[Lab] Help choosing a stepper motor

Chris de Groot cdegroot at adobe.com
Wed Nov 6 10:22:20 EST 2013

It would be interesting to know how Wesley decided a stepper motor was suitable for your use case.

There are several of different options.
Stepper Motors are good for very precise control of fairly slow rotation where you may also want to rotate by very precise amounts. They have downsides, they require a lot of electronics and often some software to work, are not that powerful relative to other motors, consume more amps for similar work and are more expensive.

If you wanted to do something like rotate a platform continuously, even reversing it backwards and forwards, and did not care too much about fine accuracy or specific speeds a regular motor may be something to look at. For example a windscreen wiper motor(from princess auto surplus) is a nice usable package. With a small amount of electronics you can get speed control and backwards/forwards motion.

Consider this simple circuit for a "most useless machine ever" project. Simple and effective http://9x20lathe.blogspot.ca/2010/01/components-and-schematic-for-useless.html

Speed control is fairly easy with a regular motor. But for a stepper can actually get pretty complex with ramp up and down for starts and stops etc.


From: Lab [mailto:lab-bounces at artengine.ca] On Behalf Of Bob
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 8:05 PM
To: Lab at artengine.ca
Subject: Re: [Lab] Help choosing a stepper motor

As a non-technical person my suggestion may be way off base, but perhaps working with the guts of a scanner would fit the bill. Motor and belt already to go.


From: Lab [mailto:lab-bounces at artengine.ca] On Behalf Of Wesley Ellis
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 7:28 PM
To: Michael Grant
Cc: lab
Subject: Re: [Lab] Help choosing a stepper motor

No, the stepper motor is going to drive a pulley to rotate a platform
On 11/4/2013, 9:52 PM, Michael Grant wrote:
Does the mass need to be lifted against gravity?

On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 9:45 PM, Wesley Ellis <tahnok at gmail.com<mailto:tahnok at gmail.com>> wrote:

The mass isn't very heavy (probably 500g) and I don't need the resolution of something like a cnc or 3d printer motor and speed isn't super important
On Nov 4, 2013 9:36 PM, "Michael Grant" <michael at krazatchu.ca<mailto:michael at krazatchu.ca>> wrote:
The easy driver is for bipolar only, it's a good choice for small steppers (NEMA17).

There are many choices on eBay as well, about $11 will get you a serious CNC driver for larger steppers (NEMA23).

What resolution and speed are you looking to achieve?
The mass you are rotating, is it heavy and will you require fast start and stop?
Michael Grant

On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 9:22 PM, Wesley Ellis <tahnok at gmail.com<mailto:tahnok at gmail.com>> wrote:
Hey all,

I'm pretty new to electronics and I'm having trouble choosing a stepper
motor for a project I'm working on.

I'm ordering from robot shotp, and it looks like this EasyDriver board
will let me control whichever motor I end up choosing, but the number of
motors on robotshop is pretty intimidating.

I'm going to be spinning a small platform so I don't need a lot of
power. Basically, I'm wondering whether I need a bipolar or unipolar
motor? What kind of voltage? Amperage? Any help would be appreciated


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