SparkFun ProDriver and Mini Stepper Motor Driver Hookup Guide

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Contributors: QCPete, santaimpersonator
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Introduction

The SparkFun ProDriver and Mini Stepper Motor Driver utilize the latest TC78H670FTG stepper motor driver from Toshiba. With a full to 1/128 stepping resolution and two different methods for control (serial communication or clock-in stepping) this is a great option for your next project that requires precise motor control.

SparkFun ProDriver - Stepper Motor Driver (TC78H670FTG)

SparkFun ProDriver - Stepper Motor Driver (TC78H670FTG)

ROB-16836
$21.50

The advantage of the ProDriver is that it's solderless, out of the box. With the DC barrel jack and latch pins, the board can be easily powered and connected without any soldering. This is great for projects, where users want to easily swap out components in the event of a failure.

The primary disadvantage of this product is it's size. Users may face difficulties trying to squeeze this into smaller projects.

SparkFun Mini Stepper Motor Driver - TC78H670FTG

SparkFun Mini Stepper Motor Driver - TC78H670FTG

ROB-25167
$9.95

The advantage of the Mini Stepper Motor Driver is in its size. The small footprint of the board, allows users to squeeze it into smaller projects and the pin layout is breadboard compatible to simplify prototyping.

Its primary disadvantage, is that users may need to connect an electrolytic capacitor (>50µF is recommended), externally to its VM and GND pins.

Although both communication methods are included in the Arduino library, the serial command has some unique features. The serial communication allows users to precisely control the phase, torque, mixed decay ratio of each coil, and current limit while the motor is in motion. (In contrast, most stepper motor drivers need an external trimpot that is physically adjusted to control the current output limit.)

Required Materials

The SparkFun ProDriver and Mini Stepper Motor Driver require a few additional items for you to get started. At minimum, users will want an Arduino compatible microcontroller with a USB cable, a power supply, some hookup wire or jumper wires, and a stepper motor (*we recommend a 4-wire, bipolar stepper motor to begin with). You may already have a few of these items, including the USB cable, so feel free to modify your cart based on your needs. Additionally, there are also that are available as well (click button below to toggle options).

Recommended Parts
SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

DEV-15123
$21.50
19
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15312
$6.50
2
USB Micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB Micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

CAB-10215
$5.50
15
Stepper Motor - 68 oz.in (400 steps/rev)

Stepper Motor - 68 oz.in (400 steps/rev)

ROB-10846
$19.50
17
ProDriver
SparkFun ProDriver - Stepper Motor Driver (TC78H670FTG)

SparkFun ProDriver - Stepper Motor Driver (TC78H670FTG)

ROB-16836
$21.50
Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M - 20 AWG (10 Pack)

Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M - 20 AWG (10 Pack)

PRT-11709
$6.50
2
Mini Stepper Motor Driver
Note: For prototyping with the Mini Stepper Motor Driver on a breadboard, we have included some header options; however, it is up to the user to determine the most suitable connection for their project. It is also recommended that users connect an electrolytic capacitor (>50µF is recommended), externally to its VM and GND pins.
DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

PRT-10288
$3.50
1
Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

PRT-00116
$1.75
20
SparkFun Mini Stepper Motor Driver - TC78H670FTG

SparkFun Mini Stepper Motor Driver - TC78H670FTG

ROB-25167
$9.95
Jumper Wires Premium 6" Mixed Pack of 100

Jumper Wires Premium 6" Mixed Pack of 100

PRT-09194
$26.95
4
Breadboard - Mini Modular (White)

Breadboard - Mini Modular (White)

PRT-12043
$4.50
Arduino Stackable Header - 8 Pin

Arduino Stackable Header - 8 Pin

PRT-09279
$0.75
Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors - 100uF/25V

Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors - 100uF/25V

COM-00096
$0.45
Microcontrollers

Here are a few other Arduino compatible microcontrollers. For a full list of options from our catalog, please visit the Arduino microcontroller product category.

Pro Micro - 5V/16MHz

Pro Micro - 5V/16MHz

DEV-12640
$19.50
81
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

DEV-11113
$10.95
140
Arduino Uno - R3

Arduino Uno - R3

DEV-11021
$27.60
138
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

DEV-11114
$10.95
54
SparkFun Qwiic Pro Micro - USB-C (ATmega32U4)

SparkFun Qwiic Pro Micro - USB-C (ATmega32U4)

DEV-15795
$21.50
10
SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

DEV-15123
$21.50
19
SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

DEV-13975
$21.50
50
SparkFun IoT RedBoard - ESP32 Development Board

SparkFun IoT RedBoard - ESP32 Development Board

WRL-19177
$29.95
7
Wiring

Here are a few other wiring options. For a full list of options from our catalog, please visit the wire product category.

