Stepper Motors for Chemistry

My research is truly a multidisciplinary adventure. I don’t mean a pseudo-multidisciplinary project, like a Chemist who cracks open E. coli and says they are probing the frontiers of Biology and Chemistry. I mean, you could put a list of science departments on a dart board and throw darts at it and it would make more rational sense than the fields I trudge through to get my research executed. For instance last month I wrote a materials science paper about metal oxide films with some of my fellow lab mates. The month before that we were tweaking polymers. This month we’ve been doing nuclear reactions, and this past week we’ve been doing some hardcore electronics.

To that end, we’ve successfully wired a stepper motor to actually step. This may sound trivial, but as you can see from the circuit board it was rather involved. The video is shown below.

That was yesterday. Today we got the stepper motor to take steps by making my computer pretend it was sending signals to a printer but it was actually talking to the motor. This was programmed through Excel! So, if you ever think your research is tough or that you have no idea what you are doing. Don’t worry, there is an other soul doing something radically different every month. I’m not sure where and when my Ph.D. will end, but it never ceases to provide a truly different set of problems every week!

If stepper motors don’t crank your shaft here is a video of puppy versus kitten action.

Mitch

Notes: The motor is from one of the syringe pumps. shhhhh…..

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