Pink and Orange leads, just the half of the coil between the common Red connection and the Pink connection is energized.

This guide was first published on Jan 23, 2013. It was last updated on Jan 23, 2013.

This page (ULN2803) was last updated on Nov 21, 2020.