New User here - Need major help selecting a high powered stepper shield

Hey guys,

I am new here and pretty new to arduino.

My dilemma is that for our university project, we're using 2 high powered bipolar stepper motors (Nema-23) that runs at peak of 2.8 A each. I've tried looking for shields everywhere but the search seems hopeless.

I did go here to check this product out

Seems like it can only control one stepper at a time, unless I do modifications to it, either way the place has run out of stock with that product.

I've tried looking into the Arduino MegaMoto, but I'd need to stack two on top of the board to control 1 stepper so it doesn't seem feasible. Besides it's way too expensive.

Can anyone of you give me a suggestion on how to make this work? I am trying to control two high powered steppers in unique directions and need a shield that can hold that kind of power.

I'd appreciate any help or suggestions.


Does it HAVE to be a shield?

The Hobby Engineering driver is a good buy but it's for a unipoloar motor. At the power rating you're looking at there won't be a really inexpensive solution. You won't find a better driver than this: For a bit less a Keling 4030 would work also:

It sounds like there is a gap for some enterprising soul to produce a dual stepper-motor driver shield… I’ve just purchased some reclaimed unipolar stepper motors and got them going with 4 MOSFETs per motor quite nicely (using an existing MOSFET array board of mine)…

Bipolars require 2 H-bridges which is more complex (8 transistors per motor). There may be some nice DIL chips available to drive bipolars which could be put on some stripboard. Unless high-performance MOSFET outputs are used that current is going to require significant heat sinking.

Don't know of any shields etc. but as someone above said, a couple of Geckos would work just fine.

To do it on the cheap you can just stack a couple of H-Bridges and control the steppers through code.

Or use a chip like this:

That's quite a useful bag of tricks - but it still needs heat sinking at 2.8A and can't run at less than 12V (not as general purpose as one would like for a general purpose stepper shield). I think I prefer unipolar motors ;)

I'd like one with a 5V lower supply limit and a Ron of 0.1ohm or so, and in a more sensible package not requiring much heatsinking...

The L6208 is fairly promising:

Also I've noted there are some 2 and 3 axis stepper controllers on ebay under the CNC section that might be of interest.

Just beware of the Chinese controllers. There has been a lot of discussion on about bad TB6560 multi-axis controllers.