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User is offline   Mick in Oz 

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Hi all:

I am trying to build a stepper motor using a PC's floppy DD. I have little-to-no electronics knowledge :-1 .

The article that I'm using to help with this (at: http://www.doc.ic.ac...ih/doc/stepper/ ) suggests using the PC's parallel printer port as one way of getting it to work. It states: "There are various ways to get these motors going, controlled via the digital outputs of a PC's Parallel Printer Port". It goes on to suggest a cable design to use (see: http://www.doc.ic.ac...rol1/cable.html ).

My question is - is the cable that referenced just a simple PC printer cable? If so, does the cable need to be modified? And is the motor then powered by connecting the cable to the PC's printer port?

TIA -

Mick

This post has been edited by PdL: 06 May 2007 - 03:24 AM

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User is offline   Ken Moore 

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I have a friend that is doing a home project using stepper motors (ink jet printer engines I believe) and parallel ports. I don't know the details, but I've watched it work and I do know that he is powering the stepper motor from a PC power supply that he slavaged from some where, not the port. The parallel port is for control only.




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User is offline   Mick in Oz 

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View PostKen Moore, on May 3 2007, 08:26 PM, said:

I have a friend that is doing a home project using stepper motors (ink jet printer engines I believe) and parallel ports. I don't know the details, but I've watched it work and I do know that he is powering the stepper motor from a PC power supply that he slavaged from some where, not the port. The parallel port is for control only.


Thanks for that Ken. My project is involved with turning a screw that moves a mounted camera "in tune" with the earth's rotation, so as to do astrophotography. Right now I'm doing this manually, which is tedious and error-prone, which leads to blurry photos.

At any rate, I think I understand you, in that the "controlling" part of the motor would be transmitted to it via the parallel port...now I just have to figure out a way to design a cable that will connect to both the motor and the PC.
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User is offline   panic mode 

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if you have motors you plan on using, you must first figure out how to drive them.
steppers can have different connections (unipolar, bypolar) and number of connection wires.
also they vary in size.


if you don't have experience, i suggest buying ready made stepper motor drives,
they are normally available as single or dual motor drives. if you want to try yourself with something
cheap and simple, check hobby modules or kits like
http://kitsrus.com/pdf/k113.pdf
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View PostMick in Oz, on May 3 2007, 09:15 AM, said:

View PostKen Moore, on May 3 2007, 08:26 PM, said:

I have a friend that is doing a home project using stepper motors (ink jet printer engines I believe) and parallel ports. I don't know the details, but I've watched it work and I do know that he is powering the stepper motor from a PC power supply that he slavaged from some where, not the port. The parallel port is for control only.


Thanks for that Ken. My project is involved with turning a screw that moves a mounted camera "in tune" with the earth's rotation, so as to do astrophotography. Right now I'm doing this manually, which is tedious and error-prone, which leads to blurry photos.

At any rate, I think I understand you, in that the "controlling" part of the motor would be transmitted to it via the parallel port...now I just have to figure out a way to design a cable that will connect to both the motor and the PC.


It is certainly possible to cobble all this together. But with a DC power supply, connectors, and a couple SSR's to pull it off, check out 868-RDK-STEPPER from www.mouser.com. It's the stepper motor itself, with a premade microcontroller that you program and communicate with via a USB port, with all the support stuff already done. You basically just need to have a PC to run the software. Cost is $200. I can't imagine hand-rolling anything that cheap, and for a beginner, you'll get more out of a package like that one. And if you need to scale up/down, you'll get the confidence and knowledge you need to do it.

You may also want to look at Parallax and their BASIC STAMP or any of their other microcontroller kits. I'm almost positive one of them will cover stepper motors. They have extensive documentation in general and it's all online. These are very inexpensive and very easy to work with. I believe they have some relatively slow PWM code, so it should be very easy to build the stepper system you need.
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