You start by finding and reading the L298 the spec. sheet.
There is not much to using a an L298. You must be sure
that you install the free wheel diodes on the back of the
chip. Here is a URL to a design I have that uses them:
In this design I am using 1 L298 to drive 1 motor with a
maximum current draw of 3.5A. I use two L298's one for
each motor of a robot.
There are many more L298 designs out there on the web.
There is an L293D chip that has the clamping diodes built-in, as the
754410 also does. However, these are only good for 600-mA and 1-Amp,
respectively, and are DIP-packages that get rather warm at higher
current levels. The L298 requires external clamping diodes, but can
handle up to 2-Amp, as long as you screw on a good-sized heatsink.
No the L298 does not have a "D" variant with the free wheel
diodes built in. That is why I called that issue out. (Also,
the original question just mentioned the L298.)
The SN754410 is the pin equivalent of the L293D although
it has a higher current capacity 1.1A per H-bridge.
The following table should help:
Part H-Bridge Current H-Bridges External Diodes
========================================================= L293D 0.6A 2 Not Needed
SN754410 1.1A 2 Not Needed
L298 2.0A 2 Needed
Ganged-L298 3.5A 1 Needed
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