# New motor control for Horizon Treadmill

#### Ineedacircuit

Joined Dec 16, 2015
8
I have a nearly 2 year old Horizon T101-04 treadmill that is in excellent condition except for controls that are not working. The motor is good. I suspect that the motor control board is good, and the control panel (circuit board) is bad. It displays a "lube belt" message on start up. It will not reset or go into "engineering" (diagnostic/setup) mode as described in the manual, and all of the buttons on the control panel respond with a beep (no stuck buttons). I suspect that a power surge or such has caused it to lose its "mind." I can find nothing visibly wrong with any component on the control panel board.

My previous treadmill also had an electronic failure, and I got rid of it due to the expense of fixing it, although the motor and mechanical items were good. I don't want to buy yet another treadmill with crappy electronics, and they ALL seem to fit that characterization.

Anyway, I don't want to buy a new, expensive, unreliable control panel circuit board. I want to make or buy a more reliable/durable substitute. I could use some advice on finding a bargain on a used or new industrial DC motor control and adding a safety cut-off switch to it, or making a driver circuit for the existing motor controller. I am only concerned with controlling the main DC drive motor; the incline motor can be another project or simply left as is. I could care less about the silly programs offered on the fancy control panel.

#### Brevor

Joined Apr 9, 2011
297
Did you try to do the "lube belt" message reset procedure?

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I have a nearly 2 year old Horizon T101-04 treadmill that is in excellent condition except for controls that are not working. The motor is good. I suspect that the motor control board is good, and the control panel (circuit board) is bad. It displays a "lube belt" message on start up. It will not reset or go into "engineering" (diagnostic/setup) mode as described in the manual, and all of the buttons on the control panel respond with a beep (no stuck buttons). I suspect that a power surge or such has caused it to lose its "mind." I can find nothing visibly wrong with any component on the control panel board.

My previous treadmill also had an electronic failure, and I got rid of it due to the expense of fixing it, although the motor and mechanical items were good. I don't want to buy yet another treadmill with crappy electronics, and they ALL seem to fit that characterization.

Anyway, I don't want to buy a new, expensive, unreliable control panel circuit board. I want to make or buy a more reliable/durable substitute. I could use some advice on finding a bargain on a used or new industrial DC motor control and adding a safety cut-off switch to it, or making a driver circuit for the existing motor controller. I am only concerned with controlling the main DC drive motor; the incline motor can be another project or simply left as is. I could care less about the silly programs offered on the fancy control panel.

It sounds like you live in a house with poor electrical grounding (rocky hills of western NJ, dry desert sand, or simply a broken or detached ground cable). We had trouble with electronics like garage door openers and treadmill where we lived. Electrician finally diagnosed the rock pile mountain we lived on as non-conductive and causing voltage surge issues. I don't know exactly what he did (if anything) but he charged me $300 to fix it. Nothing else was damaged until we moved two years later. Long before my interest in electronics so I didn't pay attention (I only paid him). Thread Starter #### Ineedacircuit Joined Dec 16, 2015 8 It sounds like you live in a house with poor electrical grounding (rocky hills of western NJ, dry desert sand, or simply a broken or detached ground cable). We had trouble with electronics like garage door openers and treadmill where we lived. Electrician finally diagnosed the rock pile mountain we lived on as non-conductive and causing voltage surge issues. I don't know exactly what he did (if anything) but he charged me$300 to fix it. Nothing else was damaged until we moved two years later. Long before my interest in electronics so I didn't pay attention (I only paid him).
The previous treadmill went for years plugged into the same outlet without trouble. There are no apparent grounding issues in the house, but the power quality here in southwestern VA is not as good as it should be. The grounding arrangement on this treadmill appears to be well thought out, and it has no static build up like the previous one of the same brand that did not have such a cleanly laid out grounding set-up. I have never had a static shock from this one.

To clarify, I have followed the reset procedure and the procedure for putting it in "engineering" mode. It does not respond. I think its "brain" has been de-programmed. I don't want the unreliable "smart" stuff anyway: I want to turn it on, set the speed, walk for a while, stop it, and then turn it off. I get really tired of fancy, unnecessary, unreliable crap on things that don't need it. I think that if the controls consisted of a speed dial and start/stop buttons with no programmable ICs, it would still be working fine, and the wife would not be complaining.

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,191
KB make both SCR bridge and PWM controllers for DC motors, they are usually plentiful on ebay.
Most T.M.'s have a tach feedback for constant rpm control.
Max.

