How can we get feedback from a nema 34 stepper motor?

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How can we get feedback from a nema 34 stepper motor?

Usually we use CTs to check the status of a motor, but stepper motors are usually small dc motors, and hall effect sensors do not scale down well. The alternative method that is used in automation quite often is an end switch. Rotary actuators will often have sets of NO/NC contacts that change state at preset degrees, say 5 or 85 degrees. Some also offer an analog output back to your controller, so after an initial command of 10Vdc to the analog input terminals, the actuator will produce a steadily rising analog output back, depending on the current position of the actuator as it rotates to full.

So a series of cams on the stepper motor's output shaft and momentary roller switches placed at intervals around it will give you a set of binary shaft positions as feedback.

You want a more fluid, analog value? You can also set an IR transceiver aligned with a reflector on the output shaft, and then use a counter ic or accumulator logic to determine the number of rotations or speed of rotations. Get extra fancy, put a gradient in the IR reflective band along the axis of rotation, and now an IC can tell you current shaft position, speed of rotation, AND direction of rotation. This could be the basis for a very precise electronic differential transmission.

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