Pulse Generator Tells Your Motors “Get Ta Steppin”

Stepper Motor Pulse Generator

Stepper motors are great for a bunch of projects; CNC machines, clocks or robots for example. Sometimes when working on a project that does include a stepper motor and driver, it would be nice to test that part of the build without hooking everything up. A pulse generator could be used to complete such a task and [CuteMinds] has put together a DIY friendly version tailored specifically for stepper motors. This device makes quick and easy work for testing out those stepper motors.

At the heart of the pulse generator is a 12F675 microchip which looks to the resistance value of a potentiometer to adjust the square wave step signal output from 20hz to 3khz. Just having the step signal would pretty cool but this project goes a little farther. There are 3 sets of headers on the board that allow you to connect either a jumper or switch in order to: 1) turn the power on, 2) enable the stepper driver and 3) select the direction the motor turns. The on-board batteries make this unit portable for remote usage.

If you are itching to make one for yourself, the Eagle schematic and board files are available for download at the above link.

Comments

  1. David Hartigan says:

    looks good, i’m thinking about building an all-in-one stepper tester for both 4 and 5 pin steppers and this got me wondering if this would work with the easydriver?

  2. NotArduino says:

    Hmm so using a 12F675 is a quicker method than a 555 because…?

    • gannon says:

      Well, according to the page “Ok, there are thousands of different ways to create a pulse generator, but we had a lot of microcontrollers.”
      So…it’s easily a quicker method in the event you don’t have a 555 on hand.

      • pcf11 says:

        Yeah folks should probably buy 555 timers in bulk. They are handy parts. That must be why they are the most manufactured IC of all time by quite a wide margin today. Wikipedia says over a billion are made a year.

    • Zac says:

      I must admit, I had that exact same first thought.
      But then I realised that, honestly, in the same situation I’d use a micro as well.

  3. Matt says:

    I had a brain flash this morning in the shower regarding building a portable stepper motor tester from a 556… The I go on to HaD and BOOM! There she be!

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