#### Ineedacircuit

Joined Dec 16, 2015
8
KB make both SCR bridge and PWM controllers for DC motors, they are usually plentiful on ebay.
Most T.M.'s have a tach feedback for constant rpm control.
Max.
I have looked on ebay, but I don't know quite know what I should be looking for, and I think the best way to find a motor controller on ebay is to have a brand and part number that I do not have. I looked for a 115 VAC input / 90 VDC output 2 HP motor control. I could not narrow down the search by HP rating, etc. and get satisfactory results. What I found that I thought would work with confidence was expensive ($200+) I don't even know what HP range is actually necessary, but I suspect that I don't need the full rating (2.25 HP) of the motor, especially since the treadmill will not be operated above 4 mph (max rated speed = 10 mph). I was hoping to find someone on this forum who has experience with fixing/making motor controls for similar applications. Failed electronics on treadmills seem to be very common. Do you know if tach feedback is necessary to get good speed control for walking on a treadmill? Could I find a circuit design that will drive the motor controller board using the tach signal? Thread Starter #### Ineedacircuit Joined Dec 16, 2015 8 Does anyone have enough experience with treadmill motors to know if the following motor control, used with 115VAC input, is adequate for the motor? KB Electronics DC Motor Control, KBMD-240D The motor label has 19A listed on the "amps" line, followed by "S6 25%," whatever that means. It is nominally 2.25 HP, but would undoubtedly burn up if it had to put out that much power for more than a few minutes. I am guessing that the controller only needs to be capable of putting out about 5 amps continuously in order to work with this motor. Am I correct? Your help is appreciated. #### MaxHeadRoom Joined Jul 18, 2013 21,191 On 120vac the drive will supply 12amps, also it can be tailored by both the plug in HP resistor and by the current limit pot. With the flywheel that is usually fitted in a T.M. application it is important to switch the T.M. on with the pot at zero. Max. Thread Starter #### Ineedacircuit Joined Dec 16, 2015 8 On 120vac the drive will supply 12amps, also it can be tailored by both the plug in HP resistor and by the current limit pot.With the flywheel that is usually fitted in a T.M. application it is important to switch the T.M. on with the ]pot at zero. Max. I am back to this project after dealing with the holidays. I want to get my treadmill up and running with a durable, reliable industrial controller. Max, I am not assuming anything about your post: You did not mention if you think the motor controller is adequate for the task. Do you, or anyone who cares to comment, know with confidence that a 1 HP motor controller (like the KBMD-240D) is adequate for the motor I have described? If not, how about a KBIC-125 which is 1.5 HP? What motor resistor would I use considering that the "industrial" rating of the motor would not be 2.25 HP? Please see the attached photo of my treadmill motor label. The KBMD-240D would be easy to wire up to my motor and treadmill. I will want to connect a safety kill switch, but I can figure that out. The KBIC-125 will require an enclosure, a pot, switches, etc. and is therefore much more work to install. Do you know what voltage is supplied to the pot circuit of the motor controller? The KB controllers are SCR type, while the treadmill's is probably PWM. Any concerns over this? Will it make noise that it wasn't making before? If so, is there an easy fix for noise? What confuses me about my treadmill's motor controller is that it is supposedly 1.5 to 2.0 HP, but the industrial motor controllers with that much power rating are beyond 15A draw on a 120VAC supply. The circuit breaker on the treadmill is 13A. How can it possibly be an actual 1.5 HP or more? #### MaxHeadRoom Joined Jul 18, 2013 21,191 Consider that HP involves time, the rpm the motor runs at in T.M. operation is usually no where near motor maximum, take T.M. motor HP with a pinch of salt!. The SCR version does make a 100/120 cycle hum at low rpm, the PWM type are quieter obviously but are higher cost also. If you are using the KBMD-240 in the T.M. it should be fine, just that you will have to take care to go through a slow accel. due to the inertia of the user and the attached flywheel just as the original did. Max. Thread Starter #### Ineedacircuit Joined Dec 16, 2015 8 Consider that HP involves time, the rpm the motor runs at in T.M. operation is usually no where near motor maximum, take T.M. motor HP with a pinch of salt!. The SCR version does make a 100/120 cycle hum at low rpm, the PWM type are quieter obviously but are higher cost also. If you are using the KBMD-240 in the T.M. it should be fine, just that you will have to take care to go through a slow accel. due to the inertia of the user and the attached flywheel just as the original did. Max. I bought a new KBPC-240D instead of the KBMD-240D. It appeared to be slightly simpler and slightly better for about$10 more.

I wired it up and it works OK, except that the motor vibrates just a bit more than I want to tolerate. It gets better at higher speed, but still has quite a bit of hum. At the speed of the wife's slow walking pace, the vibration is annoying (the TM deck vibrates). Putting a hand on the motor to hold it or any of the surrounding structure makes no difference; everything is stiff and solid. The motor is simply humming at the frequency that the drive is pushing it. Is there a way to reduce the vibration other than switching to a PWM type motor control? Adjustments on the drive? Capacitor in the motor circuit? Please help if you can.

