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Disable steppers when no encoder signal to reduce heating

The steppers seem to run quite hot - I suppose that is due to the holding current being constantly applied.  Since the driver has a disable signal - was wondering if you could disable the motor when no spindle encoder signal is seen - i.e. lathe is not running. Then re-enabled as soon as an spindle encoder signal comes in.  If there might be some case to leave them enabled while stopped - perhaps a time-delay could be used.

I have a power switch on the supply to the steppers and switch it off from time to time just to allow a bit of cooling.

Switching them off would risk of movement if you touch the wheels.

I would recommend checking the stepper drivers, they always have a way of current reduction on idle.

For example the Leadshine DM556 driver has a dip switch #4 which is for that.

Switch it to ON to have half the current flow when idle.

 

But you do not need a switch, if you like to cutoff the motors, just disable the axes on the els, it has two buttons for that.

Thanks Louis - I wasn't aware the Axis Disable would stop current flow in the motors.  Will also look into Switch#4 on the driver.