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Topic: Controlling Stepper Motors (Read 797 times) previous topic - next topic

I am trying to control two stepper motors using my Arduino. Ive been successful in writing a Processing program which sends USB serial data to control a couple of LEDs attached to the Arduino board based upon the mouse position. ( Short video clip here: http://www.dryliketea.com/MOV00003.MPG )

Does anyone have any experience with controlling steppers from the Arduino? I thought I could just follow this tutorial ( http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/StepperUnipolar ) but when I tried it out the ULN2003A chip I used burned right up!!! The stepper motor I tried using was from a scanner.

Any suggestions / help?

David Cuartielles


Daniel is right, you gotta figure out why the chip burnt. Most likely your motor requires much more power than the one the ULN2003A can actually handle. I would suggest you go directly to try with HEXMOS switching tecnology (transistors), I recommend you the IRFZ24, (http://www.elfa.se/pdf/71/07117450.pdf). The form-factor should be TO220 (see picture) which allows the connection of a big radiator to disipate power to the air.

Hasta pronto,


Dec 19, 2006, 04:50 pm Last Edit: Dec 19, 2006, 04:51 pm by Richard_Monette Reason: 1
Thanks very much for the responses guys. Ive been hunting around to get more info on the motor. Havent been able to find too much but even just looking at the scanner Ive realized that its a 12v model.

I think I need to hunt around for some motors with specs more like one used in the tutorial or have a far more robust darlington setup.

Im beginning to wonder if I might be better off purchasing a stepper motor controller board and motors kit, so that I can focus on writing the software, which is ultimately my end goal. Does anyone know of any good hobby level stepper motor / controller kits?


There are many online. This one is nice if you want bipolar motors.

I'd suggest you read in whole the article that Jones has put up online and that was linked in the Stepper tutorial.
"Pilots believe in a clean living... they never drink wisky from a dirty glass."

David Cuartielles

A quite cheap solution to run DC motors is the Arduino motor shield, it can go up to 24 volts and control 2 bidirectional DC motors.



How many amps can it handle?
"Pilots believe in a clean living... they never drink wisky from a dirty glass."

David Cuartielles

Good question, we use the classic L239D, and according to http://se.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/moduleDisplayPopup.jsp?moduleId=en/210441.xml it goes up to 600mA and 36V


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