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PICList Thread
'Jerky Microstepping'
1999\10\11@170757 by Lawrence Lile

I've got a dandy problem using microstepping in a stepper motor.

As you know, microstepping involves sinusouidally varying the voltage on a
pair of stepper motor windings (bipolar stepper motor, in this case, 2
windings)  so as to continuously move the motor between steps.

I'm driving a TEA3718 step motor driver with a PIC.  The TEA3718 has a handy
Vref pin, that is used as a reference to compare the output current with a
known value.  Varying the voltage on Vref sinusoidally causes a nice smooth
action on the motor.  So far so good.

EXCEPT when I change paolarity.  After 180 degrees of sine wave on one coil
(and 180 degrees of cosine wave on the opposite coil) the motor has moved
essentially one step's worth (or is it a half--- )  anyway, at that point
you must change the polarity of the coil.   Vref is zero, so changing
polarity on the copil should couse it to begin to swing the other way, as
soon as Vref begins to increase again.

Except it doesn't.  The motor moves about 1/4 step whenever you change
polarity.  This negates all the nice advantages of microstepping, like
turning smoothly.  Even when Vref is zero, theres movement.

Anybody seen anything like this?

-- Lawrence

1999\10\12@113612 by Lawrence Lile

Morgan wrote:

>There must be one Vref signal separately for each phase, right?
>Is there?

Yes there is.  I am using two TEA3718 chips, and two PWM outputs on a PIC
876 to control the Vref's.

I wrote a routine that just proceeds one microstep at a time, and verified
that the Vref really was zero.  As soon as I flip the PHASE bit on the
TEA3718, the motor jumps about 1/3 step.  At medium or high speeds, this is
not noticeable, but as very slow speeds it is jerky.  The stepper runs a
camera, so you get this jerky, out-of-focus movement at slow speeds.

I am using microsteps as small as 1/100th step (overkill, really)

-----Original Message-----
From: Morgan Olsson <>
To: Lawrence Lile <>
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 1999 2:58 AM
Subject: Re: Jerky Microstepping

There must be one Vref signal separately for each phase, right?
Is there?

Morgans Reglerteknik, Hllek s, 277 35 KIVIK, SWEDEN
  tel +46(0)414-446620, fax -70331,

1999\10\12@151822 by Anne Ogborn

Lawrence - have you tried speeding up the stepping and displaying
the voltage on a scope? Or grabbing it with a storage scope?

1. LC Interaction with driver and motor.
2. You simply can't microstep some motors. Check with the manufacturer.

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