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 Is it possible to power a high torque stepper from a battery 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 5:10 pm
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Post Is it possible to power a high torque stepper from a battery
Hi,

I'm trying to decide which route to go on my moco dolly rig, stepper or dc gear motor. Ideally I'd love to use a high torque stepper, but I'm a bit skeptical about powering such a setup in the field. Do such things as battery powered high power stepper drivers exist? I've looked at some Nema 23 models with around 400 oz/inch torque. They are specced around 3-4.5A. Most of the power supplies suggested for the steppers need at least 50 volts input...

I know one could take a lower-powered stepper and gear it down, but that would add more cost and complexity to my project... It would be an omega-drive, and I'd probably use the largest gear I can to add more torque.

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:55 pm
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 5:10 pm
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Post Re: Is it possible to power a high torque stepper from a battery
To answer myself, some drivers could be powered from a 24V power source. So that would a mean a truck/tractor battery or something similar. Doable, but not very portable.

Maybe I'll get stepper and a dc motor and swap them depending on the shoot :)

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Is it possible to power a high torque stepper from a battery
The answers are: Yes and Yes =)

Check out Gecko Drives, by far the industry leader in high-quality, hi-power stepper drivers: http://www.geckodrive.com/

You can get a high-torque stepper rated at 12V, and then run it at 24V (minimum) to achieve proper chopping drive. Need 24V, only have 12V? Wire your batteries in serial: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti ... igurations

Want more run time? Well, make another serial one, and then wire the two serial banks in parallel =)

The question is, why deal with all of that? What are you moving, and at what speed? I've successfully built a pan/tilt rig using 20 oz/in steppers running at 12V and 0.4A using 120:1 worm gearing. Much less crud to haul around =)

!c


Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:40 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:30 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Post Re: Is it possible to power a high torque stepper from a battery
I concur with Shutterdrone.
It really depends on your requirements and more importantly your budget.. This is probably an extreme example of a battery powered stepper motor.

This application is using an industrial high speed driver (up to 160v output) running from a 110v inverter powered by 2 x 12v marine batteries wired in series.
At speed it can turn the arm at around 8 seconds per revolution while the vehicle is in motion. At vehicle rest the speed is scary. (4.5m = 14.75 feet reach- total arm length 6m)
Disclaimer: I designed this rig.

EDIT: This motion control rig is mounted as close as possible on the centre of the vehicle - usually through the sun roof - and rotates in realtime or timelapse while the car is driving.


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Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:22 pm
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Post Re: Is it possible to power a high torque stepper from a battery
That looks a bit like the cool Russian arm :)

I'm going to move around 50-60 pounds of weight (two cameras and a beamsplitter) on a timelapse dolly. I'd want it to be able to go from extremely slow speed (for timelapses) to pretty fast for real-time moves. Pretty fast would probably mean something like at least 1 meter per second.

Would also like to be able to drive it vertically. And also use it for motion control applications.

I'm considering using a worm gearing, but I'm not sure about the added backlash. There were some cheap Chinese Nema 23 motors on ebay with integrated gearing, but I'm afraid of the backlash ;-)

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Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:02 pm
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