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Author Topic: Stepper Motor Controller Help  (Read 3397 times)

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Offline PyroTopic starter

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Stepper Motor Controller Help
« on: September 06, 2009, 02:58:02 AM »
I need to build a 3-way stepper motor controller for Unipolar stepper motors.  Just for a reference, I'm thinking of going with 3 of these motors:  http://www.alltronics.com/cgi-bin/item/28M065/55/Lin-Engineering-5718M-15-09-unipolar-stepper-motor .  They are about 130 oz-in (~9.4 kg-cm) each, and are 1.3A per coil.

I want to build this for as little as possible, and as simply as possible.  I  just need a simple, accurate, and inexpensive circuit to drive 3 of these motors.  The only problem is, it seems there's about a million different designs out there, and they're all "better than every other design".  I am a beginner when it comes to electronics, but I am confident enough in my abilities that I want to build this circuit myself.

By trolling this website a bit, I've come across things such as the EasyDriver v3 from SparkFun, the PhidgetStepper from Active Robots, and designs to make your own Here and Here.  Two designs that I found prior to this thread that I was consider are the Tachus42 from PMinMO, and this Easy-to-build Stepper Motor Controller on Instructables.

So pretty much I just need to recommendations and guidance on how to go about doing this.  Thanks in advance :)


- Pyro
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 03:23:54 PM by Pyro »

Offline Admin

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 08:49:52 AM »
Why not buy one?

I mean, if you don't value your time, sure build one . . . but otherwise if you spend 10 hours making/debugging one, at minimum wage, thats already like $75 - twice the cost of buying a professional/reliable version :P

Offline PyroTopic starter

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 10:07:47 AM »
If you can find me one for ~$50, I'll consider it.  I just wanted to build it for something to do because I have easy classes right off the bat this year at school and I know I'll have nothing to do.  I also wanted to expand my knowledge of the workings on electronics.  But as mentioned above, if the price is right :)

Offline guru

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 08:48:20 PM »
Those are some pretty nice steppers for the price. I think 130oz is good power to have for hobby cnc routers. (I assume it is for that, maybe I am wrong.) Some people throw as much power into as possible but it only makes the motors, control and mechanics more expensive!

If you are into CNC you can look at my homemade CNC at http://www.colinmackenzie.net . I am very partial to the Gecko stepper controllers, there are a lot of nice features on them. Be careful of a lot of controllers, especially the ones sold on ebay, they state the max amperage of the parts from the datasheets but it's not a true reflection of what they can truly source. (I got jammed on that one, my 1.5amp steppers were killing my L293 based controller rated at 3A.) Geckos and Vipers are instead somewhat under-rated and use FETs that specify around 20amps or more.

If you are in to spending the time making your own from an instructable that's a good exercise, but it's definately not a savings from the time is money standpoint by any means. Make sure the schematic or pcb source is good too. I've found motor control circuits that just couldn't work online.

C


Offline guru

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 11:18:54 AM »
I forgot to mention those are 8 wire steppers (as pictured). That means you can wire up as bipolar or unipolar. Go with bipolar wiring and controller.

Offline PyroTopic starter

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 08:50:48 PM »
If I were to build my own controller, should I build the Tach42, Tom McWire's design, or the overly simplistic design shown Here?

Offline Webbot

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2009, 08:50:51 PM »
Could always look here http://www.societyofrobots.com/member_tutorials/node/120 for theory, circuits, software etc.
Webbot Home: http://webbot.org.uk/
WebbotLib online docs: http://webbot.org.uk/WebbotLibDocs
If your in the neighbourhood: http://www.hovinghamspa.co.uk

Offline PyroTopic starter

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2009, 08:53:10 PM »
Thanks for your input.  I think I'm just going to buy a kit from HobbyCNC, as it seems like the easiest/cheapest approach as of now.

Kit can be located here:  http://www.hobbycnc.com/products/hobbycnc-pro-chopper-driver-board-kits/

I am considering working on designing some drivers as a little side project though, but that'd be pushed back to 3rd or 4th on my projects list :D

Offline definitionofis

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 02:25:43 PM »
I got into a road block with my phidgets 0/16/16 board to control a stepper
because the bipolar stepper needs polarity reversal.
So I built a stepper controller just using the L298N and LM317T example circuits
from the datasheets. Now I have a problem with insufficient torque at 1.2A 9.6V
with my stepper motor. I'm not surprised.

Robot running from Phidgets board using L298N stepper chip

« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 02:28:13 PM by definitionofis »

Offline PyroTopic starter

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2009, 08:41:54 PM »
That's pretty cool :)

I've pretty much decided on which drivers I'm using (well, I'm down to 2.  Good enough) :)

Offline definitionofis

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Re: Stepper Motor Controller Help
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 07:49:58 AM »
You know if you do not have to reverse polarity, you can run
motors directly from that phidgets board up to 2A (30VDC, I think),
without a driver bridge like L298N.

You just need software to time the on/off sequence.

I think with unipolar steppers you can do that.
You could try it with a battery to prove it.

Moving the motor in the opposite direction would not be possible.

 


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