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  1. #1
    Paul53's Avatar
    Lives in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 20. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    I am looking to start to put together my control box for my cnc, I have decided to with the DDCSV controller, which I will mount on the front on the enclosure, what I would like to know is, is it best to put the VFD inside or outside of the enclosure? If it should go inside the enclosure, where is the best place to mount it, I have read that it should be mounted at the bottom of the enclosure? Should it be kept away from any of the electrical components within the box? I am looking getting a metal enclosure, I do have an old pc case, but it won't be deep enough to mount the VFD. I do not have any electrical experience, just a little basic knowledge, so any help or advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you everyone

  2. #2
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 179. Received thanks 27 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    You haven't said which VFD you have, but if it is anything like mine it has a digital display of speed and a manual speed control on the front, neither of which will be accessible if it's inside the box. More importantly you must ensure good air flow through the VFD to avoid overheating. Correct air management is critical for power electronics.

    Mine is on the wall behind one end of the machine near where the drag chain ends, partly because I can see it properly and set the speed and partly because I should have bought six metres of screened 4-core cable instead of five.

    Kit
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  3. #3
    Paul53's Avatar
    Lives in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 20. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    You haven't said which VFD you have, but if it is anything like mine it has a digital display of speed and a manual speed control on the front, neither of which will be accessible if it's inside the box. More importantly you must ensure good air flow through the VFD to avoid overheating. Correct air management is critical for power electronics.

    Mine is on the wall behind one end of the machine near where the drag chain ends, partly because I can see it properly and set the speed and partly because I should have bought six metres of screened 4-core cable instead of five.

    Kit
    Thank you for your reply, it is a Huanyang VFD, with a digital display and manual speed control, luckily I have plenty of cable, so can mount it pretty much anywhere within reason 😁

  4. #4
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 40. Received thanks 12 times, giving thanks to others 2 times.
    It's got to be better having the VFD inside a steel cabinet from an EMC (electrical noise) POV, as well as making a neater installation. In both my machines, I have the VFDs mounted inside and have a fan to ensure they can stay cool. Rather than have the fan powered all the time, I have a simple central heating thermostat to turn it on when / if the air temperature exceeds a threshold which is something like 40C. There's an exit grille with a foam filter above the VFD and the fan is mounted near the bottom of the cabinet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 179. Received thanks 27 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    Muzzer,
    Aren't you shutting one of the biggest sources of electrical noise inside the metal shielding meant to keep it out of the other electronics? However I can see the point of keeping all the noise from the stepper drivers and VFD contained and away from the controlling computer.

    Paul,
    Perhaps this is an opportunity to broaden the discussion to noise in general, it's sources, consequences and how to deal with it.

    My own controller is an old PC case with the PSUs and stepper drivers in it with the parallel breakout board in it's own metal box inside there as well (I use a cheap Chinese breakout and LinuxCNC). I left the PC PSU in there to provide 5v for the breakout and 12v for the fans.1uF capacitors are connected across all the inputs on the breakout board. Cables to/from the steppers, spindle and limit switches are screened with the screens only connected to ground at the controller or VFD end. It's been working OK for now.
    Your mains supply can spread noise and there are recommendations to feed the VFD from a socket as far away from everything else as possible. My entire machine, computer, dust extractor and all, is fed by one dual socket and still works so don't spend any money on getting new sockets installed at the other end of your shed unless you have to.

    Kit
    Last edited by Kitwn; 14-07-2019 at 01:12 AM.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  6. #6
    Inside an enclosure is good, check the manufacturer's requirements though as adequate cooling is essential.
    Unless your VFD is really shoddy the majority of EMI is carried through wiring, not the air, although proximity will mean short cable runs and may require a filter on each mains equipment input in the box and shielded cable from the VFD to the motor is advisable.
    Outside is fine though, I've run a benchtop CNC mill for about 7 years with the VFD mounted to a bracket on the spindle motor without any issues and my lathe VFD is mounted next to the DRO display with a tacho on top of the VFD, that's worked fine for 20 years or so :D
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  7. #7
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 40. Received thanks 12 times, giving thanks to others 2 times.
    Most VFDs don't have filtering incorporated, as it's expect you will fit whatever is appropriate for the final installation. Consequently, many hobby installations don't bother unless there is an issue due to the electrical noise.

    I fitted Yaskawa V1000 drives in both of mine. They didn't actually cost a lot more than the Chinesium equivalents and you can buy EMC filters that are tailored for those specific drives. They may not guarantee 100% compliance with EMC regs as such but are going to get you in the right ballpark. Certainly, I have not had any issues. This is how professional installations are constructed, rather than simply locate the VFD on the other side of the shed(!).

    Getting everything into one cabinet makes for a tidier installation and allows you to construct it on the bench where access is a lot easier. It's a personal choice but I like the end result to look reasonably professional.

  8. #8
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 179. Received thanks 27 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    One of the main ways in which noise will get coupled between parts of the system is by running cables next to each other. I wanted to make everything neat by having all the cables for the spindle, motors and limit switches running through one set of drag chains but this is obviously the worst case for this. At one point I had the spindle feed looped up with the dust extraction hose to keep it separate but wasn't happy with it. This is why you want to screen all the cables and ground them to a single point at the control box/VFD end. Capacitors in parallel with the limit switch inputs to the breakout board are a great help as well. My understanding is that it's the high frequency, high amplitude noise from the stepper and spindle drives couling back into the limit switch inputs and possibly then into the controlling computer that are the main risk.

    Kit
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  9. #9
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 40. Received thanks 12 times, giving thanks to others 2 times.
    Yes, screening (and grounding the screens) is just good practice. Most drag cables have sets of screened cores within a screened bundle, so you can run signals and steppers etc in the same cable. Good idea to run the VFD>>motor separately though. Decent quality CNC controllers are fitted with noise filtering on the IO, so additional measures shouldn't be necessary if you have a good construction and follow good practice.

  10. #10
    Paul53's Avatar
    Lives in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 20. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    Well, It looks like I have started an interesting discussion.

    I have watched countless Youtube videos on wiring/connections etc, and most of the builds have the VFD inside the cabinet, now whether that is the right or wrong way, I wouldn't have a clue, but what I will say that a majority have an EMI filter on the mains feed from the VFD, I was also going have the VFD/spindle on it's own power supply, as I said, this is all new to me and it is a very steep learning curve, so expect loads of questions and advice while I put together all the components, none of you live in Hampshire by any chance? Would make my life so much easier just pop round for some one to one advice

    I have just picked up a metal box/enclosure, so I will very shortly be starting the electrical build, wish me luck!

    Thank you for all the input and advice.

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