DP Fit For Life Treadmill controller swapping out the pot for arduino pwm

So I read a few posts on people using treadmill motors for other projects. I am a noob when it comes to electrical engineering but having read through dozens and dozens of tutorials on using a treadmill motor I went and bought myself an Arduino Uno wifi rev 2 board and picked myself up a free treadmill.

The problem I’m having is that the tread is so old the company that made them is out of business and I cant seem to find and references for this motor controller on the internet. I am going to use the motor and controller from the machine and have followed the pots wiring to the proper inputs on the controlelr board. Having said that I dont want to connect the pots wiring to the arduino until I know a bit more about if I’m going to smoke my new arduino board or not.

Since I can’t seem to find any information on the controller board I hooked up my meter to the ground and main line into the pot and found that I am getting roughly 15volts when the machine is plugged in. My confusion is that no one seems to mention this part in many tutorials when they use the original treadmill board with an arduino. Do I need to step down the voltage from the line going from the board to the pot?

I am attaching a pic of the motor plate and the controller board in hopes that someone can simplify the steps needed to connect my arduino to the pots wiring to get the motor running.

As an extra step I would eventually want this motor to run backwards. I dont think the treadmill controller has an H bridge which I have read would be needed to reverse the current.

The treadmill from the plastic covers say its a “DP Fit For Life Air-Tec 8.0 powered by GE” if that helps anyone as I couldnt find anything on the board that references anythinig I could find online.

Thanks for any help in figuring this out.

The first thing I would do is clean it up. as far as reversing the motor as far as I know all motors are reversible, just some are much easier then others. Good news and Bad news, the motor draws just under 11 amps. I would suggest you go on line and study the basics of AC and DC. A H-Bridge works great on motors that are DC, not AC. Why not start by defining the problem with specifications including a flow chart and schematic. Define what is the expected outcome. Purchase the Arduino cookbook and read it, this will give you some basics. also use the online tutorials and videos available, there are many good ones on this web site. At this point you will be able to define the problem and may have already solved it.

Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty much just using this free hardware for now to get the coding and proof of concept working before I go buy 2 DC motors. So a bit more of my project is I'm using Unity to communicate with my Arduino and have it so I can use a Slider UI on Unity to control the brightness of an LED on a breadboard. Now that I have the coding working across both interfaces I want to connect the Arduino to this current treadmill controller. I have been doing a fair bit of research on motors(I have prototype an Ar headset as well as a data glove so my understanding of electronics is beginner to intermediate but I haven't played around with motors until now.

I understand the differences between the AC and Dc motors and know I will need Dc for my application. The problem I'm having is the connection to this controller where to POT connects to the treadmill board. When I put my meter on the ground and input wire I get 15vdc. The other resources I've seen of people doing similar projects on treadmill motors never address the pots voltage so I know that if I stick my Arduino up to it either I will fry my Arduino or it wont be enough current to drive the PWM that the board is requiring. I was hoping others might recognize the board(which is a very old treadmill). I did read on a different forum topic that these older controller or prehistoric compared the newer built ones and I would probably need to add more components to up my Arudino voltage properly.

Since I will eventually need 2 motors and have already ordered a heavy duty motor controller, I might just get a lower DC motor since this one needs 120vdc where most the motors I've looked at(along with motor controllers) are anywhere from 12v to 48v. Right now though I haven't build the apparatus for what the motors will be used for so I haven't done the math properly to know how much HP, Torque yada yada I need just yet to make an educated choice on size.