Practical PIC Projects


 PWM DC Motor Controller
for PIC12F683

  • Description
  • Schematic
  • Circuit Description
  • PCB Layout
  • Component List
  • Construction photos
  • Operation
  • Firmware




There are lots of designs on the Internet for DC power controllers using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to control the speed of a motor or power to a resistive load.  Most of these use analogue methods to generate the PWM signal which in turn drives a power MOSFET or transistor.

When I wanted a speed controller for the PCB drill I use to make all my PIC Projects what else could I do but design a PWM Power Controller around a PIC - a practical PIC project for sure. 

I came up with a fairly straightforward design based on a PIC12F683 using the Capture/Compare/PWM
(CCP) peripheral inside the PIC to generate a PWM output.  An 'N' Channel Logic Level MOSFET in a low side configuration is driven by the PIC to control the output power to the motor.

A variable resistor provides a voltage input to the PIC which is converted to a digital value using the onboard Analogue to Digital convertor, this in turn is used to set the PWM duty cycle.  Since the PWM duty cycle is adjusted using a voltage signal input to the PIC it is possible to use an alternative analogue front-end instead of VR1 to provide this voltage input and therefore control of the duty cycle. 

In the original version of this project the input from the Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC) was fed directly to the duty cycle register of the PWM module on the PIC, therefore the PWM output duty changed linearly in direct proportion to the change in input voltage to the ADC; much the same as an analogue PWM.  The switch input allowed the PWM period to be selected in one of three ranges; 15.6Khz, 3.8Khz and 980Hz.

The significant feature in the new version of the firmware which sets it apart from analogue PWM is that it now uses the input from the ADC as an index to a data table.  This table contains the required output duty cycle and period.  By creating a suitable table of data you can map any value at the input of the ADC to any duty cycle and one of 3 fixed periods at the PWM output.  

The switch input now cycles through 3 mapping tables.  The default tables supplied with the code have a one-to-one mapping of input voltage to duty cycle output and fixed periods of 15.6Khz, 3.8Khz and 980Hz respectively to keep it backward compatible with the original version of the code.

More details of this and example map table files can be found in the Operation section.

A push button cycles through three different mapping tables.  The mapping table in use is saved to EEPROM so it always powers up using the last selected table; an LED indicates the current setting.

There is also a digital control input that allows the output driver to be turned off.  When pulled low the PWM output is set to 0%.


Example of log10 map



Example of three map tables, each with
 completely different remap data


connected to PCB drill

Showing PWM signal on oscilloscope

Code development prototype

Prototype PCB


Download schematic in PDF

Circuit Description

The PIC12F683, IC1 has an internal hardware PWM peripheral that is used to generate the PWM signal. The duty cycle of the PWM signal is controlled by VR1 which via R1 presents a voltage on pin 3 of IC1.  With 0V on the input the duty cycle is 0% (off) up to 100% with 5 volts at the input.    The PWM signal is output from pin 5 of IC1 and drives the gate terminal of Q1 through R3.  Resistor R4 connects the gate terminal of Q1 to ground. This ensures that Q1 remains off when the circuit is first powered on as the I/O pins of IC1 are all set to inputs until the firmware initialises them as outputs.  Diode D1 is required when driving inductive loads and provides a path for the inductive flyback current.  For loads up to 3 amps Q1 does not require a heatsink, above this you may need to use one.

Power for the logic is provided by IC2, a 78L05 5 volt regulator.  It connects to the input voltage source via diode D2 which provides protection against reverse polarity connection of the supply.  The 3-way jumper JP1 allows the input voltage for the 78L05 to be taken from either the main power input or an auxiliary supply. When a jumper is connected between pins 1 and 2 power comes from the main DC input.  Since the maximum input voltage for a 78L05 is 30 volts there may be applications where a separate power supply is needed for the logic. This is catered for by connecting a jumper between pins 2 and 3 of JP1 and connecting an alternate power supply to JP2.

Switch SW1 allows one of three PWM remap tables to be selected.  To avoid accidental changes to the map table in use the firmware requires the switch to be held for at least 500mS before switching to the next map data table.  The table selected is indicated by LED1 and the value is saved to EEPROM so it always powers up using the last used setting.

