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I'm driving a large stepper motor via a GeckoBoard G213V and arduino UNO and I have that mostly working fine. However, I'd like to 'release' the stepper so it can swing freely.

There's two reasons I want to do this:

1) (Most important) I want the rotated object to naturally swing back to the 0 position thanks to gravity. 2) The motor gets hot - I'd rather not juice it when it should just be sat at 0.

Anybody know how I can do this? I'm using the AccelStepper library so a solution compatible with that would be ideal.

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btw - there really should be a 'stepper motor' and/or 'stepper driver' tags available. Be great if an admin could create and add such to this post. – ConfusedNoob Aug 13 '14 at 3:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

From the documentation:

TERMINAL 7 Disable
This terminal will force the winding currents to zero when tied to the step and direction controller +5V.

The DISABLE input on the G213V is optically isolated and requires logic “1” to DISABLE and logic “0” to ENABLE the drive. Once it is disabled, the motor windings are unergenized[sic] and the motor freewheels. (emphasis mine)

So, feed the disable input a high.

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Thanks - trying this now and it doesn't seem to work. I wired the DISABLE terminal to pin 5, called pinMode(5, OUTPUT) and whether I digitalWrite(5, HIGH or LOW) it always free wheels. Any ideas? – ConfusedNoob Aug 13 '14 at 4:19
Does it stop freewheeling if you disconnect it? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Aug 13 '14 at 4:21
total n00b failure, pin 5 is used by accelstepper. Moved to 7 and all is good. AccelStepper also has setEnablePin, disableOutputs and enableOutputs methods. Easy! Since the gecko has a DISABLE pin I had to call setPinsInverted(false, false, true) to invert the enable pin. – ConfusedNoob Aug 13 '14 at 4:34

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