The Case of the Troublesome Treadmill
I've been having some trouble with my treadmill. Last Friday was the worst. Twice, both times during running portions of my workout, it just quit. The power went off and it stopped. Dead. This is very annoying, especially when I'm in full stride run. Actually it's beyond annoying.
I've suspected I knew the cause of the problem for some time. The safety switch. So Sunday afternoon I got ambitious and took the control panel off the base, brought it upstairs and had a look. What I discovered was the little microswitch on the inside was faulty. When I hooked my volt-ohm meter to the switch I found that it had a partial connection even in the open position. In the closed position, sometimes it was completely on other times off.
It was beginning to get on towards workout time so I had an idea. I'll remove the switch and solder the two wires together. Not the safest thing but it would get me through a workout. So I did it.
What I didn't realize, the EE's that designed the board knew there would be guys like me. When I plugged in the treadmill it displayed 'PO' on the panel. I pushed every button and combination of buttons to try to reset the panel, but to no avail. "Curses, Red Baron!"
I had to unsolder the wires, plug the treadmill back into the power source and reconnect the safety wires to get the panel to display/function correctly. Fortunately, I had a pair of alligator clips attached to a short length of wire that I used to complete the connection. It sufficed for the evening and I was able to complete my workout. I was still somewhat nervous. I had the two safety switch wires protruding out the slot where the plastic safety key normally resides and attached to them was the yellow alligator clip assembly. I could envision the clips coming off, either by becoming entangled in my swinging arm motion or via the vibration produced by my running strides, but they held fast.
Since Sunday, I have taken the microswitch assembly down to my local electronics store, found a replacement and installed it. It has worked perfectly throughout two sessions and I'm regaining confidence in the treadmill again. Treadmill workouts are slightly easier when I'm not so concerned about coming to an abrupt stop.
P.S. I still have my exercise streak going. As of tonight it's 9 official days (since March 1st) or 15 days actual. A couple of days it's been rocky but I've managed to forge ahead. For those participating lets keep moving ahead!