Description: The EasyDriver is a simple to use stepper motor driver, compatible with anything that can output a digital 0 to 5V pulse (or 0 to 3.3V pulse if you solder SJ2 closed on the EasyDriver). The EasyDriver requires a 6V to 30V supply to power the motor and can power any voltage of stepper motor. The EasyDriver has an on board voltage regulator for the digital interface that can be set to 5V or 3.3V. Connect a 4-wire stepper motor and a microcontroller and you’ve got precision motor control! EasyDriver drives bi-polar motors, and motors wired as bi-polar. I.e. 4,6, or 8 wire stepper motors.
This EasyDriver V4.5 has been co-designed with Brian Schmalz. It provides much more flexibility and control over your stepper motor, when compared to older versions. The microstep select (MS1 and MS2) pins of the A3967 are broken out allowing adjustments to the microstepping resolution. The sleep and enable pins are also broken out for further control.
Note: Do not connect or disconnect a motor while the driver is energized. This will cause permanent damage to the A3967 IC.
Note: This product is a collaboration with Brian Schmalz. A portion of each sales goes back to them for product support and continued development.
Based on 5 ratings:
I got 18 of these to drive a bunch of motors (ROB-09238) at once. Each one worked flawlessly and handled the power without doing any adjustment. Programming was a snap using the AccelStepper library. Used a Mega 2560 to control the step and direction logic.
There was a catastrophe: three of my boards got clipped by an MDF panel and the capacitors were ripped right out. I replaced the caps with typical polar caps (the tallish cans) and the boards are running just fine again.
It works well. Easy to use with literally any microcontroller you can imagine. I use mine with a 3.3V Arduino Pro Mini.
Just beware of EMI. The A/B pads and traces leading to them, along with those pins on the chip, and your cabling leading to the stepper motor, will throw off a ton of EMI. This is not a fault of the board, it’s just what happens when you switch a stepper motor. It can mess with nearby microcontrollers and ICs. So be careful how you lay out your project - put some distance between the EasyDriver + stepper motor and other components if you can. If you can’t keep them isolated by distance, shield sensitive components with conductive, grounded material.
I wrote back and forth to Brian when dealing with the EMI issues in my project, he is very knowledgeable and courteous. Excellent support.
The chip can get hot to the touch. I am considering adding a heat sink to the top of the chip.
Honestly, it did not work for the project I intended. Lack of having the flexibility to choose the + or - common for my signals was a problem. However I am not disappointed, I will be able to design future projects around that drawback. Overall, worth the price.
Works great, but chip get hot at .5 amp. Probably not a problem, but I bought the larger, slightly more expensive, version (2 amp amp) and it runs with no noticeable chip heat. I might add that I did not use any of the associated code for either the large or small version. I see no obvious need to change the micro-step options on the fly (except maybe for testing), so I hard wired those and just used the direction and step controls. I drive direction off a port output and step from a counter that automatically toggles an output pin on reaching a selected value. (Note this is outside the std Audrino I/O, but far easier in the long run. I suggest everyone should at least glance at the Atmel manual for the Arduino chip an try using some registers directly.)
Hi, These will get warm, even hot in some cases. The chip is syncing a lot of power and that shows through heat. If you are running this on the higher end of the spec, it is suggested that you manage the heat with a heat sink on the chip.
Keeping in mind that I an a novice using arduino and associated products, I am really disappointed with the quality of the coding that I have found so far concerning this board. It seems like everyone is “ga-ga” over it, so the purchase was a natural decision. Unfortunately I feel that I’m back in the Commodore 64 days of loading tons of code, only to find that they don’t work. So I expend hours ensuring that I haven’t missed, or added something. And generally I haven’t. So then I wind up trying to figure out what was inadvertently added, or omitted by the author. Next I start to review other codes and inserting portions of what I think worked to the new code, only to find out that they aren’t compatible either. This board is no exception. I’m sure it is probably as good a product as others have reported, but for me, so far, I am not a great fan. By the way, I also have the Seeed Motor Shield and the Adafruit Motor Shield V2.0 and I have exactly the same feelings for them.
You are describing one of the main hurdles of the open source hardware community. Open source code can be hit or miss. You have to learn want resources tend to be good and what resources can be more questionable. Bildr is a great resource that generally has good documentation and examples. – http://bildr.org/2011/06/easydriver/