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Using TIC controllers with external drivers


#1

Hi,

I like the TIC controllers as they provide multiple interfacing options for steppers, I wonder if there is a way to use the TIC board without the onboard driver? In other words, if I want to interface a Nema34 6A stepper with an external driver over USB or Analog, Can I use the TIC controller in this scenario?


#2

Hello,

Yes you can use the Tic to control a stepper motor with an external stepper motor driver. When the Tic’s control mode is set to anything other than “STEP/DIR”, you can use the STEP and DIR pins as outputs. However, you will still need to supply power to the Tic’s VIN pin, or else the Tic will report a “Low VIN” error and not attempt to drive the motor. You can read more about the different control methods by going to the user’s guide under the Resources tab of any of our Tic Stepper Motor Controllers.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

-Tony


#3

Thanks!
I found what you are saying on page 61 of the user guide under Step/Dir mode. I recommend that this piece of info should be more clear on the product page as it brings the TIC controller to more applications.

On page 61:
"Alternatively, when the Tic’s control mode is set to anything other than “STEP/DIR”, you can use the
STEP and DIR pins as outputs to control an external stepper motor driver. However, you will still need
to supply power to the Tic’s VIN pin, or else the Tic will report a “Low VIN” error and not attempt to
drive the motor


#4

Thanks for the feedback. That information is also listed on the product page under the “Features and specifications” section. Do you have any suggestions on making it more prominent (e.g. what could we have done to help you find it more easily)?

-Tony


#5

:slightly_smiling_face: Well, I think the most common reason for anyone to need an external driver with a Tic controller would be the current rating and/or motor voltage, the second reason would be using closed loop steppers that come with their drivers or using an integrated stepper and unlikely but possible is to use a Tic with a CNC servo driver. So I think it would be more helpful if it shows under the short description here https://www.pololu.com/category/212/tic-stepper-motor-controllers orin the comparison table that the current and voltage range for the stepper can be changed if connected to an external driver or a similar message if you get what I mean. What I am saying might be stupid as the info is already on the product page as you said but believe me, I didn’t catch it the first time I read it.