A micro controller or stepper motor controller can be used to activate the drive transistors in the right order, and this ease of operation makes unipolar motors popular with hobbyists; they are probably the cheapest way to get precise angular movements. For the experimenter, the windings can be identified by touching the terminal wires together in PM motors. If the terminals of a coil are connected, the shaft becomes harder to turn.
A stepper motor is a polyphase AC synchronous motor (see Theory below), and it is ideally driven by sinusoidal current. A full-step waveform is a gross approximation of a sinusoid, and is the reason why the motor exhibits so much vibration. Various drive techniques have been developed to better approximate a sinusoidal drive waveform: these are half stepping and microstepping.
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