Stepper Motor Test Controller

I am trying a project that will use motors to drive the movements of an animatronic instead of my normal pneumatics that I have been using for the last 17 years.  But I wanted to build up some test joints to prove out the joints and motors before I finalized a design.  To do this I decided I needed a small device to drive stepper motors for the test arms.  So was born the Stepper Motor Test controller.  Lets get building.


Circuit board fresh from the manufacturing.  Time to start adding parts starting with the shortest and working to the tallest ones. As this is just a one off build, it was not worth having solder paste stencils made.  so for this one i am just putting small dabs of solder paste on the smd pads.  once the parts are placed I can use a fine tiped soldering iron or my hot air reflow gun to melt the solder and affix the parts
Using tweezers and a magnifying lamp I have places all the smd parts.  time to heat things up post heating.  note the solder paste is all melted and flux is around most of the parts.  now is a good time to do a little cleaning, as once the taller parts are in place it will be much harder to clean up the extra flux from the paste.
With the smd soldered I moved to the thru hole parts going headers then terminal blocks with the tall caps last. Now I like to do some testing to make sure everything is all good.  I start by applying power and checking voltages at various points.  The that done it was time to inset the pre-made modules.