Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

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Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 29, 2012 4:54 pm

Been searching all over for a diffinitive answer about whether treadmill motors are 12vdc.

Was thinking they might make a great bike or trike motor without spending $100s on some kit.

Thrift shops and CL have them cheap all the time, but need to know if they can be hooked direct to a 12 volt battery. :?
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue May 29, 2012 5:25 pm

With a short look around it seems that the motors run from 36 to 130 volt DC, 120 volt AC and a 3 phase 230V AC thrown in the mix too. It seems that you can run a DC motor with less voltage than the motor is designed to run on but it will have less power. I don't know a whole lot about DC motors but I have heard they are much more forgiving in under and over voltage situations.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 29, 2012 6:41 pm

Well I got the idea from a youtube where a guy wanted a big box fan for off grid.

He replaced the 110 volt ac motor with a treadmill motor and was running it off a 12 volt car battery.

Most of the motors seem to be 1.5hp to 3hp which is pretty beefy, but I cant seem to find the voltage for them.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby BBadger » Tue May 29, 2012 6:44 pm

You'll probably want to check the stats on the motors themselves. It'll really vary between models and what you can get. I wasn't able to easily access the motor's info on the treadmill parts I have around here, so I can't give you an answer, and even then I wouldn't trust it over directly verifying them.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 29, 2012 6:51 pm

Yeah, I'm just trying to get some info without buying a bunch of treadmills. :lol:
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby BBadger » Tue May 29, 2012 7:13 pm

Heh, yeah, I know what you mean. Still, you might be able to peer inside and check at the thrift store.

I suspect that most are AC and also use a controller card to regulate the speed.

How much are you willing to spend per motor?
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby junglesmacks » Tue May 29, 2012 7:15 pm

BBadger wrote:You'll probably want to check the stats on the motors themselves. It'll really vary between models and what you can get. I wasn't able to easily access the motor's info on the treadmill parts I have around here, so I can't give you an answer, and even then I wouldn't trust it over directly verifying them.


Lol.. Badg.. do tell the stories of why you have treadmill parts randomly laying around your place..
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby BBadger » Tue May 29, 2012 8:00 pm

junglesmacks wrote:
BBadger wrote:You'll probably want to check the stats on the motors themselves. It'll really vary between models and what you can get. I wasn't able to easily access the motor's info on the treadmill parts I have around here, so I can't give you an answer, and even then I wouldn't trust it over directly verifying them.


Lol.. Badg.. do tell the stories of why you have treadmill parts randomly laying around your place..


Well, they have these nice big metal rollers on bearings, so you can use them for stuff like screen printing and stuff (though I have yet to build it into one). The motors are nice too. Hell, they were super cheap! Like $30 for huge gym-class treadmills! Gotta jump on (hoard) shit like that.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 29, 2012 8:06 pm

$30 is about the price I was thinking for used treadmills.

Comparable motors are close to $400 new.

I was thinking a walmart trike, build the bracket for the motor, and rig a controler to have a cheap electric trike.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby gyre » Tue May 29, 2012 8:18 pm

Bike motors aren't 12 volts either.

36-48 volts typically, though 24 volts isn't unheard of.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 29, 2012 8:31 pm

Mine is 12 volt.

A lot of older friction drives were 12 volt.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby BBadger » Tue May 29, 2012 8:39 pm

Yeah, those motors on eBay are about $150, so that can be kind of pricey. My treadmills rollers are also geared, so you might have to research how to hook them up to a trike system with pulleys or otherwise. I don't have any experience with it myself.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 29, 2012 9:29 pm

It's simpler than that.

Mine is a 1/3hp 200 watt 2100rpm 12 volt.

It has a 1 1/2" drive roller on the shaft that presses against the tire for a top speed of 10mph.

With my 105ah battery it has a 30 mile range. 8)
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:33 pm

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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby Jackass » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:09 pm

So, have you hooked it to 12vdc yet? I'm curious to know. I could totally put together a hack with that.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby maryanimal » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:17 pm

Coolbeans! I'll be looking for treadmills!
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:42 pm

Jackass wrote:So, have you hooked it to 12vdc yet? I'm curious to know. I could totally put together a hack with that.



Still researching info before investing any money.

I have'nt found a definitive answer YET! 8)
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby Jackass » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:00 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Jackass wrote:So, have you hooked it to 12vdc yet? I'm curious to know. I could totally put together a hack with that.



Still researching info before investing any money.

I have'nt found a definitive answer YET! 8)



Thanks, I'll be keeping close tabs on your progress
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby maryanimal » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:18 pm

I found this...

Coincidentally most Treadmills use a 80-260 VDC motor with a suitable HP rating and a PWM motor speed controller to allow the user to change the belt speed and keep a good constant speed and torque while running on it.

and this was attached to the page also:
Safety and Disclaimers- You should have some knowledge of electricity and the dangers of household current and know your abilities/inabilities. Serious injury may occur to you or others from use/misuse of these motor set-up. If you are in doubt DO NOT ATTEMPT. IT CAN KILL YOU. Any Crazy Ideas found here REQUIRE your testing. Your appliction and use of any ideas here are all on you and you agree I cannot be held liable. You equipment should have On/Off safety switches, Fuse protection, ground wires on your machine as required and your power source should have ground fault interupters, circuit breakers,properly grounded sockets and cords and always unplug equipment before tinkering and any other safety practise I am forgetting to mention.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby maryanimal » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:22 pm

I found a treadmill for $25. I want to make a little motorized vee-hickle for the playa next year. Any suggestions on either?
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby BBadger » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:12 pm

Open them up and look inside. Perhaps you'll see some clues, like what power the treadmill takes as input. Most electronic devices are inherently DC-powered, and if they're plugged into the wall, they have a circuit to convert the mains power (AC) to DC. So the first place to look is to see what the mains power is being converted to. Then we can see how to hijack that to work with a battery or something else.
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Re: Treadmill motors: 12 volt dc?

Postby maryanimal » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks BBadger! I'll do that as soon as I get the treadmill! :D
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