View Full Version : Recommendations for mid-range stepper driver?

11-02-2015, 10:03 AM
My experience with stepper drivers is limited to the tiddly little Pololu single-chip low-power drivers that my 3D printer uses to drive Nema17 motors, and the M752 (to be replaced soon by EM806) drivers used on my CNC router. I'm now working with a small group on a joint project that will probably need something in the middle, maybe driving Nema17 motors but with a bit more current than needed for the 3D printer, or maybe a size up from that. The obvious choice (and keeping the costs down) seems to be a Chinese TBA6600-based or similar device. I'm guessing at the moment that something like a 24V supply would be enough but there are still a number of question marks about the hardware design. I am also a bit worried about the reputation of these eBay-sourced drivers and the poor sealing of the magic smoke containers they include.

Does anyone have any recommendations for something that is worth considering? I am looking at the software we are going to be using, probably something like Raspberry Pi driving an Arduino-based grbl controller, and I am going to need something to build a testbed for the software mods that will be required, hence need for a driver before we have all the other design details hammered out.


11-02-2015, 10:26 AM
I looked at the TB6560 & TB6600 based boards but didn't fancy the gamble.
Probably not in your budget but I'd go for a separate driver set-up.
I've just done a little test project with a UNO/GRBL and 3 x AM882 drivers running NEMA 23's, worked perfectly.

11-02-2015, 10:35 AM
This project will have a moving table with maybe 150x150mm movement, XY only (no Z). I doubt if there will be a lot of mass in it, and movement will be slow and in very small steps. I can't help feeling that the AM882 class of driver is a bit OTT!

I've had a poke around in the grbl code and it does look very interesting.

11-02-2015, 12:32 PM
Yes of course, the AM882 is probably overkill. But something like the CW5045 from CNC4YOU should work just as good.
Until you have an idea of whether a pretty much maxed out NEMA17 at around 1.7amps/0.44Nm will work for your application or move up to NEMA23 it's difficult to recommend a drive. If you go for something like the CW5045 you will at least have a little scope on the motor choice. If the NEMA17 will suit, running them from a gShield on the UNO should be more than adequate.

11-02-2015, 12:50 PM
Perhaps it might be worth considering upgrading the M752 now and using those drives.