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Thread: New [to me] BT alpha 48- no power to the VFD?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Blaine Mn
    Posts
    316

    Default New [to me] BT alpha 48- no power to the VFD?

    I just had this shipped in and cannot get the spindle to run. It is a 2013 with almost no use, but worked before it was shipped. The USB connection to the VFD lights up green and seems to be on the right COM port [ Win 10 computer came with it] I can get the speed control window to open [ always reverts to Preview] and have clicked output 1. The VFD does not light up- power between it and the Control box. I am assuming that it is something I am doing [or not doing]. I have had 2 PRSs before but never one with a factory spindle. I have spent 6 hours chasing this and searching the internet, any ideas? thanks Gene

    Everything else works fine BTW

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New Auburn, WI
    Posts
    331

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    Hi Gene,

    I've got a BT48 with a spindle. I don't use this machine everyday anymore, when I did it seemed to work pretty good. It now only gets used a couple times per week and EVERY time I want to start things up I get the preview screen, unless I unplug my USB cable from the back of my computer and plug it back in first before trying to start the Shopbot program. I don't have any idea why I need to do this, or even how I figured this out. It seems pretty crazy to me to have to do this. With my previous computer (same machine) I would have to reboot my computer AND unplug/replug the USB cable when I'd get the preview screen at startup.
    If I remember right too... when I first started using my new computer (newer than the old one), I couldn't get the front USB ports to work for me and ended up finding one of the ports in back that ultimately worked. I don't know enough about any of this stuff to explain why any of it works, or doesn't work.
    My current routine is to turn on the Shopbot control box switch... then unplug/replug the USB cable from the port in the back of the computer... then open the Shopbot software.

    I'm sure the smart kids will be along in a few minutes.

    Good luck!
    Eric Erickson
    Shopbot BT48 Buddy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Blaine Mn
    Posts
    316

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    I left work after the OP and had a number of hours to think about this and now think the place to start is the lack of power to the VFD. I have not taken that appart yet but the cable from the main box shows power with a touchless voltage indicator. So I am thinking that something is not turning on the VFD. As mentioned I am new to the 'factory' spindle [had a Chicom spindle on my last shopbot] as well as the Alpha machine so I am getting up to speed. I was trained in computers and electronics tech back in 1965-6-7, but most of my life has spun in different directions so I am recalling some ooold memories here. I will obviously call SB on Monday but this is helping me work out the important troubleshooting steps to relay to them. Thanks Gene and thanks Eric for your thoughts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Willis Wharf, VA
    Posts
    1,643

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneMpls View Post
    I left work after the OP and had a number of hours to think about this and now think the place to start is the lack of power to the VFD. I have not taken that appart yet but the cable from the main box shows power with a touchless voltage indicator. So I am thinking that something is not turning on the VFD. As mentioned I am new to the 'factory' spindle [had a Chicom spindle on my last shopbot] as well as the Alpha machine so I am getting up to speed. I was trained in computers and electronics tech back in 1965-6-7, but most of my life has spun in different directions so I am recalling some ooold memories here. I will obviously call SB on Monday but this is helping me work out the important troubleshooting steps to relay to them. Thanks Gene and thanks Eric for your thoughts.
    Hey Gene,

    Is there a key interlock on the control box? Check for a key switch on the control box door and a key wired to the end of the collet wrench. It's a safety feature that keeps the spindle from starting while changing bits.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Blaine Mn
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Yessir- It does and that is not the problem, Thanks Gene

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Blaine Mn
    Posts
    316

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    Should the VFD 'light' up when the control box switch is thrown, or when does it get powered up. Thanks Gene

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    19

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    On my Buddy, the VFD doesn't power up until I hit the blue "reset" button. Is yours the same?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Thorp, WI
    Posts
    2,672

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    Not sure of how yours is setup, but is the control box 110 or 220? Not sure, but could it be that the control box is 110 and you need to bring separate 220 in for the spindle. Just going by what my Alpha is like.

    Give the contactors a few taps with a rubber mallet in case they're stuck.
    Scott

    If guns kill people, I guess pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk and spoons make people fat.

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not" - Thomas Jefferson




  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Blaine Mn
    Posts
    316

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    Scott, I have both 220 and 110 circuits - the spindle is 220 and that goes thru a relay that sets when you push the Reset button on the wired remote[also has start and emrg stop]- I sense voltage in the cord from the control box to the VFD- then there is a small wire that actually turns it on. From what I read you click output #1 on and I assume that you push the start button- I have the Spindle RPM box open [sez Preview, no matter what rpm I enter. This may be too new a machine for the old person running it [someday, hopefully]. Thanks Gene

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Thorp, WI
    Posts
    2,672

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    When all is plugged in and you turn on the control box, push the reset button, you hear the contactors click in, but the VFD doesn't light up at all (motors should also lock up at that point)?

    If you installed SB3, you should also have been asked to install the USB drivers for the spindle control right at the end of the install. You shouldn't have that dongle plugged in until that is done and then when plugging it in, it should find the drivers for it. There are other settings that need to be checked, but need to get there first.

    To manually start the spindle, click output #1 and then open the Keypad and after answering the prompt to push start, it should start.
    Scott

    If guns kill people, I guess pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk and spoons make people fat.

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not" - Thomas Jefferson




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