A VFD for my Bridgeport
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  1. #1
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    Default A VFD for my Bridgeport

    Finally bought a VFD for my 1hp Bridgeport. For years, yes that's right, YEARS, I've been having to use my lathe as a rotary converter to start my mill because it would constantly "single phase" when I would attempt to start it. First I thought it was the drum switch, so I replaced it with a reversing mag starter and still had the same problem. So after reading through the posts on this and other forums I decided it was time, and am I glad I did. The unit is a TECO FM50 (maybe not the best, but it works for my situation) that is in an Eldon enclosure, and uses a remote push button station with momentary contact switches (Stop, Start, Forward/Reverse, and a 10K Potentiometer). I added Vents to the top of the enclosure to aid in cooling and a Plexiglass window to view the Frequency reading. When funds allow, I'll be changing my grinder over to a VFD, til then, run the lathe. Attached are some pictures.

    300.jpg 200.jpg 100.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Nice neat looking job. Looks like good work - professional like.

    I have a few questions, if you don't mind.

    - Why do you go through the terminal blocks you added inside the box, instead of simply hooking the wires directly to the VFD?

    - It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like you used 14ga wire coming in the box, or is that 12?

    - How did you hang the remote box (the one with the start/stop, fwd/rev)? I'm interested in what you used for a bracket and how you attached the bracket.

  4. #3
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    Default

    I have been considering doing the same thing with my BP. Since it isn't a variable speed. Nice box for it, I hadn't planned anything quite so extensive.

  5. #4
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    Default

    FYI, it is not a good idea to tie the motor cable and control cable together, as you can get false signaling from induction. The low level signaling for the run/stop/direction and speed pot typically use much smaller gauge wire, I normally like to use shielded 18-22 AWG wire cabling and use direct connects to the VFD. On loner runs between the VFD and motor, I also uses shielded motor cable. Typical connection of the shields is at the VFD end only. Good to use a star/bus ground as you have done. I like to put a power disconnect at my VFD enclosure along with fusing/breaker if not on a dedicated circuit. Below id a recent system where I put the mill controls in a pod that attached to the knee and the E-Stop, tach and speed pot on the head. It also uses a ring LED spindle light and various sensors to detect back gear and for auto reverse.

    pm949-control-system.jpg

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randalthor View Post
    Nice neat looking job. Looks like good work - professional like.

    I have a few questions, if you don't mind.

    - Why do you go through the terminal blocks you added inside the box, instead of simply hooking the wires directly to the VFD?

    - It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like you used 14ga wire coming in the box, or is that 12?

    - How did you hang the remote box (the one with the start/stop, fwd/rev)? I'm interested in what you used for a bracket and how you attached the bracket.
    I added the terminal strips for ease of installation (fat fingers)

    Power into the box is 12ga and control wiring is 18ga, 8 conductor

    Bracket uses 2 of the belt housing bolts and was just some 1/8" x 2" flat stock I had laying around that I welded together.
    push-button-bracket.jpg
    Got the Idea from Jake Belk on YouTube (3:36 on video)

    Quote Originally Posted by rj1939 View Post
    I have been considering doing the same thing with my BP. Since it isn't a variable speed. Nice box for it, I hadn't planned anything quite so extensive.
    The whole setup cost less that $200.00 and makes life on the mill a whole lot easier.

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  9. #6
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    Stop using your mill table for a workbench!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    Stop using your mill table for a workbench!
    Not using it as a workbench, but as an assembly bench -

  11. #8
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    I used the same drive. My first VFD.
    Learned quite a bit.
    So far so good. I don't do any heavy
    milling so will not tax the drive.
    I power it up every so often as I have
    read about some people having trouble with
    caps that have set for long periods.
    olf20 / Bob


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