EasyDriver, stepper motors and overheating

Hi everyone.
i’m using some stepper motors, 12volt power supply and the EasyDriver board assembled ( http://schmalzhaus.com/EasyDriver/ ).

with version 4.4 of the board, everything is ok.
but (with the same arduino code, and i try out different arduino board and different motors, even different wires and breadboards) with 4.3 board…
after 30 seconds the motors begin to click and to have a not-fluid movement.
i think is due to some kind of overheating problem.

i tried this:
make the motor run for 5 seconds, use sleep pin in the easydriver board for let it cooling down for 6 seconds, run again.
in this way… the motor is always fluid and regular.
i’ve also seen that if i let the motor run (clicking) for more than 1 minute it give problems to serial: if i open the serial monitor window or i try to upload some sketches on the arduino board and it give me SerialNotFound exception.

i think that schematics are right: i share the same ground on the breadboard, i use a vin power and 12 volt power supply and computer and power supply are in the same power strip.
anyway, with the latest easydriver board (the one with a plastic mini-potentiometer and not with a little iron screw for adjust the power of the motor) everything is ok.

has anyone experienced something similar?
what can it be?
what can i do?


I have the some kind of the same problem! Using EasyDrive 4.3 with a 18V powersupply and the Arduino shield powered with a 9V block-battery. After some time (also round about 30 seconds) of running the motor, it runs into trouble and does´t run "smooth", but begins to make some small breaks in movement. Same experience with the temperature of the driver-chip from the easydrive.

Does anyone have an idea? It would be great if someone can handle some tips. Thanks!

You can put heat sinks on the controller chips, and/or you can aim a blower fan at the chips to keep them cool.

I had problems similar to you, after adding heat sinks and a fan everything now works with no problems.

Good luck!

We need to know details to be able to help - which motors (link to datasheet is always good), ditto for the actual motor driver shield (there are many many such shields, we cannot guess which you have).

If you are overheating things then you must should immediately and figure out the problem, or you'll just burn things out. Don't just experiment till the magic smoke escapes.

I have worked with the EasyDriver quite a bit, and yes without a heat sink they will get hot quite quickly. You shouldn't be able to smoke the part because they have built in overheat protection that ratchets down the power until things cool down. My guess is that you are running into this protection and that is causing your issues.

I would add some sort of heatsink to the large chip on the EasyDriver and see if that solves the issue. You might also try lowering the supply voltage as much as your application can stand. Motor overheating can also happen, but it is usually slower due to the larger thermal mass of the motor. Finding some way to sink the heat away from the motor might also help prevent future issues.