Hardware miniE v2

The miniE v2 is based on the Arduino DUE. This is because the computing power and the memory the DUE has to offer is needed to do the sort of things the miniEngine v2 is designed for. The mineEngine v2 can control two motors at the same time and thus two stepper-motor are required to do so.

Here is a list of major components needed to set up a miniEngine v2:

  • 1x Arduino DUE
  • 1x ITDB02-2.4E Display (320×240 Pixel, SD-Card, Touch) from ITEAD Studio – this is also available from other distributors – check your Search engine
  • 1x miniEngine 2 Arduino shield (can be bought on www.airiclenz.com)
  • 1x or 2x Stepper Motor Drivers (BigEasyDriver is recommended and supported)
  • 1x or 2x Stepper Motors (up to 2A per phase)
  • 1x 7V-15V Power supply capable of supplying up to 4A

This is how it looks like when fully assembled and connected to two motors and a DSLR (without an enclosure):

Bildschirmfoto 2013-12-20 um 22.32.12

Here is a view from the bottom side that shows how the BED-board (which was designed to be a nice place for two Big EasyDrivers) is connected to the bottom side of the Arduino and also how it is connected (electrically) to the main shield:


This is the whole system including the main shield and all the components needed to make the magic happen:

Assembly Poster

And finally the bill of material for the shield:

  • 11x 20kΩ Resistor
  • 5x 1kΩ Resistor
  • 3x 120Ω Resistor
  • 1x 4.7kΩ Resistor
  • 7x 100nF Capacitor
  • 1x 5A Rectifier Diode
  • 1x 2.5mm Stereo Jack
  • 1x 3.5mm Stereo Jack
  • 1x 2-Channel Optocoupler (LTV826)
  • 1x Differential Bus Transceiver (SN75176B)
  • 1x 2-Channel Op-Amp (LM358)
  • 1x Hex Inverting Schmitt Trigger (SN74HC14N)
  • 2x Tactile Switch
  • 2x 18×1 Male Pin Header
  • 4x 8×1 Male Pin Header
  • 1x 20×2 Female Pin Header
  • 1x 3×2 Female Pin Header
  • 1x Rotary Encoder with Press Function (PEC11)
  • 1x Limit Switch Connector (Generic 2×3, THT, 2.54mm / 0.1″ pitch header)
  • 1x Trigger inputs & alternative Camera output (Generic 2×3, THT, 2.54mm / 0.1″ pitch header)

55 thoughts on “Hardware miniE v2

  1. Hi Airic!
    I appreciate your great work! I had much fun building up and using the first system – one can do really cool stuff with your controller 🙂
    I just wanted to ask if you are completely sure, that a modular-plug (and cable) resists to a current of about 2A?
    I think it could resist or it could just burn. Further on, if i remember correctly, interrupting the connection between stepper and the driverchip, kills the driverchip by a huge inductive load.
    Therefore, a burnt cable or plug or simply unplugging the stepper while the system is running could destroy the complete electronics. Correct me if i’m wrong 😉

    • Hello Bo,

      thank you for your feedback!
      The modular jacks I am using are rated to 1.5A per contact (4 contacts: 2 phases with 2 wires per phase). My motors take up to 1.2A and I never had any problems but you are right – the current draw needs to be kept in mind. I will add a comment regarding this to the documentation.

      You are also right that disconnecting the motor when powered can destroy the motor driver.

      Have fun using the system!

      • Thanks for your fast reply!
        Just another question: Are you using a standart phone cord or a selfmade cable with the plugs to connect stepper and driver?

    • Sure you can but I cannot guarantee that everything will work! There were other people that used other displays and had problems with them. Please check the forum for further question.


  2. Triggering the (Canon) Camera doest work. When I plug in the cable into cam, it direct releases. This happens even unpowered. Doesnt happen unpowered without Arduino board. Any suggestions?

    • This sounds like a wrongly wired cable (did you buy one or built it yourself?) or some other shorts or cross connections on the board. It is also important that you set the camera type to “Canon” in the software.

      Please use the forum for further questions / answers.

  3. hey I just finish the first project its awesome, doing my homework for the second one not till i fix some bugs with the first one
    thank great job Mr Lenz

  4. Hello Mr. Lenz,

    Very nice project and well documented!
    Can you pls recommend stepper motors?
    What do you advice as power supply? Battery I mean,

    Best regards, Allard

  5. Hi, Airic I have a problem with my newly built MiniEngine2, BTW I tried registering on the forum but it will no let me, system seems to be down?

    I assembled all components carefully and loaded software, the board powers up and I get the blank lit up screen but nothing happens from there, after a while the screen goes black and when I press the start button it lights up again, could this be a harware issue?

  6. Hi How Can I buy MiniEngine 2 Arduino Shield.Pls Help me ?

  7. Hello Airic,

    are there any plans to extend the project for giga panoramic pics? I guess it could be implemented easily?
    It’s a great project, thanks for sharing your knowledge

    Have a great day

  8. Hi Airic,
    I would like to know the function of the 3,5mm. stereo jack, referred to as COM.
    I did not find any reference in the documentation, and also in the forum I have not found anything about this feature.

    Best regards,

    • The COM-port is for interconnecting different miniEngines together. This allows for more than 2 motors or multiple cameras. Right now it supports daisy chaining up to 15 units.
      Hope that explains it,

      • …Now it’s all clear.
        Thank you so much, Airic..!

  9. Are there any miniE version 2 available ?

    Also, there was a talk about possibility of a version 3 with smaller boards and more power for running larger motors and faster drivers etc. Any news from that front ?


  10. Hallo Airic,
    die Frage meines Vorgängers interessiert mich auch. Arbeitest du noch an der miniE oder hast du für Dich das Projekt eingestellt?

    Grüße Michael

  11. Where can I buy the miniEngine v2? Doesn’t appear on the shop

  12. I need the Sprint from Engine v2

    Its Not in teh Shop

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