Stepper Motor Control Prototype Bringup

I made a push this morning to get the planned traverser motor control system assembled.  This involved soldering screw terminal blocks onto the Big Easy stepper driver board, tinning the motor leads, soldering leads to the barrel jack for the power supply, affixing the components to piece of wood and wiring it all up.

Wiring connections were made as per the SparkFun hookup guide for the Big Easy.  Clear instructions for the layperson are not to be sniffed at. This all went appeared to go well but one is never sure before you turn on the power.

A plank of wood as a way to hold things is a quick way to keep things from getting tangled or worse. The motor is quite heavy and could break toe if it landed on it. It would also rip out the carefully traced wiring as it went.

The hookup guide includes matching source code and tonight I used that as the basis for my test firmware. The pin reset function in the example was MIA so I had to write my own with reference to the default settings for the six control pins.

Finally ready for the big test, I plugged things in. LED’s on the driver board lit up and no magic smoke release was observed so on we went and things actually worked on the first try. As veteran developers will tell you, this is unexpected and somewhat unnerving. A tribute to the quality of the documentation, I think.

I took a video but have yet to devise a delivery mechanism for it. Meanwhile, here is a promotional still.


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