First Project, could anyone offer some advise and help, new to Arduino as well

So, I had this idea and decided to give Arduino a try, I have been playing with it for about a month now and think I have the bare basics, so here is what I want to attenpt to do...

A single Stepper motor, I have a Large 2phase stepper bi polar. I have the Arduino Uno and Mega I have several Motor control shields, and limit switches

so in this project I would like to make the stepper motor spin one direction on a ball screw ( already setup) I want it to hit a limit switch which will reverse the direction and send it back down the screw, once it hits the limit switch on that end, it will go back again, think of it as pong with a stepper motor.

other things I would like to figure out as well

specify how many cycles (back and forth per cycle) adjust speed maybe add a couple triggers based on cycles.

So yeah I may be biting off more than I can chew for my first project, but what the hell dive in right?

Thanks in advance


Many beginners run into trouble right away with stepper motors and "motor shields" (drivers), as many stepping motors draw too much current for the motor drivers and/or power supply.

Tell us what you have in the way of motor and driver and also what power supply you intend to use for the motor (i.e. its current and voltage ratings). Links to product pages or data sheets are almost always helpful.

Yeah I know what ya mean about troubles, I have already toasted an UNO and a couple H-Bridges.

So I want to use the Arduino Mega I have I have a Motor control Sheild - LINK

the stepper I want to run is a Vexta Stepping Motor 2-Phase 1.8"/Step - DC 3A 1ohm 4 wires

I have a variable power supply, and believe from the smoke that came out of one of my motor control sheilds, I shouldnt push it over 9v

That L293D-based driver can output only 600 mA motor current continuously and is totally inadequate for such a high current, very low resistance motor. In fact, there aren't any inexpensive motor drivers that can handle it.

The best on the hobby market is probably this one but even then you have to make certain that the motor current limit is properly adjusted to 1.5 amperes/winding maximum.

To take full advantage of that motor, you really need an industrial driver like the Gecko:

Or buy a motor that the driver you have can handle, like this one:

I have access to about 30 different steppers how about one of these to do it

Teco Electro 1.8" 4.0V 1.1amps
Vexta 2-phase 1.8 DC 5.6V 0.85a
saehan 1.8 1.2V 2.0a

Vexta 2-phase 1.8 DC 5.6V 0.85a might work with the L293D, but you would be pushing it.

Do NOT use an L293 type h-bridge to control a stepper motor. They are a very poor choice for stepper motors regardless of what the sales people might say.

Use a proper stepper motor driver board that can manage the current that the motor requires.

For motors that require about 2 amps or less you could use a Pololu A4988 or Pololu DRV8825. The Pololu website has a lot of useful information.

For a motor that requires more than 2 amps you will need to use one of the commercial stepper drivers which will be a bit more expensive. They all work in much the same way as the Pololu drivers.

The simple code in this demo will make a motor move if it is using a stepper driver that just needs step and direction signals.