I finally got around to figuring out how to hook up the A4983 stepper motor drivers. Apparently it doesn't work at all in full step mode, but in quarter, eigth and sixteenth step mode works fine. I have no idea why. The EasyDriver 4.2 worked without me having to fiddle with the microstep settings, but since it probably can't handle the juice I went for the A4983 carrier boards from Polulu instead.
I wrote a simple program for the Arduino microcontroller platform to deliver pulses to the A4983. Nothing fancy, just a program that can parse commands that are delivered over a serial connection and flip the DIR pin and pulse the STEP pin on the drivers.
Tonight I am going to start on the parallel port interface to the stepper drivers. The idea is to mount the stepper drivers on 0.1" female headers on a PCB. But I need to figure out where the headers go, the microswitches for configuring microstepping etc.
Anyway, here is a video from the first test.