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  1. #1
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    Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently building a 3D printer and choose Trinamic TMC2160 drivers offering 60V 4.5A. The Trinamic drivers are the go-to choice for 3D printing due to the Stealth Chop mode that is super smooth. They also have 'Spread Spectrum' mode which offers more torque and RPM but isn't quite as smooth as Stealth Chop.

    Attachment 444268
    Attachment 444270

    To compare I wanted to drive my regular CNC router from the new Trinamic drives and compare with my existing regular CW8060 drivers 80V 6A. These drivers are not that new and I think there are a number of similar designs going around with slightly different part numbers. Inside, the main micro-controller has no part number I've got a similar smaller driver that uses a 56F8013 DSP chip. Though this is a programmable item I Think, so it all depends on the code anyway.

    Attachment 444272
    Attachment 444274

    However, here is the comparison. All moving at 600mm/min. I was testing the Trinamic on 30V from an adjustable power supply which has a fan, with Stealth Chop you can hear the fan ramp up when the motor draws current more loudly than you can hear the stepper!!

    > CW8060 1/5 Micro-stepping - Google Video <

    > CW8060 1/125 Micro-stepping - Google Video <

    > Trinamic 2160 Spread Spectrum - Google Video <

    > Trinamic 2160 Stealth Chop - Google Video <


    Clearly, the Trinamic drivers are far smoother than even 1/125 micro-stepping. Particularly in Stealth Chop mode, but that does limit power output for the luxury.

    So it makes me wonder - are there more modern stepper drivers that offer a similar level of smoothness as this, but with 80V 6A? Have I always been missing smooth stepper drive just because I cheaped out and didn't buy genuine leadshine, or what?

  2. #2
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    with my existing regular CW8060 drivers 80V 6A.
    I don't know anything about those drivers, and I'm not an expert on the subject of drivers.

    I know from reading on the forums that the TB6600 drives, and ones similar to it, are garbage....there is always someone complaining about them or trying to get them to work. But I don't know anything about the CW8060.

    My personal view is to buy either Gecko, Leadshine, and now I am thinking about adding Trinamic to that list. It's just not worth the hassle, or risk, IMO, to get a bad driver.

    For my 3d printer project, I have decided on Trinamic for any stepper motors, but may use leadshine AC servo drivers as well. I'm not sure. Also, the Trinamic driver you are using was integrated by "Big Tree" but I might use a Duet 3 board with integrated Trinamic drivers. I don't know how this relates to the overall quality of the system, comparing Big Tree with Duet, when they both use Trinamic at the core.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    However, here is the comparison. All moving at 600mm/min. I was testing the Trinamic on 30V from an adjustable power supply which has a fan, with Stealth Chop you can hear the fan ramp up when the motor draws current more loudly than you can hear the stepper!!
    That's pretty cool! Nice comparison videos! Hey, you've got rotating nuts! Too cool! How fast can you push this machine? Have you thought about changing up the gearing to make it faster?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    Clearly, the Trinamic drivers are far smoother than even 1/125 micro-stepping. Particularly in Stealth Chop mode, but that does limit power output for the luxury.
    Smoother or quieter? I am guessing that the movement is better in general.

    Stealth Chop mode reduces the torque?

    What would be great to see is a comparison where, using the same power supply for each driver, you bump up the speed and acceleration of the machine to see which one starts missing steps first. That could be another good comparison of each driver / mode.

    Also checking the temperature of the stepper motors when idle or after a period of movement would be a good comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    So it makes me wonder - are there more modern stepper drivers that offer a similar level of smoothness as this, but with 80V 6A? Have I always been missing smooth stepper drive just because I cheaped out and didn't buy genuine leadshine, or what?
    Smooth or quiet? My understanding is the Trinamic drivers are the only ones that are so quiet. It might even be proprietary.

    The Gecko drives I have would sound like they were playing midi music when I used them. I am guessing Leadshine is in the same group. I think many people started buying leadshine because they are a bit less expensive than Gecko Drives, provide some different options, and have good reviews about quality.

    I only have experience with the G201X Gecko drives. And they are noisy, but not in a bad sounding way. It's like midi music, lol. I plan on using the ones I have on another project. I'm very happy with the Gecko drives. I never had any problems with lost torque, or loosing steps, or motor overheating, or anything negative. But they do make "music".

    I think Gecko is a fairly small company compared to Trinamic, and they have served the CNC community well for many years. I certainly don't have any complaints about them. And Mariss is a regular on these forums.

    But these newer higher voltage and current drivers from Trinamic might be a game changer. Particularly when it comes to driving Nema 23's, and not just Nema17's common in 3d printers and other small machinery, like photocopiers. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Trinamic drives you bought cost $20 on Aliexpress? That's about 1/3 to 1/5 the price of a comparable Leadshine or Gecko product.

