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I want to drive a stepper motor which I've extracted from an old Epson printer. I am able to recognize that the motor is bipolar and i found the coil polarity by testing it with a multimeter. However how do I find its voltage rating? I forgot to mention I didn't find any datasheet online which is why I'm asking this question. The stepper motors are em-462 and em-463. Thank you

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Presumably you still have the printer so you can measure voltage rails and possibly identify chips that drive the motors. That's how an engineer would do it (note the title of this site). Without that information an engineer would look for a data sheet. Without any decent information. an engineer would throw them in the trash and buy new ones. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 28 '16 at 12:16
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Steppers don't really have a "voltage rating", it's more a power/torque rating (which is based on the resistance of the coils and how much it will heat up in operation - and it's duty cycle - and then, what ambient temperature it will be in!) Generally, the smaller a stepper is, the less voltage is used, to keep the heat at a reasonable level. But this is not always true, and some "odd" steppers exist.

You could simply drive it from a controller and variable bench power supply at say, 5v for awhile, and record the temperature increase above ambient. In general, most electric motors are spec'd for operation up to ambient + 60°C for continuous use. So if you tested this particular motor, and found the temperature rise to be 20°C, then the volts could be pushed a little higher, perhaps 6v, 6.5v, even 7v, which will also increase the available torque.

If you find that 6.5v is the maximum this particular motor will run at continuously, but you still don't have enough torque, then there are two options. Either get a bigger motor, or reduce the duty cycle (how often it is "on" versus "off") and continue to increase the volts. For the longest service life, keep the maximum temperature rise as low as possible.

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