Introduction: Stepper Multiplexer
This is an advanced stepper motor control system for controlling up to four stepper motors with only one motor control chip.
To learn more about stepper motors and lean how to control a single bi-polar motor chick here:
For this tutorial you will need:
- A micro-controller (I used a link-it one)
- Lots of jumper wires (color coding is a life saver)
- 1-4 bi-polar stepper motors
- 4-8 switching relays
- A solder less breadboard
- A Stepper motor driver chip
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Step 1: Wiring the Controller
The wiring for the controller chip is identical to controlling a single bi-polar stepper motor. The relay data links are wired in parallel allowing the whole relay system to be controlled by two digital pins (every second relay is controlled by the same digital pin). Each output from the motor controller is split between two relays into four wires. This is where the color coding will pay off, if it does not look like a maze of wires, you might have missed a step :-).
Step 2: Connecting the Motors
Each stepper motor MUST receive one of each control wire from the same position in each pair of relays.
If your steppers are doing the funky chicken, check to make sure that each stepper has a complete set of control wires and that the control wires are from the same position in the relay system. If only a single stepper is affected, check for loose connections.
Step 3: Coding
I created the code to run the multiplexer based off of Arduino IDE's example stepper program "One Revolution".
The above code (Stepper_Multiplexer_Just4FunMedia.ico) will cycle through controlling each and pairs of the stepper motors.
If you have any issues or suggestions for improvement make sure to leave a comment below.
Have a great day! :-)