Gallery, Projects and General => Oooops! => Topic started by: jcs0001 on November 06, 2016, 08:35:16 PM

Title: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: jcs0001 on November 06, 2016, 08:35:16 PM
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  :D  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.

Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: sparky961 on November 06, 2016, 11:45:21 PM
I too have been keeping an eye out for one, but have been concerned about it turning out similar to your story.

There needs to be a list of models posted somewhere that have nice DC motors with variable speed controls.
Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: Colonel Clank on November 07, 2016, 01:45:26 PM
I found one that has a 1.5hp dc motor. I salvaged the pulse width modulator with the unit with the original intention of making a wind mill. I keep grabbing treadmills whenever I see one. Even ac motor machines have great parts for projects.

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Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: jcs0001 on November 07, 2016, 11:07:29 PM

I've looked fairly extensively through the net and not found any kind of list or anything very helpful in that regard.  It looks like one needs to get one with some kind of digital control on the front panel.


There seem to be lots around.  About a block away from where I found this one there was another at the side of the street covered in leaves and likely free for the taking.  Didn't have room for it and it may have been there a long time and corroded up.  Will be looking for more as I would really like the variable speed option on a couple of machines.

Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: Pete. on November 08, 2016, 12:45:22 AM
You can control that motor with a fairly cheap drive or even with a CSR1004/1504 chip. The only thing to consider is switching it on and off, DC motors tend to have much bigger switche or relays than AC because they arc when the contacts open.
Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: jcs0001 on November 08, 2016, 07:23:09 PM

I'm not much into electronics but with simple circuits can usually put something together.  With regards to the CSR1004/1504 chip does it degrade the torque much when the ac motor is slowed down (say from 1750 to 750 rpm)?  Also anything you can point to that would give me some further information.

I did take a look at the data sheet however some of it is "greek" to me.


Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: David Jupp on November 10, 2016, 05:38:50 AM
That device can be used to give basic speed control on a brushed (universal) motor - it won't be of any use for an induction motor (which the one pictured seems to be).
Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: Pete. on November 10, 2016, 07:10:04 AM
Ooh yes my bad I automatically associated treadmill with DC motor. That one is clearly AC so the car chip won't be any good for it.
Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: Noitoen on November 10, 2016, 11:09:51 AM
Can still use the motor on a bandsaw an take advantage of the speed pulley
Title: Re: Treadmill motor/controller
Post by: jcs0001 on November 14, 2016, 07:26:22 PM
Thanks for clearing that up gentlemen.  As mentioned I can use a pulley arrangement on the bandsaw so variable speed isn't necessary there.  It would be nice on the lathe or mill however I will keep an eye out for a dc treadmill.