My Sabertooth 2x60 locks up when steering

Hello ! And new to the community.

I’m building a rc controlled lawn mower. The mechanical stuff is almost done and I used 2 wheel chair motors rated at 24v 400w.
I use a Sabertooth 2x60 in combination with a graupner MZ18 rc control. al this is powered by 2 12v lead acid batteries in series.

Driving forward and backward is no problem, also slow turning right or left is ok, but when i turn suddenly or change suddenly from forward to backward my sabertooth controller locks up. Now the only thing I can do is to cycle the power and everything is fine again.

This behavior is repeatable under load but also whit the wheels in the air so when no load is present.

Is there a way for you to measure the peak current drawn when executing these actions?

I don’t think the motors are drawing more than 120A to make the Motor Driver stall… but just to make sure.

Also, make sure this is not a configuration issue with the Transmitter and Receiver.

Let me know how it goes.

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Yes, I have a Fluke 376 AC/DC clamp meter.
The Max. Amp. value measured was 39A when I steer left or right and both motors run, one forward and the other backwards.
I played again some time. when I steer slowly right or left, there is no problem.
But when I let go the sticks suddenly, then the Sabertooth locks up.
This is also the case when I drive forward or backwards, and let the stick go so that my vehicle brakes suddenly, the Sabertooth locks up.
Strange enough the way the Sabertooth locks up is not always the same.
Sometimes he hangs and the motors are stopped. And sometimes he hangs and one or both motors keep turning.
I put the receiver in a metal enclosure with his own lipo power supply, and the antenna far as possible away from Sabertooth, but problem is the same

No one on this problem ??

I’m having the same problem with two 2x60 Sabertooths. They will both do it even when I have the wheelchair motors on freewheel so there’s no load on motors. I’ve tried a new receiver, bigger wires, no luck. The robot is probably 300lbs so kind scary when it loses control.

Hi Scot,

Yes, it frustrating.
I tried everything, bigger wires, shielded wires, shorter wires.
Put receiver in metal enclosure connected to sabertooth with shielded cable.
Unfortunately I have no possibility to try with another receiver transmitter combo.
So my project is now on hold, also due to a smal budget.

By the way I like your tracks !!

I’ve tried everything suggested here as well. Having the same issues. I’m not sure what else to try?

Me too, still looking for help.
Tried everything.
Still waiting for a seccond transmitter/receiver so I can swap them and try again.

I’ve also had this problem where it will get a mind of it’s own if I make any sudden stops or turns on the controls. I’ve had to park it because it can be rather scary and dangerous, its already knocked down a picket fence because I couldn’t get to the kill switch in time.

I am having the same problem with the 2x32 but I don’t believe that the motor control is locking up. I am using two wheel chair motors with built in brakes. The brakes are locking up on me. I am not sure what the proper configuration for the settings in the DEScribe software should be. When I move the machine forward back left or right slowly, it works fine, but when at higher speeds the brakes lock. I could use some help too!

Continuing the discussion from My Sabertooth 2x60 locks up when steering:

Dear All,
i have same problem too,

the solution is an external bec 5v or battery to power the receiver. while current from sabertooth is only 100mah and perhaps interrupted when you accelerate fast.
(disconnect both red center cable from servo cable on receiver to sabertooth. only signal s1, s2 and grounds connected.

be sure switch no 6 is on/up for standart RC mode for having the failsafe and auto calibration.
on the transmitter endpoints to 100%.
take car if you have double exponential settings on sabertooth and on your radio, can affect precision of speed control.


hi and me the same problem.when the run sticks hard the sabertooth 2x60 are crazy.the robot has going to anywhere.

Yes, same happened to me, unfortunately I never found a solution for this problem.

Try external bec 5v enyone on sabertooth 2x60??

I power the receiver with 2 18650 cells and bec.
This doesn’t solve the problem.

For me today after many test from batteries-bec 5v-altenator-rc settings on transmitter and I don’t know enithing else the sabertooth 2x60 crash and status led & the error led is always on. Power off and on but nothing. Next step is connection the sabertooth to Pc. I don’t anything else…

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OK now for me it’s OK. I connect the Pc on sabertooth and now is OK no crashes no signal loss no motors crazy the sticks now is very stable and soft. Tonight I post my backup
Eeprom setup.

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Hi Djkpap,

Can you please explain your setup, I don’t understand ?
What do you mean with Pc ?

Chech here

I’ve had similar problems with these type of controllers over the years. The one thing I found thru Hit and Miss is the main power switch Contacts were pitted and causing intermittent power interruptions even though the switch was new. However, probably low quality and underrated .

So, Make sure to install a High quality Switch that’s well over rated for your machine – this worked for me