I have a manual indexer that I would like to convert as a 4th axis. I would like to use it in conjunctions with other axises or as a standalone unit. I was thinking about a serial port connection with a driver so that I can connect it to the same computer that runs mach3 but use it (potentially) with a standalone program of its own (that I can write in VB to control the card)
Indexer is to spin 6" chuck so it is quite heavy.
So my questions are:
1/ what are the good choices for stepper motor
2/ I will need a driver as driver to serial interface cards I suppose any recommendations? Is that http://store.qkits.com/moreinfo.cfm/KTA-190 something I may be using?
If you can use USB instead of serial, the Teensy http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/ (an AVR dev board) is more capable than the board you linked to, although you would have to program it using C since it is not specifically made for controlling steppers. There is sample code to make it appear as a serial port to software on the PC. The code you would need to write would be reading the data coming into the dev board and turning that into the pulses/timing that is fed to the motor driver(s).
I'll plug my Canadian stepper motor site which may have a motor you're interested in: http://kineticstep.com