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Use a Treadmill DC Drive Motor and PWM Speed Controller for powering tools

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Power tools such as Metal cutting mills and lathes, Drill presses, bandsaws, sanders and more may require .5HP to 2HP motors with the ability to fine tune the speed while maintaining torque.

Coincidentally most Treadmills use a 80-260 VDC motor with a suitable HP rating and a PWM motor speed controller to allow the user to change the belt speed and keep a good constant speed and torque while running on it.

There are Commercial DC Motor/PWM controllers available or you can build the PWM circuit from scratch and buy all the components seperately but you will spend a lot of time and money either way. All the parts you need are on the treadmill.

Tear your own apart or get one on Ebay.
(shameless self-promotion below)

Motor/controller combos on Ebay

Safety and Disclaimers- You should have some knowledge of electricity and the dangers of household current and know your abilities/inabilities. Serious injury may occur to you or others from use/misuse of these motor set-up. If you are in doubt DO NOT ATTEMPT. IT CAN KILL YOU. Any Crazy Ideas found here REQUIRE your testing. Your appliction and use of any ideas here are all on you and you agree I cannot be held liable. You equipment should have On/Off safety switches, Fuse protection, ground wires on your machine as required and your power source should have ground fault interupters, circuit breakers,properly grounded sockets and cords and always unplug equipment before tinkering and any other safety practise I am forgetting to mention.
 
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Step 1: Motor Vid

Picture of Motor Vid

Testing the motor/controller
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tpetersen36 days ago

So are these DC motors actually servos or not?
I am assuming there must be some kind of signal coming out of the motor to the control board if the motors turn on and off to maintain a set seed. At least with the 4-wire units, and the two wire I guess would have an internal circuit to adjust to speed.
Anybody know for sure?
I am trying to find an fordable servo to power a bench-top lathe and I require spindle feedback to the control software for treading.

Thanks for any guidance!!

CementTruck3 months ago

I have a 2.5hp treadmill motor that I will be using to power my lathe/mill combo (the motor burned out last weekend in the middle of a project). Anyway, I would like to combine the lathe's capability of fwd/rev and the treadmill's speed controller. Here's what the wires look like coming from the switch to the motor through a junction box. I'm pretty sure that this is where the splicing is going to need to happen.

I don't want to run reverse polarity through the speed controller and fry something.

I want to do what this guy did (almost the same exact machine as mine but I have the older model with a mechanical chickenhead knob switch), but for the life of me can't figure out how he wired it up. If you could help me out with a simple hand drawn schematic or a link to someones page who has already managed it that would be great.




lathewiring.png

Well, is your treadmill motor a DC motor? if so, you'll need to wire a switch between controller and a motor. there is a good instructable here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/SIMPLE-Polarity-Reversing-switch/

aliragaie2 months ago

I HAVE TREAD MILL EVERY STAT UP ITS TRIPPING AFTER 50 SECOND AND SYSTEM WILL NORMAL TO START I DO NO WHY?

aliragaie2 months ago

I HAVE TREAD MILL EVERY STAT UP ITS TRIPPING AFTER 50 SECOND AND SYSTEM WILL NORMAL TO START I DO NO WHY?

Alextread63 months ago
kaighn808 months ago
Hi, wonder if you have the pcb schematics for a motor controller, I found a 180v dc treadmill motor but I can't seem to locate a controller for one, I've decided that I'd be better off just building one. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My email address is kaighn80@hotmail.com
Thanks in advance.
kernbigo3 years ago
I have a threadmill board 4f33 nordic track, reebock, sears bought on ebay trying to figuire where to wire the 5k potentometer? help Kernbigo
put it between either the input or uot put wire to the motor. an thier u go
DanW1311 months ago
Thank's For these PDF's the 1 for the VitaMaster really save my Bacon, I retrieved the motor, PWD an Control Panel but the idot tht I was/am I forgot to take pics to remind me how to wire everything back after tearing all the parts from the TreadMill. After stumbing upon your Thread I was lost, as I'm not an electrical engineer when it comes to figuring out how these things work outside wiring household wiring & 220/240 Machinery….Thank's for the wiring Diagrams !!!

P.S I wired everything up lastnight & did a Test run hoping nothing would burn up and all is good so far, I adjusted the Min/Max Speed adjustment & Torque alittle bit lastnight as well & if your willing to do so it won't hurt anything but I guess it all depends on what your Min/Max need for speed is & the amount of Torque is required.

