ZD10LCD 10A Stepper Motor Controller with 1/128 microstep resolution, 4 button user interface & LCD screen


ZD10LCD 10A Stepper Motor Controller with 1/128 microstep resolution, 4 button user interface & LCD screen



The ZD10LCD 10A stepper motor controller which has a few added extras that give it the wow factor, most notably, an LCD screen and four button interface. The ZD10LCD is available with a standard programme but is utilised best when set up with a custom programme.

A stepper motor controller and PLC in one.

The ZD10LCD stepper motor controller with LCD display screen is capable of operating in a large number of applications including pumps and process control applications and laboratory applications. The onboard processor allows the ZD10LCD to be setup in a number of ways – either as a real time simple stepper motor controller or using more complex calibration features. If you’ve got an application where you need to run a handful of sequences at the press of a button the ZD10LCD can be setup to do so. We can modify the company name, programme names and anything you require to get the unit working for you and delivering brand consistency.

PLEASE NOTE: if you have a specific application, project or programming requirement in mind then please use our contact form or call to discuss your requirements as we can pre-programme our controllers to suit a wide range of requirements.

For full technical details please download the datasheet.



Brushed DC Motor FAQs

Hoe complex can the programming of the standard range of Zikodrive stepper controllers or brushless motor drivers be?

Why should I use a motor controller from Zikodrive?

One of the main advantages of using a Zikodrive programmable motor controller is that our motor controllers are fully programmable. We are continuing to work on our standard customer software Zikosoft but until this is released we can customise all of the settings you require or help you use third party systems to programme our controllers.

Quick set up of the basic parameters of your stepper motor controller or BLDC motor driver

At its most basic, we can set up a stepper motor controller with basic settings such as current and speed. This is particularly useful for those customers who require a motor driver that runs in a set speed range or who just need a motor driver which will accurately and repeatedly run at a set speed. Our aim here is to simplify things as much as possible for our customers by setting up the basic parameters on the stepper motor controller or brushless motor driver before you even use them.

Stepper motor drivers and brushless ESCS that make it simple and easy for you

The central aim of this type of programming is to deliver motor drivers which are set up and ready to go for the specific application that you need. Many of our customers have previously used stepper motor drivers or brushless ESCs where they have to try and manually set up specific speeds using either a pot or other mechanical methods (including breaking resistors off the PCB!) but with Zikodrive Motor Controllers we can preset exact parameters into your motor controller so that you can simply take it out the box and plug it in….

Once you have confirmed that you are happy with everything we will then assign a part number to enable you to re-order the exact pre-programmed controller that you need whenever you need it.

This is an option which has been taken by a number of UK and European companies who we now regularly supply with standardised Zikodrive hardware with bespoke firmware for their specific applications. It is a proven path for getting customised motor controller performance at a stock controller price.

More complex programming of your stepper motor controller or BLDC motor driver ...

As useful as the simple parameter setting programming can be in a range of applications it is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be achieved with Zikodrive Stepper Motor Controllers or Brushless ESCs.

For more technically advanced and demanding motor control applications we can set up motor controllers to run specific sequences. These sequences can then be triggered with a signal input or can be setup to be modified using external switches or pots. Always bear in mind that we can set up any motor controller to operate with a range of external user controlled inputs such as buttons, pots and more.

If you want to get a sense of the level of complexity that can be achieved then a good place to start is with the iD Stepper Motor Controller specifically developed for Boxer Pumps . This features a significant amount of complex programming in order to incorporate automatic pump calibration, dosing monitoring, a full user interface and second tier calibration interface and a whole host of other features.

Conclusion - Complete programming of stepper motor controllers and brushless motor drivers to meet your project's needs

Just ask! If you have a specific requirement that you would prefer to be directly programmed into a controller rather than operated by UART or similar protocol then we are probably able to help. Products such as the ZD4 Stepper Motor Controller are designed to be customised and so we will need to work with you to develop your specific application.

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How to replace a brushed DC motor with a stepper motor

An emerging trend in the motion control industry

If you want to replace brushed DC with stepper motor then this is perfectly possible but there are one or two things you will need to be aware of before attempting this.

Many companies are increasingly replacing DC motors with brushless DC motors and brushless motor controllers in a wide range of systems.

You can find out more about this by reading our article on replacing brushed DC motors with brushless motors.

