Stepper Motors Uncovered (1)
stepper motor fundamentals
Stepper motors, and in particular the way they must be driven, continue to riddle many of our readers. This two-part article is a solid base for your understanding of stepper motor operation as well as practical use. Next month, the article culminates in the construction of a high-power 4-channel motor driver with PC control.Often a mechanical operation is required in an application to accurately position a load or device. While a conventional DC or AC motor can be used, it is difficult to determine the exact position of the load, motor speed, or how much total motion has been produced, unless external positioning sensors, encoders, servo loops, and controlling devices (brakes or clutches) are used.The preferred alternative is to use a stepper motor. This is an electromechanical device, which converts pulses into discrete mechanical movements.
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CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor Members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their Membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service.
Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.