Stepper Motor Controller Conclusion

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Contents

Debugging

Once the circuit was completed on the bread board, we plugged in some power, and nothing happened... after reading the instruction more thoroughly we discovered that we have been missing out on some crucial operating features. The whole unit was supposed to be interfaced with a computer program (Kcam) using the parallel port.

Once the program was downloaded, we seemed to be having some issues with it considering there was no movement; except at one point there seemed to be some feed-back on the parallel port when swiping your finger across it, causing the motor to jitter.

We checked the wiring multiple times, and switched the light with multiple different types of resistors, but in the end, the light seemed to have given us a better result. Though we still pondered upon the wiring, and ulitmatly decided to rebuild, and made it easier to follow, considering the wiring was more organized. But it didnt seem to work...

The Kcam program did not seem to giving us any GUI stating that there was an increase in the amount of steps sent to the Motor through the parallel port, and we changed many of the values in the table setup options, but stuck with the suggested in the end... When booting up the program, I noticed that it was demo version of the program, and searched for a fully registered version, when it was fully registored nothing seemed to change...

I starting questioning the reliability of the extension cord (male-female parallel port cable), whether it was functioning or not. I downloaded a very useful program, originally used for slot car timing, i used to test the cable/port; on the site it instructed which node to connect to which to see some feedback on the programs GUI, and how to set it up so it uses parallel port... after testing - the stupid cable did not work. So I found another, and it worked! the timer registered. (CONNECTING CERTAIN NODES ON THE PARALLEL PORT TO OTHERS MAY PERMANENTLY DAMAGE THE PORT)

Changes to the Design

During the debugging process we modified the project quite a lot, but towards the end, we chose to stay with the original plans considering they worked the best, and many people had success building the same stepper motor controller. the changes made in our project can be read in the debugging section of this conclusion.

How to Build My Project

When building the project we constantly referred to the instructions for help, The URL to the Instructions can be found in the "links".

Tips

  • use specially designed bread board wire's; these come in multiple colours and sizes guarenteing you a perfect match, this helps a lot when trying to debug, or check for problems, especially in this project considering the constant removal of the parallel port and motor, due to all the trouble shooting.
  • READ INSTRUCTIONS FULLY FIRST; when we first attempted the project we did not read the whole instruction page, but followed the schematic... this set us back a couple of days.

Timeline

  • we spent a couple of days looking for an easy to follow instruction for this project
  • searched for required parts
  • when parts finally arrived we got to building right away, the whole circuit took us about 4 days at first.
  • we were using four node stepper motor, but later discovered it did not support it.
  • searched for a replacment motor, and found one at active surplus, a six node on for about 6 dollars.
  • downloaded Kcam, and nothing worked
  • spent the rest of the time debugging and working on multiple other projects. (to see debugging process go to "debugging"

Group Dynamics

While working on the project, working in a group had its benefits at times, because we were working on multiple projects at once, either one of us could contribute to the wiring when the other was unavailable.

== If I would do it again I would … == Complete this sentence in at least three different ways. Explain each statement.

== Photos or Video of the Final Product == You may put captions next to the photos explaining the pictures or, better yet, these could be integrated into the "How to Build My Project" section

== Circuit Diagrams == include any circuit diagrams that pertain to your “robot”

Code

There was no required code.

== My Contributions to the Project == Include a detailed list of what you did along the way as your group created the robotic device
include a final line that state "I believe I deserve a __% for my contribution".

What I Learned from this Experience

  • we learned the function and uses of the parallel port

Links

The instructions:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-to-build-CNC-Mill-Stepper-Motor-and-Driver-ci/
Kcam download:
http://www.kellyware.com/download/index.htm
Kcam crack (not the one i used but it should work)
http://keygens.nl/crack/48500/
Lap Timer 2000 (used to test Parallel port)
http://www.gregorybraun.com/LapTimer.htm
Instructions for testing Parallel port (typically used for timing)
http://slotcars.carlsoncomputers.com/Articles/lpttest/lpttest.asp
Youtube video of working controller:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUyqscxLJ4k&feature=player_embedded

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