I am using the code below with this stepper shield:


Everything works, but tends to get hot (62.3 Celsius) while holding in idle position. What I understood so far, to reduce the temperature I can:

  1. Set enable pin only when I need to turn the motor, but loose my position.

  2. I can use what the driver manual describes as low level. Which I did not entirely understand.

If I set the enable pin to low by doing digitalWrite(M1en,LOW); do I put the stepper in low power mode or do I switch off the power to the stepper ?

  1. I could only enable the stepper (if by setting it to LOW or HIGH I enable, disable) when I need it. Which would be the best as I understood it.

Where in my code below would I have to add the digitalWrite LOW,HIGH to achieve this ? Or do I need to just set it LOW (for low power mode).

  1. Or is there a much better way I don't know about.


const int dirPin = 4;
const int stepPin = 5;
const int M1en = 12;

int speed = 200;    // desired speed in steps per second
int steps = 0;      // the number of steps to make

void setup()
  pinMode(dirPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(stepPin, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(M1en,LOW);// Low Level Enable

void loop()
  if ( Serial.available()) {
    char ch = Serial.read();

    if(isDigit(ch)){             // is ch a number?
      steps = steps * 10 + ch - '0';        // yes, accumulate the value
    else if(ch == '+'){
      steps = 0;
    else if(ch == '-'){
      steps = 0;
    else if(ch == 's'){
      speed = steps;
      Serial.print("Setting speed to ");
      steps = 0;

void step(int steps)
  int stepDelay = 1000 / speed;  //delay in ms for speed given as steps per sec
  int stepsLeft;

  // determine direction based on whether steps_to_mode is + or -
  if (steps > 0)
    digitalWrite(dirPin, HIGH);
    stepsLeft = steps;
  if (steps < 0)
    digitalWrite(dirPin, LOW);
    stepsLeft = -steps;
  // decrement the number of steps, moving one step each time
  while(stepsLeft > 0)
    stepsLeft--;      // decrement the steps left

1 Answer 1


The product page you gave has a link to the DRV8825 datasheet.

Reading this, it is clear that the enable pin(s) comlpetely disable the H-Bridge that drives the motor coils. This is low power mode. It'd doesn't mean low, but non-zero holding current. The driver only supports enabled and disabled.

If your steppers are getting hot, perhaps the current being supplied by the driver is too high. The maximum drive current is set by the current-sense resistors attached to the driver chip. These may not be easy to change. To decrease the maximum current, you increase the current-sense resistor.

The product page notes that the shield has the current set at 1.6A per coil.

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