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can a stepper motor be used as an input device for a tachometer?
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Yes
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....but, you will probably have to clean the signal up a little bit because you're going to get noisy pulses on each step.

A stepper motor is not an encoder.

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I've seen a couple of "propeller clock" projects built around stepper motors in which the designer fixed the shaft and spun the body of the motor,  using the outputs from the windings for both timing and power for the electronics.

So the answer is "Yes",  and googling for something like "propellor clock stepper motor" should turn up some examples of how to clean up the stepper winding output to get timing pulses.

Keep in mind that the outputs are not going to be very sharp or precise:  you'll probably see a lot of jitter that will be especially pronounced at low RPMs.  Expect to need to do some filtering (like,  say,  a weighted moving average) to get a stable and accurate reading.
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