Showing posts from October, 2014

VFD control with Arduino using RS485 link

Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) allow the control of spindles so speed can accurately be controlled and a detailed acceleration profile for the spindle and reverse rotation can all be handled. In essence a VFD is an three phase inverter for three-phase AC motor.

I am using a popular (I mean cheap) Chinese VFD and though the reference manual is not great, I could see there is a built-in RS-485 port. I usually control the start, stop and speed selection using the keyboard on the unit but I thought it will be more useful if I could control everything from the same Arduino is doing our CNC table control.

Some cheap RS-485 off eBay and some lines of code later, I can start, stop and change the speed from an Arduino. What a cool thing to have!

Some configuration of your VFD are needed before you can use it like that.  You need to set PD163=1 (I am using address 1 in the code). PD=164=1 (for setting serial to 9600bps) and PD165=0 (for using ASCII and 8N1 character format). On top of that, yo…

First steps with ESP8266 wifi module

Some weeks ago it was mentioned in a new wifi module was available at a very tempting price (I paid $10 for two ESP8266 units shipped). It is a full SoC system which firmware can be updated.

My main interest was to use it with Arduino projects and, perhaps, as a way to use my 3D printers wirelessly.

The module offers, among other choices (I2C, SPI) a serial connection, running at 115200bps. Getting it to work has been a bit weird, as documentation was not very accurate and I was not paying much attention either.

Care has to be taken with power supply as the unit is to be powered at 3.3V and using 5V will probably kill it. Likely it seems that I/O are 5V-tolerant (or so they seem till now).

My initial setup has been to use an Arduino UNO as a power supply for the 3.3V and another 3V USB to Serial adapter with one FTDI chip. This way I was able to interact with the board using a serial terminal software (Coolterm). Unfortunately my initial setup was a no go.

I initially con…