Controlling a Stepper Motor

Controlling a Stepper Motor

stepper motor controller
stepper motor controller

Stepper motors require a motor driver, said everybody. So I started searching around for "why" information, and a recommendation.

General information was plentiful. But picking a specific driver, and configuring it, was confusing and intimidating.

Fortunately I found some help on Hackster. 

But first, the general information

"Stepper motors require a stepper controller to energize the phases in a timely sequence to make the motor turn," says Adafruit.

A couple of electrical engineers also addressed the question on Quora

"A motor driver is a little current amplifier; the function of motor drivers is to take a low-current control signal and then turn it into a higher-current signal that can drive a motor, says Future Electronics.

Got it. 

Now the hard part

But picking a specific driver, and configuring it, and connecting it to a stepper motor, and a Particle Photon, was confusing and intimidating.

Around this time, I began following IoT projects on Hackster. The site has a great feature that allows you to view projects by platform and categories. Some boxes I checked:

  • Arduino
  • circuito.io
  • IFTTT
  • Lights
  • Make:
  • Particle
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Seeed Sensors

One active maker, on a few platforms, was Arduino Guy. When I pinged him, he recommended this DRV8825 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier, High Current.

It's more than a chip, I read in one of the technical descriptions, it's actually a "carrier board or breakout board for TI’s DRV8825 stepper motor driver." 

So the guts of the thing is a DRV8825, made by Texas Instruments. 

I decided to give it a try. 

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