Need a new A4988


I recently purchased a few Pololu A4988 driver carriers for my project from
However, the driver carrier was defective, and started sparking and died after 15 seconds of use. I contacted RobotShop, and they said before I am able to get a replacement, I must troubleshoot with Pololu via the forums, and get your permission for a replacement (as odd as that sounds), so here I am!

I am using a sanguinololu board, and I’m controlling Nema 17 stepper motors using these A4988s.
After soldering the 16 pins (8 on each side), I plugged the driver carrier into the proper socket on the sanguinololu board for testing and calibration (using the potentiometer), and brought the motor up to the same speed as the others (all controlled by their own A4988 carriers). After about 15-20 seconds of steady operation, the driver carrier started sparking and then died completely.
I took out the dead carrier, and replaced it with one of the other working A4988 carriers (just to test if it was the socket/sanguinololu board, or the pololu a4988 causing the problem), and all the other driver carriers worked fine with over 5 minutes of constant operation (in the same socket). I checked my solders under a magnifying glass, and confirmed with a beep test using a voltmeter, that there were no shorts. It was a defective board.

So where do we go from here? This project has a deadline coming up, and I need a replacement as soon as possible.


What’s odd about it? This isn’t a rhetorical question: I would like to know why the situation seems so strange to you. Just to give you the other side, most of the time someone has trouble with these, there isn’t anything wrong with the actual product, and in most cases where the product is damaged, it’s because of abuse. A retailer isn’t going to be an expert on each product, so they want you to talk to someone who is to better decide how to proceed. You distort the situation (or maybe it’s a translation issue) with the way you use words like “able to” and “permission”: you are free to buy more units. However, you want RobotShop to cover replacement costs, in which case their wanting you to check with the manufacturer shouldn’t seem that odd.

Anyway, we would normally just send you another unit. You can email us a copy of your invoice from RobotShop, or I guess you can point them to this thread if you are in a part of the world where you can get it quicker from them.

- Jan

Must be a translation error on my part. I wasn’t trying to distort anything. This is the first time I’ve had to contact the manufacturer, instead of the retailer replacing it immediately. Regardless, it’s not an issue, I’ll just send them an email with the link to this thread.