releasing a stepper motor using the built in stepper.h library

I'm planning on using a setup like the tutorial with a bipolar stepper motor from SparkFun. I want to be able to "turn off" the stepper motor when it's not running. Can I do this by connecting the two ENABLE pins on the H bridge to Arduino pins, and setting them LOW to disable any power going to the motor, saving, heat & power? Or is there a call the will 'Disconnect' the stepper when it's not in use. (it'll only be used 2 times a day for a few seconds).


What are you doing with the stepper motor? Stepper motors may not be the right choice. The stepper motor typically has power applied the whole time, so that the motor maintains position. If that is not necessary in you case, a different kind of motor probably makes more sense.

You don't specify what sort of driver you're using. Most driver chips have an enable pin that can be pulled low and the motor will receive no current. Be aware, though, that the motor will have no holding torque in this state.

Southern, yes you can do exactly that, as I just did with a valve system. In my case, the stepper pushes a open a cone valve to feed a granular material; the system has a spring to keep it closed. Since the stepper only has to push, and most of the time the valve isn't open, I release the coils the rest of the time, and this greatly reduces motor (and driver board) heating.

And we do need a stepper v. solenoid because we vary the opening distance and speed.