However, swapping DC motors to stepper motors and controllers is less common. That said, as with lots of things in life and in engineering, just because something is not common, does not necessarily make it a bad idea. There are a number of specific applications in which replacing a brushed DC system, (particularly a geared DC system) with a stepper motor and controller can be a very sensible choice


Why should I replace a brushed DC motor with a stepper motor?

The simple benefits of doing so are that you will improve the lifespan of the system you have (stepper motors only have bearings as parts that can wear out as opposed to brushes).

Stepper motors also improve the range of performance options available (they can turn a fixed number of degrees easily).

Replacing geared DC motors with stepper motors and controllers in dosing applications

 What is more common is to replace geared brushed DC motors with a stepper motor in applications such as pumps, lab equipment and similar applications where positional accuracy can be improved vastly by using a stepper motor and stepper motor controller.

Many applications were addressed in years gone by by using a geared DC motor and timing as a means of dosing and measuring –  however developments in stepper motor controller technology such as on the ZD4 Stepper Motor Controller means that huge advances have been made in the accuracy, flexibility and performance of such systems.

Of equal importance, the cost of such technology has dropped considerably in recent years, making advanced performance options affordable to a broad range of applications.

Whereas 10 or 20 years ago a programmable stepper motor controller would have cost a fortune, these days it is much less.

The result of this trend is that many people and companies have started to look at replacing geared brushed DC motors with stepper motor controllers as a means of improving the performance of the system and also as a way of adding more features.

Don't forget to do your homework

The key to being able to replace brushed DC with stepper motor successfully is making sure you know the performance characteristics and key specifications of the motor that you are wanting to replace and then being able to make an appropriate match with a stepper motor and controller. If you are not sure how to find out the performance characteristics of the motor (and gearbox) that you have you can start with the part number of the motor and research that. Key characteristics to look for are max and nominal RPM and torque.

Once you have these details you then need to source an appropriate stepper motor with the right performance characteristics. Don’t forget to check the torque speed curve of the motor to make sure it will deliver the torque you need at the speed you want (if you are not sure about this you can find out more about this by reading our guide to understanding torque speed curves). If you have any questions at all about implementing this system then you can always contact us and talk to one of our engineers about your specific project or application.

What next?

If you have an existing project where you are looking to replace a DC motor with a stepper motor and controller you could start by having a look at our online shop where we have a range of stepper motors, stepper motor controllers and recommended motor and controller packages.

If you have any questions about anything that you have read above please feel free to contact us to discuss.

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Brushless Motor Controller FAQs

NEMA Frame Sizes, what they mean and typical torque speed ratings by size

The frame size of motors is used for both stepper motors and brushless DC motors but it is used most commonly with stepper motors as a useful shorthand for power and torque.

Always remember that (within the NEMA sizing system) the length of the motor will vary but the NEMA frame size simply refers to the diameter of the motor face.

Most commonly these faces are square (for example the ZDN2319 which is a square faced 1.9Nm NEMA 23 stepper motor) but in some cases they may be circular.

Frame sizes are split up into NEMA (National Electronic Manufacturers Association) ratings which are a useful shorthand for motor sizes.

Diameter isn't everything when it comes to stepper motor power

Changing the stack length will generally not impact on the speeds that you can get but it will have a major impact on the torque (turning force) that you are able to achieve.

For example the ZD2N2318 and ZD10N2318 stepper motors are both NEMA 23 motors (therefore 57mm diameter) but the ZD2N2318 is 42mm long whereas the ZD10N2318 is 104 mm long.

The difference in torque between the 2 motors is 0.6Nm for the ZD2N2318 and 2.4Nm for the ZD10N2318. The difference in stack length of a motor with the same NEMA rating has therefore quadrupled the possible torque.

The stepper motor controller you choose matters!

Equally the stepper motor controller that you use will have a major impact on the mechanical performance you are able to achieve using the motor. If the controller is not able to deliver more power than the motor can handle then it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve the maximum possible mechanical performance from the motor.

As an example of this, our stepper motors with integrated controllers have higher powered controllers the bigger the motors get.

See the table below for an overview of frame sizes.


What next?

If your interest in motor sizes was purely academic then we hope we have helped. If you have any questions about this please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to help.

Alternatively if you are looking for a motor and aren’t sure which is best for your application then you could start by having a quick look at our standard range.

We offer a range of stepper motors of different sizes which are available in geared or standard format.

As always, if you have any questions about choosing the right motor or the pros and cons of a long stack NEMA 17 versus a short stack NEMA 23 (for example) then you can get in touch with us via online chat, phone or email.

