VSD-E/XE connection troubleshooting

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GDtool, DCtool (VSD-E & VSD-XE drives)[edit | edit source]

This page lists common reasons that may cause connection errors with VSD-E/VSD-XE drives.

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

  • Software refuses to connect to the drive
  • After importing parameters, they seem invalid (many 0, 4095 or 65535 values)
  • Drive blinks communication error led sequence

Unable to establish (reliable) connection[edit | edit source]

Some most common resons for failing GDtool connection with VSD-E and VSD-XE:

  • Cable to CMD connector is connected simultaneously when USB adapter is plugged in (CMD connector should be left unconnected while using GDtool to prevent communication interference because these connectors have shared signals)
  • Wrong software being used for the installed firmware. Use only GDtool for single axis firmware and only DCtool for DualDC firmware. If you accidentally used wrong tool, re-flash the firmware file to reset all drive settings to factory state.
  • Electromagnetic interference (EMI). If connection breaks when HV voltage is applied to drive (and works fine when only 12V is applied), then it is probably cause by electromagnetic interference. Typical reasons:
    • Motor output cable is not shielded and shield not connected to drive FG (frame ground)
    • Motor casing (metal) not connected to drife FG via cable shield or earthing connector.
    • Interference escaping from power supply leads
    • Interference escaping from other nearby equipment such as VFD or welding machine
    • EMI suppression cores on motor, power & USB cable may help
  • Device power-up sequence not properly done during establishing connection
  • USB adapter may have been damaged. Damage may occur with voltage potential error or when used with CMD cable plugged simultaneously. Also DOA cables have been the reason in rare cases (less than 1%).

More things to try:

  • Try on another computer
  • Try on isolated system with only one drive, 12V power supply and a computer. Preferably far from EMI sources.

Getting communication error during normal use[edit | edit source]

If drive indicates communication error during normal operation (i.e. step/dir usage), it is caused by one of following reasons:

  • Drive is not configured & saved in correct input mode. Ensure that "Force SPI" input mode is not active.
  • IN3 in CMD connector is not in correct state during powering-up of 12V supply. Opto-in 3 (IN3 in CMD connector) should be held at logic 0 (or keep unconnected) while powering up logic supply voltage. If logic 1 is driven to IN3 during power-up, drive will enter into GDtool configuration mode which overrides functions of pins IN3, IN4 and OUT1 for SPI communication or enters in a device firmware upgrade mode. Correct IN3 pin setting is ensured in VSDEPI breakout board design.

Testing USB adapter condition[edit | edit source]

Sometimes inability to connect is caused by damaged USB adapter. To verify condition of the cable, please download following tester application and copy the cableTest.exe to GDtool installation folder (same folder with GDtool.exe). Typically GDtool is installed at C:\Program Files\GDtool.


A short piece of wire that can be inserted in USB adapter 6-pin connector is needed for testing.

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