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This is a tutorial covering the basics of programming a VFD, strictly focusing on getting the shaft of just about any VFD to turn via the keypad on the VFD without load on motor.

To start things off…let’s begin by opening the manual. That’s right! First we must familiarize ourselves with the VFD that has been purchased and acquire all the needed information for the application. 


Confirm that the VFD that has been purchased will match both the supply side voltage/phase and the 3 PHASE motor load with full amp capacity. Both of these factors need to be compatible in order for the equipment to work correctly and for you to achieve the desired effect.


Read all the safety requirements, yes, all of them. This is primarily for purpose of installation precaution, though it’s probably best to do so regardless.

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Review all peripheral equipment for the application; this includes all circuit breakers or fuses, wire sizes, VFD cabling, control wiring (if needed), remote keypads, or pushbuttons/switches and potentiometers if external signals are to be used.


This is where some of the programing begins…But first! You must become one with keypad navigation. You’ll need to know how to maneuver the keypad in order to get the correct parameter numbers, password parameters, or unlock higher level function parameter that may be defaulted to be locked out.

This means opening YE OLDE MANUAL once again, we know…exciting right? You’ll need to understand how parameters are altered, which generally is laid out in the programming section of your VFD manual. Be sure to save the necessary changed items and WRITE DOWN EVERY TIME YOU MAKE A CHANGE IN A LOG in the manual or in a spreadsheet, you’ll thank yourself later!


As with all drives, some basic programming information must always be loaded into the VFD, this surrounds the motor information. This can be accomplished in a few different ways. Some drives can run “Auto-Tunes” for motor compatibility while some may have to be manual parameter entry; this will depend on brand and VFD series. If manual entry is needed, the “motor parameters” section of any manual will have the necessary numbers that need to be confirmed:

  1. Motor Rated Frequency
  2. Motor Rated Speed, aka RPM
  3. Motor Rated Cosine Phi (depends on brand/series)
  4. Motor Stater Resistance (depends on brand/series)
  5. Motor Overload Setting (Amp setting) – set when drive does not match motor exactly.


After these basic steps you will need to confirm that the motor rotation is CW (clockwise) or CCW (counter-clockwise) as desired and be able to cycle the VFD up and down within its desired frequency range. If you need to make the motor move faster than 60HZ, then parameter frequency limits need to be changed to match motor capability. Note, spindle motor may need the HZ to be in the 61-599HZ range to operate accordingly, as a point of note.

Still have questions about programming a VFD? Feel free to email our tech support or our sales team or give us a call and we’d be happy to help!

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