B. Buying the Electronics

The worst part of getting the remaining parts was purchasing the stepper motors. The ideal motors from sparkfun were sold out. I managed to find some 400 steps per revolution motors from phidgets, which are located out of Canada – I didn’t have any problems with customs into the U.S. However, one person on the forums warned that when received, their motors were only 200 steps – fortunately I received the correct 400 steps/rev motors. More on this later.

Here are the remaining parts:

  • 400 steps/rev stepper motors from phidgets
  • Arduino stepper shield from Reactive Substance – be warned – this is a kit and you must know how to solder.
  • Arduino Uno from sparkfun – my plan originally was to use my old Duemilanove and upgrade the 168 processor to a 328, but I was glad I got the Uno because I could get up and running quickly without fiddling with the upgrade process.
  • Extra stepper controllers from Pololu.
  • Stepper power: I ran down to our local computer recycler and found an old laptop power brick rated at 24V, 5A for $5 – nice find.
  • Cables – Have a pile of cables – found some larger gauge to handle the current.
  • Rotary tool – I have a Dremel tool so used that.

Let’s go through some of these in more detail:

Stepper Motor Shield


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