    Some music played on stepper motors, just for fun (not my video, I just found it):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yEuYGodNLo

  3. #3
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    The CW8060 is not a super cheap item, so I guess it's not total rubbish.

    https://www.cnc4you.co.uk/Stepper-Mo...tepping-CW8060

    In terms of reliability they have never missed a beat and I've run my machine pretty hard over the years. Trinamic ones seem like a bargain in comparison. Wish they did even higher voltage ones!

    I'm sure the CW8060 will drive faster than the Trinamic just because they run 80V and 6A, while the Trinamic is 60V 4.5A max.

    I think the sound and smoothness is the same thing since what we are hearing is the steps of the drive signal. The steps of the signal approximate a sine wave and with higher micro-stepping that approximation gets closer, hence smoother sound with higher micro-stepping. Ideally we want a perfectly smooth drive signal and resulting smooth rotation (or as close as it can get). Even with a perfect drive signal there will be torque fluctuation due to the design of stepper motors, but I think the results of the Trinamic drives show we are nowhere near getting the max potential from these systems.

    The Duet board does use the (almost identical) Trinamic TMC5160, but this chip and the TMC2160 is not like some of the less powerful chips that is all integrated in one case. It is designed to be used with external power transistors, thereby allowing the designer to scale the systems power (max of 20 amps at 60V). That's why the Duet, although using the same chip, is only rated at 4A 32V. You will really struggle to drive a Nema 23 with only 32V.

    Oh, I get about 8000mm/min while still being super reliable. I was running 10,000mm/min but found occasional step losses over time. I don't think it really matters though, since I usually don't cut faster than 4000mm/min. The main advantage is avoiding whip on the long ball screws. Not really necessary on that shorter axis to be honest.

    Also something is not perfect with the nuts, I think either the ball nuts are worn or some part of the rotating nut assembly is slightly non-concentric. I need to investigate it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Hi Sash - Where do I buy the Trinamic drivers or at least look at their specs and costs? Do they have to be paired to their motors or can any motor be used? Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteeng View Post
    Hi Sash - Where do I buy the Trinamic drivers or at least look at their specs and costs? Do they have to be paired to their motors or can any motor be used? Peter
    I bought them from the Big Tree Tech store on AliExpress. However you can learn most from the Trinamic datasheet for the chip.

    Aliexpress seller - Home

    TMC2160 Datasheet - https://www.trinamic.com/fileadmin/a...et_Rev1.06.pdf

  6. #6
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    The CW8060 is not a super cheap item, so I guess it's not total rubbish.

    https://www.cnc4you.co.uk/Stepper-Mo...tepping-CW8060

    In terms of reliability they have never missed a beat and I've run my machine pretty hard over the years. Trinamic ones seem like a bargain in comparison. Wish they did even higher voltage ones!

    I'm sure the CW8060 will drive faster than the Trinamic just because they run 80V and 6A, while the Trinamic is 60V 4.5A max.
    There's a difference between cheap and inexpensive. LOL.. I'm suggesting the Trinamic drivers may be inexpensive but not cheap. Apologies if I cast any negativity on your CW8060's. I don't know anything about them really. Does that make me a driver snob?

    I think part of it comes down to motor choice. You may be able to source a motor that will run better on the Trinamic, even though it is running at a lower voltage.

    Also, the max current only applies to low RPM, so at high RPM you can't draw the same current. That's my understanding, and it's a generalization. So for a given Nema 23, the overall performance difference between 4.5 and 6 Amps (max available) might not be that much, or anything, when the weak point in performance is often trying to decelerate the machine when you are already at a higher RPM. Of course, it depends on how the machine is geared and other factors. You know what, that's just a general understanding that I have, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    I think the results of the Trinamic drives show we are nowhere near getting the max potential from these systems.
    I agree it's a potential game changer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    You will really struggle to drive a Nema 23 with only 32V.
    That is exactly what I was thinking, and why I was so happy to see the link you posted to the ones you bought. I may end up buying the same ones, which is one reason why I'm so interested in your threads.

    I could still use a Duet 2 or Duet 3 board in that case, with an expansion board for the external drivers being run at a higher voltage.

    Now I'm not so sure that I need the higher voltage on all my axis.

    The Duet 3 board can go up to 32V but they only recommend using 24V input due to back EMF.

    But if you look at this graph for a Leadshine Nema 23:

    Attachment 444332

    You can see that the difference in available torque at a given RPM isn't that much between 24V and 48V. Now there may be some other factors here, like better maximum angular acceleration, or something like that at the higher voltage that I'm not seeing. And that has me wondering.

    I'm also wondering about power usage, and if running at the lower voltage might be a more efficient solution for a machine that may be running for several days at a time. Especially for the Z axis motors.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    Oh, I get about 8000mm/min while still being super reliable.
    That's decent. Your tests were shown at a much slower speed, so I was curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    The main advantage is avoiding whip on the long ball screws. Not really necessary on that shorter axis to be honest.

