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[ Q&A ]

Questions & Answers

This page collects questions and answers posted at the


mailing list, edited and remanufactured to suit purpose.

As the number of people involved and questions posed is somewhat limited I thought it prudent not to call this Frequently Answered Questions!

Q1: What is the maximum step rate with TOAD4?

A: The Toshiba TB6560A has a limiting step clock rate of 15 kHz. In practice it is the CPU speed and Firmware that limits the step rate.

With firmware configured for four motors 11 kHz is maximum step rate.

In practice, because of jitter issues, it is unlikely that you can use more than 2.4 kHz (720 rpm at 200 step/rev motor with full step).

A step rate of 22 kHz has been demonstrated.

Note that if you use microstepping your effective step rate goes down accordingly.

Q2: Can I use the TOAD4 board with the cheap Chinese driver boards I found on ebay?

A: Sure, but does it make sense?

That cheap board has the same TB6560A driver chip as TOAD4 with minimal support circuitry so what you save by using that board is the price of those components on the TOAD4 and this saving is likely to end up negative if you are DYI building the TOAD4 board.

You will in any case need most of the parts on the TOAD4 board, one way or other.

Q3: Can I use the TOAD4 board with a beafier driver like a Gecko ?

A: If you need more than 3A / 34 V that's your only option!

It won't look pretty and there will be some wiring to do as you need to steal the step and direction signals from the TOAD4 driver chip pin holes. Totally doable but this is not what the board was designed for.

If you want to do that you need to consider the pros and cons of using the TOAD4 board in the first place.

Why you want to use it, is the hardware, firmware or software, or what?

Q4: Can I use the TOAD4 firmware with my own CPU board ?

A: Sure, and that might make sense if you need to buy/use beafier drivers and want to benefit from the USB/EazyCNC connection.

Again you need to figure out what makes sense to you considering the system as a whole, wiring, enclosure, power supply, input and output, price, etc.