To anyone considering the upgrade to the TMC2130 stepper drivers on their FT-5... Quit waiting and just do it! The results are incredible!
I installed the genuine Watterott TMC2130 SilentStepSticks. These come pre-configured expecting to be used with the SPI wiring, and that's how I wired them up. I highly recommend doing that, rather than running them standalone, as any changes you wish to make are just a simple Marlin config edit. It took a little while to make the wiring harness, but I was able to get it all put together and assign pins such that I could still use the LCD/SD. I also installed the Watterott SilentStepStick protectors at the same time - they stack under the stepper drivers.
I didn't wire the drivers for the sensorless endstops - no real reason to, since I have the regular endstop wiring all in place and fed through the cable chains. But if I was building another FT-5, I'd definitely consider it for the X and Y axis. I'd keep a traditional endstop on the Z-axis though.
I'm running my drivers in stealthchop mode - the quietest of the settings. All currents are at their defaults (800ma), and I've had no issues. I need to do some research into how to come to the right values for currents though, as I know I should have different values for the single axis (X & extruder) vs the dual-motor Y. So I'm either over for the X&E, or under for Y, or some combination... Need to do some reading there.
Note that if you buy the Chinese clones, some of them have a different configuration from the factory. The "Fystec" ones have a V1.0 (most common) which is pre-configured for standalone, and I believe there are V1.1 and V1.3 versions out now with different configurations. The price difference is so small, there's really no reason to not just get the genuine Watterott ones though, and save yourself the trouble of soldering and unsoldering the tiny bridges.
My FT-5 is an R1, still running the 12V power supply, and with the power supply adjusted to exactly 12.0V. I had read that there were some concerns of whining sounds with certain combinations of stepper motors and the lower supply voltage, but I think we lucked out with the FT-5 - No whining on mine.
I don't have any other noise-reduction mods on my FT-5. No stepper motor dampers, no squash ball (raquetball) feet, etc. I used to be able to hear my FT-5 from the other side of the house... Now, I brought my wife in to see the difference... her words were... "What did you change?.... Oh! It's printing! Holy ****... it's quiet!"
Easily one of the best upgrades I've done yet.
Now to tackle the fan noise...
(other thread here:)