DRV8824 - 12V stepper advantages

I have a doubt about DRV8824 heating, depending on different steppers.

In this case, for the same torque, the stepper rated for 12V (SY42STH38-0406A) consumes only 0.4 A/Phase,
while the other rated for 4V (SY42STH38-1206A) consumes 1.2 A/Phase.

I would like to know if using that 12V stepper would cause less heat to the DRV8824 driver than the 4V stepper, with the only drawback of needing a power supply with higher voltage, or if there are more factors to have in consideration.

Best regards


The more current the stepper motor draws, the hotter the stepper motor driver will get. By using the 12V stepper motor, it should effectively lower the heat the driver produces. By the way, if you are using a 12V motor, you probably want to use a higher voltage to drive the motor. By using a higher voltage along with active current limiting, the current is able to ramp up faster, which lets you achieve higher step rates than you could using the rated voltage. It will also help when microstepping.

- Jeremy

Thank you very much for your answer Jeremy.
Best regards


By using the 4V or 6V motor on a 12V supply, you’re getting good performance out of them. When driving the 4V motor from a 12V supply it too should use only about 0.4A per phase, even though the current through the coils is three times that number!

I found a problem with the A4988 chip/driverboard with the lower voltage steppers: The inductance is too small. To prevent that from becoming a problem I needed to change the configuration a bit. So, my guess is that if you have a 12V supply the 4V or 6V steppers are going to be ideal. Chose the 6V one if you want to be extra sure you don’t run into the problems I had, chose the 4V one if you like to see if you can get that little extra bit of performance… As Jeremy says, you’d have to use e.g. 24V if you want to use the 12V stepper. But getting 12V (or 24V) might be easier depending on your situation.

Hi, rew.

I don’t understand what you mean by this; can you clarify?

While increasing the voltage increases stepper motor performance, I don’t think you have to use 24V with a 12V stepper motor. You just want to make sure you are using a voltage above the rated voltage so that the current limiting will work.

- Ben