Here is one example, not cheap...
I have seen controller boards on ebay with a provision for jog buttons, maybe you could roll your own solution.
Does anyone know of an inexpensive way to drive a stepper for single axis positioning without using a PC? The application would be to position the fence on a panel saw using simple keypad input.
Google "555 stepper generator" and you will see all sorts of schematics for this purpose. You will have to figure out a way to change the direction with the keys. Speed will be adjusted via a pot. Very simple circuit, one IC and a couple of passive elements.
I used a variation of an LED flasher to generate steps from a 5 volt supply,
Direction from another switch on the supply and used a basic controller card kit for a bi polar motor that accepts step and direction signals, later I expande the same circuit to give variable speeds and also X,Y and Z outputs and with the printer cable connecting to the router can drive all three axes. Big problem is I cannot set it to travel any particular distance but as I only wanted to test the system for movement I did not worry about that. Total cost (for a single axis)was about $10 or maybe more depending on exchange rates at that time.
Although this is for a rotary table it still generates step and direction outputs.
Rotary table indexer
Warning: DIY CNC may cause extreme hair loss due to you pulling your hair out.
Thanks for all the replies. The rotary table thread comes closest to what I'm looking for. What I need mostly is the logic circuit that would take my input from the keypad and tell the pulse generator what to do. Sorry if I can't make myself clear, I'm pretty new to all this.
Here is what I'm trying to achieve: http://www.tigerstop.com/BASIC.html
I can handle the mechanical design and could implement it using PC based CNC software but it seems like it would be overkill for such a simple application. All I really need is to move a fence to a given position. Could be it's not that simple and I need to stop being cheap and buy the system
PICs, PICAXEs, Stamps, and Aruduinos, Oh my!
Look at the little microcontrollers like the rotab uses. They're real simple and easy to program. They won't be the absolutely cheapest, probably, though some are pretty cheap.
PS Here is another rotab project:
Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
Im looking into a single axis non-pc control system as well.... needs to be interfaced with limit switches & have the ability to adjust feed rate. has anybody been successful at a similar setup to this since the last post? im a newbie & any info would be appreciated.