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  1. #1
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    Treadmill motor/drive help

    I am thinking of picking up a X2 spindle (without motor) for a small cnc machine I have with a low torque spindle and build up a higher torque spindle. I was given a treadmill motor and control but am still sorting out the hookup. It is an Icon unit - I might be able to get the model of the treadmill but I doubt it. There is a "Power supply" board and the motor control unit. The power supply appears to be for powering the console and such - not sure if I need it. I suspect I can just hook a pot directly to the motor control. It won't have feedback so at low speed it won't increase power to the motor under load so will have limited power. But this is for a small machine and I will only be making light cuts due to other machine limits. I could set up feedback for better torque if it turns out I need it.

    Two main questions:

    - The motor control is 128957. Anyone have more information and/or hook up information?

    - the motor is marked for CW rotation. I think this is looking at the shaft/pulley. I need to run it CCW. The brushes are perpendicular to the commutator but look to be rotated for phase advance. Any idea what issues I might have reversing it? May just have to try it. The other end has a small shaft (1/4"?) for a speed pickup but that seems a bit small for a drive pulley.

  2. #2
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    That is the number for a MC-60 treadmill motor controller. Do a google search or just look at this:

    https://ctmprojectsblog.wordpress.co...60-controller/

  3. #3
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    I built a 2"x72" grinder around a treadmill motor. The treadmill I disembowelled had the motor, the power board (with the potted motion controller sub-board sticking up from it on legs) and the control panel for the user. In the end I had to make a little circuit to generate PWM signals to drive the speed controller of the thing - an Arduino did it ok to begin with. Turns out there's quite some variation between these boards and the documentation seems to work as is with only a couple of flavours. Chances are not great that you'll be able to just whack a potentiometer on a connector as a speed controller.

    109jb's link is a good place to start.

  4. #4
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    An MC-60 doesn't need PWM. A potentiometer supplies a voltage divider that works perfectly. I have one wired to a pot in my barn right now.

  5. #5
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    I beg pardon, mine was not an MC-60. It was one of the fancier ones which, on a quick search now, I can't easily locate. Apologies for the misinformation.

  6. #6
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Here is a picture of the exact board part number. It is the same one I have and it works fine with a POT. Don't forget to hook up a choke (The transformer looking thing). If you don't you can blow the SCR's

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    As stated, the MC-60 just needs a 5k linear pot to run, the motor has a direction on the plate because of the threaded flywheel pulley.
    It is the MC2100 that requires a 20Hz PWM signal to run, I have built a Picmicro that runs these with STOP/START PB's.
    Also there is a resister you can remove if you don't want the feature that requires you set the pot to zero before going into run.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  8. #8
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    I have an X2 and have considered looking for a old treadmill to scrap for parts. Can someone here tell me what to look for in buying one that would work with what I have.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by truckeic View Post
    I have an X2 and have considered looking for a old treadmill to scrap for parts. Can someone here tell me what to look for in buying one that would work with what I have.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    Your X2 already has a DC motor, so you would essentially be swapping a DC motor for another DC motor. If you do it I would suggest getting one of the larger motors, over 2 hp, otherwise it probably isn't worth it. Two reasons for this. First, the hp ratings on treadmill motors is suspect, and second because with the work involved you may as well have plenty of power rather than not. You can always just not use the power and keep the motor happy. As far as which treadmills have what, it is kind of a crap shoot unless you research them prior to acquiring them since you have to take them apart before seeing what they got. I just got one and it has a 1.5 hp motor and a controller I'm not sure I can use. May have been a waste of my time, but we'll see. I would guess that higher end treadmills are going to have the larger motors and better controllers, but that is just a guess.

    Also note that the X2 controller is probably better suited for milling than many of the treadmill controllers and they are actually not bad as far as speed controls go. I say this because treadmill controllers will ave safety features that are cumbersome for milling. For example, having to turn down the speed knob to zero and then back up before the motor will start, making you have to find your previous speed each and every time you start. The soft-start in which the speed ramps up slowly from 0 to the set speed (On some it is excruciatingly slow to ramp up.)

