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I had a faulty stepper driver which i plugged into my 3D printer motherboard (GTM32 Mini S) and when i powered up the board there was smoke and the MCU was toast. I thougt it was the board first, so i plug that thing into another board and pooof that was toast too. Now i should have thrown that driver away but silly me I put that in a bowl that had 4 other same stepper drivers, now i don't want to throw away all of them just because i cannot tell which one is damaged and i do not want to test it by putting it into another board. Now the question is how can i tell which driver out of them is damaged (Possibly with simple tools like a multimeter). One of my options will be to use a dev board like a nano or blue pill with a breadboard and test it in isolation. But just being lazy , if i could find a simpler way to test it that would be great.

Thanks

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  • \$\begingroup\$ how do you know that the driver board is defective? \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Commented Mar 4 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because same stepper driver toasted two of my motherboards and i plugged 4 other stepper drivers before this one and they did not burn the board. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gurpreet
    Commented Mar 4 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ have you ruled out harness problems, or motor problems? \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Commented Mar 4 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ what do you mean by harness ?? I have ruled out stepper motor fault because those motors are working fine with new board and new stepper drivers with same power supply. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gurpreet
    Commented Mar 4 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ cable harness .. \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Commented Mar 4 at 21:24

1 Answer 1

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You could always power up slowly with a benchtop supply that indicates current as well as voltage. On the broken/shorted driver board, you'll see a much larger current well before the voltage gets up to spec. Just make sure to shut off the voltage supply before the current gets to a dangerous level ;)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It is bit vague, could you please elaborate? i could power it up with low current source and check if voltages on signal pins are going beyond 3-5 volts. I was hoping to use something like multimeter to test restistance etc across pins. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gurpreet
    Commented Mar 4 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you are ever seeing smoke, that generally means you are drawing too much current through something. Therefore, you'll probably need a way to monitor the current consumption from the PSU. If you have a variable PSU, you can slowly ramp up the voltage/current. If there is an internal short, you'll likely see way more than the spec current being drawn from a lower voltage than is required. It's unlikely you'll be able to check static resistance with a DMM while the chip is not powered. \$\endgroup\$
    – jlam98
    Commented Mar 4 at 23:31

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