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Problem with an Altivar 11 driving a 3 phase motor.

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Andrew Tinsley31/03/2021 18:06:56
1630 forum posts

I use this VFD to check out 3 phase motors after converting from star to delta. Last time I used it, it was fine. This afternoon I connected up a motor and switched on, the usual rDy (ready signal) was displayed. Flicked the forward run switch and nothing except the display showing zero Hertz, same with reverse switch. Checked out the motor on a second Altivar and it ran perfectly. So it seems the little old Altivar 11 has a problem.

I checked out every parameter in the program (against my list of value) nothing had changed. Checked that the common output voltage for digital inputs were present. Yes +15 Volts was present and the mechanical switches worked as they should.

Now these all singing and dancing VFDs are usually fast enough to tell you what the fault condition is (usually motor fault) but often VFD problems as well. But not this time!

Not sure where to check next, but it seems that the switch digital inputs pull the +15 Volt common supply to zero if it is connected to an analogue input. Now this can't be correct?


old mart31/03/2021 19:58:46
3775 forum posts
233 photos

Check your switches if they are remote.

Andrew Tinsley31/03/2021 21:23:03
1630 forum posts

Hello Old Mart,

I did say in the original post that the switches were checked and found to be working correctly.


old mart01/04/2021 15:34:40
3775 forum posts
233 photos

Sorry, I had a little trouble with the cheap switching which I used with the Altivar 12. A spray with AC90 did the trick, Servisol switch cleaning lubricant would have been better. I tried googling Altivar 11 and there was a lot of info, including the factory reset.

Edited By old mart on 01/04/2021 15:36:28

Andrew Tinsley01/04/2021 16:04:43
1630 forum posts

Thanks for that, I have the manual for the Altivar 11 and that isn't helping for this problem! I suppose I can't complain as I purchased it second hand for very little money. It has been first class in sorting out various problems with old motors which come through my shop, so it doesn't owe me anything.

I still have a sneaking suspicion that it is something simple that I am missing, so it won't get binned yet.

Thanks again,


LADmachining01/04/2021 17:47:46
124 forum posts
11 photos

Is the inverter just ramping the test motor up to full speed (100%) on pressing start, or do you have a potentiometer to vary the speed?


Andrew Tinsley01/04/2021 18:46:57
1630 forum posts

Hello Anthony, the inverter is ramping up to 50 Hz over 5 seconds (or should be!) no poteniometer control, just another thing to give trouble!


Simon Williams 301/04/2021 20:05:14
654 forum posts
82 photos

Apologies to the OP for butting in, but :

Old Mart, could you possibly point me at the reference you found for a factory reset?

I have two of these units (Altivar 11) I bought from Germany, but they have been programmed and locked with remote software and I have failed to connect to them, let alone guess the password. I'd love to try a factory reset. Both of them work OK but not at the settings I want to use.

Many thanks in anticipation and excitement (it doesn't take much these days!)

Best rgds to everyone, hope your Easter Egg chocolate weekend goes well.


old mart01/04/2021 21:05:54
3775 forum posts
233 photos

I googled Altivar 11 and there were lots of hits including how to do factory resets. I don't know what the difference between the model 11 and the 12. I bought a 12 model from the inverter drive supermarket because they have produced their own quick start guides which even somebody like me can understand. All of the external wiring, speed control and switchgear is shown clearly, as well as the programming of the most useful parameters. The original manuals are also available for the electricians amongst us.

Andrew Tinsley02/04/2021 15:24:53
1630 forum posts

Hello again,

I have found the fault, there is no bus voltage, so hardly surprising it doesn't run! The diode block is sealed and probably contains the output devices as well. Probably zero chance of a spare block, unless anyone else knows different?

The usual suspect for zero bus volts is the precharging resistor. It reads 46 ohms and is labelled up at 47 ohms, so it looks like a one way trip to the tip.


P.S. Even if the parameters are pass word protected you can do a factory reset. I have done it once from a site on the net. You should find it with a bit of googling.

old mart02/04/2021 15:33:28
3775 forum posts
233 photos

Good result, are the 11 series made in France? The 12 series one that I bought is made in Indonesia.

Andrew Tinsley02/04/2021 16:52:35
1630 forum posts

Hello Old Mart,

I really don't know, There is no mention of country of manufacture on the unit!

I cannot see any of the 3 output devices anywhere on the PCB and hence assume they are in the block with the Bus diodes. The block has quite a few holes in it and very long pins on the underside of the pcb which fit through said holes; Thee of the 15 or so pins have ferrite beads on them, so I assume they are from the 3 output devices.

Very annoying having to scrap the VFD for want of a bridge rectifier, I can't even squeeze one in on the heatsink, even if I worked out the pin out!

Thanks for your interest,


old mart03/04/2021 14:50:03
3775 forum posts
233 photos

Can you get a photo of the rectifier, there are some very knowledgable people on this forum who might have a solution.

Andrew Tinsley03/04/2021 15:04:35
1630 forum posts

Hello Old Mart,

I will disassemble it again and this time I will cut open the sealed block and see what there is inside. As the Altivar 11 is quite an old design, it may be that the full wave rectifier is a simple diode set up. I believe more modern designs use SCRs and are used to tame the surge current on switch on rather than a surge resistor and shorting relay.

Assuming they are diodes, then I just may be able to do a repair.


old mart03/04/2021 16:42:15
3775 forum posts
233 photos

You have very little to loose, but don't bin it if you have more than one of the same model. I thought I had found a wiring diagram on line, but was reluctant to sign up for whatever just to look at something which might not be for that model after all.

Andrew Tinsley08/04/2021 14:09:44
1630 forum posts

I eventually got around to dismantling the Altivar 11 and cut open the sealed block. Unfortunately there is no chance of repairing it.

I took the part number from the block and did a search for it. I found a Chinese company selling new ones for £15 and £4 postage. So one is now on order. The last item I had from China took a couple of weeks to arrive, so hopefully I should have a working VFD by that time.

I will report back with the results,


old mart08/04/2021 14:23:20
3775 forum posts
233 photos

Fingers crossed, then.

Andrew Tinsley20/04/2021 18:36:57
1630 forum posts

Well the new rectifier / output block arrived this morning,. The leadouts were soldered in, unlike the original where the leads were a push fit.into the block.

With some considerable difficulty, I managed to install it . After putting the Altivar back together, I was rewarded with a working VFD, so worth all the aggro.



Andrew Tinsley20/04/2021 18:36:58
1630 forum posts

Really must refrain from double clicking the post button!

Edited By Andrew Tinsley on 20/04/2021 18:38:09

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