stepper motor takes a lot of pins

http://www.emartee.com/product/41886/

All the tutorials I find take 4 pins, maybe you guys know a way to control a few of these but with less Arduino pins? I'm barely trying to understand how these motors work so I can't figure it myself atm. Thanks in advance.

Attached is the wiring for your stepper. The common goes directly to the motor power supply. The stepper motor driver sinks the current for the windings . Each stepper motor driver requires a STEP signal and a DIRection signal if you use a real stepper motor driver instead of a dc motor driver adapted to drive a stepper . The RAMPS A4988 supports microstepping and two signal control
(STEP & DIR)
You need one of these for each stepper motor.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/A4988-RAMPS-Pololu-StepStick-stepper-motor-driver-with-heatsink-Prusa-Mendel-/201084529309?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:1120

If you are just learning how these motors work, I would recommend staying with the driver board that you have, even though it requires four output pins and ground.

That is a five wire stepper motor and although it is possible to use bipolar stepper drivers with such a motor (ignoring the common center tap), it is not recommended. The microstepping feature of a bipolar stepping motor driver won’t work properly or at all with a five wire motor.

Thank you both. Do they work with pwm pins only?

I would not recommend attempting to use PWM with that stepper, but you can use any four ordinary output pins to control it. As a challenge, learn how to control it in wave, half step and full step modes. Just about everything you ever wanted to know about steppers can be learned here: http://homepage.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/step/

Edit: I just looked up the link you provided, and if you bought that motor without a driver board, then you really need to get and use one. It will almost certainly destroy your Arduino if you hook the motor directly to the output pins. Often these motors are supplied with a ULN2003 driver board like the one shown here http://www.ebay.com/itm/2pcs-DC-5V-Stepper-Motor-ULN2003-Driver-Test-Module-Board-28BYJ-48-for-Arduino-/221347325924?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33895427e4

Here is a useful tutorial for that combination http://www.4tronix.co.uk/arduino/Stepper-Motors.php

Ty, will check it.

the motor you have is pretty small for a stepper.

the A4988 stepper driver on e-bay will offer you great results.

what you are doing currently is controlling each coil individually. that is 4 coils, 4 pins. you SHOULD use transistors to test out you motor. and try half stepping. it will run much smoother.

the A4988 DRIVER (the Arduino is the CONTROLLER the thing that provides the power is the DRIVER. logic on when to step = controller. power to step = driver. burn that into your memory.

anyway, the A4988 and about half of the drivers offered are STEP and DIRECTION drivers. the other half are H-Bridge. the difference is that for the H-bridge style, you control every coil by one pin.

the step and dir drivers take a pulse and convert that into the 4 motor steps. then you have a second pin. that tells the driver which way to go. this only uses 2 pins of the Arduino.

enjoy the learning !

The A4988 is a Bipolar driver whereas the stepper you have is a unipolar (5 wire not 6 wire)stepper so that getting the A4988 for your stepper would be like getting a hammer to do your nails (on your hand).

justone: The A4988 is a Bipolar driver whereas the stepper you have is a unipolar (5 wire not 6 wire)stepper so that getting the A4988 for your stepper would be like getting a hammer to do your nails (on your hand).

jeepers.

you are right! wrong motor!

a 5 wire is the odd man out. only one way to control it. the more common 4, 6 or 8 wire motors will work. be wary of the 10 wire, 5 coil variety. not common and not common ways to drive them.

I've tried 5 wire motors with the A4988 bipolar stepper driver in full step mode, and despite conventional wisdom they do work. The center tap is almost always at or very close to ground potential in that mode. No guarantees, though.

jremington: The centre tap is almost always at or very close to ground potential in that mode.

Well, no, it's actually at half the driving voltage.

Given that for each coil pair, one end is low and the other high if it is energised, or neither end is either high or low (that is, the H-bridge releases both drivers as it should if properly designed), then the centre will be halfway.

jremington:
I’ve tried 5 wire motors with the A4988 bipolar stepper driver in full step mode, and despite conventional wisdom they do work. The center tap is almost always at or very close to ground potential in that mode. No guarantees, though.

stress on full step mode.

better off to get a motor and micro-stepping driver. alas, the arduino cannot run steppers very fast, so there is not a great solution anywhere.

Well, no, it's actually at half the driving voltage.

Yes, you are right, it was quite a while ago and I misremembered the result. Among other tests, I also used a 6-wire stepper as bipolar, and experimented with tying the center taps together. There was no change in behavior or torque, with or without the center taps connected. Surely, microstepping will not work properly with a five wire motor!