    Also something is not perfect with the nuts, I think either the ball nuts are worn or some part of the rotating nut assembly is slightly non-concentric. I need to investigate it.
    That's still pretty cool that you pulled it off. Many people want to do it but never end up making it work. Is it your own design?

  7. #7
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by NIC 77 View Post
    Apologies if I cast any negativity on your CW8060's.
    No worries I didn't take it that way. I just meant they are certainly better than TB6600.

    Also, the max current only applies to low RPM, so at high RPM you can't draw the same current.


    That is exactly what I was thinking, and why I was so happy to see the link you posted to the ones you bought. I may end up buying the same ones, which is one reason why I'm so interested in your threads.

    ...

    But if you look at this graph for a Leadshine Nema 23:

    Attachment 444332

    You can see that the difference in available torque at a given RPM isn't that much between 24V and 48V.
    Inductance is basically just resistance that increases with frequency making a upward trended curve. You can consider that the motors resistance increases as the speed increases. You probably remeber Ohms law; voltage * current = power. We get that classic triangle of relationships.

    Attachment 444620

    Take an example of a driver with a maximum output of 24V and electronic current limiting to 5A. At low RPM the motor has low resistance so 24V is easily enough to push the full 5A through the motor until current limiting kicks in.

    As the RPM increases the motor has higher resistance. At some point 24V is no longer enough to push 5A through the motor we see torque begin to drop as RPM increases.

    If the motor has low inductance (read low resistance at speed), it will not require such high voltage to push the same current though it. In the graph above I think it suggests the driver is reaching the electronic current limiting point with lower or higher voltage.


    That's still pretty cool that you pulled it off. Many people want to do it but never end up making it work. Is it your own design?
    I can't claim the fame for that, it was designed by a guy on MYCNCUK.com

  8. #8
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssashton View Post
    Inductance is basically just resistance that increases with frequency making a upward trended curve. You can consider that the motors resistance increases as the speed increases. You probably remeber Ohms law; voltage * current = power. We get that classic triangle of relationships.

    Attachment 444620

    Take an example of a driver with a maximum output of 24V and electronic current limiting to 5A. At low RPM the motor has low resistance so 24V is easily enough to push the full 5A through the motor until current limiting kicks in.

    As the RPM increases the motor has higher resistance. At some point 24V is no longer enough to push 5A through the motor we see torque begin to drop as RPM increases.

    If the motor has low inductance (read low resistance at speed), it will not require such high voltage to push the same current though it. In the graph above I think it suggests the driver is reaching the electronic current limiting point with lower or higher voltage.
    Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense.

    I think the available torque at 24V would be good enough for my purposes using those low inductance motors.

  9. #9
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Italian made Lam Technologies DS1076 will give up to 90 volts 6 amps https://www.lamtechnologies.com/Prod...=EN&idp=DS1076
    Their DS1078 will give you 160 volts 8.5 amps

    I have some DS1076As I am in the process of installing. These accept AC input up to 65 volts which will give about 90 volts to the drive but there is no need for a rectifier on a toroid power supply.
    Probably the best place to buy is at
    https://www.mechapro.de/shop/Schritt...tufe::206.html
    but I bought mine from the Australian distributor. I don't think they have an agent in the US.

    Don't forget to buy the programmer!
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  10. #10
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Italian made Lam Technologies DS1076 will give up to 90 volts 6 amps https://www.lamtechnologies.com/Prod...=EN&idp=DS1076
    Their DS1078 will give you 160 volts 8.5 amps
    Do you think this DS1078 will give higher resolution or better result compare to common chinese cheap stepper driver eg. DM860H ?

  11. #11
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by asuratman View Post
    Do you think this DS1078 will give higher resolution or better result compare to common chinese cheap stepper driver eg. DM860H ?
    I'm certain of it. But I need to get them installed to confirm. I have seen a plasma gantry video running 50 metres/sec on 2 amp nema 23's that uses them. I've got onto some Sanyo Denki NEMA 24's which seem perfect for our machine on paper and they should pull 5.0 m/s^2 acceleration to 19 m/min on a 90 volt power supply! Thats over 0.5 G! Plus I can use the smaller 3 amp DS1073's with them as they are only 2 amps.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  12. #12
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    Re: Comparison of two drives and advice?

    Hello.

    I currently use JMCs 2DM2280 step drivers which among other benefits include the power supply internally. Their operation is rather smooth and quiet when compared to my previous selection, CWDR06CA which also had the benefit of including the power supply internally as well.

    While they both can be set by the external switches as in regular drives, the 2DM2280 gives you access to more parameters through an external programmer or an RS232 communication link. In my case I have not needed to tangle with the internal configuration. A total of 22 parameters can be fine tuned.

    In any case much of the final behavior of the motors relies on the motors themselves. I have noticed that different brands while advertising similar products when actually installed do not behave the same. Some are quieter than others while some are smoother. Some even vibrate as if no shaft balancing had been done.

    I hope this information is useful to someone.

    Regards.

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