I am able to drive the step motor by using wave_chain() method of the pigpio library. Now, I have to drive the servo motor with stepper motor at same time.

The documentation says that wave_chain() method will cancel the hardware_PWM() call. So If I use hardware_PWM() for servo controlling, while stepper is driving in other thread, I wont be able to drive the servo at the same time? Am I right?

If it is, can I run servo and stepper motor simultaneously ?

I see that there are also servo controlling methods in the pigpiod library. Are they cancels the waves created by wave_chain() ? Are these servo methods works well with wave_chain() method ?

Edit : I tried the drive the servo and step motor simulatenously. And while I am running at the same time, servo motor starts to jitter and missing steps. Sometimes it goes to the target position, sometimes not. When I comment the step motor drive methods, servo goes well.

Here is the code I have tried ;

#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <pigpiod_if2.h>
#include <pthread.h>

int pi;

void* servo_thread_f(void* arg)
    set_mode(pi, 27, PI_OUTPUT);
    set_servo_pulsewidth(pi, 27, 2500);

    printf("Servo starting\n");
        set_servo_pulsewidth(pi, 27, 2500);
        printf("1) Servo triggered up\n");
        // this sleep can be usleep(500000)
        set_servo_pulsewidth(pi, 27, 2000);
        printf("2) Servo triggered down\n");
        // this sleep can be usleep(500000)

void generate_ramp(int step_pin, int ramp0, int ramp1);

int main()
    // Global is just a extern struct that contains the global variables.
    pi = pigpio_start(NULL, NULL);
    printf("pi : %d\n", pi);
    set_mode(pi, 20, PI_OUTPUT);

    pthread_t servo_thread;
    pthread_create(&servo_thread,NULL, &servo_thread_f, NULL);
    int dir = 1;

        // go target position
        generate_ramp(20 , 3200, 1500);

        // change direction
        gpio_write(pi, 21, dir);
        dir = 1 - dir;

    return 0;

void generate_ramp(int step_pin, int ramp0, int ramp1)
    int wid = -1;
    int f = ramp0;
    int micros = (int)(500000/f);
    gpioPulse_t pulses[2] =  {{1 << step_pin, 0, micros},{0, 1 << step_pin,micros}};
    wave_add_generic(pi, 2, pulses);

    wid = wave_create(pi);

    int steps = ramp1;
    int x = steps & 255;
    int y = steps >> 8;
    char wave[7] = {255, 0, wid, 255, 1 , x, y};
    wave_chain(pi, wave , 7);

    wave_delete(pi, wid);

Is there something that I have done wrong? The raspberry pi, servo motor power and step motor power have common ground.

Edit 2 :

Compiled by : gcc example.c -o example -lpthread -lpigpiod_if2 -lrt

  • With just one thread, for example drive servos in the main thread, there is no problem.

  • I put a printf before servo pulsewidth command. When this printf executes, I see the message and the motor moving. But these print() messages does not seem frequently. Thats why I am thinking it is about thread scheduling issue.

  • With just one thread, sleeping with usleep(500000) or with a lower value like usleep(100000) for servo move up and down, there is no problem. Servos really does these movements fast.

  • I changed the sleep and target position. usleep to sleep(1) and decrease the distance between two positions. (edited the question also) But same problem still continues. But when I disable the stepper commands, there is no problem. Old usleep version also works without stepper driving.
    – tango-1
    Apr 16, 2021 at 21:50
  • Can it be about thread scheduling ? Since I am working on non-real time system, there is no guarantee that my servo commands will be executed at the right timestamp, Am I think right ? Maybe there are some another reasosn but this is my first guess.
    – tango-1
    Apr 16, 2021 at 22:00
  • I added the headers now.
    – tango-1
    Apr 17, 2021 at 9:10
  • I corrected the errors and ran the program. It seems okay to me. The servo signals are clean and change between 2200 and 2500 at regular inervals.
    – joan
    Apr 17, 2021 at 9:26
  • Thank you joan. So the problem is threading right ? if the signalling true.
    – tango-1
    Apr 17, 2021 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


I will assume you are using the pigpio Python module.

You are correct to say that hardware_PWM can not be used at the same time as wave_chain.

I suggest you use the set_servo_pulsewidth method instead. This method can be used at the same time as wave_chain and is stable enough for servo operation.

  • I am using pigpiod C interface. Is it possible with using C interface? since you said that you are assuming that I am using Python interface. Is it safe to call these servo and wave methods in different threads ? Should I care synchronization ?
    – tango-1
    Apr 16, 2021 at 3:22
  • Why not try? It would be the quickest way to find the answer.
    – joan
    Apr 16, 2021 at 5:20
  • You are exactly right. But in the documentation, I see that if I give wrong & too much pulses to the servo motor through servo methods, it can burn the servo. Thats why I was thinking the stepper and servo pwm signals can conflict and damage the motor. Thats why I am approaching slowly. Thanks for your help.
    – tango-1
    Apr 16, 2021 at 5:33
  • And you explicitly assume the language as python, so I think there is a difference behaviour between C interface and python intertace.
    – tango-1
    Apr 16, 2021 at 5:41
  • As a final comment I will point out that the Python module uses the C library via the pigpio daemon.
    – joan
    Apr 16, 2021 at 7:45

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