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Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing

Posted by Readie_s 
Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
May 26, 2017 04:26PM
Hi Everyone,
First of all I apologise if this is a stupid post, it might be that all the information is out there but after 2 days of searching I just cant seem to find it!
I have a second hand Hictop I3 Printer which has been working ok , it has an obscure MPX.3 board which has very little support to be found and doesn't seem to like a few of my planned upgrades.
My new plan was to upgrade to a RAMPS 1.4 board and to that end I now have a robotale RAMPS board and 5 DRV8825 drivers.
Hictop seem to be pretty secretive about their product and so I cant find any specs for the stepper motors, so I measured the ref voltage on the MPX.3 and set the RAMPS drivers the same; 0.8v on X,Y and Extruder and 1v on Z.
When I power the board on its sounds fine but as soon as I move a stepper (any one) that stepper moves fine but starts to emit a high pitched or hissing noise while idle until the printer is reset.
I have tried turning the ref voltage down to 0.45v with no effect. I also tried removing jumpers to limit the micro stepping, down at 1/8 it did sound slightly better but still not great!
I have uploaded a video of the problem here; [youtu.be] this is moving 1mm each time the motor turns, the tone changes as the motor rotates. (it sound a lot louder in real life!)
I have checked the wire pairings are correct using a led between the pairs, and the wiring worked fine on the old board.
Apologies if this is a stupid post but if you can give me a hand it would be appreciated.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2017 04:30PM by Readie_s.
Re: Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
May 27, 2017 02:56AM
DRV8825 are not the best steppers around. They tend to make these hissing noise on 12V boards. You can hack them to work in a different decay mode, so they work better at slow speed. There also is an adapter board called TL smoother ( I believe ) that goes between driver and stepper to overcome these two issues.
Re: Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
May 27, 2017 03:03AM
Hi o_lampe,
Thank you very much for your reply. I wondered whether that was the case as most people seem to use the A4988 drivers. I will probably try some A4988 myself.
Thank you for your help, I didn't want to spend out on new drivers if the problem was with my steppers or ramps board. Been pulling my hair out trying to work out the problem!
Re: Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
July 01, 2017 06:09PM
Hey do you have any news?
im having practicly the same problem with about the same scenario. have you tired anything ?
here is what my printer sounds like https://youtu.be/uMm-g5ZPAPU (its abit quiet)
im having the bigest probelm with my z axis. its not moving properly.

Also my motors are getting so hot you coud burn your fingers but the ref voltage on the stepperdrivers is 0.8


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2017 06:26PM by Speatzle_.
Re: Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
July 02, 2017 02:49AM
The Vref of the driver should match the current your stepper motors need. ( Usually 80% of max stepper current works best )
You could reduce Vref until the motors get warm but not hot or calculate Vref following this guide.

0.8V means a stepper current of 1.6A. That would suit a 2A stepper.
Re: Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
July 02, 2017 03:32AM
Hi Sammy,
You problem sounds identical to the issues I was having, although all my axis were working so I'm not sure why your Z axis isn't moving, could be voltage or it could be wiring issues or potentially a dodgy driver (try swapping it with one from another axis).

o_lampe has given some great advice and I would definitely check your voltages with the guide he as provided for you. It does sound like you 0.8vref for every stepper is a bit high unless you have quite high v steppers, my z axis runs at 0.75v now but that will be split between the two motors, all my other steppers are running at 0.35v (bare in mind I give these only as example based on the A4988 driver and are not substitutes for properly following the guide o_lampe has linked).

I am afraid I had to swap to the A4988 drivers, this sorted the problem straight away, you can sometimes hear a very high pitched noise from a stepper motor but this was also happening with my previous setup.
if you cant solve the problem with your current drivers by adjusting the voltages this would be the route I would take.
I have got some Tl Smoothers I was going to try out, If I get a chance I will swap my setup and see if the work ok, unfortunately they take a age to come from China.

Hope you manage to sort it, keep us posted.
Re: Ramps 1.4 + DRV8825 - Stepper motors work but are hissing
July 02, 2017 05:52AM
Hey thx for the quick response

i increased the ref voltage on my z axis. now its working but sounds horible.
also i tried to turn down the rev voltages of other steppers but then my steppers lose all toque and you can turn them in the oposite direction they are running
also i forgot to mention i'm running 24v so i think the next step is the decay mode hack:24v Low Amperage Operation
When using a DRV8825 board in a 24V system, microsteps can be lost in 1/32 mode if driving a stepper with VREF <0.8v (ie a 1.5A stepper). To prevent this, connect a fine patch wire between pin 19 (DECAY) on the DRV8825 (which is N/C on the stepper driver board) to the /FAULT pin on the carrier. This will supply logic power to DECAY, and put the DRV8825 in Fast Decay mode, appropriate for 24V low amperage systems.

here is the link: A4988_vs_DRV8825_Chinese_Stepper_Driver_Boards
after that i'll play with microstepping. and if i have no luck i'll have to buy the A4988 drivers of ebay.
i'll get back around to poste my results. thx for all your help. it is appreciated.


Note:im awful at english sorry

edit: i also forgot to mention that the drivers defnetly are strange one of them blew up in my face see(it was hocked up correctly):

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2017 06:03AM by Speatzle_.
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