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Stepper Motor Controller FAQs

What is microstepping and how can it be used to improve stepper motor performance?

Understanding microstepping is as simple as this ...

A typical stepper motor has 200 steps to complete a 360 degree complete rotation (hence 1.8 degree stepper motors such as the ZDSPN17059). Full step mode would therefore enable a total of 200 positions in the 360 degree circle. Microstepping allows you take this further…

Microstepping is where a stepper motor controller is driven in a way that enables it to divide these steps up into further steps (or microsteps). These start at half steps but can go as high as 1/128 microsteps with the ZD Series of Stepper Motor Controllers.

This means that each of the 200 individual steps that are built into the motor have now been divided up into 128 separate steps by the controller. This enables the combined motor and controller to stop at anyone of 25600 possible positions around the 360 degree complete revolution.

Microstepping does not just deliver improved positional accuracy...

When we first explain microstepping to some of our customers they assume that the main advantage of additional microstepping is that it delivers much greater positional accuracy for applications such as robotics or highly accurate dosing. However, there are a number of other additional benefits which can be derived from microstepping. 

These include quieter operation –  microstepping smooths out the drive signal going into a stepper motor by replacing the square wave step-step-step with a more smoothed out (finer resolution) curve. It is not a pure sinusoidal drive as might be seen on a sensorless brushless motor controller but the obvious analogy would be between very low resolution digital audio and higher resolution digital audio. This can lead to improvements in energy consumption and creates a more efficient package.

Remember microstepping is faster and when to think about using it ...

Don’t forget that, because microstepping is more energy efficient and uses smaller, more frequent pulses, it allows stepper motors to reach slightly higher speeds than they normally would. The trade-off here is that the torque of the motor is often reduced slightly as a result of this.

Based on the key points identified above it can be seen that the most appropriate applications for microstepping are those which either require exceptional positioning accuracy or those where energy efficiency and noise are important. In the majority of cases we would normally suggest using microstepping of some kind as it can usually lead to general improvements such as quieter and smoother operation but depending on the torque requirements of your project or application it is always best to discuss with one of our engineers first.


Using microstepping offers a large range of potential benefits depending on the nature of your application. From increased smoothness and positional accuracy to greater energy efficiency and speed. Why not browse our range of ZD Series Stepper Motor Drivers and see what they could do for your application today.

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What's the maximum speed I can get with a stepper motor?

It depends...

Generally speaking the top speed of a stepper motor is approximately 1000rpm. The exact speeds that are possible depend on the specific motor being used and the controller being used with it. For example it is possible to overdrive a smaller stepper motor with a higher powered controller but this will result in reduced life span and any of the benefits of doing so will largely be minimal in comparison to using a brushless DC motor at the rated speed. It is important to remember that the torque generated by a stepper motor is significantly reduced as the speed increases.

If you would like more information on torque speed curves and how they can help you choose the best motor for your project then please see What is a torque/speed curve and how does it affect what I need?

If you need to go above this speed but still require intelligent control of the motor you should consider a brushless DC motor and controller (brushless ESC).

Stepper motors have decreasing torque as the speed increases

A point which is often overlooked is the fact that the available torque from a stepper motor decreases significantly as the speed increases. This often means that in applications where the motor is under a certain load (which it obviously has to be as it is driving something) the max speed will be inherently reduced by the amount of load on the motor. This is why it is so important to understand the load that you need to place on the motor when choosing a motor.

I need a lower speed and a higher torque from a stepper motor

If you need a lower speed and higher torque to make your motor control project work do not forget that you can always use geared stepper motors. Gearbox ratios typically range from 2:1 up to about 50:1 and this can dramatically increase the torque available from the stepper motor (albeit at the cost of significantly reducing the maximum speed available from the stepper motor). For example, a typical NEMA 17 stepper motor with a ZDSP Stepper motor driver will be able to achieve 0.65Nm of torque. However, by adding a gearbox to this motor – such as in the case of the ZDSPN17B27-3 geared stepper motor and driver package this can be increased up to 3Nm.

Conclusion - Think about the key specifications that you need and then decide which motor and controller is best for your application

 The maximum speed of a stepper motor is dictated by a combination of stepper motor size, the type of stepper motor controller that it is being used with and also the specific application that it is going into. All of these factors need to be considered when assessing how much speed you can realistically achieve for a set application or package.

If you have any questions at all about this please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements with one of our engineers.

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