Install and Configure SilentStepStick in RAMPS - TMC2100 Schrittmotortreiber




About: I'm blogging about my projects before they make it to Once I've finished a subject on my blog, I'll put it together and post it on Instructables, so you can get a preview on my site.

This Instructable is purely going to focus on how to get from wanting to buy SilentStepsticks to installing and using them in your RAMPS. During this Instructable we will not delve on HOW it does what it does, but simply on getting these babies to Work with minal effort.

And it is minimal effort. Hardest part is the soldering really.


To get started, you need to buy some of these, and the only place you can do that, is at the manufacturer homepage:


You also need a heatsink for each SilentStepStick you buy. If you have some lying around, it is important they have non-conductive tape on them. You can not use thermal paste:

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Step 1: Preparing the SilentStepstick

While handling the SilentStepSticks, try to avoid putting sticky fingers on on largeish golden pad on the side marked with "TOP". In fact, try only handling it by holding the edges.

NOTE: At the time of writing this instructables, it was general consensus that the pin should be removed. However, this practice has since been abandoned with seemingly no difference, so don't do this part.

I've run multiple machiens with all pins in place.

Take a plyer or similar and remove the 3rd pin from one of the two rows of pins that comes with the SilentStepSticks. This missing pin is going (not going really) to the spot where CFG2 is marked on the SilentStepStick.

If you do not have a breadboard like I do, you can use a kitchen sponge, some cardboard (carefull not to bend the legs, puncture with scissor first maybe) or something else you have at hand.

Line up the two rows of pins and make triple sure the missing pin lines up with CFG2 on your SilentStepStick.

Now solder up the two rows.

Put on the thermal non-conductive tape on your heatsink while making sure you do not put sticky fingers on either side of the tape and not o the bottom of the heatsink itself.

Make sure the Heatsink covers the entire golde area, and do not cover the hole in the end of the SilentStepStick that leads down to the Potentiometer which we need to access to adjust the power to our motors.

Step 2: Prepare RAMPS for Your SilentStepSticks - and Install Them


If you are using the common A4988 StepSticks like I do you need to invert the direction of your motors.

I recommend inverting the motor direction in firmware. Unless you currently run your steppers at something else than 1/16, you need to make changes in the firmware anyway.

You can also switch the motor-pair cables going to your ramps by swapping over the pair to the right, with the pair to the left - I prefer doing it in firmware. (which is why I do not having picture of the cable-swapping).

On the board

Under each of your drivers there is a number of jumpers. Note their placement, as you need to know your current microstepping settings.

If you are unsure on your current microstepping, you can Refer to this table.

Jumper 1 is the one closest to the RAMPS power-connector. Number 3 is the other way.

jumper   	Yes/No	step size
1     		2    	3
no   		no  	no    full step
yes  		no    	no    half step
no   		yes  	no    1/4 step
yes  		yes   	no    1/8 step
yes  		yes   	yes   1/16 step


Back to our projct.

Now you have removed ALL the jumpers under the location where we are going to install each of the SilentStepSticks. We do this, as we want to run it in 1/16 microstepping. The SilentStepSticks then dials it to 1/256 - just in case it confuses some (I know I was confused).

Install the SilentStepSticks

Now place the SilentStepSticks onto your RAMPS board with the hole for the trimpot (potentiometer) facing towards the RAMPS Powerplug. The potentiometer on the old A4988 were facing the other way.

Now lets head over to the firmware part before we start tuning these babies.

Step 3: Prepare MARLIN (firmware) for Your SilentStepSticks

Change motor direction in firmware

If you are using the common A4988 StepSticks like I do you need to invert the direction of your motors.
This can be done in firmware by changing "false" to "true" for each axis you install the SilentStepSticks on.
The changes are made in Configuration.h - Hit CTRL+F and search for INVERT_X_DIR - The // True for SilentSteppers is just my comment in order to remember why I made the change.

// @section machine
// Invert the stepper direction. Change (or reverse the motor connector) if an axis goes the wrong way.<br>// True for SilentSteppers<br>#define INVERT_X_DIR true<br>#define INVERT_Y_DIR true<br>#define INVERT_Z_DIR false

Change steps pr mm in firmware

Now do the CTRL+F thing and find DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT

You might have something like this (default) where each number is representative of X,Y,Z and Extruder.

 #define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT   {80,80,4000,500}

If you ran your motors on 1/16 microstepping before - if all 3 jumpers were on, you do not need to change anything.

If you ran them at 1/8 you need to double the number for the respective motors.

It is a good idea to copy the old values - just copy the line, place it above the other line and place two // in front of it - you can even make a comment to help you remember, like so:

// My original values<br>// #define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT   {80,80,4000,500}

This way you can remember what your original steps were.

Change Direction of motors

If you did not do this allready, you need to change the direction of the motors.
Here I've changed it for X and Y and made a comment to remember why I did it.

