Stepper motors are mostly used for precise motion control of structures or axes for a distance. But what happens if we want to control time? We can answer this question with the bare motor rotation, and a more complex software. For this project I am using the Arduino Mega 2560
Recently, I had the chance to use the latest model manufactured by Geeetech, i.e. the 3D Printer Prusa I3A Plus. They launched this new version on the market focusing on the most evident innovation: the external control box that embeds all the electronics; Power unit, front panel LCD and rotating switch, SD Card slot, main board controller and motor controllers, and the switching power unit.
The first article introduces a small board that, using four daisy-chained shift registers, enhances Arduino with a general-purpose extension of up to 32 output ports; it works on most Arduino boards and Arduino-compatible devices. The second article completes the discussion introducing a practical application: controlling four 7-Segments LED displays with only three Arduino Pins, simply using the daisy-chained shift registers.
The PCB only or the fully assembled circuits are available on Etsy.com and Tindie.com, while more technical details can be read on the Arduino Kits section of the Projects in the pages from where sample software, the Arduino libraries and the data sheets are available for free download.
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