The 1 item I'm going to test out this am. is removing tht Transformer between the Motor (Yellow Wire) in/Out of the Transformer into the PWD, I'm going to by pass this & see how the motor/PWD work if nothing goes wrong….I'm thinking this Transformer is merely a safety feature not sure….?
Cacho5091 year ago
I do not know what to do with 4 wires red black white and green , i want to put a cord to the wall what wires should i connect, this is a tread mill motor, i want to use it to roast a pork
hmagdi1 year ago
Thanks a lot, I just have a question, are the field windings of treadmill motors connected in series, parallel or separate from the armature? How can I identify the connection of my motor?
ncblu2 years ago
add an elbow and a length of 3"pvc and you have a machine gun for tennis balls
Use 1-1/2" PVC 1120 instead of 3", and use golf balls instead of tennis balls, and you've got an undead-mulching emplacement gun for the Zombiepocalypse.
ncblu2 years ago
is that what i think it it is - that is sweet. i could use one to launch tennis balls for my dog to chase
...your dog, and all the others at the dog park. Simultaneously. ;-)
anectine1 year ago
Your unknown PDF comes from the Horizon t64 repair manual. I have this motor and controler. Can you advise me how to use it?
Hi, can you tell me what was the model of your treadmill which you opened? I looked at some but none of them had a sliding pot control, dont want to decode the protocol for the menu selction.
Lokisgodhi1 year ago
I'm looking for something to power a tricycle or a rickshaw/pedicab for personal use. Would a motor and controls from a treadmill be powerful enough to get the job done?
anibioman4 years ago
 can you use a dimmer switch for lights as a speed control
No, not likely. A dimmer switch is a rheostat which controls the voltage.
gfreed2 years ago
Any idea where to get a pulley to fit on a 17mm shaft? I guess I could drill out the center of 5/8 inch bore but I would think it would be difficult to keep it perfectly centered.
I suggest you get a .040 thick shim and us a 3/4" bore pully, find some aluminum sheet that thick and form a little ring so that it fit snugly between the parts. some similar diameter tubing might work, 035"wall is common and might be close enough. Good luck. If you can make your project work with a 16mm it is almost identical to 5/8"
mkoziol22 years ago
I don't have any of the nomenclature you mentioned on my board, it has a digital display as mentioned above. From the schematic attached I only see the one wire which mentions PWM. I have read that i might need a 555 timer?? I havent been able to find a clear answer anywhere. Can anyone guide me in the right direction as to what I need to do to have manual control of my treadmill motor?
gfreed2 years ago
Any photos of the sewing machine project?
dblahnik2 years ago
Type O, its a Lifestyle 2808 treadmill sorry :(
dblahnik2 years ago
I have a motor and control from a Lifestyle 2802 treadmill.
It has a delayed start feature,does any one no how to adjust or disable the delay start . I am going to use the motor for a pig roaster (spit) and I dont want my Piggy to burn before this thing kicks in. I havent timed it but it seems to take 30 seconds to 1 minute before it kick on ?
Radionics2 years ago
Hi great information base for treadmills..

I've got a Power First Treadmill here with a 180V DC motor and controller board.

The interesting thing is, the board has L W H as you have already covered. But it also has an additional H M.

Any ideas what the extra H and M are?
ezra19765 years ago
I built a pitching machine out of a treadmill motor and used all the same controls from the treadmill but the motor speeds up to the desired rpm but then will slow down for a bit then speed back up...does anyone know a solution to this?
ncblu ezra19762 years ago
did you pull the flywheel off, the motor needs it to maintain an steady constant speed, moreso than without one. when the motor reaches speed the controller will dial back a bit and unless there is something to keep momentum, the motor will slow down some, then the controller plays catch-up so you get that rise/fall speed effect.
rjeblogue (author)  ezra19765 years ago
Brilliant-Excellent-I hope you don't mind that I posted a vid link & pics. I'm afraid I didn't catch your name so I can give credit. Thaks again!
rjeblogue (author)  ezra19765 years ago
Does it slow down from the resistance of shooting out the ball? Did you incorporate the motor with or without the flywheel. If the answer is: it slows down when shooting the ball and the flywheel is incorporated-Try designing it without the flywheel-perhaps
The flywheel is still attached with the wheel mounted to the flywheel...the motor doesn't miss a beat when the ball hits the wheel..just annoying when you have to wait 30 sec after every 2 pitches or so.
rjeblogue (author)  ezra19765 years ago
Try adjusting the ACCEL/DECEL trimpot. This setting determines the time the motor takes to ramp to a higher (or lower) speed. One direction will increase the acceleration and deceleration time, and the other will... visa versa. Another option (least preferable) is to run it without the flywheel. It makes it very responsive to changes in torque but you will lose a lot of HP, it may require other trimpot adjustments and you'd have to re-design a contraption that already works pretty good.
I found a small set screw labeled "max spd" turned it full CCW and that did it...stays at a stable speed..thanks. I put up a couple pictures and a short video of it working.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEUYII-SYGg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv111/ezra1976/treadmill3.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv111/ezra1976/treadmill2.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv111/ezra1976/treadmill1.jpg

rjeblogue (author)  ezra19765 years ago
I would love to link to your instructable ,or post a pic of your pitching machine with your name to the credit if you wouldn't mind. I would also love to post pics/descriptions of any other treadmill powered contraption. Thanks!
marcward865 years ago
awesome. i just got a free treadmill (from a moving job) and i'm planning on using it for a lathe. can I use the display and buttons as a speed controller once I get the motor out of the treadmill and attached to....the rest of the lathe setup?
yes you can and with great results. i made one and used the guts from the treadmill i found lying alongside the road on my way home ( i hope no-one missed it, but if you didnt notice it falling off your vehicle, i cant help you). i already had a headstock but didnt have any pulleys that fit. the first pulleys were made of wood- carefully. this let me mill the aluminum ones to replace them. if you can keep the existing flywheel on the motor for cooling and smooth speed control. the unit functions so well i got another treadmill and am in the process of making a vertical milling machine to go along with the lathe.
If it works, absolutely. They can even be reversed (with additional work)! See my above reply to nickmiletich.....
ncblu2 years ago
if you can use the motor with the flywheel, it's a good thing since the fan blades will help draw the heat off. i use one of these motors on my 8-10 lathe because they pack so much torque and the controller works great but mostly because it helps provide inertia for the lathe, helps cool the motor and if you ever run one of these motors at high speed without the flywheel, you'll hear the motor wind up and slow down as the controller tries to maintain the set speed. i use an angle grinder to shape the pulley to a v-groove - worked like a charm. on another i bored out the center of the pulley to slip over the flywheels existing pulley and bolted the new pulley to the flywheel ( careful not to change the balance of the flywheel here, use bolts, spaced evenly around the flywheel/pulley setup to keep things balanced or it will vibrate like a son-o-gun)
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