CON1 provides a digital input which is polled by the firmware.  When this input goes low the duty cycle is set to 0% from the start of the next PWM period, this turns MOSFET Q1 off.  When the input returns high the PWM restarts using the duty cycle set by the input from VR1.  The connector also provides 5v and Gnd connections to allow connection of a small off-PCB control circuit.  If it is used to power another circuit, ensure it doesn't draw more than 40mA from the supply.  If the shutdown control isn't required, leave the connector open and the PICs internal weak-pull-up will hold the input high enabling the PWM output.

The circuit as shown will work with input voltages from 9 to 20 volts.  If you choose to use it with a higher input voltage you may need to select different components (see notes below)


  1. Since the power controller can work with a DC input voltage from 9 volts up to 40 volts or higher the following components need to be suitably rated for the specific application the controller will be used for:
    • Q1 and D1 need both voltage and current ratings to suit the application.
    • C2,C3,C5,C6 should have a voltage rating greater than the input voltage.
    • IC2 needs minimum of 8.5 volts and absolute maximum of 30 volts.
  2. Q1 is a logic level MOSFET and is designed to be driven by a low gate voltage. Standard MOSFETs will generally work as a substitue in low power applications.
  3. For the flyback diode D1 a 1N4002 can be used here for most low power applications, a 1N5819 Schottky is better, for higher current loads a 1N5820, SB330 or SB350 might be preferred.  
  4. To get the full range of control when VR1 is rotated fully CCW, check that the voltage on the wiper terminal of the VR1 is at 0 volts.  The voltage on the VR1 wiper terminal must go from Vss to Vdd to get the full output range.
  5. Potentiometer VR1 is specified as 5K on the schematic but it can be substituted with a 4K7 part or a 10K. In all cases it needs to be a linear (LIN) type not logarithmic (LOG).
  6. The PIC MCLRE reset input (pin 4 ) is set to input with the reset logic internally tied to Vdd and a weak-pull up enabled on the I/O pin. 


This is a very basic PWM power controller and it does have some limitations.  These are not design flaws, but the result of the design goal for the project which was low cost and simplicity.  Therefore please note the following:

  • There is no current limit or overload sensing, you may need to use a fuse inline with the load.
  • The PWM controller is open loop so it does not adjust the duty cycle to maintain a constant motor RPM as the load changes.  You could add an analogue PID control loop at the ADC input to achieve this if it is required.
  • The design with components specified will work at supply voltages up to 20 volts and output loads around 3 amps, possibly higher depending on whether the load is inductive or resistive. With alternate components the circuit could be used with load voltages and current greater than this.  However it should be noted that since the MOSFET is driven directly by the output from the PIC, there is a limit as to the voltage/current and type of loads that can be switched before it becomes necessary to use a dedicated MOSFET gate driver between the PIC and the MOSFET.  





Photos above show the PWM output at the three operating frequencies.

PCB Layout

Download PCB artwork in PDF

Download Eagle 5.3.0 CAD Files (ZIP)

Component List

You can buy all the parts needed to build this project from most component suppliers world wide. In the UK you can get everything from Rapid Online and I've included a parts list with their part numbers below.


All Rapid parts/descriptions correct at 16-November-2008.  You should check part# and descriptions are correct when ordering in case I've made a mistake transferring them onto this page.

Ordering parts from Rapid?
Use the cut & paste quick order form on their home page with this list of parts

Components in this list are suitable for use with an input voltage in the range 9-22 volts DC

