NEMA 23 Stepper Stalling With Tic Controller


I’ve been running a Tic Controller (T834) successfully with a NEMA 17 motor for several months now and wanted to upgrade to a larger motor ( Pololu 1472). Only bench testing, not mounted to anything. Current is set to the right spec. No matter what step size, decay setting, acceleration, etc. I can’t get the motor to spin faster (roughly more than 60 RPM) without it vibrating more than it should and then stalling. I take it that this is “resonating” in the stepper motor world… Any way this can be avoided? Maybe the Tic (or this particular one) isn’t the right driver for this motor? Or is there another NEMA 23 that works better with the Tic?



There are many things that can contribute to the maximum achievable speed of a stepper motor. You can find some general tips in Ben’s post in this thread (although please note that the values he mentions are not specific to your stepper motor). Also, you can reference the pull-out torque curve in the #1472 motor’s datasheet to get an idea of what the motor is capable of. You can find that datasheet under the “Resources” tab of the stepper motor’s product page.

If you try some of those things and still cannot increase the speed, can you post more specific details about your setup? For example, information about your power supply and a copy of your Tic settings file would be helpful. You can save a copy of your Tic settings file from the “File” drop-down menu of the Tic Control Center software.


Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your reply. Since my post, I’ve moved on from the NEMA 23 motor and found a NEMA 17 with more holding torque that will do the job well, which is also nice since I don’t have to change out the bracket.

I don’t want to render the NEMA 23 I have as useless, so I continued to experiment and research on it. What I didn’t know was that NEMA 23 motors can’t spin as fast as the 17’s, which I wished I learned before buying. The application I’m using requires a high speed, which the 17’s can handle, just not the 23’s. And they seemed more susceptible to resonating; there are other driver boards that can reduce this allegedly, as well as installing a damper on the motor. I clamped a vise grip to the spindle which absorbed a lot of the resonating and I was able to achieve speeds MUCH faster than before. So it seems the NEMA 23’s seem to work better in other applications and installations than others.

Running the Tic off a 12V 10A power supply. Running in 1/16 steps with mixed 50 decay and Amps just under 1A. Max speed is 170000000 accel is 150000, which is a pretty slow ramp up, and even adjusting it slower still caused it to stall.

Please note that the maximum operating voltage of the Tic T834 is 10.8V, so you should not be using it with a 12V supply.

That being said, using a higher operating voltage than your motor is rated for allows the current to ramp up faster, which helps the motor achieve higher step rates. Since that motor has a rated voltage of 7.4V, your setup with the NEMA 23 motor would probably benefit most from a higher operating voltage. I would recommend trying something around 24-30V (or higher) for that motor, but if you are using the Tic T834, this is not an option for that particular setup. Something like the Tic T825 or the Tic T249 would be a better fit.

Please note that the “NEMA” size of a stepper motor only indicates the spacing between the mounting holes on the face of the stepper motor and does not necessarily have a correlation with its specifications. So, it is not always the case that a NEMA 17 motor will be able to step faster than a NEMA 23 motor.

As far as the resonance, in addition to the damping you added, you could also try adjusting factors such as the load on the motor, current limit, operating voltage, and step rate, all of which could have some impact on it as well.