arduino type + arduino shield/etc to control 3 bipolar steppers?

Hey gang,

I want to apologize in advance if this question has been asked. I have a REAL hard time sifting through web forums. I've been looking for months without resolution, so I figured I'd post here and possibly shame myself. ;-)

I want to be able to control 3 bipolar stepper motors with one arduino. I bought the Arduino Uno thinking I could use it with the L293D 2 pin schematic posted here: http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/StepperBipolarCircuit

I've not had much luck with this. I bought a new breadboard, plus all new components, thinking my other components were bad. Same issue. Motor is not controlled by the code. Since I'm pretty new to electronics, as well as the arduino, I figured I'd just buy the stepper controller. The only problem is that most controllers require 4 control pins, which would make the Arduino Uno only good for two motors (as far as I know).

Any suggestions? Any threads that give clarity on the topic I'm looking for? Any guides on building the two pin L293d circuit in case I'm drastically over-looking something? I'd be willing to switch to unipolar if that's easier...

Thanks a bunch!

I've not had much luck with this. I bought a new breadboard, plus all new components, thinking my other components were bad. Same issue. Motor is not controlled by the code.

Code? What code? I don't see any code.

Since I'm pretty new to electronics, as well as the arduino, I figured I'd just buy the stepper controller.

Excellent idea. Solve one problem at a time - either hardware or software - not both.

The only problem is that most controllers require 4 control pins, which would make the Arduino Uno only good for two motors (as far as I know).

The Arduino has 20 IO pins, counting the 2 serial pins. Not counting them, you could still connect 4 of the 4 pin controllers. Even without using any of the analog pins as digital pins, you could still control 3 of them.

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10267 only uses two pins. 9 steppers...

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10735 also uses only 2 pins. Check out the picture at the bottom of the page and the other links on that page.

Wow! And what about this (found following one of your links):

http://www.schmalzhaus.com/BigEasyDriver/index.html

Thank you guys for the quick response!

Wow, I guess I was misunderstood on how it works with inputs, etc. I'll have to do some more research and then give it another shot. Thanks again for your help!