Component Description Part #
R1 (order 1 pack) PACK 100 1K 0.25W CF RESISTOR (RC) 62-0370
R2 (order 1 pack) PK 100 270R 0.25W CF RESISTOR (RC) 62-0356
R3 (order 1 pack) PACK 100 220R 0.25W CF RESISTOR (RC) 62-0354
R4 (order 1 pack) PK 100 100K 0.25W CF RESISTOR (RC) 62-0418
R5 (order 1 pack) PK 100 100R 0.25W CF RESISTOR (RC) 62-0346
VR1 16MM 4K7 LIN. COMMERCIAL POT. (RC) 65-0710
C3 22UF 25V TANTALUM BEAD 2.5MM RC 11-1050
D1* 1N5819 SCHOTTKY DIODE DO-41 RC 47-5322
D2 1N4148 SIGNAL DIODE 75V 150MA (TRU) RC 47-3416
Q1 STP36NF06L MOSFET LOGIC N 60V 30A (RC) 47-0552
IC2 DA78L05 V REG +5V 100MA TO-92 TRU (RC) 47-3612
LED1 L-7113GD LED 5MM GREEN DIFF 20MCD (RC) 55-0120
socket for IC1 8 PIN 0.3IN TURNED PIN SOCKET(RC) 22-1720
CON1, JP1, JP2 (order 1)*** 10W SINGLE ROW PCB HEADER PLUG RC 22-0515
Heatsink (if needed) TO220 HEATSINK WITH LUG 19C/W (RC) 36-0235
Jumper (use with JP1) OPEN BLUE 2.54MM JUMPER LINK (RC) 22-3555

Parts List Notes

* D1 may need to be changed for a higher rated part if used with inductive loads at high currents.

** IC1 will need programming with the firmware code before use

*** Order a single 10way header for CON1,  JP1, JP2 and then cut into lengths of 4-way, 3-way and 2-way

There is no capacitor C4, the component labels jump from C3 to C5

PIC Programmer
If you need a PIC programmer you can also buy the PICkit2 starter kit from Rapid, part # 97-0101


Construction photos:


Fig .2

Fig. 3


Fig .5

Fig. 6


Fig .8

Fig. 9


Fig .11

Fig. 12

Fig 1. Start assembly with the small components first and work through to the large parts.  Be careful to observe anti-static handling procedures when installing the MOSFET Q1, to avoid destroying it.

Fig. 4 The LED has its legs bent through 90o before installation

Fig.6  Diode D1 depends on the type and power rating of the load.  The PCB will take a large body diode but you can also use the smaller 1 amp types as your application requires.

Fig.7  Install shorting jumper across pins 1+2 of JP1 as shown.  If you know exactly what how you will be using the controller, a cheaper option is to simply install a wire link instead of JP1.

Fig.8/9  With loads up to 3 amps Q1 doesn't need a heatsink.  Above 3 amps it will need one and even if the load is under 3 amps it won't hurt to fit one anyway.

You do not need to use an insulating washer kit between the heatsink and the MOSFET since the heatsink is isolated on the PCB.  However, since the heatsink is connected to the MOSFET you need to make sure it doesn't come into contact with any other parts of the circuit or any enclosure you install the controller into.

Fig.12   Heavily tin with solder the PCB tracks between the connectors and MOSFET to increase the current carrying capacity of these tracks. This is shown in the photo.



In use, VR1 controls the duty cycle (and period) of the PWM output.  The analogue input from VR1 is used as an index to the map table which returns the required PWM duty cycle and period.   This means a linear input at the ADC can be used to generate a non-linear change in duty cycle at the output.

An example of where this can be useful is controlling the brightness of an LED.  The apparent brightness of an LED does not respond in a linear fashion to increases in duty cycle.  By creating a suitable remap table, a linear change at the ADC input can be remapped to a duty cycle curve that produces an apparent linear increase in brightness of the LED. 

Another significant feature of using the ADC input as an index to a lookup table is that not only does it allow the duty cycle to be remapped but the PWM period can also vary in response to the input at the ADC.  

Taking advantage of the available memory in the PIC MCU, three remap tables can be programmed into the PIC.  Switch input S1 is used to select the map table to be used . Pressing S1 for > 500mS will cycle through three map tables; this is to avoid accidental operation.  The table in use is indicated by the LED as shown below.  The map table selected for use is also saved to EEPROM so when the PIC is next powered on it will use that last selected table.

The default map tables supplied with the code use a linear mapping of input voltage to output PWM duty cycle. Each table has a fixed PWM period.

Map Table 1, PWM period 15.6KHz

Map Table 2, PWM period 3.8KHz

Map Table 3, PWM period 980Hz

Example include files:


Linear input to output duty cycle map

Alternate Map Tables

The map data used by the firmware can be changed by editing the bdcm_remap.asm file and entering alternate include file names for the required map tables.  The section to edit can be found at the end of the file (example below).  The semicolon comments the line out, removing it will cause the line to be included during assembly.  There should always be three remap data files included.  These can be different files or the same one included three times.

