Speed can be varied by either changing the voltage or pulsing the motor. Most computer controlled DC motors are pulsed. Pulses of a fixed voltage are sent to the motor, usually by an Electronic Speed Controller or ESC. A pulse of 1.5 ms causes no motion. Wider pulses cause faster spinning in one direction. Shorter pulses cause faster spinning in the opposite direction. Eventually, an overstressed ESC stops pulsing and turns one wire on and one wire off, depending on the direction.
One way to distinguish the center tap (common wire) from a coil-end wire is by measuring the resistance. Resistance between common wire and coil-end wire is always half of the resistance between coil-end wires. This is because there is twice the length of coil between the ends and only half from center (common wire) to the end. A quick way to determine if the stepper motor is working is to short circuit every two pairs and try turning the shaft. Whenever a higher than normal resistance is felt, it indicates that the circuit to the particular winding is closed and that the phase is working.
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