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Oh Yea! Bridgeport w/VFD... Sweet

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  • Oh Yea! Bridgeport w/VFD... Sweet

    Just wanted to say I put an Automation Direct VFD on my varispeed Bridgeport this weekend. Installation (including the braking resistor) was quick with a minor wiring change so I could use the original BP drum switch. Programming took all of about 5 minutes and presto instant smooth variable power. I plan on running the motor at constant 1710 rpm and using the mechanical advantage for speed control with the VFD for fine speed adjustment if needed. All in all it was a quick simple task. So for those who have been hesitant about installing a VFD I have to say it was simple and painless. I'm a happy camper now, back to makin chips!

    Oh yea, I was going to build a RPC but was having some trouble scrounging the appropriate parts. I didn't like the idea of a static converter and the VFD was cheaper than buying a RPC and the wiring was simpler in my opinion (no caps, relays, contactors, or 3-phase panels to deal with). 2 wires in and 3 wires out, plus 3-conductor control wire for drum switch.


  • #2
    I did the same from the start with my old Series 1 a while back - it's the only 3 phase power I've ever had - or considered. I don't use the drum switch at all any more - it's always on. I've got a SquareD Altivar 16 drive, and I mounted an on/off switch, a direction switch, and a speed pot on the front panel of the VFD. It's all controlled from there. I didn't see the need for a braking resistor, but I have one made up. I also like that the VFD can "soft start" the mill. It probably doesn't matter much, but I like the idea that it's easier on the mill.

    And yes, it was pretty easy to install, and I love it.

    The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.