Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

Stepper motor controllers, general use?


I want to learn a bit about motor control ad want to buyseveral motor controllers for general use to use with my raspberry pi or perhaps other stuff and I want to get some inexpensive motor control board. My first project I think will be some kind of antenna rotator or az-el mount..  Bluntly,  I am a rank beginner.  Hoping to just learn the basics of moving stuff with motors. Very simple control of motion.

Another project I'd like to tackle eventually is motorizing my ( drilling) x-y table for drilling holes in PCBs in a neater manner.

I am on a tight budget though.

So I want to buy at least two motor control boards on ebay that I can use to move stuff. And perhaps standardize on. I have no idea which one(s) to buy. I have a couple of four wired steppers that I have removed from old hardware, and a couple of other old unused devices that contain steppers I'd like to fool around with, a printer and fax machine..

but the control board(s) that I get first I hope will be ones that I can use to interface to a wide variety of small motors as a learning platform, not spending much on them at all.

Where would you start to do this?

Get some A4988 modules, they are super cheap.

You can directly hook them up to the pi, but, I think just buying a 3D printer type board and running GRBL on it would be easier.
Example, don't know if its any good: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003511625068.html

Be sure to get a positional encoder as well. Stepper motors may miss steps under varying load.

If you want to control DC motors, I suggest L293D dual DC motor driver. This is the simplest type of motor controller that I've ever come across. https://www.etechnophiles.com/l293d-motor-driver-module-ic-datasheet-pinouts/
There is another L293D based motor shield. This one can control DC, stepper and servo: https://kuongshun.com/products/l293d-motor-driver-board
You can also control DC  motors using Labview. Here is a tutorial if you are interested: https://www.theengineeringprojects.com/2020/12/dc-motor-control-using-myrio.html


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