Stepper drivers - 4 ports, single driver

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by james211, May 11, 2016.

  1. james211

    Thread Starter Member

    May 29, 2012
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    I'm not sure if this exists or not, but what I'm looking for is a stepper driver that has ports for four motors, but will only drive one motor at a time.

    Basically I'm looking to convert my 4 channel peristaltic doser to stepper motors. The doser uses a system similar to arduino.

    The motors would be 24v, bi-polar at 1amp max.
     
  2. MrSoftware

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    This controller has 2 ports and is controlled via SPI, and the guys who make it can custom make a 4-port version if you need it and have the budget:

    http://www.kr4.us/Dual-L6470-Stepper-motor-controller.html

    How are you going to command the stepper controllers? If you have control of the logic then you can take care of the one-at-a-time requirement in code.
     
  3. james211

    Thread Starter Member

    May 29, 2012
    210
    2
    It will be controlled via a particle.io photon which I know has two SPI interfaces. To be honest I've never programmed a stepper before, so its going to be a bit of a challenge either way.
     
  4. MrSoftware

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    There are arduino libraries, written in C, for controlling these controllers. If you have any C experience then it should be strait forward to port the code to a different platform. In my limited experience with steppers, there will be a learning curve. It's not as simple as take a step, take 2 steps, etc.. you've got to figure out acceleration and deceleration profiles (how fast you can start and stop), micro stepping which is sending pulses between full steps, etc.. There will be trial and error.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    971
    Sparkfun used to have a quad stepper board (its retired) but may be still available from some suppliers..
    Or just use 4 x Easy Drivers
    Or something from "china/ebay"

    Is this for a Jebao DP4?
     
  6. james211

    Thread Starter Member

    May 29, 2012
    210
    2
    I've been working on building a doser from the ground up using a photon and photon 4-relay board. The programming is pretty much finished for standard ac/dc motors, but I want the option for stepper motors as well. In the end my ultimate goal is to give people in the coral reef communities the option of building a DIY doser without spending a ton of money. I'm doing the leg work by creating the programming and testing, they will just need to buy the parts and build it. I have no intentions of making money, its a contribution to a community.

    Back to the project...
    I've come to understand a few things...one, that 12v brushed motors and mechanical relays will not play well forever...not sure why, but I've been told this. So, I ordered a 4channel mosfet board from china, who knows when that will be here and who knows how well that will play with the photon. Second, having the option for stepper motors is pretty big for most people in the community as it allows for significantly more accurate dosing.

    I've tried to find someone in the community with electro-mechanical experience but I'm not having much luck.
     
  7. MrSoftware

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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  8. james211

    Thread Starter Member

    May 29, 2012
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    You can, they just aren't reliable. They are notorious for over dosing, unreliable pumps and programming isn't convenient. I have two of the DP4's here. One I've been testing, the other I gutted out and have been using as a base for testing.
     
  9. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    So are you trying to give just the programming portion or a complete DIY solution complete with PCB design,etc?
    If just programming then you should make it universal and just output the step/direction signals that most drivers accept..
    Then someone isn't tied to one specific piece of hardware or the other..
     
  10. james211

    Thread Starter Member

    May 29, 2012
    210
    2
    Make it universal was the plan, but I'm not sure how to go about that....that's a good point. Can you explain further?
     
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