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,191
As I mentioned the SCR type does exhibit some hum at low rpm, especially with a flywheel if fitted in a TM application, the PWM is smoother, there are some TM's that use SCR's, but most are PWM.
Max.

#### Ineedacircuit

Joined Dec 16, 2015
8
As I mentioned the SCR type does exhibit some hum at low rpm, especially with a flywheel if fitted in a TM application, the PWM is smoother, there are some TM's that use SCR's, but most are PWM.
Max.
I am posting this to help anyone who is considering the same thing to fix their treadmill.

I am going to try to return the SCR motor controller and get a PWM controller. The SCR controller causes to much vibration, and I'm guessing that the motor won't hold up to it for very long. Perhaps my treadmill motor (and probably most others as well) is not "SCR rated." The vibration might not bother you if the motor is attached to a heavy object like a cast iron lathe and the RPMs are not less than perhaps 1/2 of the maximum most of the time, but it vibrates my entire treadmill at about 120 Hz. It makes the motor hum quite a bit also, but that might be tolerable.

I think I will just buy a PWM controller without the enclosure, replace the treadmill's existing controller with it in the same location, and mount the pot and switches on the old control panel structure with a cheap metal enclosure that is grounded to the frame. But, if it was easy to figure out how to get it enabled and properly driven, I could probably use the existing controller. I understand that doing it can be tricky, however, sometimes requiring a narrow range of frequency to drive the controller.

Later, I will be looking to control the incline motor if I can do it cheap.

#### IamJatinah

Joined Oct 22, 2014
122
SCR Hum is a factor of "AC" component voltage impressed upon the DC drive voltage applied to the motor. SCR Drive rectified controllers are crap for treadmills and generate huge line noise, have little to NO storage/filter capacitance on the motor rail and cause huge problems!
Not sure of the KB talk all over the forum, but remember motors have a resonant inductance which must be considered when selecting a control or drive board. Also, something not mentioned, is the motor rail will provide 130-165vdc to the motor but in selective slices (PWM) to operate at a specific speed. Now your wall will give you 15A at 120 volts AC, but be aware your motor control board can deliver 20-50Amps switched-DC to that motor, much more than the simple wall rating, in Amps. There is a lot going on with control boards, and folks think they can simply cobble a pot onto a board and your good to go, but trust me, there are pages of engineering specifics to tend to working with motor controllers, so keep your head in place. SCR controllers are usually mated to full running ac vector motors, and have disappeared from the treadmill realm about 10yrs back, and for a very good reason.... Good Luck

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,191
SCR controllers are usually mated to full running ac vector motors, and have disappeared from the treadmill realm about 10yrs back, and for a very good reason.... Good Luck
I know they do not quite do the job of a PWM controller but KB/Baldor have been, and still are, selling these small cheap alternatives to DC motor control and are in many industrial applications all over N.A. and elsewhere.
Break Press and Shear Backgauge applications are one common example.
Max.

#### Ineedacircuit

Joined Dec 16, 2015
8
SCR Hum is a factor of "AC" component voltage impressed upon the DC drive voltage applied to the motor. SCR Drive rectified controllers are crap for treadmills and generate huge line noise, have little to NO storage/filter capacitance on the motor rail and cause huge problems!
Not sure of the KB talk all over the forum, but remember motors have a resonant inductance which must be considered when selecting a control or drive board. Also, something not mentioned, is the motor rail will provide 130-165vdc to the motor but in selective slices (PWM) to operate at a specific speed. Now your wall will give you 15A at 120 volts AC, but be aware your motor control board can deliver 20-50Amps switched-DC to that motor, much more than the simple wall rating, in Amps. There is a lot going on with control boards, and folks think they can simply cobble a pot onto a board and your good to go, but trust me, there are pages of engineering specifics to tend to working with motor controllers, so keep your head in place. SCR controllers are usually mated to full running ac vector motors, and have disappeared from the treadmill realm about 10yrs back, and for a very good reason.... Good Luck
Folks,

I returned the SCR controller and bought a KB Electronics KBWT-112 (PWM) controller. The treadmill is now as smooth and quiet as with its original PWM controller, only now I just need a pot to set the speed rather than a complicated (as well as expensive and now broken) control panel. The controller was about \$150, and it just barely fit under the front cover of the treadmill in front of the belt where the original was located. It is much larger than the original, and it has a much larger, industrial-style heat sink. The KBWT-112 is probably close to 100% beyond the needs of my treadmill, and I expect it to last longer than everything else on it!

Wiring was fairly simple. I added a relay and 12V power supply to incorporate the original safety switch; the relay cuts power to the drive when the safety key is removed.