Find The Right Motor Controller for your Motor...

Got a motor in mind?

If you have already chosen a motor for your application then you should have a good starting point with the electrical specifications of the motor. It is always best to choose a controller which has more power than the motor rating as using a controller with less power can often result in damage to the controller and will also not get the full mechanical performance range from the motor. Once you have looked at the motor drivers which meet your electrical requirements it is then time to think about which motor controller features you require.

Not chosen a motor?

 If you haven’t chosen a motor why not read out FAQ post on Choosing A Motor. This section is designed to highlight some of the most important issues which arise when choosing a motor and will then lead on to how to select the right brushless motor controller or stepper motor controller for your specific application.

Case study: Zikodrive ZDSP Stepper Motor Controller VS Zikodrive ZD2 Stepper Motor Controller

 For this example, let’s assume you have picked a small NEMA 23 stepper motor which outputs 0.65Nm torque and requires an input current of 1.5A at 12v. Both the ZDSP Stepper motor Controller and ZD2 Stepper Motor Controller can handle this power level but they have different features which may have an impact on your choice. The ZDSP offers microstepping up to 1/16th microsteps whereas the ZD2 Stepper Motor Controller can go up to 1/128th microstepping. The ZDSP Stepper motor Controller features a 24 bit speed resolution whereas the ZD2 has a 20 bit speed resolution.

In practice the key to making the right decision is to prioritise the performance features which are most important to your specific motor control application. If you needed exceptional positional accuracy and smoothness from your motor then the ZD2 Stepper Motor Driver would be the most useful. However, if finding and maintaining an accurate speed was the most important factor then you would be better with the ZDSP Stepper Motor Controller.

Are there any physical restrictions which could impact on your choice of motor controller?

You will hear us say this a lot but never forget to check the physical sizes of a stepper motor controller or brushless ESC and think about how this might impact on your application or how you might fix the controller in its particular location. Some controllers such as the ZD Series Stepper Motor Controllers have been designed to be mounted onto specifically sized stepper motors but other controllers may have been designed to be mounted ‘in line’ or fixed in DIN Rail Casings.

In addition remember that certain controllers can need heat sinking or clear air flow around them so make sure you have enough space to achieve this. If in doubt you can always give us a call and select option 2 on the initial menu to talk to someone in our technical team.

Conclusion – First think about basic power requirements then the control features you need in a motor controller

Electrical and power ratings are fundamentally the most important factors. After that, think about what key performance features you are looking for from a motor controller. If you are looking for some practical examples of how to match stepper motor controllers to NEMA 17 and NEMA 23 stepper motors then why not view some of our stepper motor packages?

Categories: Brushless Motor Controller FAQs, Stepper Motor Controller FAQs
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