How do I control DC & Stepper motors using my PC?

I need to control 4 DC motors (no speed control, only direction) and 1 stepper motor (again no speed control, only direction) for an engineering project of mine using a PC. I am not sure if I should use the serial or the parallel port. Also, I'm comfortable using VB. So it would be helpful if someone could help me with the interfacing circuits and the code or atleast point me to some resources! Please help!

sort by: active | newest | oldest
crob095 years ago
try the sprinter software http://www.whatisacnc.com/sprinter
myst3216 years ago
try this : http://www.pc-control.co.uk/howto_beginner.htm It looks good, even if i didn't try their solution yet.
lamedust7 years ago
 Parallel port is easy to use to controll the stepper motors! In terms of the DC motors you might need some additional ciruitry.
An Arduino and an Easy Driver v.3 or above is the easiest option.
Johntron8 years ago
I'm sure the Arduino and some H-bridges could be used for this. Be sure to isolate your high-voltage circuitry from your low-voltage circuitry so you don't fry anything.

From what I understand, USB isn't all that easy to interface with directly, but you can find USB-to-Serial converters like the FT232 (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=650). This is what the USB Arduinos use.

Hope this helps.