Stepper Motor Controller

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I found this circuit in my files. I don't know where it came from, but it looks like I photocopied it from somewhere years ago. I have been told that it came from "The Robot Builder's Bonanza", by Gordan McComb. Anyway, I thought that it should be fairly useful, so I decided to post it here. The circuit is very simple and inexpensive. This is good thing because most commercial stepper motor controller ICs are quite expensive. This circuit is built from standard components and can easily be adapted to be controlled by a computer. If you use cheap surplus transistors and stepper motor, the price of the circuit can be kept to under $10.


This is the schematic of the Stepper Motor Controller


Total Qty.
R1, R2 ,R3, R441K 1/4W Resistor
D1, D2, D3, D441N4002 Silicon Diode
Q1, Q2, Q3, Q44TIP31 NPN Transistor (See Notes)TIP41, 2N3055
U114070 CMOS XOR Integrated Circuit
U214027 CMOS Flip-Flop
S11SPDT Switch
MISC1Case, Board, Wire, Stepper Motor


  1. You should be able to substitute any standard (2N3055, etc.) power transistor for Q1-Q4.
  2. Every time the STEP line is pulsed, the motor moves one step.
  3. S1 changes the motors direction.

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Stepper Motor Controller
Monday, January 07, 2013 5:34:14 AM
I have checked the entire connection, but, I dont know why only 2 transistors are turning on, also no switching happens when i try to switch it. Any help regarding this would be highly appreaciated.
Stepper Motor Controller
Monday, July 09, 2012 2:38:27 AM
Hello,guys. I think all of you will be interested in a new simple stepper driver IC, THB6064AH, which is more superior than TB6560AHQ. Many guys have tested it ,and have good comments.
Stepper Motor Controller
Monday, June 18, 2012 2:25:51 PM
If you are finding it hard to complete your own designs there is a company called GPF Engineering that design low cost stepper drivers. Try the link ""
Stepper Motor Controller
Friday, June 15, 2012 10:25:52 AM
I have always thought steppers were too complex, but tried this circuit, using "some" diodes and 4401 transistors, and some stepper motor I have had for years (had 6 wires, checked with a meter and it matched the type used in this circuit). Wired it up, and it just sat there - duh - I forgot to provide a clock. So I wired up a 555 at some low frequency, then used it as the clock. The motor took off running perfectly when I turned it on!! Thanks for sharing!
Stepper Motor Controller
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:09:55 PM
i have symulated this circuit in multisim with the exact components and it does what the author says. according to the symulation first q4 high next q2 next q3 and last q1. only one at a time. to wire this to a 4 wire stepper you just need to connect the ouputs of the transistor of q3 and q4 together on 1 set and q1 and 2 on the other 2 leads i have to say a very simple but effective disign so thanx to the uploader
Stepper Motor Controller
Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:22:05 PM
I have also built the circuit and was having similar problems to others that have commented. two outputs go High while two stay low and they alternate. I believe this may be a bipolar stepper motor driver and not a unipolar driver even though it clearly shows a bipolar motor attached.
Jack W. Pulling
Stepper Motor Controller
Monday, December 19, 2011 2:03:33 PM
I have your circuit complted and in the debug stage. I have the or gate wired to the flip flop and the flip flop wired to leds. Problem is I have more then one led on at a time. And at each step it seems to be ramdom outputs. I have checked the circuit but I still feel I have a Problem. How should the flip respond to a pulse? Thanks Jack
Stepper Motor Controller
Monday, September 26, 2011 11:06:06 AM
This circuit is now in eagle with the PCB layout if anyone needs it.
Stepper Motor Controller
Monday, September 06, 2010 8:29:03 PM
I can't help but notice that in this circuit has the outputs Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. Looking at this schematic and probing the circuit the output in order is Q1, Q3, Q2, Q4. I'm having trouble getting my motor to work with this circuit and I did switch the outputs to the motors to match the output in order as follows: Motorwinding1-Wire1 to Q1 - Wire2 to positive - Wire3 to Q3 Motorwinding2-Wire1 to Q2 - Wire2 to positive - Wire3 to Q4 - Look for full step drive Does switching these wires make a difference in the motors function? It did end up working after I switched these wires.
Stepper Motor Controller
Saturday, August 28, 2010 2:11:06 PM
Brilliant demonstration schematic for logic commutated motor driving. Now while everyone is pushing their motor drivers here I might as well throw mine into the ring. It is built with a Toshiba TB6560AHQ and costs about $10 or so to make depending on where you get your parts from. Schematic: Board Art:
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