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  1. #1
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    Default Quick question - Remote Control for Powtran driving CVMax

    A question which I'm sure someone will be able to answer very quickly. Wondering what options installers have been choosing for remote operation of a Powtran VFD. In this case it will be driving a Clearvue Max. I know the Powtran has a remote keyboard wired viz Cat 5 but I want to be able to start the extractor remotely from any machine so I presume a simple RF transmitter/receiver driving a relay circuit. I can see a few chinese specials on eBay but is there one in particular people have been favouring and/or have good experience with. Locally sourced would be even better. I presume the Powtran can be relatively easily configured for an RF remote start/stop to operate one of the digital inputs of the drive?

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  3. #2
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    NCArcher is the expert on this, he did one for me and has done others from memory.
    CHRIS

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flindersia View Post
    A question which I'm sure someone will be able to answer very quickly. Wondering what options installers have been choosing for remote operation of a Powtran VFD. In this case it will be driving a Clearvue Max. I know the Powtran has a remote keyboard wired viz Cat 5 but I want to be able to start the extractor remotely from any machine so I presume a simple RF transmitter/receiver driving a relay circuit. I can see a few chinese specials on eBay but is there one in particular people have been favouring and/or have good experience with. Locally sourced would be even better. I presume the Powtran can be relatively easily configured for an RF remote start/stop to operate one of the digital inputs of the drive?
    That would be one way of doing it but I don't know anyone doing it that way, probably because of the effort involved, and especially because it doesn't take into account whether the necessary gate valves are open or not. You can suck all you like but if the right gates aren't open then its a waste of time.

    I wouldn't recommend controlling a DC via machinery switches unless a delay is programmed into the "off" state. Depending on what is being done a delayed off between 30 s and a 10 minutes will help clear the shed.

    It would save a lot of mucking and $ about to just locate one remote VFD on-off switch in a central position. My shed is an old shed connected to a new shed of about the same size and my the VFD switch is at the junctions between the two sheds
    Or
    Use one RF switch you carry around with you so you can switch the VFD when you like (See FLetty's setup - others have this as well).
    Or
    You can go the whole hog and set up current sensors and gate microswitches and a PLC to make sure all the gates are right before anything starts ie expensive and time consuming to put together. The problem compounds when the ducting has multiple branches so knowledge of more than one gate state needs to be known.

    I'm an increasing fan of using a simple pressure switch to prevent a machine from starting unless there is vacuum in its DC line. The means the DC is on and the right gates are open. This is a simple $3 solution that we have had working for nearly 12 months at the mens shed and it is working well. I have this on all my permanently connected machines and found it works well.

    Despite all this I encourage you to give it a crack and then report back the pros and cons etc. Good luck.
    Advice provided should be checked by a qualified perfessional.

  5. #4
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    Thanks Bob. Always incredibly generous with your time on these replies which I appreciate enormously. I've possibly worded my request poorly but it's definitely the second option I was referring to. i.e.

    "Use one RF switch you carry around with you so you can switch the VFD when you like (See FLetty's setup - others have this as well)."

    I honestly staggered through Fletty's thread last night. It's a smorgasbord of great info but blowed if I could find the specific info on RF transmitter and how it was wired/configured. Hopefully Fletty can rescue me here.


  6. #5
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    Fletty's setup is straightforward.

    The on-off to start the VFD can be performed with any of the 6 DI's.
    Assuming you use DI1, the connections from a relay driven by any RF master unit are connected between, DI1 and Earth, of the control terminals.

    The RF master could be a mains powered stand alone unit that plugs into 240V mains power like a Sonoff basic RF unit that requires wiring, or it could be an RF unit that plugs directly into a 10A GPO. I use one of the latter as a secondary emergency switch to turn of the gas to my mains gas powered furnace.

    Something like the Sonoff basic might seem cheap but they should need to be mounted into a protective case which adds to the cost. If you go for a Sonoff, watch out some modules are Wifi only ie NOT rf.

