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USB stepper motor control

Posted by Ronzi83 
USB stepper motor control
March 30, 2012 08:31AM
Hello guys. I am new to this forum and today i just got stepper motor from my old printer (mitsumi m42sp-6tg , 10om).

My big hobby is astronomy and i have one telescope at home. I would like to have this stepper motor to focus the scope with the computer. Because focusing all the time manual and looking on screen of laptop same time is taking me lot of time. So i figure it out that would be interesting to control it by laptop.

I am also new in to this, but my father can help me out with electronics ets, since he is radio-amateur.

Please guys, can someone help me with this little project?

Best regards to you all guys

Re: USB stepper motor control
March 30, 2012 11:35AM
Hi Greg,

I'll use a small Arduino and cheap stepper-driver like pololu or stepstick - there are enogh samples in the Arduino-IDE and in the forum ...

Re: USB stepper motor control
March 30, 2012 12:36PM
Hey Viktor. Thank you for respond. I am beginner in this and some guy told me to go buy stepperbee from ebay (cd and board...). Problem is that cost around 70eur. So is any other option ? I mean, i bought this motor:

Gear Stepper motor:
Voltage: 12V
Diameter: 28mm
Step angle: 5.625 x 1 / 64
Reduction ratio: 1 / 64
5 Line 4 phase can be driven by ordinary uln2003 chip can also be connected in phase 2 development board used for supporting the use of a direct plug and easy to use stepper motor used in the development board
Dimensions of the Board : 31mm × 35mm

Stepper motor driver board with ULN2003
A, B, C, D four-phase LED indicates the status of the stepper motor work
Stepper motor with a standard interface, when used directly pluggable.

So now i only need arduino and stepstick ? Or only arduino and some friend that can make program for me ? Will be this ok ? [www.ebay.co.uk]

Thank you

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2012 01:29PM by Ronzi83.
Re: USB stepper motor control
March 30, 2012 10:40PM
you can drive a stepper directly from the arduino without a need for a stepper driver. If you don't need a lot of torque then this is probably your best bet (and fairly cheap too, arduinos are like $35 each, and you already have a stepper). Check this out: [arduino.cc]
Re: USB stepper motor control
March 31, 2012 11:09PM
As soon as i get arduino, i will let you know guys. Where can i learn basic of programing and with which program?
Re: USB stepper motor control
May 03, 2012 11:11AM
you could use a regular 6/12volt dc motor with a gear reduction drive, somehow connected to the focus knob on the scope. as reduction would make stepping (slow) unecessary, you would only need to make the dc switch polarity or on/off. don't overengineer stuff, unless you want to. simplicity is the esscence of the universe. Occums law and all that!

ebay has some dirt cheap dc motors with rweduction from (guess where!) CHINA!


even the stepper units are DIRT cheap!

you may not get enough torque out of the steppers, without their own reduction of some sort. most scopes have ridiculously small finger focus knobs anyway, so you may end up simply hacking that in some manner as well.

i used one to focus my Russian MTO-1000 (1000mm maksutov) with a simple couple loops of braided fishing line around the focus ring and then around a rubberized shaft of a dc motor. (probably that was 6" dia to 1/4" reduction alone) very smooth, slow and quiet too!

plenty of RF remote relay switches (4 channel) to use if you want to hand control, or use any number of the USB adapters with some same remote RF type signal.

if you attach an imaging device (CCD) to the scope then you take frames (Via usb?? ) then you can use software to AUTOFOCUS!

if you want true grandious laziness, get steppers for the XYZ axes of the scope itself (Go really crazy!)

spend a few days on Ebay, searching for parts, the chinese are spewing all sorts of new, cool, innovative and reliable stuff out of their factories, much better selection than the regressive bums in the USA, thats for sure!
Re: USB stepper motor control
May 06, 2012 02:56AM
Ok, yestreday i got Arduino, steper motor and small "driver" board. As i am new and dont have a lot of knowledge , would beg for some help, how to connect it.

Here are pictures of all things :

So this is all i need i think, only think now is how to connect all together and make program to control it on PC. I would need control it like : backward, forward and speed 1,2,3. Basic controls probably.

Any help will appreciate.


Re: USB stepper motor control
September 12, 2012 06:41AM
Dear All,

I have stepper motor MITSUMI M42 SP-3 , 4 phase DC 22V, 40 ohm with 6 wires from printer.

My plan is to find or create controller which I will able to use for connecting with pc via USB port.

I want to manage the work of the stepper motor via PC.

If you have some info how to do it ,could you please, send me.

I will be very thankful for your support.

Best Regards
Re: USB stepper motor control
September 12, 2012 06:50AM
Hi Nick,

there is a good chance, that you can ignore two center-wires and use the stepper as 2-phase-stepper with a common stepper controller supported by 24 Volts and set to smallest current possible, controlled by an Arduino ...

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