Lady out of her depth

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by AllyLB, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. AllyLB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    Hi, I'm sorry for posting here..but am really at my wits end.

    I'm looking for help with my treadmill...and have been told it's a circuit board problem as the belt on the machine and motor move freely when pushed. The machine powers up, yet the motor won't start, a little box just clicks.

    I realise this is such limited information, I'm not very technical minded, and my reason for desperately posting here is that I have no one to help me, my husband is in Afghanistan. I've spent the last few days on the internet looking for easy solutions, but nothing works.

    It means so much to me to get this machine working, and any help would be really appreciated. If anyone lives local to me and would like a project?

    Many thanks for reading, Ally
  2. beeson76


    Apr 19, 2010
    If a little box just clicks, to me it sounds like a relay problem. The little white box on the board, it looks like a relay. It could be that that relay is "frozen--stuck."
  3. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Careful in there, that 400V 470UF capacitor is probably charged which means that if you touch anything connected to it, which could be anywhere on the board, it will throw you across the room.
  4. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    I don't know about throw you across the room, but it sure won't feel good, and it'll make one hell of a bang, shorted across your heart, it wouldn't be good... There's not going to be an easy solution for this one. Someone that has a detailed understanding of basic electronics would need to probe the circuit board, the relay could possibly be the problem but it's not likely a drop in fix and it could be any number of other things.

    You haven't mentioned your location so there's no possibility of us even guessing at a 'local' solution. A decent electrician should be able to fix it, but a decent electrician will cost a bit.
  5. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    I have touched a 150µF 330V capacitor and can attest to it not being good. It hurts and can cause injury, but I'm still here.

    Can you get a closer picture of the board? One common fault with relay clicking in some TVs (*ahem* Samsung LCD *ahem*) is the capacitors have bulged. Now I know this is not a TV but perhaps it is similar, perhaps a capacitor is damaged and the relay is shutting off the motor because it cannot supply the current.
  6. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    tom, I think you're missing the point, finding out what's wrong won't do her a bit of good if there isn't someone there that is technically able to repair it. Again I'll state, there is no 'simple' solution to this problem more than likely.
  7. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    Does anything looked burned on the backside of the printed circuit board? Picture? I assume there are one or more mosfets for control of the DC (?) motor. They should be on a heat sink. Can you find them and post a picture? I am thinking that at rectified 110 VAC (140 VDC +/-) only one mosfet may be used for a 2 HP motor. It could fail open.

  8. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    You need to do two things: 1) find a schematic diagram for the device (and a service manual would be a plus also) and 2) find someone with the technical skills to troubleshoot what's wrong. It doesn't look like a terribly sophisticated piece of electronics, which is good -- probably a good electronics tech will be able to troubleshoot it and fix it. The trick will be finding one who a) doesn't charge an arm and a leg and b) who's smart enough not to break it by causing more damage.

    One possibility would be to call a local four year college with an electrical engineering department and ask the department chairman if there's a student or teacher who might be willing to do the troubleshooting and who has the requisite skills. Another technique would be to put an ad in on Craigslist asking for help; the problem is you wouldn't know how to differentiate amongst the responders.

    You don't give us any idea of where you are (even the country), so you need to narrow down the geography first. If you're in the northwest US near me, I'd be happy to take a look at it for free. I have some friends near Sacramento, CA who might do it for free. Others on this board may be able to help directly or indirectly once you give us an idea where you are.
  9. AllyLB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    hi everyone, many thanks for taking the time to reply.

    No, I sure don't want to be thrown across the room, so I'll leave sticking my fingers into things I don't understand..thanks for the pointers.

    I'm in Hampshire, UK, so many thanks for the offer of help from USA..but I fear I may be pushing it a bit if I said yes please!

    As I said, I was hoping for someone to have a "bright light" moment and tell me to replace certain parts. I've checked out electrical engineers round here..not much joy.

    So I've hit a brick wall, again, thanks for replying..tho I'm none the wiser.