How to generate high frequency pulses for high speed stepper motor drive application
Long story short, I have two stepper motors, bipolar two-wire nema 34 @72V, which I want to turn 180 degrees as quickly as possible, pause, then turn 180 degrees in the reverse direction. For now, its fine to only control a single motor at a time (i.e. rotate one motor, pause, rotate other motor). I am using the following motor driver. To maximize the speed i have the microstepping set to the smallest possible value of 2 (i.e. 400 p/rev).
Theres a 9:1 gearbox to boost the torque, thus I need to generate a very high frequency pulse train to get the motor to spin around 2 Hz at the shaft.
What I have tried:
We have labview and some national instruments hardware at work. I started out using the started out using the NI usb-6001 and a labview VI. The motor speed was waay to slow - I later learned there is no hardware timing on the device’s digital output, and I was limited to about 1 ms.
I then swapped to the arduino and was able to fire pulses much faster and was pleased with the result. I need a trapezoidal velocity profile to get the speeds I want, and quickly stumbled upon the accelStepper() library and was thrilled at the capabilities.
This seems to turn the arduino into a simple, incredibly low cost motion controller however all the calculations really bog down the performance and, as others have mentioned, limit to about 4000 pulses/s.
People seem to overcome this by using the discontinued Arduino due instead of the uno due to its higher frequency brain. This seemed to be my solution until i noticed that the Due is 3.3V, not 5V. My stepper motor driver requires a 5V signal. The other 32 bit processor options (i.e. chipKIT) are also 3.3V.
Is there something that can step up the voltage to 5V at a very high frequency?
Would a parallel port-based breakout board / mach 3 type CNC configuration be limited to the computer speed of ~1ms as labVIEW was?
Is there alternative hardware that can generate high speed 5V pulses for a stepper driver (that costs <<< $1000) ?
Thanks so much in advance, and any advice on getting a high speed stepper setup is appreciated. Worst case scenario, the basic arduino stepper library with a rudimentary ramp will suffice but I would love to take advantage of the accelStepper library.