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Treadmill motor wiring

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  • Treadmill motor wiring

    Hi, Everyone. So, I did a search on Treadmill motor wiring and this forum came up. I know this isn't what this forum was designed for, but I'm hoping someone out there can help me do this. I recently acquired a treadmill motor and the driver board to go with it. I just need to know how to hook them together, without burning them both up. The motor and driver are out of a Sole D85 treadmill. 4HP, 90 Volts.
    From the photos you can see that the AC in and the Motor out are clearly marked. What I need to know is where to hook a potentiometer. And, if I need a transformer. I took the 10k pot out of the lift motor and the transformer may, or may not, be out of the same treadmill, but there's no place to plug it onto the driver board.
    So, now you know as much as I do.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 5 photos.

  • #2
    This forum is maybe not "designed for" it but this is very much the kind of question found here. I don't know that particular controller, someone else here might. I would expect to find a connector on that control board that mates with the one on the end of the cable to the pot. What is the connector just below the motor connections?. Why a transformer? Every one of these I have seen runs directly off the mains power - it should be self contained as you see it. The only speed bump I might anticipate is that this controller board also controls an elevation motor, and may need to sense a load on that output or it will not run. I would not worry too much about killing it, these things are pretty well protected. With the line and motor correctly connected it will likely just do nothing if there is no controlling pot.
    "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


    • #3
      If you're referring to this plug. I don't know what plugged in there before, but I tried a 10k pot and it didn't work.
      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.


      • #4
        If the plug on the pot cable fit the connector on the board, then it may be as I suggested that there needs to be a load on the elevation control, or even the fan connection. I would not expect there to be a connector that fit but that was for something else.

        If the plug and connector didn't match, then...? You had/have the lift motor but not the display panel and associated controls? Too bad - if you have all the original parts there is generally only one way it can all be connected. The connectors should be different enough that they can't be mixed up, but you may need to have all the loads (or an equivalent dummy) connected for any of them to receive power. Be patient, there are many other folks here with much more experience than I have with these things.
        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


        • #5
          First, WHAT did not work? Did the motor run but the pot did not control the speed? Or did the motor not run at all?

          I have used a variety of treadmills and most of them did not have a pot. They had push buttons for increasing and decreasing the motor speed and the default speed was fairly slow or a complete stop. In your fourth photo I see three terminals marked: DOWN, COMmon, and UP. That suggests one or two push button switches with normally open contacts may be needed. The UP switch would be used to start the motor. You can test this with just a jumper cable. The Voltage levels on these contacts should be low (logic level or less than 6 V) but one never knows so do use one with insulated clips to prevent any possibility of shock. If the motor does not start when the UP and COM contacts are shorted, then try it again with that pot plugged in and with it in mid range.

          Your choice of a 10K pot should be OK. It is probably just feeding a Voltage back to the controller and 10K is the most common size chosen for this.

          Originally posted by Try Weakly View Post
          If you're referring to this plug. I don't know what plugged in there before, but I tried a 10k pot and it didn't work.
          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 07-10-2020, 04:41 PM.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
          You will find that it has discrete steps.


          • #6
            I looked up the Sole D85, and it appears to be a fairly new high end model, with a very complex control/display panel, which may be necessary to interface with the motor control module you have.

            If you can trace out the PCB, it may give some clues as to its operation, but as it appears that the only obvious connection is a small connector that does not match the pot, it is very likely something like a CANBUS system as implemented on most new vehicles. It looks like there is some sort of microcontroller on your board, which might provide more information on the connections and operations, but IMHO it would be better to scrap or repurpose the board and make or buy a simple PWM controller available on eBay for 20 bucks or so. More info on your treadmill:



            Here are some controllers that should work:



            Last edited by PStechPaul; 07-10-2020, 05:25 PM.
            Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
            USA Maryland 21030


            • #7
              I found out what the 3 prong socket is for. There's a 3 wire plug on the lift motor.
              So, on my last try, I hooked up the main motor, the lift motor, the fan and AC power.
              Then I tried both the lift motor 3 wire plug, and a 10k potentiometer in the 3 prong socket.
              Still nothing.


