Stepper motor controller

I think a stepper motor controller in the likes of the
polulu servo controller may be interesting



Adam (nexisnet) has been asking for a stepper motor controller for a while, and it’s on our list. Unfortunately, there are many things on that list, so we haven’t begun development yet. Are there some specific features you would like? What kind of voltage and current would be good for you?

- Jan

The stepper motor driver board looks nice, too bad I ordered an EasyDriver board from Sparkfun just before you came out with it.

I’m thinking about getting a few to finally revive my poor old chess-bot, but I was curious about future product plans. Now that you’ve picked out a nice stepper motor controller chip, is there’s a smart controller board in the works I should wait for instead?


Picking a driver we’re happy with is a significant step, and so far, the A4983 seems to be just what we were looking for. That means that we are indeed a lot closer to releasing a full-fledged stepper controller, but in other ways, it’s still a ways off. There are several projects in development for which we already have prototypes built, and there are others for which PCBs are getting laid out; a stepper motor controller is not among them. So, it probably won’t be out before fall of this year.

- Jan

Having looked into the 3-axis stepper options available, you should definitely get into the field with a 3-axis 2 or 3A bipolar stepper controller via USB. I’d rather buy one from you than try to hack one up myself.

Thanks for the feedback. A stepper motor controller is still on our to-do list, and it’s much closer to happening than it was 15 months ago (when I last posted). It might even happen this year, but if not, we should have it out by early next year. We would start with a single-axis version, though we’d likely have some provision for multiple units working together.

- Jan


Now A4983 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier is 0 stock. And, I’d like to suggest A4988 for next candidate, the newer and cheaper chip with same pad layout of A4983 - pin compatible.

Sorry about the A4983; we just sold 500 in the last two weeks, which wiped out our stock. The version with regulators is still available.

Thanks for pointing out the A4988. I ordered some last June, and we’re still waiting for delivery.

- Jan

If you are looking for A4983’s, DigiKey seems to show a lot in stock.

Thanks for the heads-up. Unfortunately, we’re limited by PCBs this time.

- Jan

Any word on when a stepper controller is being released?

Unfortunately, there is still nothing specific in the works.

- Jan

Just to give you a heads up, I know a lot of people in my field (optics) who would love a simple and cheap multi-axis USB stepper controller. Most of the ones on the market are like this one, $600 per axis, which really adds up quickly if you have multiple things to move. I guess people pay for the convenience.

[quote=“jan”]Unfortunately, there is still nothing specific in the works.

  • Jan[/quote]
    So this discussion has been going on for over 4 years now. Any word?


Hi, Colin.

Things are still kind of in the same state, though we’ve come out with more stepper motor driver carriers. We continued experiencing A4988 chip shortages through most of 2012, which made building a more complex product around it less appealing. Now that we have a better stock situation and alternative components, I can repeat my refrain of “maybe this year”!

Are there any particular features you are looking for? Is there a product that you know of that is almost what you are looking for but has some shortcoming for your application?

- Jan

I guess what I want to do is achievable with a microcontroller and one of your driver boards. That is, measure the pulse width of an RC receiver channel and set the motor position and/or speed acordingly.

Would any particulat driver board be best for this motor?


That is a fairly low-current stepper motor, so our A4988 carrier will work fine. If you plan on using microstepping, you might get a little better performance from our DRV8825 carrier since it has bigger current-sense resistors.

- Ben

Thanks Ben,

Is there by any chance a stepper lib for the Wixel?


This looks good:


Hi, Colin.

I haven’t heard of a stepper motor library for the Wixel. The interface to the DRV8825 or A4988 stepper motor drivers is simple enough that it should not be much trouble to write something yourself.

- Ryan