L298N Stepper Motor Driver quickly gets hot, motor starts jittering

I have an L298n stepper motor driver driving a stepper motor using the Arduino Stepper library. The stepper is getting 12V.

I was just testing the driver+motor with some hello world-level sketches like turning the shaft 180 degrees and back again. The first 2-3 180's went fine and then the motor starting stuttering a bit. If I unpower everything and start again the same will happen: first smooth, then stuttering. I measured the driver with a heat gun and saw that it was getting quite hot (90 degrees) so I shut it down.

The motor is mentioned to be rated at 2.8V, however in the comments of the product someone mentioned that 12V works fine as long as you limit the current. Now, I did not limit the current since I don't have anything to do that with right now so I was expecting to just test shortly and stop before things get hot. I was expecting the motor te become hot (which it didn't at all), not the driver. And the stuttering.. what's that about?

I feel like I'm missing some insight on typical issues with driving stepper motors. Your wisdom is much appreciated. If you just want to point me to valuable resources that would be very welcome too.

The driver: L298N stepper motor driver
The motor: NEMA 17 stepper motor with planetary gearbox
FYI: I'm receiving the Geekcreit 3D Printer Stepstick DRV8825 stepper driver boards soon which do have the ability to limit current.

If you have a DRV8825 coming, toss the L298 as far as you can and wait for the DRV8825. The motor specs say that the coil resistance is 1.65 Ohms. If you are supplying it with 8V (the L298 drops 2V minimum, 4 V at high current) the current is on the order of 4.8A. The L298 can only handle 2A per phase (on a good day with forced air cooling) and you are passing over 4 Amps so the L298 is probably shutting down.

The L298 is ancient and very inefficient technology and you are putting way too much current through it, anyway.

Before you use the DRV8825, make sure that you set the current per this page. Note that the DRV8825 can supply up to 1.5A per phase without cooling.

1 Like

Thank you! I laughed at the 'toss away as far as you can'. I'll give it my best.