Explain the full step operation of a stepper motor. How is it interfaced to a microprocessor?

Subject Peripheral and Interfacing
NU Year Set: 2.(d) Marks: 5 Year: 2017

Stepper drives control how a stepper motor operates, there are three commonly used excitation modes for stepper motors, full step, half step and microstepping. These excitation modes have an effect on both the running properties and torque the motor delivers.

A stepper motor converts electronic signals into mechanical movement each time an incoming pulse is applied to the motor. Each pulse moves the shaft in fixed increments. If the stepper motor has a 1.8° step resolution, then in order for shaft to rotate one complete revolution, in full step operation, the stepper motor would need to receive 200 pulses, 360° ÷ 1.8 = 200.

There are two types of full step excitation modes.

In one-phase on - full step, Fig1, the motor is operated with only one phase energized at a time. This mode requires the least amount of power from the driver of any of the excitation modes.

In two-phase-on - full step, Fig2, the motor is operated with both phases energized at the same time. This mode provides improved torque and speed performance. Two-phase on provides about 30% to 40% more torque than one phase on, however, it requires twice as much power from the driver.

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