I'm pretty much a complete noob on this stuff, so sorry if I ask some stupid questions. And pardon my lack of knowledge with electronic terms, but I'll try my best to explain.
I built a CNC machine awhile back and have an extra stepper motor left over. http://buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
lists information on what I have. I purchased the first kit on that page and I ended up buying an extra Nema 24 425 oz-in motor that I didn't need. The data sheet is http://buildyourcnc.com/Documents/PN.SM60HT86-2008BF-U%20(inhouse%20PN.60BYGH303-13)%20(1).pdf
I have an idea for something and I don't know if it's feasible. If it is, I don't know what components I should be looking at. I want to run this motor on a piece of equipment that is powered by a small gas engine (25hp) and 12v electrical system. So I'd like to tie into that electrical system.
I envision having a number of buttons that the user can toggle. Each button represents a different distance in inches. 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2. Once some number of those presets are selected, they are added together to make the final distance. Then to determine direction and "fire off" the movement, I would need what I guess is a momentary switch with three positions. The position the switch is normally at does nothing. Pushing it in one direction would run the stepper motor enough to move the equipment that final distance in one direction. Likewise, pushing the switch in the other direction would result in the equipment going that distance in the other direction. And I think for safety reasons, if the switch is held in one direction or the other, it should only result in moving one time. So if I select 1/4" and push in one direction, it only goes 1/4" even if I were to hold it for an hour. If I wanted to go another 1/4, I'd have to let go of the switch and then push it a second time.
My thought is that I can wire in all these switches to an Arduino and program it to do this. But, I'm not so good at determining what parts I need to get. I see this: http://ruggedcircuits.com/html/ruggeduino.html
, but I don't know if I'm looking at a pea shooter when I need a grenade launcher if you know what I mean.
I'm looking at using this in an outdoor environment, but within an enclosure. So it would need to work below freezing and also on a very hot day. And, there's constant vibration.
Plus, I am not sure about my input power. 12v and I assume it's pretty noisy so I assume I need to do something about that. I'm also not sure if I need other parts?
Can someone suggest whether my idea is possible and if so, what hardware I should be looking at? Thanks.