// @section machine<br>// Invert the stepper direction. Change (or reverse the motor connector) if an axis goes the wrong way.<br>//True for SilentSteppers<br>#define INVERT_X_DIR true<br>#define INVERT_Y_DIR true<br>#define INVERT_Z_DIR false

Step 4: Tuning the SilentStepSticks

Now we come to the not so fun part - at least I thought so.

How to adjust the SilentStepSticks properly.

I know two methods and I'll list the non-technical one first, as I used to do it like this, as all the vref stuff was very confusing.

Method 1 - the listen feel method.

Put your hothead in the middle of the axes, turn the printer on, and give it a command to move. First 1mm and if it does that, move it 10mm or even 100 if you have the room.

Does it move smoothly? Good. If not, then you need to dial up the potentiometer on the SilentStepStick. Turn it clockwise. Just a tiny tad. Like 1/8th of a turn. Less if you can as it is really sensitive. Mine moved 0.1 volt to 0.2volt for each infinitesimal small move I made

If the motor moved smoothly you can try dialing the potentiometer counter-clockswise - very small increments as above, untill it does not move smoothly anymore. Then dial it up a tad again to make it run smoothly once again.

Do a test print of a cube or some other testprint/calibration you have or find on the net.

Method 2: adjust potentiomenter and measure vref

I don't know how to really use the value we measure here, but it is recommended to put it at 0.8 volt and take it from there.

What you do is put your multimeter on 2volt, put the red wire on the potentiometer and the Black one on the GND pin. As my board is oriented in the Photo it is the lowest left pin.

Read on the board to make sure you hit the right one.

If you are unsure or shake a bit then do not do this.You will short something out if one of the probes slip and hit something else. The Red part is going to be stable, as it will go through a hole, but the GND one can easily hit the pins next to it

Both my SilentStepSticks initially measured at 1.1 to 1.2 volt, so I dialed mine Down some. It really very, very small increments they need to turn, so take it slowly

When you get it dialed in, you go back to Method 1 and see if they run smootly.

Step 5: All Done.

Your done. Congratulate yourself on your new, maybe not shiny, but silent 3D printer!

If you find the hissing noise from the motors annoying, you can try adjusting the potentiometers some, but I don't really hear it from the creaking of my printer case :)



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26 Discussions


1 year ago

Can anyone help me to adjust the vref because I have no experience, I did the following removed the 3 jumpers in the ramps and installed the tmc2100 in the X axis and Y my motors are 0.9amp, according to some tutorials on the internet the vref should be adjusted according to the motor current in case 0.9amp, so I started with 0.8, the problem is that the 0.8 in 100m / s lost steps and the motors are hot, so I changed to 0.9amp did not lose steps but the temperature is almost 50 degrees more than with 0.8 , set to 0.75 and still warm like the help of friends to solve what to do, thank you


1 year ago

Friends, I have difficulty adjusting vref, I did the following removed the 3 jumpers in the ramps, and installed the tmc2100 drivers on the X and Y axis, my motors are 0.9amp, according to some tutorials on the internet the vref should be adjusted according to the motor current in the 0.9amp case, so I started with 0.8, the problem is that the 0.8 in 100m / s lost steps and the motors are hot, so I changed to 0.9amp I did not lose steps but the temperature is almost 50 degrees warmer than with 0.8, I would like the help of friends to solve what to do, thank you


2 years ago

I wanted to post here to see if there was ever a final determination as to what the correct jumper settings are for 3d printing?

On a RAMPS 1.4 board, do you remove all 3 jumpers? Do you remove all 3 jumpers on the RAMPS AND solder GND --> CFG1? Keep the jumpers on?

Any guidance would be appreciated, as there is some conflicting info.


3 replies

Reply 2 years ago

Hello entropy,
You just solder all pins on. Regardless of jumpersettings.

Jumpers depends on multistepping settings you want to achieve. I've corrected the jumper table. It had lost it formating for some reason.

I recommend having all 3 jumpers in place to use highest microstepping.
CNC people are going to say you should run wiht lowest multistepping as possible for greatest power, but 3D printer is not a CNC, and we want the smoother running -> lower noice while the power is still plenty for any 3D Printer.

jumper Yes/No step size
1 2 3
no no no full step
yes no no half step
no yes no 1/4 step
yes yes no 1/8 step
yes yes yes 1/16 step


Reply 2 years ago

Thanks for the reply!

I've got it up and running. I decided to pull all 3 jumpers to test. Looks like it is working. Now if i plug all 3 jumpers back in, what differences should I expect? Will it be obvious?


Reply 2 years ago

Without jumpers means you run without microstepping.

If you insert all 3 jumpers it might not move at all at untill you modify steps/mm since it means 1/16 microstepping. If you use the jumpers and modify the steps you are going to get a much smoother and quieter result. The torque is also going to be a tad less, but nothing you should be able to notice on a 3D printer.

