Learn how to quickly setup and configure your GS4 Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) with this live demo/tutorial.
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GSoft2 is the quickest and easiest way to setup and configure your GS4 drive. Let’s do an example. First, download the FREE GSoft2 application from the AutomationDirect website. You’ll find it under Downloads, Software. Next, you’ll need a USB to RS-485 converter. This is the recommended converter because it’s the one AutomationDirect’s Support team is familiar with. If you use some other converter, they may not be able to help you if you need to contact them. Plug the USB adapter into the PC and the other end into either of the RS485 ports on the drive. Don’t plug it in up here – that’s for upgrading firmware. Apply power to the drive, wait for it to come up. Bring up the software and click on connect. If you go to the windows device manager on your PC, you should see something that looks like this. Looks like my converter ended up in this com port, so I should enter that here – but I’m not going to do that yet. Your com port will probably be different than mine so don’t assume it’s this number. Click on this COM TEST button to verify you have a connection. Oops! Something is wrong! Well, we haven’t selected the correct com port yet right? Let’s do that now. Ahh, much better. If you still get a fault, even if you know you have the correct comm port, then make sure these settings match the comport settings in the windows device manager and that this is set to RTU. You can also use this autodetect. It tries every combination of every setting so can take a while … but, if you don’t remember what baud rate the drive was set to, for example, this is a great way to find it. These are the default settings so always try them first. Things look good, so let’s connect to the drive. Down here we see a green light telling us we are connected and the com parameters we are currently using. Click on the parameters button to see a display of all of the drive’s parameters. Click the READ button to read all of the parameters from the drive and fill in the table. This tells us GREEN parameters can be written to while the motor is running, BLUE parameters can only be written when the motor is NOT running and BLACK are read only parameters. This line is important – it tells us we are currently looking at the DRIVE menu not the FILE menu, which drive GSoft2 thinks we are playing and a reminder to hit READ to update the current drive parameters. If I reach over and change parameter 0.0 to a 231 and hit READ, sure enough we see the new parameter. It’s RED because it is NOT a default value. I love that I can quickly see what is different just by looking for the RED parameters. You can also see what the min and max allowable values are for each parameter over here. Writes on the other hand happen instantly. For example, let’s change that motor voltage back to 230 and as soon as I hit return or cursor away from it the drive gets updated. And look down here … there is a running log that tells us everything we have done since the last READ from the drive. If I do a read that log gets cleared out. Can I enable the drive from here? Well, over here in parameter set 9 I see a RUN parameter. If I enable it – hmmm .. the motor didn’t go and we got an error – why? Because we haven’t told the drive to accept remote run commands from the RS485 port. With parameter 3.0 we can tell the drive to accept run commands from the keypad, A digital I/O, the RS485 port or a com card. We want this one that leaves the keypad stop enabled, so we enter a 3 in parameter 3.0. Now if we go back to parameter set 9, and enable the run command, sure enough, the motor runs. Perfect. That’s more than enough to get you started with GSOFT2. But, there are some other really cool features built into this software like remote keypad operation, the ability to view signals in real time and firmware updates, etc. We’ll cover those and a lot more in Part II of this Quick Start series. One final note. GSoft2 only works with the GS4 drives. You’ll still need the original GSoft application to configure GS1, GS2 and GS3 drives. The good news is the are both a free download at the AutomationDirect website. Click here to learn more about the GS4 Drive. Click here to learn about AutomationDirect’s free support options and click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you get notified when we publish hew videos.