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Stepper Motor Controller/Driver?

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Pyroflea

New Member
First off, what's the difference between a Stepper Motor Controller and Driver, or is there even one?

Secondly, I'm looking to make a relatively inexpensive controller for 3 motors. It has to be able to drive 3 motors simultaneously in both rotational directions, and has to connect to a PC in some manner for controlling. I was looking at one over on Instructables that seems to be pretty good. Link: Easy to build CNC Mill Stepper Motor and Driver circuits

So my questions are...

1) Is that a good controller? Any modifications need to be made?
2) Is there a better controller I can make for the price?

Thanks.
 
you can buy a stepper driver for pretty cheap. I baught some pretty heavy duty ones for some 9 amp 1300oz/in motors in my machine for like 89 a piece. You can buy smaller ones for much much less. Check ebay, you can get the driver and motor in a package for pretty cheap. If you want to build your own, the only gain would really be satisfaction of doing it yourself.
As for the controler vs. driver, a driver is nothing more than an amplifier. a motion controller is completely different i believe. i use EMC2 which uses the pc as the actual motion controller instead of having external hardware.
 

Pyroflea

New Member
Well I just need a 3-axis controller that can connect to a PC, and it seems like it's a lot more expensive buying a pre-made one as opposed to making one myself.
 

AlainB

Member
Hi,

If you want to experiment with small unipolars stepper motors, each one can be controlled with as little as a single chip.

breadboard-uln2803et-step-jpg.30993


Shearch this forum. There is already a lot of informations available.

Alain
 

Pyroflea

New Member
Okay, thank you. One small issue I'm having. My computer that I'm planning on running this with is a micro-ATX setup, in a slim case. It does not have a parallel port. So I'm wondering if it's possible to get this to work with USB, Firewire, or even 15-pin D-Sub (Analog video port), or if I need to try to find a slim Parallel expansion card.
 

AlainB

Member
Okay, thank you. One small issue I'm having. My computer that I'm planning on running this with is a micro-ATX setup, in a slim case. It does not have a parallel port. So I'm wondering if it's possible to get this to work with USB, Firewire, or even 15-pin D-Sub (Analog video port), or if I need to try to find a slim Parallel expansion card.

All this is another ball game! I can't help you on that.

I run all my steppers with olds computers that I run from DOS (not pseudo DOS). I use TurboCNC software (DOS versions) that you can have for free. Sometime I also use TurboBasic, an old DOS basic to run them. I play with steppers only for my pleasure, as a hobby. But even then it is possible to acheive works of great precision. The difference between a home made simple driver and a very sophisticated expensive one is not really the precision. It is mainly the speed at witch you can run the motors. It could make a difference (maybe) on the precision on an extremely good mecanical set up but you would have to be "extremely" good to make a machine that thight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwjynFhSbWk&feature=channel

YouTube - 3 axis CNC for PCB drilling


Alain
 
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AlainB

Member
Alain what did you use to draw the breadboard?

Hi,

I am very glad you ask!

Have a look at this tread. It is all there;

PEBBLE - Picaxe Electronic Bread Board Layout Emulator - PICAXE Forum

Try the online version first. Take a long time to load, I think it is because it is hosted on a server very far, down there.

It will not install anything in your computer.

I am happy to make a bit of promotion for this free emulator that I find very fun to use.

Here is another board that I made. But this particular BreadBoard and the trimmer, the relay, the counter and the power supply are not available in the original PEBBLE (There is 2 other trimmers and relays available). I made them myself and included them in my copy of PEBBLE. Just need a bit of programming:

photocellsch-pebble-jpg.32560


Alain

(I use Paint Shop Pro to capture the image from PEBBLE and make a JPG file for posting)
 

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Pyroflea

New Member
That's a very neat program! Just got it installed, gonna fool around with it for a bit :) I guess what it gets down to right now is, would it be better to go with A) The stepper controller on the Instrucables link, B) The Linistepper, or C) A different design altogether? Thanks guys :)
 

Pyroflea

New Member
I have been looking around a little bit, and stumbled across PMinMO.com . I was looking at the **broken link removed**, the **broken link removed**, and **broken link removed** (I didn't see a name for it). Any of those any good, or should I still look into the last ones I previously mentioned?
 
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