What do you do when you have an old treadmill and the controller dies? Most people would haul it to the dump, some might contact the manufacturer and see if a replacement controller is available, having it repaired in your home is probably not an option since the diagnostic call can repair service call and repair parts would probably cost more than a new unit. Parallax forum member knikula looked into getting a replacement controller but because of the system age replacement parts were no longer available. So he did what people like us do, make your own controller! The Dead Proform Treadmill was Fixed using a Parallax Propeller Brain Implant.
He is using a powerful Parallax Propeller controller development board but as he mentions this expensive board will eventually be used for something else since the main purpose of the expensive development board is simply to get your prototype up and running quickly. The system interfaces with the treadmill tilt up and down mechanism and the speed controller. He has tied in a heart rate monitor, a PC keyboard and computer via serial to input and monitor the status of his workout. Looks a bit overkill but now that he has everything working, a few buttons, a 4 line LCD display, the Parallax controller and a handful of devices is all he will need for the completed version. A cool idea would be to skip most of that and just connect it to a smart phone for display and control!
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