  10. #10
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by 109jb View Post
    Your X2 already has a DC motor, so you would essentially be swapping a DC motor for another DC motor. If you do it I would suggest getting one of the larger motors, over 2 hp, otherwise it probably isn't worth it. Two reasons for this. First, the hp ratings on treadmill motors is suspect, and second because with the work involved you may as well have plenty of power rather than not. You can always just not use the power and keep the motor happy. As far as which treadmills have what, it is kind of a crap shoot unless you research them prior to acquiring them since you have to take them apart before seeing what they got. I just got one and it has a 1.5 hp motor and a controller I'm not sure I can use. May have been a waste of my time, but we'll see. I would guess that higher end treadmills are going to have the larger motors and better controllers, but that is just a guess.

    Also note that the X2 controller is probably better suited for milling than many of the treadmill controllers and they are actually not bad as far as speed controls go. I say this because treadmill controllers will ave safety features that are cumbersome for milling. For example, having to turn down the speed knob to zero and then back up before the motor will start, making you have to find your previous speed each and every time you start. The soft-start in which the speed ramps up slowly from 0 to the set speed (On some it is excruciatingly slow to ramp up.)
    So would any DC motor work with my controller? I mean as long as the controller can provide the current.
    Is there any advantage of going to a bigger AC motor on such a small mill.
    I would think not.. but I know very little..lol

    Thanks

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    The X2 has that gear drive that can be replaced by a belt drive. I would highly recommend doing a belt drive conversion first. LMS and some others have kits, or there are plans for them floating around you should be able to find. These use the stock motor and eliminate the gear drive and speed up the spindle which helps a lot on aluminum. Depending on which X2 you have I suppose you could have anywhere from 500-750 watt motor. If you have the 750 then I would try the belt drive first with the stock motor. This may make you happy enough. Then if you want more you can still do the treadmill motor.

    https://littlemachineshop.com/produc...2560&category=

    As for your drive and using other motors, the drive is optimized for that motor it came with, and probably won't support much more power.

    One way to run a DC motor inefficiently, but maybe good enough depending on your needs, is to use a SCR based voltage controller and put a bridge rectifier on the output to the motor. I actually have that setup and may use it on one of the motors I have. From what I understand the torque isn't as good as it could be and the brushes might get eaten up faster.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NmAFZMAfH8

  12. #12
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by 109jb View Post
    The X2 has that gear drive that can be replaced by a belt drive. I would highly recommend doing a belt drive conversion first. LMS and some others have kits, or there are plans for them floating around you should be able to find. These use the stock motor and eliminate the gear drive and speed up the spindle which helps a lot on aluminum. Depending on which X2 you have I suppose you could have anywhere from 500-750 watt motor. If you have the 750 then I would try the belt drive first with the stock motor. This may make you happy enough. Then if you want more you can still do the treadmill motor.

    https://littlemachineshop.com/produc...2560&category=

    As for your drive and using other motors, the drive is optimized for that motor it came with, and probably won't support much more power.

    One way to run a DC motor inefficiently, but maybe good enough depending on your needs, is to use a SCR based voltage controller and put a bridge rectifier on the output to the motor. I actually have that setup and may use it on one of the motors I have. From what I understand the torque isn't as good as it could be and the brushes might get eaten up faster.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NmAFZMAfH8
    Thanks for the info..
    I have done the belt drive.. I love it.
    I need to look and see watts on that motor.



    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by 109jb View Post
    The X2 has that gear drive that can be replaced by a belt drive. I would highly recommend doing a belt drive conversion first. LMS and some others have kits, or there are plans for them floating around you should be able to find. These use the stock motor and eliminate the gear drive and speed up the spindle which helps a lot on aluminum. Depending on which X2 you have I suppose you could have anywhere from 500-750 watt motor. If you have the 750 then I would try the belt drive first with the stock motor. This may make you happy enough. Then if you want more you can still do the treadmill motor.

    https://littlemachineshop.com/produc...2560&category=

    As for your drive and using other motors, the drive is optimized for that motor it came with, and probably won't support much more power.

    One way to run a DC motor inefficiently, but maybe good enough depending on your needs, is to use a SCR based voltage controller and put a bridge rectifier on the output to the motor. I actually have that setup and may use it on one of the motors I have. From what I understand the torque isn't as good as it could be and the brushes might get eaten up faster.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NmAFZMAfH8
    Thanks for the info..
    I have done the belt drive.. I love it.
    I need to look and see watts on that motor.



