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Trinamic Motor Controller


#1

Hello,

Does Pololu have any plans to offer a Stepper Controller based upon the Tinamic TMC5130, 40 or 60 series controller/driver chips?

Best,

Mike


#2

Hi, Mike.

We have no specific plans to do anything with those drivers at the moment. Can you tell me what features you like about them? Are you looking for something like a Tic Stepper Motor Controller based on those, or something else?

- Ben


#3

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the reply.

I like the ability to use the features of these Trinamic chips to help subdue vibrations in the linear rails I use (THK KR15, KR20 and KR26) for a macro imaging system I’ve developed and continuing to evolve. I want to reduce the time between capturing images and now must wait for the motor/rail/camera/lens vibrations to subside which are a consequence of moving the camera/lens a short distance, usually 3~50 microns. Some of my image sessions capture ~6000 individual images and produce a single final rendered image of ~20,000 by 15,000 pixels (300MPixel) and will going to 30,000 by 20,000 (600MPixel). Now I must wait quite a few seconds between images, and thus the overall session is very lengthy! Also like the ability to quench the audible noise from the motors at certain micro-step sizes.

Since these chips have a micro controller builtin, it seems interfacing to them is almost as simple as the superb TIC stepper controllers you offer (I have 9 TIC-500s, and 5 of your DRV8825 drivers, plus some others).

Best,

Mike


#4

Thank you for the additional information; that sounds like a very interesting application! What are you using currently in your system?

I see that Trinamic already makes breakout boards for TMC5130 and TMC5160 (I am not familiar with the TMC5140 and I don’t see that listed on Trinamic’s site). What are you looking for that these boards do not already offer?

By the way, in case you aren’t aware, we recently discovered an issue with our Tic T500 controllers. If your units are the original tic03a version, we can arrange for free replacements if you email us with your order information.

- Ben


#5

My system is comprised of 3 different setups, one vertical, one horizontal and one which can configured as both vertical or horizontal. I’m using THK KR20 and a KR26 equivalent linear rails with 400 step motors (NEMA 17) for driving the camera/lens (Nikon D850 or D800E or D500) with custom lens configurations. I use 2 THK KR15 linear rails with 200 step motors (NEMA 11) to move the subject (silicon chips we design). A Raspberry Pi 3B + was selected as the main control computer and Tic-500 as the motor controller/drivers. You can see some of the setups below, including the Tic-500s. Note that I (mawyatt) mention the Tic-500 often, and very favorably!!

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38353

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38511

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38512

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38548

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38604

Here’s a link that shows an early test image of a silicon sliver from a broken silicon wafer. Be sure to download the last image " Another S&S Test Image of Old Silicon Wafer Sliver" to see the full resolution

http://img.gg/10oj9Jm

I have images much better than these simple test images, but they are proprietary.

Best,

Mike


#6

Hi Ben,

“I see that Trinamic already makes breakout boards for TMC5130 and TMC5160 (I am not familiar with the TMC5140 and I don’t see that listed on Trinamic’s site). What are you looking for that these boards do not already offer?

I didn’t directly address your question, “what the Trinamic boards do not offer?” I’m using the USB interface on the Tic-500 and would prefer to continue to use USB which the Trinamic boards do not offer.

Best,

Mike


#7

It seems like you could just get that with a USB-to-serial adapter. Are you just looking for a single board that combines an adapter like that with a Trinamic driver, or is there some additional functionality you would be looking for?

- Ben


#8

Trying to keep things simple on the hardware and software side, so yes a single board solution, or better yet a 3 axis control board with USB interface would be ideal!!

Have you done any evals with the with the Trinamic TMC5130? I’m really interesting in seeing if they can reduce or eliminate the motor/rail movement induced vibrations of the rail/camera/lens to a level where I can substantially reduce waiting times.

Best,

Mike


#9

We haven’t done much with Trinamic drivers yet, so I’m not sure what you can expect. If you decide to try it, you might start just with a separate USB adapter and Trinamic’s basic eval board to see how it works for you. I would definitely be interested to hear your results.

- Ben


#10

Hi Ben,

I’ve been having a devil of a time with the Trinamic TMC5130, 5160 and new 5161. Basically not much luck at all, and they, Trinamic, haven’t been particularly helpful either.

At this point I’m considering abandoning these and possibly looking at another alternative. What I’m trying to do is eliminate/reduce movement induced vibrations and noise with the optical imaging setup while still maintaining precision and speed.

