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Let's Talk Stepper Motor Drivers



This week we are going to talk about stepper motor drivers.  I will bring as many as I can find, which could be 10 or more.  Gecko's, Leadshine DSPs, Pololu, Panucatt, Allegro, TI and others. I even have a three phase closed loop driver :-0.

Special attention will be given to the Trinamic TMC261.  This is a new-ish chip that has a lot of cool new features.  The most interesting is it's sensorless load detection.  This means the driver can sense the load on the motor.  This allows it to do a few new tricks.  One is to dynamically adjust the current.  You can set the maximum current quite high, but it will only go that high if the load on the motor requires it.  This keeps the driver cool, yet allows it to power through higher loads and accelerations.  The other trick is stall detection.  If the motor totally stalls this is sensed and a fault pin is activated.  This is being used by people to eliminate end stop switches.  Rather than using pots and pins to set these values, you use and SPI bus.  The driver also has a very high voltage range for a chip this size of 9-60VDC.  Stepper motors love higher voltages.


I have a eval board we can play with.  This board has a motion controller on board and can take the steppers up to ludicrous speeds.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xeBbsqNr0g

The CNC Club is a monthly meeting of Chicago area people passionate about learning, building and using digital fabrication equipment.  It is held at the Pumping Station One Hackerspace.  It is open to non members.  We also have a Google Group called CNC Build Club.

Each meeting we talk about, build, train on and use CNC machines.  We have 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers and vinyl cutters.  Come out and join the fun.

Please RSVP, but don't be concerned about the low RSVP count.  Unfortunately most people don't respond, but we usually get between 10 and 30 people per week.


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  • Mike D

    Hello All, I think I'm in the right place. What should one bring to a project night? Pencil /paper, Laptop, a cnc? I currently don't have any home CNC's However I'm planning on buying a Ultimaker2 3D printer in the next week, and possibly a 6040 cnc router shortly there after to help out with my ever expanding list of personal hobby projects. I do have a small Grizzly lathe, and Grizzly mill I'd love to convert to CNC as well. I'm guessing 3D printing and home CNC will now be added to my list of hobbies. I do have a fair amount of experience with 3D modeling in AutoCAD (its my job) and I have worked with full scale industrial CNC lathes and routers for several years as well. However Beyond AutoCAD and playin on the internet I'm not much of a software or computer Tech guy, and I know basically nothing about electronics. I'm hopefully here to learn as much as I can about both and apply them to my hobbies and projects. do you think this is the right place for me? thanks Mike

    July 29, 2014

    • Bart D.

      Bring anything cool you have. I am bringing a few machines.

      August 4, 2014

  • John

    does anyone know of a 3d printing or cnc club in Wisconsin i moved and missed every cnc meeting in the city :(

    July 9, 2014

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