[SOLVED] Stepper motor whining, not driving

I’m trying to make a prototype star tracker and hooked together the following stepper and controller. But the motor doesn’t spin, it just chatters and rattles. The motor is a Nema 17 2 phase four wire 0.4A 12V. The controller a generic board. I’ve double checked the wiring and can find no fault. Has anyone any idea what might be wrong?

Hey, @Richard51573. Thanks for bringing your question to the forum.
Here are all the questions I can think to ask at the moment

  • Are you supplying 12-24V at the correct motor power supply inputs?

  • Under the circumstances you’ve described, does the motor have any holding-torque? Are you able to turn the shaft by hand when everything is powered?

  • Are you controlling by the manual control-keys or a pot?

  • What are the status LEDs doing?

  • What happens when you connect a potentiometer to the relevant input?

  • Try running a simple DC motor on channel A then again on channel B. What do you observe?

  • Does your stepper motor work? Try manually energising the coils in sequence to get it to rotate some continuous arc.

Would you mind uploading a photo of your own setup? I know it’s a simple arrangement, but a picture can be really helpful.

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Thanks for the reply Michael. I eventually found the problem, the motor has
a six pin plug. Coil A uses pins one and four. Coil B uses pins three and
six. I had expected 1&3, 4&6.

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Isn’t that just the way of things! Glad you found it in the end :smiley:

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Always check the obvious first :blush:

Serves me right for buying ‘too cheap’ from china - no wiring diagram and hard to find anything to help on the www.

This project is s prototype for a star tracker for my camera. If it shows promise I will make a much more precise tracker with quality products from Core Electronics. If anyone on the forum has a reliable way to locate the South Celestial Pole please share your knowledge. I am hoping a template with the Southern Cross together with the two pointers can be used in a similar manner to the simple bomb sight used by the Dam Busters will do a reasonable job.