Handbrake feature

Hey there,
I am wondering if the odrive supports the handbrake feature so the motor can hold the current position ( Winch with a suspended load)

I’m not sure what you mean exactly but the board is a closed-loop controller, meaning the motor(attempts to) keeps the position it is commanded to and resists outside forces as long as it is able to. Or commanded otherwise.

What exactly are you trying to build?

Hi Seif,

The ODrive offers good holding torque, position control and active braking.

Have you considered using drive reduction through a worm gear? These would hold the load without any risk of back-driving the motor or losing control of the load, most winches use this type of gearbox.

Also, assuming direct drive from the motor that is back-driveable, a suspended load may be ok depending on the weight, although you could run into problems when lifting or lowering it; where you could damage the ODrive or brake resistor through overcurrent whilst braking, although I believe there is protection on the controller for this. I’m sure someone will clarify.

I am new to the ODrive myself and have been testing one at home with great success, they are very capable systems with good and varied control options.

I hope that answers your question.

Kind Regards,


Hi Roiki !
I wonna use Odrive to control a winch motor.
So you can imagine a winch attached on the roof and a heavy load suuspend to it.
Solution 1 : Close loop speed control Mode
When the motor speed set to zero, the controller will fight to keep the load suspended by introducing a current in the motor that depends directly the force generated by the load.
Solution 2 : Hand brake Mode
Set the controller to introduce constant current (3 A for instance) into 2 coils let’s say A and B thus will ovoid the load to move and the current in coil will always the same even if the load is removed as it’s an open loop system.
so I am wondering if it’s possible to use Odrive in an open loop.

Hi Niel,

Thanks for you reply, totally agree that a worm gear is a best option but for many reasons I trying to avoid using it in my case.
As I mentioned in my previous message the hand-brake open loop system would be a potential solution

Hi Seif,

You could use the ODrive in open-loop (sensorless control) and have a mechanical brake on the drive-shaft, possibly use a disc brake from a mountain bike that is operated by a heavy servo.

I think I’m just worried that your winch would be back-driveable and could potentially cause harm to your load or worst still, you. Maybe have a fall arrestor type mechanism to catch the winch cable in case of any failure.

Sounds like an interesting project, would be interesting to see a picture/drawing of your idea.

Kind Regards, Neil.