Treadmill motor and controller questions

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 2, 2009
I need a Variable Speed Motor that runs at ~6000rpm and is capable of ~1hp for a project. A treadmill motor was suggested. Old Treadmills seem to be inexpensive at local Thrift shops...

So here are some questions:

1. Is a treadmill motor reversible?

2. Is this typical of the power-supply board (schematic)?

3. I would prefer to discard the fancy push button console and just use a pot to control the speed and a DPDT switch for reversing. Can the power supply be hacked to do that?


Joined Jun 22, 2012
Yes they can be reversed, they are DC motors using pwm to control the speed, just hack the control circuit out, or salvage one and modify it.

Happy new year!!


Joined Jul 18, 2013
The majority are reversible, (DC Brushed), often they state CW or CCW on the label, this is because many have a flywheel threaded on to the shaft and can be either direction thread.
You should remove the flywheel before operating most other applications that do not require a soft start and retain the inertia provided by a flywheel.
Most can be ran by one of the KB DC drives off ebay etc, the simpler ones are SCR bridge type rather than PWM.
KB circuit.
On most you require a means of reversing the output to the motor, KB provide a inhibit input while reversing so the drive comes up through accel when reversed, they do also have one drive that you can use a ±10vdc with a pot for reversing.
One of the nicer TM motors is the Chinese made Johnson motor, also a source is one of the older DC servo motors.
Although I think you will be hard pressed to find a DC brushed of 1hp that is capable of 6krpm without gearing or step up.
There is a VFD and 3ph motor option, they run off 1ph. Depends on how precise a rpm control you need.


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Joined Oct 22, 2014
Hi There,

Yes, dc motors are bi-directional in most cases. A preferred spin direction can be obtained with specific placement of the rotor windings / magnet sets, but usually a simple reverse voltage will reverse the motor spin. Most control boards will not operate with a simple pot for a couple of reasons. One that I know will is the Gemini 12M04 but only has a capability of about 20A drive current with approx 150vdc bulk motor voltage available. Most controllers require a PWM drive at a very specific frequency to operate. Good Luck!