I’m going to start this series with describing the most technical part of the build, even though, it is really the last to be attached.
First, a failure: I tried using a sewing machine motor that I had salvaged from one of my mother-in-law’s sewing machines. When I first turned it on, it did fine. I then put a felt project into it and the motor burned up. It did not smell good, either. This started my search for a good motor with enough horsepower. I settled on trying to find a treadmill motor. The motors are 120 VDC in the U.S. I looked around and found quiet a few used, but still working, motors on Ebay.
In the U.S., there are perhaps 25 different companies selling treadmills, but inside they all seem to be Precor machines. The motor I purchased was well used, and came with the flywheel that has an integrated pulley wheel. This has turned out to be essential.
I also purchased the “front roller assembly” that has the other pulley. You’ll also need the belt. The big problem was attaching it to the roller. I’ll explain that later.
This is the motor control box and the motor. You’ll see the “mains” going into the side of the box and the DC leading to the motor. The controller box has the MC60 treadmill controller circuit board, a 20 minute timer, and a 5k potentiometer that controls speed.
The next post, I’ll show the controller board connection and post the Bill of Materials.