Is it possible to use a 4017 ic to controll a bipolar stepper?

I want to build a robot. i have got two bipolar stepper motors but my micro is 2 outputs short of enoght so i was woundering if i could use a 4017 taking a pulse from the micro then driving transistors on the outputs connected to the stepper.

bayhoecott7 years ago
Yes no problem. It will only drive the motor in one direction  though. I have such a circuit running fine on my breadboard at the moment. It did not like the 1n4001 diodes to protect the 2n4001 NPN transistors I was using (suspect it needs a higher voltage rated diode). You need a 1.5k resistor between the first four outputs and the transistors. Dont forget to feed the output 4 to reset. You are only using it as a ring of four by doing that. It would be far better to use logic level mosfets (fully protected ones best) on the  4 outputs, you can get them for peanuts these days.  You can make it reversible but if you really want that you are better off using a bi directional 4 bit cmos shift register. The results are remarkably good even with a simple circuit. The manufacturers of dedicated stepper motor ics are not worth the time of day they produce one day and stop making them the next so thats why I dont touch them with a barge pole.  The 5804 which was about $1 now sells for $40 a piece because they have stopped making the damn thing.
Why ? You could just use a dedicated stepper driver IC - these usually only need a direction and step signal - 4 pins for two stepper motors. Steve