; ---------------------------------------------
; Include up to 3 remap data include files here
; ---------------------------------------------
; 1st include -> remapSelect 0 -> LED on

; 2nd include -> remapSelect 1 -> LED 6.2Hz

; 3rd include -> remapSelect 2 -> LED 1.5Hz

New tables can be created using a spreadsheet.  Copy and past the required cells into MPLAB and save as  Include the names of the map files in the bdcm_remap.asm file and reassemble.

Example spreadsheet table (Excel 2003)

The duty cycle value used in the map table should be a integer in the range 0 to 255.  To convert the duty cycle as a percentage to a value for the map table, multiply by 2.55
e.g.  60% x 2.55 = 153

Connecting the PCB

Connect DC input power to CON2 and the output load to CON3.  The PWM Shutdown input is optional, if it's not required leave the connector disconnected and the output will be enabled.

Safety Warning:
The shutdown control input should not be used as an emergency stop.


The HEX file is ready to program directly into a PIC 12F683.  The asm file contains the source code which you can modify or just view to see how it works.  If you are going to modify the code I recommend you download and install the Microchip MPLAB IDE which will allow you to edit, modify and program the PIC seamlessly.

If you need a PIC Programmer I strongly recommend the Microchip PICKit 2, this is available from suppliers world wide or direct from Microchip. 

Not got a programmer?  Buy a pre-programmed PIC from the On-line store



Download link

Source code for 12F683
v1.0.7 16/05/2014


HEX file ready to program into the PIC
Standard version

v1.0.7 16/05/2014

Checksum A252

HEX file ready to program into the PIC
Soft Start enabled version

v1.0.7 16/05/2014

Checksum A652

Version 1.0.3 - Fixes a code bug which caused the two least significant bits of the PWM
                     duty cycle value to be reversed. 

Version 1.0.4 - Soft Start version

Version 1.0.5 - Fixed issue with duty cycle update causing noise at low settings

                     Added assembly time option to change internal Fosc frequency which allows
                     different PWM periods/frequency to be used.
                        Set clock to 1Mhz for PWM frequency of (3.9Khz, 950Hz, 245Hz)
                        Set clock to 2Mhz for PWM frequency of (7.8Khz, 1.9Khz, 490Hz)
                        Set clock to 4Mhz for PWM frequency of (15.6Khz, 3.8Khz, 980Hz)
                        Set clock to 8Mhz for PWM frequency of (31.2Khz, 7.6Khz, 1.96Khz)

                     Added 8 byte rolling average filter to ADC input signal

                     Made common code base so there are no longer separate versions for standard
                     and Soft Start code.   Options can be selected in the bdcm_remap_10x_common.asm
                     file prior to assembly.      

Version 1.0.6   - Force 100% PWM output when duty value = 255. Because of the way the PWM
                    peripheral hardware works within the PIC itself, setting the duty cycle register to
                    255 actually only gets to 99.6% duty. This update forces it to 100% (always on)
                    so it behaves as you would expect.         

Version 1.0.7 -

Clear PWM CCPR1L and DC1B1/DC1B0 bits of CCP1CON before enabling
PWM module since the value in the register is undefined after reset which can cause a one cycle random output of the PWM at power-on.

Fixed issue where changing the selected map would not register until the ADC duty cycle input value changed. Now when a new map is selected it forces an update of the PWM registers with the new map values.

Soft start version

The Soft Start code features a soft start at power up.  If you imagine having the control potentiometer set at zero and rotating it to its final position each time the controller is powered on this is a soft start.

Instead of doing this manually, the control potentiometer can be left in any position and the output is automatically 'ramped' up to the current position of the control potentiometer each time the controller is powered on.

If the control potentiometer is at maximum it takes approximately 1.2 seconds for the output to ramp up to the final setting, the time taken is directly proportional to the position of the control position; for example if the control is at 1/3 maximum it takes 1.2/3 = 0.4 seconds.

This code version is identical to the original in respect to the operation of the modes and lookup data tables for the remap functionality described elsewhere on this project page.

If you found this code useful, please consider making a donation, thanks.        

This code will not work with the PIC 12F629 or PIC12F675 since they do not have the required internal CCP peripheral used to generate the PWM signal.


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