The Tic-500 works very well, and really no complaints (I have a bunch of the Tic-500s!!). However, they do cause some sounds when the stepper is moving sometimes, which may be related to exciting the system mechanical resonances.

I’m using the Tic-500 with 8 micro-steps now, with a 12VDC motor supply and typical NEMA 17 Wantai 42BYGMH810 or similar 400 step motors (2.4a) and run the running current at ~1a (these usually drive THK KR20 linear rails). Do you think that the new Tic-249 would work better since it has 32 micro-steps and would the ADMD mode potentially help?

Best,

Mike


#11

Hello, Mike.

It is hard to say whether the Tic T249 would be better or worse for your application than the Tic T500. The finer microstepping resolutions and ADMD might help, but I have also noticed that with some setups, the TB67S249FTG driver on the Tic T249 can produce bumpy movement because an offset in the current levels it produces causes an abrupt change in current whenever a coil current changes sign. You might consider getting a Tic T249 for one of the axes of your system to see if it makes a difference. If you do try it, please let us know how it goes for you.

–David


#12

Hi David,

Thanks for the reply. Any kind of “bump” would be really bad for what I’m trying to do. Guess I’ll keep trying with the TMC devices, have made a little more progress which is somewhat encouraging.

Best,

Mike


#13

Hi David,

I’m not sure I can get the TMC devices to work the same as I have the Tic devices. I’ve been able to get them to run my steppers very smoothly and quietly (impressive performance), but interfacing with them is not compatible with the USB that I’m using with the Tic. I’m not good enough a coder (actually I’m terrible!) to get a compatible interface as I have with the USB Tic, so even though they do work well once you get everything in order (not as simple as the Tic I might add), interfacing is the hang up for me.

So I’ll stay with the Tic-500, and maybe consider trying the Tic-249 since they should be almost a “drop in” replacement for the Tic-500.

Could you provide more details on the Tic-249 “bump” you mentioned?

Best,

Mike


#14

Hello, Mike.

I used an oscilloscope to look at the coil current as a function of time for the Tic T249 while the motor was moving. I was powering the Tic at 18 V, driving a low-resistance, low-inductance motor (#1474), and had a relatively low current limit configured (800 mA). I tried both 1/8 microstepping and 1/32 microstepping. I noticed that when the coil current steps to or from zero, the magnitude of that step was significantly larger than the steps that occur in other nearby steps. This corresponds to the motor turning by a larger angle at those moments, which results in periodic bumps that you can feel. There is one zero crossing of the coil current per full step, so if you know how many full steps per second you are taking in your application, you could calculate the frequency of the bumps.

I found that increasing the coil current is one way to improve the situation, but decreasing the supply voltage makes no noticeable difference.

–David


#15

Hi David,

Thanks for the reply and information. That could be a problem since I usually run some of the the motors around 990ma, and if you can feel it, then it’s certainly enough vibration energy to cause potential issues. Think I’ll pass on the Tic-249 for now, especially since I’ve already spent well over my budget now for the project. I’ll probably use the Tic-500 and maybe try and configure a means to dynamically alter the acceleration and deceleration parameters “on the fly” to help.

How would you rate the Tic-500 from the current waveform and overall “smoothness” standpoint? Is there another Tic you would recommend based upon my needs?

Best,

Mike


#16

I am not aware of any issues with the current waveform of the Tic T500. It is hard to say if any of the other Tics might be better for your application.

–David


#17

Hi David,

Do you see this kind of behavior that happens with the Tic-249 with your driver boards that use the same or similar Toshiba diver chip?

Best,
Mike


#18

Also, has Toshiba had any comments on this? I would think if this is directly “driver chip related”, it could have an impact on many potential uses.

Best,
Mike


#19

Hello, Mike.

I have not specifically tested our TB67S2x9FTG carriers to see if they behave the same as the Tic T249 in this way, but my expectation is they would. I have not seen anything from Toshiba about this, and we have not contacted them about it.

–David


#20

Hi David, Ben,

I’ve been able to get the Trinamic TMC-5130 working finally. Here’s a link to some of the details in video. Need more time to “tune” the setup, but basically the 5130 allows lower noise and vibration while achieving equal or greater velocity than the Tic-500 with the MP6500 chip. It also seems to induce less resonate effects with the motor/rail. Very impressive results so far, with exception to getting it finally working!!

I like the way the Tic operates utilizing USB, so you might consider a version of the Tic with a TMC-5130 chip, since this has no USB support.

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39396

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39428

Best,