Much to say about motors…

Today I set out to find a motor solution for the displays that require circular movement. I purchased an analog feedback servo and the motor party kit from Adafruit that included their Motor Shield V2 and various other motors.

Qualities I like in a motor:

  • Be able to check it’s position
  • Quiet
  • 360º Rotation
  • Low Power

First, I tested the Analog Feedback Servo. This worked great- smooth motion and so easy to set up, but this particular motor only turns 180 degrees.

Then I moved onto working with a stepper motor. It was a big challenge. I tried a few circuit suggestions for driving it online. None worked.

Not Working:       😦


So, I decided to use the Adafruit motor shield, but needed to use extra long headers for it to work with the Arduino YUN. I pushed the long headers thru the plastic a bit so that there was a significant amount of space on one side. It seems to be a successful modification so far!

The first try with the motor shield and the stepper did not work. I figured I had my wires wrong, so I investigated online. I found a tutorial on reverse engineering the wires that instructed me to make a chart of the wire connections with my mulitimeter:

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 5.27.37 PM

Well, there was certainly something special about the red wire. (I could have guessed it was ground, but if someone can explain why, please comment on this post!) I confirmed that it WAS ground later after finding my exact motor on Adafruit’s website:

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 5.33.42 PM


After some fancy wire switching, I finally had a working stepper. I wonder if I had tried those other circuits with this wiring if I had been successful?



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