    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    I have found that out of the Chinese motors fitted, the Johnson is one of the better quality ones, also using a MC2100, instead of the MC-60 SCR bridge type, provides much smoother control, as I stated earlier, if using the MC-60 there is a mod that prevents going back down to zero on the pot to start or re-start.
    The control on the MC2100 is much nicer due to the output to the motor being PWM.
    But you cannot just hook a pot up to it, it also has a PWM control signal, so either one of the 555 based analogue to PWM signal boards have to be put together as per a few sites that show the circuit, or as I did, build one around a small Picmicro 12F.
    As well as smooth motor control, the MC2100 has a restart feature, regardless where the pot is.
    The one in the video is a simple basic Triac, and the poster fitted a bridge rectifier to, these have no features whatsoever, so you get what you pay for.
    Al. .
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  15. #15
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    I have found that out of the Chinese motors fitted, the Johnson is one of the better quality ones, also using a MC2100, instead of the MC-60 SCR bridge type, provides much smoother control, as I stated earlier, if using the MC-60 there is a mod that prevents going back down to zero on the pot to start or re-start.
    The control on the MC2100 is much nicer due to the output to the motor being PWM.
    But you cannot just hook a pot up to it, it also has a PWM control signal, so either one of the 555 based analogue to PWM signal boards have to be put together as per a few sites that show the circuit, or as I did, build one around a small Picmicro 12F.
    As well as smooth motor control, the MC2100 has a restart feature, regardless where the pot is.
    The one in the video is a simple basic Triac, and the poster fitted a bridge rectifier to, these have no features whatsoever, so you get what you pay for.
    Al. .
    Very good info thanks!

    So this is not my area of experience, being i have the stock HF motor with the LMS belt drive. I am getting like 4600 RPM's out of it. I might consider upgrading this. I am using a CNC4PC C11G board to drive the spindle motor in place of the POT. All that said what would be a good upgrade? Motor and controller? Also, is there a controller that would just use the PWM right from the Control board and not have to use the analog drive?

  16. #16
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    I'm not familiar with the HF or CNC4PC, I was mainly responding regarding the TM motors, as I mentioned there is the MC2100 that requires a 20Hz PWM command and also uses PWM power signal to control the motor, you would need to add a reversing relay however, as these are unidirectional only, normally for a spindle, it is best to remove the threaded flywheel pulley if fitted.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  17. #17
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    To update, I have built a simple (50mmx50mm) control board for the MC2100's based on a small picmicro, it uses a pot and FWD and REV P.B's.
    Another poster gave me the idea of modifying the board to include the option of running the MC2100 from a Gecko G540.
    If it looks viable, I may need a volunteer beta tester!:idea:
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    To update, I have built a simple (50mmx50mm) control board for the MC2100's based on a small picmicro, it uses a pot and FWD and REV P.B's.
    Another poster gave me the idea of modifying the board to include the option of running the MC2100 from a Gecko G540.
    If it looks viable, I may need a volunteer beta tester!:idea:
    Al.
    A waste of time and money.

    https://www.surpluscenter.com/Electr...ose-DC-Motors/

  19. #19
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    $10 worth of parts for a PWM source and direction control vs $300 for a reversing controller on that site. It's for a hobby machine. Seems like the exact opposite of a waste of time and money to me...

    For a commercial machine, different story. But you wouldn't be messing around with treadmill motors in that case anyway.

    I did much the same with my 2x72" grinder build - took the power box for a treadmill with the motor and added a PWM generator with a pot to get speed control. Mine was a $2 Atmel AVR (the Tiny45 8 pin package) which I've programmed then birdnest soldered straight into the power driver board and it's been running like a dream for 2 years.

  20. #20
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Treadmill motor/drive help

    Quote Originally Posted by dharmic View Post
    $10 worth of parts for a PWM source and direction control vs $300 for a reversing controller on that site. It's for a hobby machine. Seems like the exact opposite of a waste of time and money to me...
    .
    His link just pointed to DC motors!?
    But around here on the local market sites, there is at least one treadmill every week not working-free pick up, usually the motor is OK and the MC2100 PWM controller is used in quite a few.
    So I agree it is not a bad means of general purpose spindle, once upon a time, DC spindles were virtually the norm.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

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