Jun 13, 2023

Jan Neumann's Trinamic TMC2209 Shield Gives the Arduino UNO Stepper Motor Controlling Superpowers

Maker and software engineering student Jan Neumann has built an Arduino UNO shield that aims to make it easier to work with the Trinamic TMC2209 stepper motor controller — complete with mounting holes to attach the board directly to a motor.

"[This is] a development board to test the Trinamic TMC2209 stepper motor controller on an Arduino UNO," Neumann writes of his board design, which should be compatible with any development board using the Arduino UNO pin spacing — including the new 32-bit Arduino UNO R4. "This board should cover all options and IOs [Inputs/Outputs] that Trinamic provides for its TMC2209."

Designed for quiet operation of two-phase stepper motors, Trinamic's TMC2209 uses the company's in-house StealthChop2 chopper to boost efficiency and reduce noise levels down what the company claims is "noiseless operation." Integrated power MOSFETs support motor currents up to 2A Root Mean Square (RMS) and the company's SpreadCycle supports "highly dynamic motion" with StallGuard4 offering sensor-free homing.

In short, it's an impressive chip — and Neumann's shield makes getting started with it as easy as possible. "All TMC2209 pins are connected to digital pins of the Arduino," Neumann explains of his design. "[There's an] XT30 power connector [with a] voltage source selector, Arduino VIN or XT30. TVS diodes on 5V and 28V lane[s] of the TMC2209. Different wiring schemes for the JST motor connector (WHAT A MESS IT ALWAYS WAS TO GET THE RIGHT PHASES!) Different current setting selectable with solder bridges, or custom resistor also possible. [And a] reset button for Arduino + power LED."

The board is designed, in Arduino shield tradition, to sit on the irregularly-spaced headers of the Arduino UNO and compatible microcontroller boards, and provides mounting holes for a stepper motor to reduce overall project footprint. The cost for production and assembly should come out around €50 per five boards (around $54), Neumann estimates.

The hardware design files and a sample project file have been published to GitHub under an unspecified open source license.