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StepStick Driver Summary

The following table covers most of the popular StepStick drivers.  For the current rating the two approximate values I provide for each are based on a combination of experience and guess-work and are given in Amps (as opposed to Amps RMS.)   Check all figures against the device's datasheet, I make no guarantee of accuracy. 

Use the brands and versions we specify in the notes below, if present, for the best chance of success!

Mode Switching *1 256X
Quiet Mode Current Limit Heat-Sink only, Max Voltage
 TMC5160  *2
256X SPI Y Y 2.0A, 3.0A 10 to 35V
 TMC2226  *3
256X Legacy or UART Y Y 1.5A, 2.0A 5.5 to 29V
 TMC2209  *3
256X Legacy or UART Y Y 1.5A, 2.0A 5.5 to 28V
 TMC2208  *5
16X Legacy Y Only 1.2A, 1.5A 5.5 to 36V
 TMC2130  *2
256X SPI Y Y 1.0A, 1.5A 5.5 to 45V
  LV8729 128X Legacy N N 1.3A, 1.3A 9.0 to 32V
 S109        *4
32X Legacy N N 1.8A, 3.0A 10 to 47V
 A4988      *5
16X Legacy N N 1.0A, 1.5A 8.0 to 35V
 DRV8825  *5
32X Legacy N N 1.5A, 2.0A 8.2 to 45V


*1 The Config.h file settings AXISn_DRIVER_MICROSTEPS and AXISn_DRIVER_MICROSTEPS_GOTO are used to configure the microstep mode used for tracking and the microstep mode used during slews.  During slews this allows using a larger physical movement of the motor shaft for each step transition signaled (from OnStep) to the driver and so lower step rates than would otherwise be required during slews.  Note that OnStep can change microstep modes like this only when the electrical connections exist to do so.

*2 For TMC2130 and TMC5160's, there are several models, and depending on your OnStep board, some may not work. See the TMC2130 and TMC5160 page for details.

*3 For the TMC2209, if using stand-alone mode (OnStep or OnStepX) make sure that you get the Watterott or the FYSETC TMC2209 V3.0.  Other TMC2209 versions/brands do not have the Spread pin enabled and therefore cannot switch from stealthChop to spreadCycle modes when slewing.  If using UART mode (OnStepX only, and usually requires slight driver modifications, etc.) the easiest drivers to use are the FYSETC TMC2209 V3.1 or the FYSETC TMC2226 V1.1 (newer and untested!)  These have the required 1k Ohm resistor built-in on the TX pin and optimal logic side pin order so they can work with existing controllers with minimal modifications.

*4 For the FYSETC S109 v1.1 driver it is necessary that you cut off the pin labeled VDD since it behaves as an 5V output.

*5 The A4988, DRV8825, and TMC2208 are not generally recommended except as focuser or rotator drivers due to their low cost, since there are better options.  One exception to this is when using "tin-can" permanent magnet stepper motors, for example when converting an Vixen w/MT1 motors to (very slow) goto.