              • #9
                Here is more information:







                Your choice will depend on how adventurous you are, as well as your current electronics knowledge and skills. I've been thinking about designing and building a PWM speed control for an old treadmill motor I've had sitting around for a long time. I was going to use it as a dynamometer for testing custom wound 3 phase induction motors, but I might use it on a small electric tractor project. I might just use a 1500 watt 12V inverter so I can power the machine from a 12V deep cycle lead-acid battery.
                Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                USA Maryland 21030


                • #10
                  Here's a pretty simple low cost PWM control that might do the job, and it's a US seller, so shipping should be quick.


                  Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                  USA Maryland 21030


                  • #11
                    Maybe it's been suggested already, but most machines require that you have the pot down to zero for a few seconds before bringing it up slowly. Otherwise the motor would come on and run at whatever speed is dialled in- which is dangerous for the exercisee.

                    The board appears to have 110 coming in, then through a bridge rectifier directly- which means no transformer required. I don't recall reading through this topic whether you tested the motor- that's pretty easy to do. Without it being connected to the board, temporarily short the motor wires, then turn the shaft by hand. Unshort the wires and turn by hand again. It should be harder to turn when the wires are shorted. The other way to do it is to connect 12 volts to the motor wires. It will turn- not quickly, but it will run on 12v.

                    As far as the board, if it lights up it's getting power, and if the buttons seem to be doing something on screen, it's probably workable. Maybe it want's you to program it in some way before it will allow the belt to roll- a reasonable assumption. In most cases though, you'd be better off with a controller made for PM DC motors- some of the features available are very handy, but if you just want control of speed it should also be fairly cheap.

                    You have to be careful to choose a controller that has its own power, unless you are comfortable to supply it with the voltage it wants. That one last shown needs up to 90 volts maximum, so how will you supply that?
                    Last edited by darryl; 07-10-2020, 06:24 PM.
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                    • #12
                      maxheadroom is our resident treadmill motor and DC controller expert.

                      On the original treadmill, was speed controlled by a slider/ dial or push buttons? The UP/COM/DOWN pins look like an old style SCR style controller (like the venerable MC60) which would use a pot. Usually the center pin (COM) is the voltage divider on the pot. Doesn't look like a controller that uses PWM to control speed to me. What parts from the original treadmill were you able to keep, other than the motor and the DC controller board?

                      Quick warning in general about using those cheap PWM generators to control speed with a PWM board (like the MC2100). A friend of mine didn't want to go the Arduino route, so he bought a $12 PWM generator off Amazon. Lasted a couple of days before he fried his MC2100 - no speed control, full speed all the time (which isn't fun on a 2x72 belt sander).


                      • #13
                        As noted, the eBay link PSTechPaul put up does requires that you already have appropriate DC input. I think there are others there that also convert the line voltage to DC for you, at a bit higher cost. Also, if I'm reading the motor nameplate correctly ... 30 AMPS? That may be a max draw, but I'd be wary of a controller that was significantly smaller. I assumed that the UP /DOWN referred to the elevation controller, not the speed of the main motor. All the treadmills I've cannibalized have used pots, not digital control. Hardly a week goes by around here without someone giving one away, but I guess they are the older models.
                        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


                        • #14
                          any other plugs/ pins/ sockets on the board? Maybe a pic of the whole board would help..


                          • #15
                            Wow. This is quickly becoming more information than I can process.
                            So, here's what I've tried so far. I hooked the motor directly to my 12/24 volt battery charger and the motor works fine on either voltage.
                            I have the lift motor that I hooked directly to 120Volts, and it works fine in both directions.
                            I found a video on replacing the control board on the Sole F85 treadmill. The UP, Com and Down terminals are where the Incline motor hook to the board.
                            I have a 10k potentiometer that came from another lift motor.
                            If you notice from the photos, both the pot and the incline motor have the same 3 wire plug. I've tried both in the 3 wire socket on the board.
                            Lastly, I have a 12V fan.
                            I've hooked up all the components that I have to the board and powered it with 120Volts.
                            The power LED light comes on, but the motor doesn't run.
                            This is getting frustrating!!!
                            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 4 photos.