Jumper Wires - Connected 6" (M/M, 20 pack)

Jumper Wires - Connected 6" (M/M, 20 pack)

PRT-12795
$2.10
2
Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Solid Core, 22 AWG)

Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Solid Core, 22 AWG)

PRT-11367
$21.50
37
Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M Pack of 100

Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M Pack of 100

PRT-10897
$26.95
6
Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M - 20 AWG (10 Pack)

Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M - 20 AWG (10 Pack)

PRT-11709
$6.50
2
Jumper Wires Standard 7" M/M - 30 AWG (30 Pack)

Jumper Wires Standard 7" M/M - 30 AWG (30 Pack)

PRT-11026
$2.45
20
Hook-up Wire - Black (22 AWG)

Hook-up Wire - Black (22 AWG)

PRT-08022
$2.95
1
Hook-up Wire - Red (22 AWG)

Hook-up Wire - Red (22 AWG)

PRT-08023
$2.95
1
Hook-up Wire - Yellow (22 AWG)

Hook-up Wire - Yellow (22 AWG)

PRT-08024
$2.95
Headers

While most users may only need headers for the Mini Stepper Motor Driver, they can also be used with the ProDriver.

Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

PRT-00116
$1.75
20
Arduino Stackable Header - 8 Pin

Arduino Stackable Header - 8 Pin

PRT-09279
$0.75
Arduino Stackable Header - 10 Pin

Arduino Stackable Header - 10 Pin

PRT-11376
$0.75
2
Header - 10-pin Female (PTH, 0.1")

Header - 10-pin Female (PTH, 0.1")

PRT-11896
$0.75
Header - 2-pin Female (PTH, 0.1in.)

Header - 2-pin Female (PTH, 0.1in.)

PRT-22893
$0.50
Header - 8-pin Female (PTH, 0.1")

Header - 8-pin Female (PTH, 0.1")

PRT-11895
$0.75
Stepper Motors

Here are a few other stepper motor options. For a full list of options from our catalog, please visit the stepper motor product category.

Three Phase Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer Motor

Three Phase Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer Motor

ROB-20441
$29.95
Stepper Motor with Cable

Stepper Motor with Cable

ROB-09238
$17.50
21
SparkFun IoT Brushless Motor Driver (ESP32 WROOM, TMC6300)

SparkFun IoT Brushless Motor Driver (ESP32 WROOM, TMC6300)

ROB-22132
$89.95
3
Stepper Motor - 68 oz.in (400 steps/rev)

Stepper Motor - 68 oz.in (400 steps/rev)

ROB-10846
$19.50
17
Power Supply

Here are a few other power supply options. For a full list of options from our catalog, please visit the power supply and wall adapter product categories.

Adjustable Voltage Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5V-15V

Adjustable Voltage Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5V-15V

TOL-19898
$14.95
Battery Holder - 4xAA to Barrel Jack Connector

Battery Holder - 4xAA to Barrel Jack Connector

PRT-09835
$2.75
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 9VDC, 650mA (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 9VDC, 650mA (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15314
$6.50
1
Power Supply - 5V, 4A

Power Supply - 5V, 4A

TOL-15352
$13.95
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 12VDC, 600mA (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 12VDC, 600mA (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15313
$6.50
Power Accessories

Users may find these accessories useful for the Mini Stepper Motor Driver.

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

PRT-10288
$3.50
1
Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors - 1000uF/25V

Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors - 1000uF/25V

COM-08982
$0.45
1
Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors - 100uF/25V

Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors - 100uF/25V

COM-00096
$0.45

Soldering Accessories

While the ProDriver is intended to be solderless, users will need soldering equipment to attach wires and/or headers to the Mini Stepper Motor Driver. Additionally, to modify the jumpers on the Prodriver, users will need a hobby knife.

PINECIL Soldering Iron Kit

PINECIL Soldering Iron Kit

KIT-24063
$69.95
2

SparkFun Beginner Tool Kit

TOL-22265
Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

TOL-09325
$9.95
8
Chip Quik No-Clean Flux Pen  - 10mL

Chip Quik No-Clean Flux Pen - 10mL

TOL-14579
$7.95
4
Hobby Knife

Hobby Knife

TOL-09200
$3.50
2

Suggested Reading

We will skip over the more fundamental tutorials like Ohm's Law and What is Electricity?. However, below are a few fundamental tutorials that may help users familiarize themselves with various aspects of this board.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Serial Communication

Asynchronous serial communication concepts: packets, signal levels, baud rates, UARTs and more!

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

How to Power a Project

A tutorial to help figure out the power requirements of your project.

Working with Wire

How to strip, crimp, and work with wire.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.

Motors and Selecting the Right One

Learn all about different kinds of motors and how they operate.