Raspberry Pi

Pilot Program


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Q & A




[ 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.

Starting with firmware version 2.0.0 the base frequency has been upgraded to 100 kHz which should enable full stepping up to 20 kHz.

Note that if you use quad/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 Gecko ?

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

In that case you are better off with TOAD5 than TOAD4.

But you can use TOAD4, 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: Yes and no. The current firmware is compiled for PIC18F45K50 and requires you also to flash the bootloader. It can be done but it maybe more work than you anticipate.

If you want to take that road, please contact me.

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.