    Programming wise on the PI9XXX series VFDs, parameter F1.00 is set to 1 (on-off) and F0.11 is set to 1 to enable the external control.

    Note;you still have to turn on the VFD manually (DC motor does not start) so that it boots up and goes into standby mode but then you leave it on while you are in teh shed and likely to be using the DC and just use the RF switch to start stop the DC motor.

    Up could also power up the VFD into standby mode with a remote switch but that would normally require something like the Sonoff Power unit. I don't advise this as constantly switching VFDs on and off all day is a bit like repeatedly powering a computer on and off. The Powtran could probably handle it but why shorten its lifetime for no good reason. Modern VFDs use very little power on standby so that is not a problem.
    Advice provided should be checked by a qualified perfessional.

  7. #6
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    Hi (again ) Flindersia. Sorry for my late response but I have been faFFing around the countryside buying timber, visiting others’ sheds and largely out of touch.
    My remote was originally purchased for a pittance for my 2hp DC and, on that unit, it actually switched the power on and off and saw the loads that were created by doing so. If the powerpoint was turned on, the remote would complete the circuit to the DC and sucking started! When I upgraded to the 3hp 3phase unit, the guru (NCArcher) used the facility built in to the VFD (as described by BobL above) so that the remote was closing a signal circuit INSIDE the VFD rather than switching on and off the input power itself. In that way, the remote was switching a much lower current and hence probably extending its life?
    The only ‘downside’ is that, as Bob says above, the VFD has to be manually turned on at the beginning of the session and operates in stand-by mode until the remote ‘tells’ it to turn on the power to the DC. It DOES make a noise which is mostly the cooling fan and some find the noise annoying however, in my case, it quickly drifts into the background.
    Also, as Bob says, the DC system, no matter how efficient it is, doesn’t do anything if it’s not turned on. The cleverest thing that I did in my complete DC system revamp, was to fit the 2 bob remote and make an inelegant holster to have it always at my side!
    fletty
    .... if you can't see the bright side, polish the dull side

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fletty View Post
    . . . . . . and make an inelegant holster to have it always at my side!
    Advice provided should be checked by a qualified perfessional.

  9. #8
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    I hang the fob around my neck on a lanyard otherwise I am forever looking for it and like Fletty mine was done by NCA.
    CHRIS

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    Like I said, it really IS inelegant.......

    441DDCB5-15EF-4369-A03C-EDB89A18F461.jpg

    ...... fletty
    .... if you can't see the bright side, polish the dull side

  11. #10
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    Thanks guys this is exactly what I was after. Fletty/Chris, are you using the Sonoff gear mentioned by Bob? If not I'd love to hear what you're using is possible. The Sonoff gear Looks incredibly cheap (RF Switch $7.20 + 433MHZ remote $4.50). I can't see anyone selling these in Oz so I presume buying direct from Sonoff China is the way to go?

  12. #11
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    Mine is different to Fletty's, you would have to ask NCArcher by PM. His understanding of VFD's is far beyond anyone I know as he worked with them as part of his job for many years and is a licensed sparky.
    CHRIS

  13. #12
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    From memory, I think this...

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/271968342893

    ..... is the one I bought and used on my 2 hp DC while the 3 hp unit was still just a twinkle in my eye?

    fletty
    .... if you can't see the bright side, polish the dull side

  14. #13
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    Mine is much smaller, just a two button, no antenna and would be too small for a holder like Fletty's which is the reason it is on a lanyard.
    CHRIS

  15. #14
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    Thanks for all the info Fletty and Chris. Your setup would work fine Fletty. I have also dropped NCArcher a PM and if there is some more info there that is worth adding to the thread I’ll post it here when I receive a response.

  16. #15
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    Thanks to everyone that responded to this thread. NCArcher apparently had a few remotes left in his kit bag and I've purchased one from him. I look forward to getting this set up as part of the new system.

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