Beginner

Hello. I hope o can get some help here to get started with a project i have.
I have no skills at all with arduino or programming. i have basic skills with electronic.
My project is about controlling 60 small steppers were they are connected in pair so i need 30 individual step and direction. I guess i also need endswitches at each motor. I want the steppers to run a defined cyclus but also have the possibillity to correct this cycle and maybe by a screen were the steppers movement is shown in a graph and can be adjusted/reprogrammed directly from the screen or switches or whatever is doable. It is proberly a big mouthfull for a beginner but with a little help from my friends here,,,, right. First of all. What do i need to buy of equipment for all this io ports i need. Thanks in advance

I would start with a starterskit with tutorials. It might have even a stepper motor too!! Best buy for a beginner.

And then get your first stepper to do what you want it to do.

Agree. This will be a complex project so you need to learn the basics.

...R
Stepper Motor Basics
Simple Stepper Code

step #1 ) read the two links that Robin2 posted. they should give you a basic background into steppers.

step #2) define your application. a lot of people want to use one thing, then find out there is a better, easier, faster, way.
this is easily the hardest and easiest step. you have to know what you need in order to declare it, but without knowing, it seems to be impossible to write. with such a project, it would save your weeks on the project by defining the application to the fullest before you touch any hardware or order parts.

step#3) only buy the parts you need. if your wallet can handle $50 in parts you may never use, but would like to have, then get the starter kit. once you learn the steps of the kit, you can then buy the parts you would use for your project.

conversely, read the links, order an UNO and a few A4988 drivers and 4 steppers. since you are working in pairs, you should get 2 pairs. order some buttons and start to learn about the things you want to accomplish.
terminology :
controller = the logic device, the micro-controller aka Arduino
driver = the power delivery interface board.

you say you want to run 30 pairs, that is 60 output pins and is a lot for an UNO. you will either need to break the project into modules, or get a larger micro-controller or do some work with time sharing.
each pair should have an end switch on each end, that is another 60 pins.

best to get one lot (2 pairs ?) of motors up and running and determine it's fit to your application.
Steppers are power hogs, makes as much heat as useful power. power for that many steppers will be a major concern.
horrible input power to output power ratio, there are better choices if power is an issue.

I am pretty sure that the two links do not go over sizing motors. you can get more power out of a smaller motor if you follow the proper selection process. Get the absolute lowest voltage motor you can. 1.5 volts or lower. It could mean using a power supply that is a quarter the size, and having more available power from the motors to boot !

steppers power is a ratio of the motor rating and the available voltage. in the hobby world, the drivers cannot handle more than 24 volts. so your maximum voltage is 24 volts.
for a 5 volt motor that is roughly 5:1 and no possibility to get more without replacing the drivers.
for a 1.5 volt motor, 5:1 is 7.5 volts, but you get more power using a common 12 volt supply with even more power with a 15 volt supply and more again with a 24 volt supply as it would be 16:1 ratio. only half-way to the maximum ratio before you fall off the back end of the curve. to get 16:1 from a 3 volt motor, you would need a 48 volt power supply. As far as I know, there are no hobby level drivers that are rated that high.

thank you all for your replies. I will do some thinking on the project..

Regarding the needed power for the steppers. It should not be a problem because they do not all need to run at the same time. I am thinking steppers because i need to know the exact location of each spindle and they are a lot cheaper than servos.

I think i will use motors with gearing because i do not need speed but some torque. I haven't found the motors yet. i need 10 mm spindles with 0.5 or 0.75 mm pitch, being able to lift 15kg. I am hoping that ministeppers like the 15mm with worm gear from ebay could do the job.

Bentus:
because they do not all need to run at the same time.

In normal usage stepper motors draw their full current all the time even when stationary. Without that they rik missing steps.

I am thinking steppers because i need to know the exact location of each spindle and they are a lot cheaper than servos.

You must be comparing cheap stepper motors with expensive servos.

Servos use very little current when stationary and not under load and they also know their absolute position. Each stepper motor will need a HOME switch to establish the zero position from which to count steps.

...R

Hi Robin2

You are right about the steppers are using a lot of power also in still postition, butbi guess that i would not be needing power on the motor if they are not in action because when using worm gear the motor will not be able to move due to pressure on the main spindle.

Regarding servos. If you make your own servos from a simple dc motor and a rotary decoder, is it then possible to use such a setup together with ardurino. Also thinking that the pin issue with so many motors can be overcome by having switches so the controller only control a few motors at the time, but then I can't see how the brain can overcome knowing the position of each motor at all times. Guess i still have a lot of planning to do and I'll better get started learning to use the arduino and the programming.

Again thanks for input's

Bentus:
guess that i would not be needing power on the motor if they are not in action because when using worm gear the motor will not be able to move due to pressure on the main spindle.

That is fine if it is acceptable for the stepper motor to move a step in either direction when it is re-powered and tries to align itself with the nearest pole. That may not happen every time, but it may happen sometimes.

Regarding servos. If you make your own servos from a simple dc motor and a rotary decoder, is it then possible to use such a setup together with ardurino.

Yes. But wouldn't it be a whole lot simpler just to buy a ready-made servo? What do you want to do that a ready-made servo cannot do?

You should also be aware that reading a rotary encoder without missing pulses uses up a lot of Arduino CPU time.

...R