The purpose of this build is to have a handy, desktop stage that I can use for focus stacking experiments. This particular stage will hold a DSLR and be controlled via a C# Desktop App. All I really need is a Goto position function - so this motor is fine (No encoder, just a homing limit switch).
The first step was to get the parts together and see if they worked:
This Arduino Leonardo-type board is great because it is designed for keyboard feedback, so the serial communication implementation went very smoothly. The next step was to take apart what I had on the table and breadboard it.
I soldered the 7 wires coming from the stage to some CAT5 cable
This G-Drive case is perfectly sized for the stage and there is plenty of room for the controllers. It is also a great heatsink (I am driving the stepper way faster than it is intended to be driven, and it gets pretty hot). I used this setup to tweak the driver current and test the software. Once all systems were go, I transferred everything to some perf-board and screwed the housing together.
Came out pretty much how I had planned. I wish I had utilized the existing I/O board from the drive, but I lost the original power supply. It was one of those PS/2 cables with 12V and 5V... it would have been perfect, and I could have used the firewire cables instead of the CAT5. I'm excited to use this for future projects! I am sure the software will evolve.
GIF of the C# UI in action
The camera actually stays in place without any fasteners