Switching Pulse Generator For Stepper Motor Control Using An Embedded Microcontroller

Project and Seminar Material For Electrical Electronics Engineering EEE

Project and Seminar Material For Electrical Electronics Engineering EEE


Abstract


This research work will really help us to understand more on the operation and implementation of switching pulse generator for stepper motor control using an embedded microcontroller. The chapter one which is the introduction preview, the background, problem statement, objective of the study, justification and scope of work. The second chapter that is the literature review about the seminar topic.

In literature review ,it includes some research on previous authors on the operations and implementation of switching pulse generator for stepper motor control using an embedded microcontroller. Chapter three will elaborate on the detailed of switching pulse generator for stepper motor control using an embebbed microcontroller model and implementation with the block diagram.

Then , chapter four will discuss about the system design development and implementation of switching pulse generator for stepper motor control using an embedded microcontroller. The last chapter is the conclusion of the work and also recommendations and references.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.0 Background

A stepper motor is an electromagnetic rotary actuator which mechanically converts digital pulse inputs to incremental shaft rotation. The rotation not only has a direct relation to the number of input pulses, but its speed is related to the frequency of the pulses.

The motor is able to hold its position ( and its load) between the steps without the aid of clutches or brakes. Thus a stepper motor can be precisely controlled so that it rotates a certain number of steps, producing mechanical motion through a specific distance, and then hold its load when it stops. Furthermore, it can repeat the operation at any prescribed number of times.

With the appropriate logic, stepper motors can be bi- directional synchronous, provide rapid acceleration, stopping, and reversal and will interface easily with other digital mechanisms. They are further characterized as having low rotor moment of inertia, no drift and a non cumulative positioning error.

Generally, step motors are operated without feedback in an open-loop manner and often match the performance of more expensive DC servo positioning systems like speed sensor, servo motor ( i.e systems that maintain the speed of motors in a certain limit, even when the load of the output is being varied). Stepper motors may be classified by their motor construction, drive topology, and stepping pattern. There are several different types of stepper motor construction. These include variable reluctance, permanent magnet and hybrid permanent magnet, just like every motor.

Stepper motor consists of permanent magnet rotor and wound stator. The coils of wound stator are called control windings. The rotation of the stepper motor is controlled by switching ON/OFF the current through control windings. Normally, the control windings are exited through driver transisistors. The direction of rotation of the motor can either be reverse of forward by generating the switching sequences in reverse or forward order.

Each of those slight rotations is called a “step,” with an integer number of steps making a full rotations. In that way, the motor can be turned by a precise angle.

Stepper motors are one of the most versatile forms of positioning system. Basically, they are digitally controlled as part of an open loop system.

Their industrial application are in the high speed pick and place equipment and multi-axis machine often directly driving lead screw and ball screws. In the fields of lasers and optics they are frequently used in precision positioning equipment such as linear actuator, linear stages, rotation stages, goniometry and mirror mounts. Other uses are in packaging machinery and positioning of valve pilot stages for fluid control systems.

Commercially, stepper motors are used in floppy disk drivers, flathed scanners, computer printers, plotters, slot machines and many more devices.

The performance of stepper motor is strongly dependent on the driver circuit responsible for communication and current limiting which is also being controlled by switching pulse generator also known as the stepper motors controller or indexer. The pulse generator output command pulses that the motor follows.

The pulse generator can also generate sequence of switching pulse at variable rate to drive the motor at variable speed. By altering the frequency of the pulse train, the pulse generator can instruct the motor to accelerate, run at a speed, decelerate or stop. A pulse generator must be present, other wise the motor will not move.

Most applications require that the stepper motor controller manage other control functions as well, including acceleration, deceleration, steps per second and distance. The stepper motor controller can also interface to and control many other external signals. Communication to the stepper motor controller is through an Rs 232 serial port and in some cases an Rs485 port.

In either case, the stepper motor controller is capable of receiving high level commands from a host computer and generating the necessary step and direction pulses to the driver. The stepper motor controller includes auxiliary 1/0 for monitoring inputs from external sources such as jog, Home or limit switch.it can also initiate other machine functions through the 1/0 output pins.

Over the years, there have been some challenges faced by stepper motor controller (pulse generators). The commonest

Is when they are used to control drive circuits which are also referred to as constant voltage drive because a constant positive or negative voltage is applied to each winding to set the step positions. However, it is winding current, not voltage that applies torque to the stepper motor shaft. In view of the challenges faced by a pulse generator an embedded micro controllers on the other hand can rectify the challenges faced above. The embedded microcontroller is a self contained system with a processor, memory and peripherals.

