The remote keypad makes working with the drive so much easier! Join us as we walk through all the features this keypad for the IronHorse ACN VFD has to offer.
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The ACN Drives Remote keypad has a lot of really cool extra features that aren’t available on the Drives LED keypad. But, that also means it operates a little differently. In this video we’ll learn how to use it, take a quick spin through all of those extra features, and point out a couple caveats you need to be aware of. Here we go. To use the Remote key pad just grab any cat-5 ethernet patch cable and plug one end into the drives RJ45 port – that’s a serial port, not an ethernet port - and the other end into the keypad. This is important – the keypad talks to the drive over RS232 – not RS485. Which means you need to be REAL careful about noise. While RS232 is supposed to be good for cable lengths up to around 50 feet, it’s recommended that you keep this cable length below around 10 feet. Why? Because you are using it near one of the most electrically noisy pieces of equipment in your factory. The Drive. Also, be sure to use a shielded cable and keep the cable as far away as you can from any possible noise sources especially the motor power cables. On the Drive’s keypad you can monitor one item. On the Remote Keypad you can monitor three items at the same time. In this example we’re monitoring Frequency, Current and Voltage. Hit the forward button to run in the forward direction – his LED lights up - Reverse for the reverse direction – the LED blinks while in transition and goes solid when the target speed is reached. Hit stop and when the motor reaches full stop we see the RED LED light up. This bar over here is the cursor which is telling me hitting enter will allow me to change the frequency using the up down and left right arrow keys. Hit enter again to accept it. Notice that you just hit enter once. On the drive’s keypad you have to hit enter twice. I can cursor down to the current and voltage, but there’s nothing to change there they are read only. If I hit the right or left arrow it reminds me what I am looking at. This stuff up top is always available. This is the mode I am in. Right now, I am monitoring the drives status. Pressing the Mode button changes the mode to parameter entry and I am now looking at the drive parameters which spelled out for me in full text. No more guessing what each one is. And just like the drive keypad I can left right arrow through the various groups … and up down arrow to scroll through the parameters. Hit Enter to edit the parameter. I love this. I see everything I need to know about the parameter. The parameter number, name, value to edit, allowable range, the default value and the current value. Left right and up down arrows to change the value and enter to accept it. Again, only one enter is required where the drives keypad requires two. If I go to the frequency source, and hit enter, instead of range and current value I see all of my options spelled out in plain text – I don’t have to remember which number goes with which option. Enter to accept or escape to exit and ignore changes. Escape a couple more times to get back to the top level. I’ll press the mode key - I see the parameter entry mode again - and press the mode key again and we are now in configuration mode. Here we can see and change the language, LCD contrast, Keypad ID, and view version info. This anytime parameter is this guy. He is available at any time in any menu. Right now it’s showing the frequency, but if I enter it we see there are lots of things you can put there. Let’s show the output current. And I especially like that the units show up automatically with it. Monitor line 1, 2, and 3 are where you select what shows up in the main display – these guys. Again, there are lots of things you can display on those three lines. Monitor Mode Init resets those LCD Monitor items to their defaults. Options show you what option modules are currently plugged in to any possible option card slots on the drive. This drive only has one option slot so the other two don’t really apply. Parameter init is the same factory reset that we used in the other videos where you can rest all parameters or just an individual group. Enabling this guy only shows parameters that have changed on the LCD display. That’s a quick way to get a concise list of anything that has changed in the drive. Of course, that’s even easier to see in the Free VFD Suite configuration software, but when you don’t have that handy, this is the next best thing! This configures the MULTI key on the keypad. You can use it for Jog, switching between local and remote, going straight to your custom user group of parameters or you can configure one remote keypad to control multiple drives on the same RS485 network. This symbol up here tells us what the MultiKey function is. Right now, it is not defined, but if we change that to jog for example, we see this changes to a J. And when Jog is active, it inverts. Macro select is use when setting up user macros. You can clear all trip alarm history and delete user defined parameter groups. Parameter read, write and save allow you to read all parameters from the drive into the key pad to and then take that keypad to another drive where you can then write the parameters back out. It’s an awesome way to back up your parameters and to quickly configure multiple drives. I’ll read this drive’s parameters – you see a little progress bar... we’ll wait for that to complete ..and the parameters are now permanently in the keypad. I can remove power from the keypad and they will still be there. You could now take this keypad to another drive and select write to fully configure that drive. Give it a couple seconds and were done. This is an important concept to understand. When parameters are changed via coms, they only get written to RAM. They don’t get written to EEPROM to prevent coms from using up the limited number of writes. Coms can write a 1 to Configuration register 48 to move those parameters into EEPROM. This save option does the same thing, moves parameters in RAM to the EEPOM for permanent storage. These view lock options allow you to decide which things are visible on the keypad and to setup the password to unlock it. The key lock does the same thing but for the keypad. Add title updates is used to update the Text Titles on the keypad when the drive firmware gets updated. This Easy Start is a mini parameter wizard that helps get you up and running quickly. Just turn it on, then go back to parameter 40 and reset the drive to factory default. Now when you power cycle the drive it puts you in the Easy Start mode. We DO want easy start, English language, this is the motor we are using Number of poles, I’m using a 230 Volt motor, 60 Hz, 220-volt input, I want to command from the keypad, run my motor at 30 Hz, and I’m done. I’ve now done everything I need to do to get my motor spinning. How cool is that? That a great way to get up and running quickly or to get a clean start when you are having issues. Let me get back to configuration mode, and instead of scrolling to parameter 61 where we left off, let’s use the jump code which is always parameter zero in any parameter group, enter a 61 and it jumps right to that parameter. You can clear the total accumulated electric energy consumption – which is one of the things you can show on the LCD display. This is the on-time of the drive – tells you total time drive has spent powered up. You can see I am using a fairly new drive. And Run time is the amount of time the drive has had the output on. Again, I haven’t used this drive much at all. Just a few hours. Time reset resets BOTH of those - the supply time and the output time. You can see how many hours the drives main cooling fan has been used and you can reset that number after you have replaced a fan. You can also see and reset the CPU fan time. We are back to the start, so I’ll hit escape a few times to get back to the top level. That should give you a pretty good idea of what you can do with the external keypad. But, there are a couple things you need to be aware of. We saw that the external keypad uses the RJ45 RS232 port on the drive. That means you can’t plug the configuration cable in and connect to the VFD Suite software. At least not with RS232. The good news is, you CAN connect via RS485. I like to use this USB to 485 converter. I just connect the provided flying lead cable’s green wire to S minus and the RED wire to S plus. Then in the VFD Suite software before hitting connect, I go to settings and select the com port the USB to 485 converter is plugged into. And this is important – you have to set this to 9600 baud, it defaults to something else so don’t assume it is already set. Given that, I can now connect to the drive and use both the free VFD suite software AND the remote keypad at the same time. Cool. The other thing to be aware of is that to control the drive from any keypad – the drives keypad or the remote keypad – the drive has to be configured to use a keypad as the command source. You can quickly tell what the command source is, here. This reminds me that the drive is expecting commands from a keypad. This one does the same thing for the frequency source – and it’s using the keypad right now. So when things don’t seem to be working, keep an eye on these guys. It’s a great way to quickly see how the drive controls are configured. And finally, this field tells you what the drive status is. We’ll that should be more than enough to get you started with the remote keypad. Click here to learn more about the ACN family of drives. Click here to learn about AutomationDirect’s free award-winning support options and click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you will be notified when we publish new videos.