Wire length question

I want to control a stepper motor with a stepper driver but I need a distance of about 1 meter between the controlling unit and the steppers. Do I need to lengthen the wires between the driver and the arduino (putting the drivers close to the motor) or can I lengthen the wires between the drivers and the motor, so that the drivers are closer to the arduino. Or is it generally a bad idea to do this (even if I kinda need it)?



In general, it is better to avoid having long wires if possible. If you must have them, placing the driver close to the stepper motor will probably give you better motor performance, but it will make your driver control signals more susceptible to noise, and you will need to take greater precautions against dangerous LC voltage spikes (we have more information about this on our stepper motor driver pages). Because of this, if you can get sufficient performance out of your stepper motor with the driver close to the Arduino and power supply, then that is probably the way to go. In either case, you might consider using shielded wires.


Thank you Jonathan,

I thin kI prefer signal quality over motor performance so I think I’ll keep the drivers close to the arduino. I need to control 2 steppers and I think the easiest way to connect them would be using cat5 cables/connectors. They are shielded but is that enough? I don’t need much length but my project is not really set up to have te controls close to the steppers.

Thank you very much for your help.

Whether or not the shielding on the CAT5 cable is sufficient depends on many specific details of your setup (like how much outside electromagnetic interference there is). You will probably just have to test it to see if it works.