Thursday, May 26, 2011
00554 Day 85, the Hot Stepper
I met an old man wandering along the road and he said to me:
"Young man, I see that you are attempting to salvage and activate a stepper motor from an old printer. If you don't mind my saying so, it appears that you have little idea what you are doing and I can only assume that your knowledge of these things is inadequate. Let me enlighten you.
"This is how it works - Motors are great, but they don't always stop exactly when you tell them to. So when you really need something to do EXACTLY what you tell it to do, you need a stepper motor. In stead of just turning it on and off, you tell it how many steps to take. You can get this one here to do around 60 steps in a full turn using a microcontroller and you can specify precisely where it should stop.
"The big deal is that you can attach these motors to the axes of a rig that will cut things or draw or whatever and it will be able to cut/draw/create exactly what you program it to do, repeatedly. This is how laser cutters and other CNC machines work. Hell, this is how most of the robots in the world work (apart from the servo driven bits - but that's another story).
"So what you need to do is to hook it up to a microchip, program the microchip to switch the connections on and off and you'll have the beginnings of a very, very useful device.
"HEY! ARE YOU LISTENING? DID YOU HEAR ANYTHING I SAID? DON'T YOU REALISE THIS IS GOLD DUST, BUDDY! I'M GIVING YOU THE WORLD ON A PLATE AND YOU'RE JUST SITTING THERE GAWPING."
And that's when my wife woke me up and she told me that I'd been sleep talking and then she told me how she didn't want to wake me up because I was talking about things with such passion and understanding that all she could do is listen in rapt silence as the words of my extraordinary soliloquy drifted over her as if bathing her in the waters of my beautiful mind.
And THAT is really when my wife woke me up and we had to have a serious chat about how obsession can sometimes be a good thing, but that everything should be taken in moderation and that 4.30 in the morning is perhaps not the best time to be shouting in your sleep.
but I did get the stepper motor working - yaaaaay!