The embedded microcontroller system may require minimal memory and program length, with no operating system and no software complexity. They have few instructions for the movement of data between memory on the same chip. (I.e. movement of code and data within the same chip) unlike that micro processor which is between external and internal memory (Movement of code and data from external memory).


1.1 Problem Statement

Over the year, there have been some problems faced by stepper motor controller (pulse generators). The commonest is when they are used to control drive circuits which are also referred to as constant voltage drives because a constant positive or negative voltage is applied to each winding to set the step positions. However, it is winding current, not voltage that applies torque to the stepper motor shaft.


1.2 Objectives Of Study

The objective of this seminar is to design a switching pulse generator for stepper motor control using an embedded controller which will solve the challenges faced in the control operation of a stepper motor. The design will include AT89C51. Microcontroller which has an on-chip peripheral function like 1/0 ports, timers/counter, serial communication port which would in turn reduce the complexity of the normal design. The AT89C51 has 1000 write /erase cycle giving the design flexibility in its field programmability.


1.3 Justification Of Study

This seminar is of justification to the operation and complexity of stepper motor controllers in relation to the existing ones in use. Its simplicity makes usage very easy because the assembly language use in microcontrollers follow Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) architecture whose instruction set is small. Its high integration functionality makes it look like a stand- alone computer. It also has flexibility in it field programmability.


1.4 Scope Of Work

Literature review of the existing works made by other people will be captured as chapter two as part of the remaining scope. Chapter three of the study will be the methodology. System design, development and implementation of the switching pulse generator for a stepper motor using embedded microcontroller will be chapter four of the study. Result s and conclusion will be captured as chapter five.


Chapter Five


Results and Discussion

5.0 Results

The final design of switching pulse generator for stepper motor using embedded micro control:

  • Has a Bridge Rectifier to convert the AC signal to DC, which is used by the system.
  • Has a capacitor which filters the rippling DC to give a smooth supply.
  • Has a clock circuit which provides clock pulses to the microcontroller.
  • Has a voltage regulator, to regulate the voltage supply to the serial communication part and the microcontroller.
  • Has a reset switch, which initializes the microcontroller.
  • Has a MAX232 IC which converts the logical 12V to 5V before it is transferred to the microcontroller.
  • Has 4 ports through which the microcontroller communicates to the stepper motor driver (one port is being used for the purpose of the seminar).
  • Has implemented a stepper motor controller using a microcontroller AT89C51.
  • Has a stepper motor driven by the microcontroller to provide discrete rotation.
  • Has a driver circuit to drive the steeper motor.

Basically, the purpose of the embedded microcontroller AT89C51 is to control the operation of the stepper motor by generating pulses to the driver circuit to drive the stepper motor.

This design has computer application software with internally embedded of a stepper motor and the direction of rotation is determined by the demonstrator. This feature of the design allows for field programmability which supersedes the micro processor based stepper motor controller when compared with it. The applications is controlled from a personal computer which is being fed input at the direction of rotation column and then instructed to operate either clockwise or anti clockwise. Mode of communication between the stepper motor and the computer is done through a RS232 serial cable.

This design has MAX232 IC which convert the 12v logical signals from the computer to 5V to be serial communicated to the AT89C51 microcontroller.

Its actually the middle man between the computer and the AT89C51 microcontroller but for microprocessor based stepper motor it may require two IC to change a 12V to 5V.

Both the driver unit for the stepper motor and the microcontroller are being powered individually from a 240V source outputting 12v which then rectified individually to DC, which is used by the both boards. This is because the stepper motor draws more current by design and so when sharing power with another system it turns to draw all the power leaving the other system to suffer.


Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

A prototype model of a switching pulse generator for a stepper motor using an embedded microcontroller (AT89C51) with application software controlled from a personal computer was developed. The personal computer visually represents the stepper motor, angle and direction of rotation.

The newly designed system using an embedded microcontroller has improved the functionality of the operation, intergration flexibility and has field programmability functions. Angle and direction of rotation can be easily controlled from a friendly Human Machine Interface (HMI).


5.2 Recommendation

There are numerous benefits that can be derived from the switching pulse generator for a stepper motor using an embedded microcontroller. Bulkiness of systems using stepper motor controller will be reduced due the fact that all peripherals in the case of the microprocessor based controllers are now on board a micro controller unit. Integration flexibility is achieved because all components are linked to each other on a single printed circuit board (PCB). The Human Machine interface for the system control makes the operation user-friendly. The system has a reset knob to initialize the microcontroller after each operation: it does not require special monitoring mechanism and handling procedure. The system has a power monitoring and consumption units on the microcontroller board.


Switching Pulse Generator For Stepper Motor Control Using An Embedded Microcontroller


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