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Arduino-Based Stepper Motor Controller

September 24th, 2009



Decided to drop my PCB and use some prebuilt modules from pololu. Doing the math, this turned out to be the cheapest option (3x$13 vs. $50 for the PCB plus another $30-$50 to populate). The pololu modules use Allegro’s A4983 intgrated h-bridge drivers rated at up to 2A – which amazes me given the size of the ICs. I’m a bit worried but I suspect that they’ve already been tested. I’m going to power it with a +/- 15V 3A supply I have, and use the g-code parser from the reprap project.


  1. Bob Wood
    | #1

    Have you been using these boards? How do they hold up? Do the get hot? What current are tyou running at?

    Nice box!


  2. admin
    | #2

    I’ve only started using them. I killed one channel running some tests with a small motor — not sure what I did. I thought I blew out a second one, but when I tried it at 1/16th step, it worked fine. They do get hot, but there is no special requirement in the datasheet for cooling, and they also have an overtemp sensor and should shut themselves off if they get too hot. I’m trying to work with a friend to make an arduino shield to simplify deployment of such a system. The chips are cheap too, like $5 at digikey, and $13 w/ PCB at pololu.com. I think I have it set to run at just under an amp per motor — a limitation from my power supply. Though I’m running it at 15V and I can go up to 30V, but it seems to be working fine as is.

  1. | #1