Stepper Motor Controller

This was a simple project to inexpensively add computer control  motorization to some old translation stages that were lying around.  The key to this project was to use computer controlled stepper motors.  After searching web, I found some fairly cheap IC chips that allows this from Ferrettronics.  The next thing I needed were the stepper motors.  Originally I tried to use those from old 5 1/4 floppy disk drives, but they didn't have enough torque.  In the end, I my I finally had shell out $70.00 (my boss's money of course) a piece for some high toque stepper motors from LIN Engineering.  For the power supply, and electronic housing I used an old 386 computer case and power supply.  I even left the floppy disk drive in there to make the system look more impressive.  The computer control was accomplished using a custom Java program, TimeStep, through the serial port.  Overall, the entire thing worked pretty well, and it cost a fraction of what a commercial system would.

computer housing


translation stage