Connecting Stepper Motor Windings in Series or Parallel

Circuit Specialists sells a large number of stepper motors that can be connected in various configurations. The driver being used to control the motors will dictate the wiring connections required. If a unipolar driver is being used the stepper motor must have center-tapped windings available. This could be either a 6 wire or 8 wire stepper motor but cannot be a 4 wire type. If a bipolar driver is available any stepper motor may be used 4,6, or 8 wire types. All of the drivers available from Circuit Specialists are bipolar types and therefore may be used with any configuration of stepper motor.

A stepper motor with 8 wires may be connected in various configurations for use with a bipolar driver. The individual pairs of windings may be connected in series or parallel. Parallel connection will provide maximum speed of operation since the total inductance value will be less than a single winding. Series connection will provide maximum torque since the full driver current will flow in each winding.

To illustrate the various connection schemes, I have provided drawings indicating the proper connections for an 8 wire motor. I have chosen the 85BYGH450C-03 stepper motor for illustration purposes, but the connection scheme will be similar for any 8 wire stepper motor (although the colors may be different).


George Leger has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, worked in private industry pioneering surface-mount technology and in government research labs for twenty years, published several papers on surface-mount technology, co-authored papers published in national symposiums on accelerator technology, was past president of SMTA and an adjunct professor at the community college level, holds a patent, and is a certified microchip design partner, serving as a consultant to many companies developing electronic circuits.

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