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Author Topic: stepper motor interfacing  (Read 1440 times)
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Hi I am building a satellite tracker for fun, I am using a software gpredict to give me azimuth and elevation and arduino uno to drive my stepper motors for pointing the mount at the correct azimuth and elevation.  I am new to programming with the arduino and didn't know how to write my program to accept software, what would the best way to attack this problem be? thanks!
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what would the best way to attack this problem be?
Step by step.

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I am using a software gpredict to give me azimuth and elevation
How is it giving you the data? Punch cards? Paper tape? Madame Toussant's crystal ball?

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and arduino uno to drive my stepper motors for pointing the mount at the correct azimuth and elevation.
This sounds like it's an accomplished fact.

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I am new to programming with the arduino and didn't know how to write my program to accept software
The Arduino doesn't accept software. It accepts data, from the serial port or from sensors.
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You'll need some sort of a stepper motor driver circuit. There are a lot of schematics and pre-built boards available, but you need to know the current your motors will be drawing and what type they are (unipolar, bipolar,...) in order to pick the right one.

I've used the good 'ol L297/L298 circuit in the past for some ~2amp motors. Don't forget to add heatsinks.


Once that's sorted out, you'll need a way to get the data from the software you're using and write an application to translate the information into steps for the motors.

The next step is to write a sketch for the Arduino that receives those motor steps and writes to the appropriate digital pins.

If you're new to programming, I highly recommend using a scripting language like Python. To do usb serial communication, you'll probably need to download a library. ( This one works pretty well on Windows http://bleyer.org/pyusb/ )

Good luck,
Matt
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