What is your steps/mm now?


2 years ago

nice work finally I find something like this :D

But I don`t have any jumpers on my control board, can i still use them ?

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

Maybe :) What controller do you have, and do you have access to firmware or other settings for multistepping?


4 years ago on Step 2

On step 2, under Back to our project, you mention that you have to remove all the jumpers to put it into 1/16th microstepping?

I am confused. I thought that in order to put it into 1/16th microstepping you need to put in all 3 jumpers.

6 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Step 2

I'll have to fix that. In my original draft I configured it to full Stepping which didn't Work out. Later I changed it to 1/16 where all jumpers must indeed be in place.
Thanks for pointing it out.


Reply 3 years ago

Not sure about that change because according to the Watterott web site this works best: If you have problems like step losses then use the more powerful 1/16 spreadCycle mode (CFG1=GND, CFG2=open, CFG3=open). Where on the Ramps 1.4 CFG 1-3 correspond to Jumpers 1-3 and with Jumper 1 removed the CFG1 is tied to GND, through a resistor.

Also see the TMC2100 Datasheet as well where CFG1 goes to ground and CFG2 is open for 16 step -> 256 step interpolation.

Also if you review Thomas Sanlanderer's review you will see he leaves all three (3) pins out for CFG1-3 and directly ties Pin 1 to GND (even though the text in the Video says VCC):

Last this link shows the same thing:


Reply 2 years ago

For the RAMPS 1.4 board, you normally would put all jumpers in to put the controller board into maximum microstepping. However, for SilentStepSticks, you actually do want to take all jumpers out for the following reason:


RAMPS 1.4 and RUMBA Notes

If you remove all jumpers (or open all switches) for MS1+MS2+MS3, then the SilentStepStick TMC2100 driver will be in 1/16 spreadCycle mode (CFG1=GND, CFG2=open, CFG3=open), because there is a pull-down resistor on MS1 on the RAMPS.


Basically, if you take all jumpers out, this will connect CFG1 to GND and leave both CFG2/CFG3 open. You can verify that on the RAMPS 1.4 schematics here:

According to the TMC2100 datasheet, this will put the SilentStepSticks into spreadCycle with 1/16 to 1/256 interpolation, which is the most recommended mode to use with the SilentStepSticks.

@dintid: You said you later put all jumpers in place. With the CFG2 pin cut, this will give you CFG1=VCC, CFG2=open, CFG3=VCC, which according to the TMC2100 datasheet will give you 1/4 to 1/256 microstepping interpolation rather than 1/16 to 1/256 microstepping interpolation.


Reply 2 years ago

Also, I think a much simpler approach is to not connect CFG1/CFG2/CFG3 to the controller board at all. Instead, leave them unconnected from the controller board, and manually connect those pins to VCC/GND using jumper wires.

So if you want to get 1/16 to 1/256 microstepping interpolation, you could leave CFG1/CFG2/CFG3 unconnected from the controller board, then manually solder a jumper wire from CFG1 to GND.

This is a much simpler approach than trying to interpret schematics for the controller board in order to determine the correct jumper settings. This is also the approach that is recommended by Thomas Sanladerer here:


3 years ago

when you remove cfg2 pin. You can leave the middle jumper on the marlin shield. So you don't have to ajust the steps in Software.

Einfach den cfg2 pin auf der Platine nicht löten und auf dem Marlin Shield den vorderen und hintern Jumper unter dem Treiber entfernen. Mit dem Poti auf dem Silentstick den Stromverbrauch einstellen fertig.

Lautstärke nimmt deutlich ab;)


I don't understand the need to remove cfg2 pin.

For spreadcycle mode (16 microsteps and 256 interpolation) the datasheet says the cfg2 pin = open, cfg1 pin = GND.

If you look on ramps 1.4 schematic, the cfg2 pin is open with the jumper removed. (same effect than removing the pin)

Also on the ramps schematic, there is a 100k resistor between cfg1 and GND.

To my understanding if you remove all jumper you don't need to remove cfg 2 pin but to connect cfg1 pin directly to GND you need to solder a wire to short the resistance.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I'm just relaying in easy to understand language what people much more knowledgeable than me told me to do.

I have heard/read your argument from the Ultimaker forums (one user) as well, but I really do trust my personal sources more :)

One of the reasons in doing these kinds of Things (creating this instructable) is to present a workable scenario while avoiding having to solder anything, as it is beyond the capabilities of most people to solder anything smaller than through-holes.

I can not comment on your other points as I don't have a personal opinion on the matter.

I can only say that it Works very well though.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Neither, or, I believe Silent IS Stealthchop.

These motors Loose a lot of torque in silent/stealthchop mode, which is meant for silent operations of AC shutters and such.

Can't run 3D printers with silen/stealthchop mode on (as far as I've read and watched on youtube)

More indepth article here: