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TLE5206 PowerControl Boards

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The standard Maslow PowerControl board uses a pair of simple surface-mount motor-control chips, the L298P013TR, to control the motors. Each chip can control two motors, up to total 4A divided between the motors. Only three motors are provisioned in the release version of the board. There has been concern about the current capacity of these chips and there have been instances where the chips have been damaged when software malfunctioned. Once a chip is damaged, the board would require replacing a 20-pin surface-mount chip to repair.

The TLE5206 offers higher current capacity, over-temperature and over-current detection and protection, along with a simpler package. In addition, there is a thru-hole version of the chip available that would allow a thru-hole version of the board, easier for some users to construct or repair. While the control pins are different from the L298 chips, the firmware requires very little change to work with the TLE5206.

This is a first stab at using the TLE5206 chips on the PowerControl board. The idea is that anyone could get a PCB made and stuff it with parts themselves.

  • The Electronics folder has EagleCAD board and schematic files for a SMD version and a thru-hole version. I’ve built and tested both.
  • The Firmware folder has a branch of the version 1.11 firmware which implements all the functions of that version as well as a few others I’ve wished for when working with the standard PowerControl board. It uses a modified board ID arrangement to differentiate it from the standard PowerControl boards and make use of the extended IO pins on the end of the Mega2560. It adds three true PWM pins to the AUX group which might be used for spindle control with some software development. It doesn’t implement the software over-current detection that the TLE5206 offers. For now, the chips sense the over-current or over-temperature condition and protect themselves by turning off the outputs.

This design brings:

  • separate controller chip for each motor
  • higher current capacity (5A) per motor
  • thru-hole version to aid hand assembly and repair
  • board-mounted heat sinks for the thru-hole version
  • mounting holes to match three of the Arduino mounting holes
  • AUX pins moved to extended end of board
  • 4 digital AUX pins
  • 2 analog/digital AUX pins
  • 3 PWM-capable digital AUX pins
  • board version ID pins avoids using SPI pins

It doesn’t bring:

  • additional motor control channels
  • software over-current or over-temperature sensing

Is there much of a price differential between the chips? The additional current as overhead, not even for larger motors adds a significant saftey margin.

thanks for doing this.

A feature request:

Is there any way to arrange the second channels of the to chips so that they
could be used to bit-bang a full-step-only stepper motor for the Z axis?

David Lang

The TLE5206 thru-hole version are ~$4.50, the thru-hole heat sink ~$1, and there are three of them. The SMD parts are similar in price. I spent around $30 for the parts without heat sinks to stuff a SMD version of the board. the heat sinks added $7 plus shipping (different vendor). The thru-hole parts cost was similar, though I had some of the parts around on hand.
Having better thermal management and on-chip thermal shutdown and recovery are very nice, too. If the chip begins to overheat it won’t lose the ‘magic smoke’.

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Each chip has one channel, with two control pins and one M± pair. I think you would need two chips to control a stepper.

so this board has 3 chips on it instead of 2?

In that case, can we get a board designed fo 4 chips so that we can have an
extra channel added (or even have a place that we can plug a standard ramps
compatible stepper driver module in) to be able to use a stepper for the Z

It’s open-source so why not? The board is pretty full, though.

Also, what voltage can this board operate at?

It would be nice if it was able to operate at 24v as well as 12v (even higher
would be nice, but there is a much bigger gain at 24v than you get by going
higher, due to the wide availability of 24v parts)

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If you change the value of the LED bias resistor for the motor power circuit this board (or the Maslow, for that matter) can go up to 40V. Thermal considerations will apply.

so the chips are rated to 5A @ 36-40v? fantastic.

If you’re going that high, I would recommend the thruhole version with the tall heatsink :fire:. Have to think about the power capabilities of the traces, wires and connectors as well…

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I would imagine it is ‘up to 5 Amp’ and ‘up to 40v’, but not necessarily a combination of both!. i.e a maximum power of, say 50watts, which would be around 4amps at 12v but only 2 amps at 24v, etc. Worth keeping in mind !

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They don’t give a maximum power spec, but the device will go into thermal shutdown if you don’t keep it cool. An opportunity for experimentation :grin:

Yep, tune for maximum smoke ! :slight_smile:


that was fast! re: Z-axis drilling/plunge is the only place I've seen browning/heavy friction

right on @blurfl !


One chip per motor is a dream since I fried my fist motor shield a year back.
(first the motor side gave up, but shortly after z died because it was on the same chip)
Thanks @blurfl
Any advice who makes them and ships internationally? Or is someone up to collecting a bunch of orders and having them made in bulk?


Way to go @blurfl!! Those look beautiful!

How do we get them for sale so that folks can easily buy them?


When these become available, I am in! Great work, @blurfl !!!


That’s a good question for the community, I’m not able to sell them. I know that some PCB houses will give a customer a discount if the design can be put into their open-source PCB store. Unfortunately, these same houses want a customer to buy multiple boards. Quotes for the SMD board vary from $45 for three (OSHPARK) to $20 for ten (DirtyPCBs).