Bipolar Stepper Motor Driver Circuit with LMD18245


For some time I have been planning to build a number of devices that make use of stepper motors. Since I have no experience in using stepper motors I had no idea what parts, what driver and controller circuits I would need to get them running.
Bipolar Stepper Motor
After extensive research  on the internet I decided to make a bipolar stepper motor driver based on Texas Instuments’ LMD18245, which is a 3A, 55V DMOS Full-Bridge Motor Driver. It incorporates all the circuit blocks required to drive and control current in a bipolar stepper motor.
This integrated circuit is a bit more involved to program (although surprisingly simple compared to what it delivers) but comes with many extra features (for free), such as overcurrent protection and thermal shutdown.

Creating a test board for the LMD18245

The only drawback of the LMD18245 is that it comes in a 15-pin TO-220 package which is not breadboard-friendly. To overcome this problem I designed a small breakout board for the chip:
It has footprint for all the parts needed for normal operation or experimenting with the LMD18245. It also has a 15 pin header to allow easy access to each pin of the chip.
I designed the circuit and PCB in Eagle. Eagle doesn’t come with the part for the LMD18245, but a quick search on Eagle’s web site made me happy with a part someone had made available as a free download. As usual, after downloading it I double checked the footprint used against the datasheet and found it correct, so I started designing the circuit with it. I even printed the PCB artwork on paper (as usual) to check it against the actual parts I would use to populate the PCB with. Everything checked out, so I sent the gerber files for production.

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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