I have been looking at treadmills with visions of sugerplums (oops that's Christmas). Actually with a view to powering my taig lathe or mill. The variable speed option of the dc motor and controller would be great to have.
Yesterday I saw one within 30 km of where I live - FREE
Couldn't pass it up.
I spoke to the lady who had it and she explained that she got it several years back to exercise her dog - a mid sized blue heeler.
First time she tried the dog on the treadmill things did not work out well. Dog got on the stationary treadmill, she turned on the switch and it promptly propelled the dog off the back of the treadmill. She found that the dog was not very interested in the treadmill after that. Now the dog is too old to go down to the basement and back and she does not need the treadmill.
She described it as having a knob to control the speed - wow just what I need a rheostat - should be easy to modify for my machines. The display was no longer working but that should be no problem. We arranged that I would go by to obtain the treadmill this afternoon.
My wife and I drove over to the house. First thing I noticed was that the dog was quite old and like me has developed a bad attitude in his old age. He was put away in the shop with her husband and everything proceeded quite well.
I had to take the arms off the machine in order to load it in my small car and in the process noticed that the sleek dc motor I was expecting wasn't so sleek and looked suspiciously like an ac motor. Further examination revealed that it had a spring loaded pulley and the speed control knob merely tightened the motor on it's mount to slow down the treadmill (effectively making the pulley smaller) and loosened it to increase the speed. Certainly not what I was expecting. In fact I came to the conclusion that the treadmill was made about the time that Noah was thinking of the arc.
We headed home and I dismantled the machine. The motor was indeed an ac 1/2 hp. motor and the machine was quite simple.
I salvaged some square steel struts, the shafting, some "American" system bolts and nuts (what are these called anyway - they are not metric) along with the motor and cable and a bit of wiring. There may be a few other things that I can remove.
I'm in the process of building a wood cutting 16 in. bandsaw and will likely use the motor for that. It will be better than the 1/3 hp motor that I was planning to use. Some of the parts will be useful in my shop.
Certainly not what I was looking for but it was still an interesting experience. It appears that treadmills are very easy to come by here so I will keep looking. A more recent model may be advisable.