Stepper Motors

Hello everyone,

I am working on a project where I need to control a stepper motor and be able to stop it at certain points of its rotation. I believe the things I need to do this are a stepper motor, a driver, and an encoder. My questions are: Do I need all 3 things to accomplish my goal of stopping the stepper at a certain point? and, if so, are there any reliable and cheap parts you would recommend?

Thank you


Without more information I would suggest simply counting steps. This only works if the stepper cannot be "overpowered" by external forces. You will need either a hard stop, or a "home" sensor if your stepper needs to be multi-turn.

Note: The lower cost encoders are only relative. i.e. they can tell you how far you've rotated. Would be helpful in the above only if the stepper could be overpowered by external forces.

To start you should see if this manual panel control could help you test your project.

Sparkfun encoder

If you look at other controls of this you can find some that are absolute. i.e. they can tell you exactly where you are. They of course are not nearly as durable as an industrial encoder but you can't beat the cost. Some versions are mechanical (will wear out quickly) some are optical (will last longer). Also they don't typically have the resolution of an industrial encoder. But check them out. Look at ebay and digikey etc.

Good luck