# Stepper Motor circuits

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

A stepper motor is a motor controlled by a series of electromagnetic coils. The center shaft has a series of magnets mounted on it, and the coils surrounding the shaft are alternately given current or not, creating magnetic fields which repulse or attract the magnets on the shaft, causing the motor to rotate. This design allows for very precise co

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ntrol of the motor: by proper pulsing, it can be turned in very accurate steps of set degree increments (for example, two-degree increments, half-degree increments, etc. ). They are used in printers, disk drives, and other devices where precise positioning of the motor is necessary. The unipolar stepper motor has five or six wires and four coils (actually two coils divided by center connections on each coil). The center connections of the coils are tied together and used as the power connection. They are called unipolar steppers because power always comes in on this one pole. The bipolar stepper motor usually has four wires coming out of it. Unlike unipolar steppers, bipolar steppers have no common center connection. They have two independent sets of coils instead. You can distinguish them from unipolar steppers by measuring the resistance between the wires. You should find two pairs of wires with equal resistance. If you`ve got the leads of your meter connected to two wires that are not connected (i. e. not attached to the same coil), you should see infinite resistance (or no continuity). Like other motors, stepper motors require more power than a microcontroller can give them, so you`ll need a separate power supply for it. Ideally you`ll know the voltage from the manufacturer, but if not, get a variable DC power supply, apply the minimum voltage (hopefully 3V or so), apply voltage across two wires of a coil (e. g. 1 to 2...

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