I am currently using an Arduino Mega 2560 to run this stepper motor driver (Big Easy Driver, ROB-11876 from sparkfun) https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11876.

I am trying to use the sleep or enable function on this chip to decrease the power consumption when I am not using the motor. I have all the rest of the driver working properly (steps, direction etc.) but when I hook up a wire to either the sleep or enable section and send a respective high or low it doesn't appear to do anything. (Chip works as normal, power consumption stays the same).

I have tested to see that the Arduino is outputting correctly and it seems to be. But other than this I'm kinda at a loss on what might be wrong.

Does anyone have any suggestions on why this might be or other things to test to try to narrow down the problem?

Found my answer from Sparkfun - see below

  • 3
    glad you were able to figure it out. When you are able to, please post it as an answer.
    – sachleen
    Apr 25, 2014 at 18:54
  • Since you should be able to add an answer now, can you add it as an answer? Apr 28, 2014 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


Just for future reference if anyone needs it I got the following from SparkFun:

On the Big Easy Driver Board, the Step, Dir, Sleep, Reset, and the Microstep pins are all >pulled high with 20kΩ resistors, while Enable is pulled low with the same. So sleep is >disabled (until explicitly enabled) and the stepper is enabled (until explicitly disabled).

For much of the use of this board, there is no real need to adjust these settings, but If you >want to achieve a low-power state you would pull the sleep pin low. This should disable much >of the internal circuitry on the IC. In order to reduce power, Enable should be pulled high >to disable the output FETs. To test that the sleep function is working on the chip you can just jump it to low (ground). For me it turned out to be an error with the Arduino code rather than the chip. Here is also a good reference about pull-down / pull-up resistors. http://www.bit-101.com/blog/?p=3813

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