Bi-polar Microstepping Driver 1.4A/Phase Max Max Motor Drive Voltage: 35V On-board 5V/3.3V Regulation Through-holes for 3.5mm Screw Terminals or 0.1" Pin Headers
The Big Easy Driver, designed by Brian Schmalz, is a stepper motor driver board for bi-polar stepper motors up to 1.4A/phase. It is built using the Allegro A4988 stepper driver chip. It's the big brother of the popular Easy Driver board.
Each Big Easy Driver can drive up to about 1.4A per phase of a bi-polar stepper motor. It is a chopper microstepping driver which defaults to 16-step microstepping mode. It can take a maximum motor drive voltage of around 35V, and includes on-board 5V/3.3V regulation, so only one supply is necessary.
Although this board should be able to run most systems without active cooling, a heatsink is recommended for loads approaching 1.4A/phase.
The driver and voltage regulator have built-in over-temp circuits that will cut out their outputs if they get too hot, which will cause your motor to stutter. When this happens, you can turn down the current adjustment potentiometer to send less current to your motor.
Warning: Your motor can get quite hot. For example, with 1A/phase @ 12V, there will be 24W dissipating in the motor, generating quite a lot of heat.
If you have trouble getting smooth microsteps, adjust the current limit pot or increase the input voltage.
If the coil resistance of the motor you have chosen is too high, the Big Easy Driver board can't create microsteps properly. Raising the input voltage will help to solve this problem. Otherwise, use a motor with lower coil resistance.
The amount of current you see being drawn through your power supply is not the same as the current going through the motor coils during motion. So if you're stepping and you see 500mA being drawn from your 24V power supply, that does not mean that each coil is getting 250mA. You have to measure the TP3 test point with a meter, and use the formula in the datasheet to figure out the actual maximum current through each coil. Typically, the current through the coil will be much higher than the current drawn from the power supply because of the chopper circuit on the Big Easy Driver board.
Big Easy Stepper Motor Driver Board Resources
Optional Recommended Products for this Item