STEP3PPI - Problems & Question

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STEP3PPI - Problems & Question

Postby jrg » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:47 pm

Hi there!

I have only very limited knowledge of engeering & programing, but decided to use the STEP3PPI to control 3 identical stepper motors. So far I can control (steps&direction) each of the motors using a simple software program written in VB2005. The board logic supply and motor supply is provided by a 2.5A DC PowerSupply. The steppers used are Nanotec ST5709S1208: 6.0V / 1.2A.

During the first test I somehow damaged the STEP3PPI. I'm not sure how, but it might be due to an error on powering up the board as described in the 'Operations Instructions' in the manual. Since the polarity on one of three channels (z-axis) didn't change, I assumed that I burned the corresponding L298N and replaced it. After the replacement of the L298N everything apparently works fine again, except for one important detail:

Without connecting the motors to the board I can apply the max. motor supply voltage (24V-36V) to TB1 and measure/detect this supplied voltage at each of the motor connection terminal blocks (TP2,TP3,TP4). Nonetheless, once I connect a motor to one of the terminal blocks, I can't raise the supply voltage to more than approx. 10V as the amperage immediately starts to raise to critical levels. That is to roughly 1.2A which is the limit of the motors,. At this point the motor starts to give a 'screaming' sound. When the motor is moving, I can observe on the DC power supply that the amperage falls and raises between the 1.2A and the specified peak current limit. That for, I assume that the H-Bridge on the L298N are working correctly. I'm also aware of the fact that stepper motors when connected but not moving draw current to 'hold' position.

Now though I can control the motors, I'm not able to drive them at full speed and torque due to the limited supply voltage I can safely apply. Right know I do not dare to apply the specified max. supply voltage the board can handle for fear of further damage to the STEP3PPI.

Is the above described behaviour 'correct' or should I look for further damaged parts on the board which could cause the observed problem with the raising amperage? And which parts might these be?

Does anyone else have experience with the STEP3PPI board and stepper motors and willing to share his or her experience with me?

I hope that somebody of you out there can help me with this. Any advice, help & hints are highly appreciated.

My best regards from Spain,

Jesus
jrg
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