Stepper motor questions for a rotary table

hi. i'm basically new to arduino and to this forum and had a couple questions. What i'm building is a 2 axis rotary table/mill contraption so i can cut gears in my drill press/mill with the future purpose of building a clock. i'm running a nema 17 with a TB6600 driver, and an arduino uno, which will be upgraded to the mega 2560 eventually along with another nema 23/driver for the 2nd axis, but right now i'm just experimenting and learning code..... or attempting too..... At the moment i have code for homing the gear, and the degrees finder so i know exactly where each tooth will be via a push button for CW/CCW, and all of that seems to work perfectly. But i was able to cut and paste other codes together and get everything working. Which is good, but also bad because now i have to manually add code and i'm trying to understand it better.

What i mainly wanted to know for the moment, is there a search function within the forums that i can look for info? instead of just browsing the subjects of the thousands of pages? so i can attempt to avoid asking questions that have already been answered before?

i'm sure i'll have questions eventually, but i'm still waiting for the 2nd axis to arrive, but i still have stuff to figure out before i go too far.
thanks for any info

Welcome to the forums. Yes, there is a small magnifying glass in the upper right corner which provides search capability. Google will also search through the forums (along with lots of other places)

Use the modifier on Google to make it search only this site.

The search box here is not as good as the real Google.

These links may help
Stepper Motor Basics
Simple Stepper Code


A couple of already built systems so you can see what is involved.

Thanks for the links. Some pretty cool stuff on that forum.
I have built some model engines, but had never seen that site.

Start with the Foundations page, get as far as Libraries in the Programming section. Then you will be able to go through sections 1,2,3 and 5 of the Built-In Examples (in your IDE under File->Examples) that you don't have to do everything (some need hardware you might not have) but you should try to read and follow the code and find out how it works (each sketch has a page) to see what works (with some not the best code, don't take them as "the way" or "best way" to do what they do) as lessons in using some part of the language.

Section 5 teaches variable arrays and some essential logic structures to go with if-else that can save you a lot of typing.

Section 4 teaches the use of String objects. String objects waste RAM and cpu cycles that a PC has to waste but Arduino does not. An Uno has 2048 bytes of RAM for everything, not just variables but passed data and return addresses, code overhead. You can use them but don't be surprised if you crash when you should have RAM left over.

Arduino language is based on C/C++. C is what to learn first for small memory computing. C++ has very good tools but some like capital-S Strings that use dynamic allocation need a lot of RAM and knowing C and your hardware limits can help you tell them apart, so learn C before C++.

Thanks for all the info. i'm looking forward to getting started on this project.

Thanks for all the info. i'm looking forward to getting started on this project.

I'd tend to read all the details if you follow any previously built project as there may be changes half way through.

Without basic literacy in Arduino you will find it hard to write a sketch to do much more than those examples.

Understand that you can lift sections from those sketches for your own, modify as needed but make sure that you know how they work and what they do which takes reading the lines, literacy. How much faster did grade school go for you once you could read books, write papers and do math?

You don't have to know everything, just the basics. Variables and arrays, logic structures, how to use and make functions, the input/output functions for pins and serial and know to look things up starting with the Arduino Reference Page.

Machinist, would you use tools that you hadn't learned to yet?

Ya know, if you had a water jet cutter it'd make smoother cuts in sheet material than a nibbler would.