Monday 3 December 2018

Diagnose your spindle with SpindleTalker - episode 225

Diagnosing a problem with a HuanYang spindle you are installing can be difficult without tools to test with. Sometimes just looking at a problem isn't enough, even if the answer is right under your nose. I hate to think how many times I've stared at something that later turned out to be obvious but at the time might as well have been invisible. If we're honest we could probably all say that. While my knowledge of VFD installation is limited to the VFD I installed on my machine, my experience of fault finding is extensive. To make figuring out where the problem is with your setup it is best to break the setup into smaller pieces and this is where Spindle Talker comes in. Written by Tommy Gilchrist and based on a program by Scruffoid

Please note: SpindleTalker only works with HuanYang VFD's. Please read the information on the website when you download the software.

SpindleTalker is a program that can be used to help diagnose VFD connection problems by eliminating your CNC control software from the equation by talking directly to the RS485 adapter and VFD. Once you have the spindle working under control of SpindleTalker you can move on to connecting it to UCCNC or Mach3. 
Best of all SpindleTalker is very simple to install. Simply drag the 3 files in the zipped folder onto the desktop and away you go. The only requirement is that you have .NET Framework version 4.03 or higher installed on your Windows PC. Fortunately this is only a problem for Windows XP and can be resolved by installing it from Microsoft as demonstrated in the video.

Note: You need an internet connection to install .NET as it will download files as it installs.


Click to watch

If you are using the same VFD settings I used in my RS485 videos then the only thing you need to change on SpindleTalker is the Com port number to match your RS485 port. The rest of the settings should be the same. When you connect to the VFD it reads the settings from the VFD and displays it on the settings page.

SpindleTalker might not solve your spindle install problem but it can be a big help by splitting the install into managable parts. It is a useful tool to diagnose and test. For those who are into learning more you can see the communication over the RS485 interface between the PC and the VFD. For most of us, if the spindle turns on and off and changes speed as it should then we will be happy and will never look at it again.

Lets hope you will never need it.



  1. Hello Peter,
    The Z-Axis is not holding zero! I run a loop 50 times, Zero to 0.5 then back. When done the Z is short by 0.006 - 0.008 inches. I have tried many changes to the Z calibration and the Backlash setting. Again no change! My CNC is the China 6040Z80, USB with Nema23 3A stepper motor. I have swapped motor, drive and controller. Do you have any ideas?

    1. I have many ideas each as likely and unlikey as the next. It sounds like you are loosing steps so Calibration and backlash will not help. My first suggestion is to watch my video on lost steps if you haven't already done so and see if that helps isolate the problem. If you require further help you will need to email me, Just use the contact form on this page.

      The video is a bit old and waffels but it might give you the clue you need but if no feel free to email and I will see if I can help.