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Can I add TMC2208 Stepper drivers?


ist it possible to replace the stepper drivers to TMC2208 for noise reasons?
I know that I would need to change the direction of the cables and that I need to adjust the Steps of course. But is it possible from Hardware point of view on the Mini Gerbil board?



Hi Roy, we had some stepper driver compatible TMC2100s from eBay and they work great.

However you need to check whether the step driver is drop in compatible with the A4988.

Also you might have only a few micro step sizes available and probably need to remove one jumper under the step driver (there three jumpers to set the step size).

Since the MG is powered via the laser power supply (PSU), you need to be careful not to over power the laser PSU. It can only deliver 1A and when you go over it, one schottky diode blows in the PSU (can be easily repaired, $1 part). So no short circuit protect in the PSU.

The MG does have power protection on board but no guarantee  that it will protect the PSU from a high current thru the stepper drivers.

Then there is the possibility to tune the existing step drivers. Just turn the current pots down and you will see it becomes silent or less noisy. The pots are set on a default value to ensure that it works for every one.  If you tune the belt as well (less tight) then you will see it becomes less noisy (and grease the bearing with bearing grease, I do this on my Prusa i3's 3d printers to make them less noisy).


cheers, Paul

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Hi Paul,

thanks for the quick answer.
Yes, the TMC2208 are PIN compatible to the 4988 but by far less noisy as they interpolate to 256 Steps. What is different, will be the direction of the stepper turning, but this can be corrected by the $3 and $23.
My intention is not to increase the power for the stepper motor, I would set them up to match your values as they are working fine on my K40. Therefore they shouldn't pull more power from the PSU, but I also have an additional 24V PSU installed in my machine which I could use for powering up the MG.


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