Baldor Series 15J Inverter Control trouble shooting

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dan Gillen, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Dan Gillen

    Dan Gillen

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    My Powermatic 3520a was working fine but now will not start. The inverter runs and hums. I have cleared all faults and reset to factory defaults. When power is applied the status on the display is
    OFF ov o RPM
    LOC o.oa 0.00HZ
    the Stop button is lighted (I think normal status should show STP instead of OFF)
    I have replaced the power switch (Red Button), sorted across the remote power switch to take it out of the equation, and verified 240+ volts getting to the inverter. If I select JOG and hold the FWD (run) button the motor spins slowly. I suspect I have something programmed wrong in inverter control.
    Here is photo of my inverter control.


    Baldor 15J Photo2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I turned the image right side up for you. :)

    It has been a few years and my memory is getting sort of rusty on this, but I have several of the Baldor ZD18H series inverters which shares a lot of functions with 15 series inverters and the programming is similar. I think that the 15Jis a volts/Hz type controller and the 18H has full vector control. I downloaded the technical manual for my inverters from the Baldor site, but when I looked recently they had reorganized everything and I couldn't find the manuals. You might need to call their tech support to get a manual. You definitely will need the manual to get it reprogrammed. I think that you made a mistake in resetting it back to factory defaults, but the good news is if it is like the 18H inverters it can be auto tuned. Being able to auto tune the inverter is a big plus because there are some motor performance parameters that probably aren't listed on the nameplate.

    Here is one of mine and the motor:

    Billy Ray 05.jpg


    Billy Ray 02.jpg
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Seeing that Jog works says that the inverter and motor seem to be functional.

    Can you change the jog speed by pressing the up and down buttons while in jog mode (the yellow buttons)?

    Does anything happen if you press FWD and then the up or down arrows? There's a parameter that lets you select either the keypad or external inputs (the controls on the headstock)? How about reverse (REV)?

    Can you change the display by pressing DISPLAY?

    Are you able to get into the program mode by pressing PROG?
     
  4. Dan Gillen

    Dan Gillen

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    Jog speed increases or decreases with up or down arrows. FWD then up arrow increases motor speed, down arrow decreases speed. Same happens for REV. I have programmed "Operational Mode" to Standard Run instead of Keypad. But the headstock controls do not work. Is setting operational mode to Standard Run what I should be doing? Are there other parameters that I should be looking at. I see a manual appendix where you can document how the user modified factory settings for their application. I feel like I need to get a working set of these parameters from someone successfully using a 15J Inverter Control with a Powermatic 3520. My PM is 3520a but the Inverter Control has been upgraded from a a series 10 (I think) to a series 15J.
    Display and PROG seem to work as documented in the manual.
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Have you tried pressing the LOCAL button? It alternates between local control (the keypad) and remote control (the controls on the headstock) each time that you press it.

    I did a Google search for "Baldor 18h manual" and it took me to the manual for my inverters on the Baldor site. I'm sure that if you changed 18h to 15j that it would lead you to the manual for your inverter. The Baldor manual is a lot easier to understand than most of the other manuals that have cryptic displays and confounding manuals.

    Hopefully, it has a procedure to auto tune the inverter to the motor. But, before you do that, it's possible that the reset only reset user options like ramp up and down times and not the motor parameters.
     
  6. Doug Rasmussen

    Doug Rasmussen

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    I'm surprised the VFD parameters can be user modified.

    A local turner gave me a Delta inverter after Grizzly misdiagnosed his problem and replaced the complete motor control electronics on his lathe. At the factory Delta programs the inverters then password protects the setting for user safety. Grizzly tech support doesn't even have the passwords to unlock the units. The inverter works fine except the keyboard has been disabled so a speed pot has to be used, a remote start/stop/reverse is needed and the speed is limited to 120hz.
     
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe the inverter was replaced somewhere along the way. A member of my club has one of the early 3520 lathes and if my memory is not too bad, I believe that the original version used Delta inverters. Anything with the Baldor name on it is going to have an industrial grade price tag.
     
