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Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 11:19 am
by semperfikurt
So I have had a lot of problems surrounding my stepper drivers. I had some failures early on and was in the process of upgrading to the dual X driver setup and it's been a total mess... all kinds of strange and violent results. Right now I have two different drivers on my rumba board and it's just a lot of moving parts and settings to figure out... LOTS of machine downtime. Also when I had it working my steppers ran REALLY loud, I tried adjusting the current but no dice. My thought is, since I am here and have it all taken apart, to just toss all of this out and go ahead and upgrade to some sweet new drivers which leads to my question...

What all is the lay of the land for driver upgrades? I have seen several types in several different versions and colors... how do I know which ones are best? and which ones will yield performance increases or quieter operation?

I am really frustrated with how long everything is taking to fix and at this point I am ready to just upgrade the hell out of everything so I can be done with it and make it run like a ferari.

so driver upgrades.... penny for your thoughts?

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 11:38 am
by razzle
My recommendation? Pololu A4988 Black edition. https://www.pololu.com/product/2128 Higher current, better heat tolerance, and quiet. Combine this with a high torque Extruder motor http://www.omc-stepperonline.com/nema-1 ... -p-59.html and filament skipping goes away. I have printed for over 20 hours straight with this combo.

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 12:49 pm
by semperfikurt
Yeah I was checking out your earlier post about this which was part of what intrigued me to start thinking about upgrading.
Would there be any advantage to swapping out the other steppers as well with this higher torque motor?

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 12:52 pm
by razzle
mrseadmon did it and seemed very happy. i have not done it as i have had no problems with any other stepper than the extruder. so i didnt see a need. but swapping all of the drivers is worth it just from a heat management standpoint. those original a4988s got really hot, even when i put heat sinks and a fan on them.
the new black edition runs MUCH cooler.

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 12:54 pm
by semperfikurt
what is the real difference between the A4988 and the DRV8825? I have found higher powered upgrade versions for both, what's the story between these?

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 12:58 pm
by razzle
my understanding is that the A4988 is an analog driver, and the DRV8825 is digital. Lots of people have had major noise issues with the DRV8825. I tried it and didnt notice more noise, but it didnt resolve my skipping problems. But going to the high torque stepper means that you exceed the rating of the original A4988. I believe that the DRV8825 can handle the increased current, but i just decided to buy the new A4988 black since it is pololu's response to the limitations of the original one. YMMV.

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:41 pm
by semperfikurt
I am guessing since you have this setup on your machine that the extra length on the extruder stepper wasn't an issue as far as clearance goes? I was checking out mine, and it seemed like it would be okay but I wasn't sure about when the extruder assembly closes on the homing switch.

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:39 am
by razzle
nope, no problem there. You may have to grind the flat on the shaft a little further down to get the wheel in the right place as the flat doesn't go all the way down. but it was a quick fix with a dremel or file. And i cut the wires shorter and put a connector on to hook into the board.

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:41 am
by mrSEADEMON
I buy new TMC2100 driver. When I back to home. I send the report.

Re: Stepper Driver Comparison for upgrade

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:22 pm
by jd_3d
I've heard good things about the TMC2100! From what I hear they make the Series 1 run really quiet. Please post your results once you get them and let us know how hard it was to assemble the drivers.