Started 25th January 2019
Testing the TMC 2130 drivers
At the end of 2017, the TMC 2130 drivers seemed the next thing for 3D Printing. The cheapest way to get these were boards from China, which seemed to have been designed for some other purpose. Intricate soldering and tinkering were needed, but they did work.
My experience is that the motors are a lot quieter with the TMC drivers, but they seemed to lack torque. The most interesting thing about them is "Stall Guard" which potentially could replace limit switches. I did see this sort of work, but for me the TMC were not a big win.
After a while the printer stopped working due to a loose connection and since I was in a hurry I put the old drivers back. This left me with three TMC 2130s and the question were they damaged, how to test them.
This is how to test them using the Nano CNC shield. I installed the Arduino library "TMC2130Stepper by teemuatlut", this comes with an example program found on the menu entry TMC2130Stepper->simple. In the "simple" program change the defines at the start to:
#define EN_PIN 8 #define DIR_PIN 4 #define STEP_PIN 7 #define CS_PIN 10 // Y+
The enable, direction and step pins are connected by the shield. The driver under test is in the Z axis socket.
The SPI bus connection requires four jumper wires:
CS pin 10, Y+, connects to driver CS
MOSI pin 11, Z-, connects to driver SDI
MISO pin 12, connects to driver SDO
SCK pin 13, connects to driver SCK
12, 13, Y+ and Z- are marked on the shield.
The "simple" program causes continuous motion.
Installing TMC 2130 drivers
There's not much to add to the list of links below. The first two photos show the original drivers and the last two the modifications (remove a link, bridge two sets of pads).
Photos showing how I extracted the SPI signals from the LCD interface on my RAMPS based printer.
I removed the existing socket from the "smart adapter", replaced it with one with long pins, and made a small board to plug onto the pins and supply the signals to multiple connections.
Links for information on TMC 2130 drivers