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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Electronics > Gecko Drives > Gecko G540 stepper motor heat
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2021

    Gecko G540 stepper motor heat

    I build a CNC and use the Gecko G540 controller. I have solved the problem of the controller itself heating up but would like some input on how I can keep the stepper motors themselves from getting so hot. I was told that the controller keeps the stepper motors engaged while on and stationary, this causes the stepper motors to stay active and even while not moving, resulting in the excess heat. I was also told that this can be avoided by installing a 3K resistor between pins 1&5 on each 9pin output cable. This tells the controller to disengage the steppers while not in use. I am looking for verification on this method. Also to note I am using Mach3 software to run my equipment. Is it possible to change configuration settings in Mach3 to accomplish the same thing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Gecko G540 stepper motor heat

    Many stepper drivers have switches the adjust the power of the drive. g540 uses this resistor. Read the pdf in the Gecko website about resistor sizing.
    The drive will not turn off power to the motor. When the engage light is green they are powered. Estop will release power on all motors, which turns the indicator red.
    To reduce heat in the motor just size the resistor properly for the motor. Don’t use a 3k resistor on a nema 17 motor.
    Motors will get very warm which is normal

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Re: Gecko G540 stepper motor heat

    Hi Perch - Steppers have coils in them that are on all the time thats why they get hot. This is not a problem thats their natural condition unless smoke is coming out of the motor. Placing a resistor on the G540 is using that resistor as a current limiting device. You need to read the manual for the G540 and the other info that Gecko provide, they have very good documentation. I'm not a M3 user, but the gecko has a charge pump for this purpose. If the motor is not moving the current is reduced, reducing heat. But if the motor is being used to hold something like a Z axis then the reduction in current also means a reduction in motor torque and the Z axis could fall. I had a machine using a G540 in Qld Australia and its quite hot there. Never had the gecko get hot and I used it very heavily with 3.5A nema23s... But cooling any electronics is usually a good idea. If your machine is working then I expect the running temps of the motors is their normal temp. Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Re: Gecko G540 stepper motor heat

    I run my Vexta 5 Phase steppers very hot indeed, so much that it is uncomfortable to hold your hand on them, say 70C. I've run them like that
    for seven years. I do have heatsinks on them, and to be honest I do worry that they are so hot....but it does not seem to bother them.

    I have reduced the current output of my drivers from 1.4A per phase (rated) to 1.0A per phase in order to have them run a little cooler. You might have thought
    that would seriously reduce the torque, particularly at speed, however I run them at 2400rpm day in and day out without loss of steps.


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