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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!

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


*1 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.

*2 For the TMC2209, make sure that you get the Watterott or the FYSETC V3.0.  Other TMC2209 versions/brands do not have the Spread Pin enabled, and therefore cannot switch from stealthChop to spreadCycle modes when slewing.  Also note that TMC2209 UART mode is NOT supported, we use these in standalone mode.

*3 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.

*4 The A4988, DRV8825, and TMC2208 are not generally recommended except as focuser/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.

 * The configuration file settings AXISn_DRIVER_MICROSTEPS and AXISn_DRIVER_MICROSTEPS_GOTO are used to configure these options:

  • On-The-Fly Mode Switching is where OnStep changes micro-step modes during a slew at high step rates.  In this mode of operation there are no lost micro-steps when switching modes.
  • Before/After Mode Switching is where OnStep changes the micro-step and/or decay mode, etc. (as supported by the driver,) before the slew begins and after the slew ends.  In this mode of operation micro-steps can be lost so if it must be used to switch micro-step modes it is best to switch between nearby micro-step modes.  For example 32X to 16X so at worst only 1 unaccounted for (32X level) micro-step may be lost or gained.