I received my VFD a month ago and wanted to share my thoughts. I am working off the old XXL version with their first Gen HDZ. I upgraded the mother board months ago so no issues there.
First I had an issue where the package arrived and it wasn’t packed as well as it should. Carbide immediately sent me a replacement which was great.
Installation went just like Winstons video described, great and flawless, hands down to putting a simple video together and a nice install.
A few things about the equipment.
VFD electronic module:
** Nice compact design to mount in most places. The mounting holes seemed really close to the sides of the plastic sides and they are recessed. This could be interesting to try and mount the VFD. I ended up making a box for mine to sit in and sit above my XXL.
** Power supply, my first VFD module I got, the power supply in the bottom of the VFD module was mashed in, which Carbide team sent a replacement out the next day. Now the new VFD I received seems to have the same issue. Well it wasn’t mashed in like the first one but it is loose and rocks in the case. I have contacted Carbide and they are looking to replace it once their have one that isn’t showing that symptom.
** Power cord from VFD to the Spindle. Nice heavy duty cord and connection to the spindle great. The one things that I wish they would do is at the VFD module, put a disconnect on the VFD module for the cable. If you run your cord in your cable tray, and your VFD module goes out, guess what you are having to disassemble the cable tray all over again. I would like ot see a disconnect at the box so you can order a replacment and change it out quick. Running cables is never fun, and only want to do it once. I have the XXL so I run my cable over head so I don’t have it in a cable tray, that is my solution. But if I had the Pro version I still would be temped to not put the power cord in the cable tray.
Running of the Spindle.
** all in all it runs great, had a few hickup initally. Spindle comes on and run the job like it should no complaints there.
** One hickup that I hit, and this may have been a one time occurance but it scarred the bejibbers out of me. Note the power cord plugged in to the VFD the previous issue I had which still exist is the power connector in the VFD module isn’t rock solid. When you plug in the power cord in rock the interal connector back and it seems sketchy. I have contacted support on this and they are working with me on it. So after mounting the VFD in its permenate spot, I went to run a job. I did prior testing to make sure the spindle turned on and everything, so we are good there. I plugged in the power to VFD the best I could. VFD came on with the XXL, front bottom button the VFD was on which indicates it will spin the motor. All is good, I send the job, and it drive the bit into my stock with no power to spindle. I panic and hit the stop button to stop the machine. I was like oh my gosh. I look up at the VFD module and power on, button the front is lite to indicate spindle should turn on when sending a job. One thing I did notice is there was no indicator speed on the VFD, VFD had other indicator lights on indicating its getting power. So I reached up and messed with the power cord and 00 started flashing on the front panel. I was ok, so I reset the machine, went back to winston video and retested the VFD and it worked as described. What was the issue don’t know but it made me question the power supply in the VFD. Carbide support was made aware of this.
Since then I haven’t had any issues. NOTE: I am causios to watch the VFD to make sure the 00 is flashing on the screen, that a good indicator that the spindle with come on, plus the botton button is lite, if not spindle will not turn on. I do keep my mouse close the STOP button as it starts.
** When a job starts, you click start the gantry goes to 0,0 then spines up the spindle then immediately starts your job. Note the spindle is super quiet and my dust collection is now louder than the spindle and I have a quiet shop vac as well. I have been leaving my shop vac off until I see and hear the spindle turn on.
** Suggestion on this. Can carbide know when the GCODE call for a VFD to spin up to a specific speed. Then sense if the VFD button is either press or not to spin up the VFD, and even sense that the VFD has spun up to speed. In a way I miss the day when I had to hit start again to verify my router was on before it started. After driving a bit into my work and seeing the gantry twist and turn I welcome the extra step to verify the spindle is on. Just my idea but It is still a little nerving to start a job and hope the spindle turns on. Technology right.
Worth the invesment, absolutely for me, I run lots of hours cutting out parts and have been doing it with a router since bought the machine 5 years ago. Installation, couldn’t have been easier, carbide did a great job on making it easier. Cabling, would be awesome if they put a connector on the module so if you have issue later you don’t have to re run the vfd cable again. Power supply connection in the VFD is loose and hopefully carbide is address this issue. I did have one mishap, it was when I first got it a month ago. I have put probably 20 or 30 hours on the VFD since then and haven’t had an issue. I am cause when starting it, which we all should be, maybe there some code that would prevent a few things for future release.
All in all good investment and will get many many hours of use. Eventually I will welcome the PRO into the line up but the XXL is still running after year of abuse.