  8. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    When you do a google search for 15J inverter it brings up the factory manual.
    And like 99% of VFD manuals you will read all of the way through the manual trying
    to find the answer to your problem, and will need to call the factory support number.
    Many times you can find a video on YouTube on these types of equipment, but no-one
    has uploaded a video on this particular model of inverter.

    There should be a basic set of parameters needed for the lathe application, Baldor or the
    lathe manufacturer should have a "procedure" used for setting up the inverter before it is
    shipped out to the dealer/distributor. A phone call to either of these two entities should be
    able to provide the solution to your problem if you can get past the 1st level of support and
    get to a person that has some knowledge or has access to these resources.
     
  9. Dan Gillen

    Dan Gillen

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    I have both hardcopy and PDF versions of the Baldor 15J Inverter Control manual. I have been reading it forward and backward. I have not found anything about auto tuning capability. ABB is the company Baldor refers PWM drive users to for support. I talked a ABB support person yesterday. He told me there were only three motor parameters that need to be programmed Amps, Speed, and HZ. I was able to program those three to match my Baldor motor. Amps had been 6.8 instead of 6.2 on my motor tag, and Speed was 1785 RPM instead of 1725 RPM. Updating these had no positive effect.

    I am occasionally getting a "Bus Undervoltage" fault. The manual lists "input voltage too low" as the possible cause. Used a meter to verify there is 240+ volts input to the 15J. As the ABB rep said the power wave still could be improper. I have no way of looking at that. I had a 220 circuit installed in May when I purchased the lathe. It worked without problems for months. The ABB rep said capacitor leakage could also cause bus undervoltage faults. His take was if that is the case it will most likely get worse over time. The only solution he offered in this case was to replace the 15J. As long as this is occasional I plan to try to work around it (clear the fault code and proceed).

    I have used the Local button to alternate between remote and local (keypad) operation. I was a little unsure of the term local/remote terms for a while. The 15J has connector allowing attachment of a remote keypad. As I understand it now the 15J automatically switches to a remote keypad and disables the local keypad when a remote keypad is plugged in. The 15J powers up in Remote mode (REM status on the display). There is also a Remote ON/OFF option that I have programmed to Remote ON.
     
  10. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Dan,

    Have you checked all of your wiring connections? You may have a loose connection causing a
    low voltage situation when the motor is put under load. Start at the circuit breaker in the load center
    and tighten the terminal screws and work your way back to the inverter connections. Technology is
    wonderful when it works properly, it is one giant pain in the ass when it fails.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    So, were you able use the headstock controls after pressing the LOCAL button? Change the programming back to remote OFF because you aren't using two keypads. You shouldn't need to change any of the parameters in the software settings. The LOCAL button on the keypad is the only thing that you need for switching between the keypad and the lathe controls.

    The connector is so that you can tether the keypad. I made up a cable with connectors to allow me to unplug the keypad from the inverter and place it in a more convenient location than a remote equipment cabinet.

    This post has been completely rewritten.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I had a faulty power condition many years ago that was causing problems with the motors stalling in some appliances such as the refrigerator. The problem got so bad that I had to get an extension cord for the refrigerator so that it could be plugged into the other phase. The voltage appeared to be OK, but fortunately I had an oscilloscope and saw a very distorted waveform on one of the power legs. My conclusion was that it was insulaton breakdown on the pole transformer. I called the power company and got an arrogant help person who informed me that the problem was in my house wiring. I requested being connected to somebody intelligent, but was informed that was not possible. They finally agreed to send our a repair crew, but seeing as how they were armed with nothing more sophisticated than a multimeter it was no surprise that they didn't see the problem. So, I resigned myself to waiting for the transformer to blow which I estimated to be sooner than later. I was right ... it was sooner ... a few days later when then there was a loud explosion and everything went dark. The foreman on the repair crew said, "yeah, these things never give you any warning that they're about to go."

    While many causes of your problem are possible, I would support the leaky capacitor idea as being by far the most likely. The fault message certainly goes along with the bad capacitor diagnosis. I'm surprised that the "remedy" was to buy a new inverter rather than repairing the unit by replacing the capacitor. Big capacitors probably have the shortest MTBF (mean time before failure, fancy term for life expectancy) of any electronic component.
     

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