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FAQ of Linear Stepper Motor Basics

FAQ of Linear Stepper Motor Basics

Q. What would happen if you forced the coils to move along the rail?
A. They would Snap over to another tooth on the rail, and align the same way as it was on the tooth it came from. Same for a round, shaft type of stepper.If the teeth are 1 inch apart, and the power does not change, the coils will snap in 1 inch jumps.

Q. What would happen if you put (+ +) (+ +) or (- -) (- -) on the coils?
A. The motor will not Snap to any position.

Q. What would happen if you gave different voltages to the coils at different times, like 6 and 12V?
A. You could Micro step the motor that way, as long as you gave it the right volts at the right time.
If you used 6 and 12 volts, you could double the number of steps in a direction.From 8 steps to move an inch, to 16 to move the same inch.The more voltages you can supply, the more positions between positions you get.

Q. What would happen if you swap the wire connections to one coil?
A. It would change the direction of travel. Instead of coils going right, they would go left.

Q. What would happen if you give the coils to much power, like a 12 volt motor getting 24 volts?
A. It will make the motor Hot and that can demagnetize the magnetic rail.

Q. What if you give the motor low voltage AC on one coil, and DC power on the other?

A. It will do one of three things, go right, go left or jitter. Depends on if you give it a push to start it.

Q. What if you gradually change the voltage and polarity of the power going to the coils?
A. You will have the ability to drive the Stepper in a very Smooth linear motion,move in both directions, and be able to hold it in any position.

Q. Can a Stepper be used as a tachometer? With a direction indicator?
A. Yes as you turn it, it will put out two AC sign waves. 90 degrees apart

Q. Can a Stepper be used as an AC Generator?

A. Yes, It will Generate AC power on 2 pairs of wires, one 90 degrees out of phase from the other.It’s not a effective way to get AC power, but it works.

Q. Does a Stepper motor act the same as a DC motor?
A. No, a DC motor has the same power at any normal speed, but it can’t Stop without getting hot.
A stepper will have the more power when it is stopped, power drops off as it speeds up.Only a stepper has a “weak power spot” (Harmonic Point) at a certain speed. A DC motor does not.

Q. Can a Stepper easily reverse direction or stop and hold a position?
A. Yes only a stepper motor can go forward, reverse or hold a position without hurting it.DC motors can only do that with a special control circuit, called Servo drives.

Q. Can a stepper move a defined distance left or right, and then repeat the same move over and over?
And never be off?
A.Yes, A stepper Steps in increments, and a set speed, so it (you) always knows where it’s at.If you make a Stepper turn 10 RPM it will do just that, no matter what reasonable load you put on it.Up to a point, overloading it will simply make it skip over teeth or “chatter”. Not harming it.DC motors can’t do that, if you power a 12 volt DC motor and expect it to turn 10 RPM with nothing on the shaft it will turn around 10 RPM, but if you add a load, it will slow down the shaft speed to something you can’t predict.

Q. What happens if I take a Stepper apart?
A. It will cause the Magnetic rotor inside to partially demagnetize, the motor wont work well after that.

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