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Tuesday 8 November 2022

Why I don't recommend Nordic Track!

Sunday 23 October 2016

DIY fitness machine maintenance movies

Autumn and winter is always our busiest time of year for repairs and maintenance as the increased usage and colder weather are both contributory factors to equipment failure. Therefore it is worth spending a few moments to check over your machine to make sure it is set up and lubricated correctly – a little TLC goes a long way to preventing breakdowns!


With this in mind, I have recently finished filming a series of short DIY maintenance movies to show you what to do. The movies cover all essential maintenance and how to fix common problems - you can reach the movies via the YouTube link below. In one of the movies I show you how to lubricate your machine to prevent overloading and in another I show you how to fix irritating squeaks, rattles and vibrations; I think that if your machine sounds and feels right then it follows that it should be running right as well!


Here is the link to the movies:


(It’s worth saying that if you are at all concerned about clicking through on this link then you can also access the movies via our website – just google search “Northwick Gym Repairs”).


And, if you find the movies helpful then stay up-to-date by clicking the big red “subscribe” button in the top right hand corner of our YouTube channel.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Treadmills with 2 speed sensors

Treadmills with 2 x Speed Sensors (eg. LiveStrong/Vision)

Some treadmills are fitted with 2 x speed sensors .
One is a standard magnetic reed switch fitted near the roller pulley and the other is an optical sensor mounted at the rear of the motor. The magnetic sensor is used for general speed measurement whilst the optical sensor is used for accurate control and safety.
Faults with the optical speed sensor are often confused with MCB problems, and due to the presence of the magnetic reed switch sensor, the optical speed sensor is frequently overlooked and not tested at all.
Problems with the optical sensor can usually be cured simply by blowing dust/dirt out of the sensor lens as part of a service.

Symptom of faulty optical speed sensor
Motor runs erratically.
Running belt speeds up/down and has trouble holding a steady speed (irrespective of whether there is a person on the machine).
Motor cuts out after a while.
Motor runs momentarily but then cuts out almost straight away.

System Operation
The system uses a magnetic speed sensor to monitor the running belt speed and allows the console display (kph/mph) to be re-calibrated accurately between different models. This allows the same electronics to be shared among multiple treadmills which saves costs.
However, the magnetic sensor is relatively slow to respond which can lead to speed fluctuations (a perceptible lag while the system makes automatic adjustments to maintain a set speed). This is also why an E1 speed sensor error usually takes up to 10 seconds to appear.
The optical sensor works much faster. It allows the system to respond very quickly to speed fluctuations so as to provide a very steady belt speed. Also, it allows the system to detect a problem far sooner than the magnetic sensor and hence shut down the system rapidly in the event of a problem.
Therefore, by using the two speed sensors, the manufacturer can share electronics between different models whilst also providing a very responsive control system.  

Operation of the Optical Speed Sensor
The optical speed sensor is an electronic device consisting of an in-built LED and sensor. Light passes from the LED lens to a receiver which is mounted directly opposite. When the light beam is interrupted a signal is passed to the MCB (the sensor generates an electrical on/off signal to indicate speed). The light beam is interrupted by use of a castellated round disk mounted on the rear of the motor which passes between the light beam of the sensor which blocks or allows light to pass as it rotates.
The optical speed sensor itself has no moving parts and is inherently reliable.

Common Problems and Fixes:
Dust on Lens
By far the most common problem on treadmills is dust and dirt on the lens or receiver of the LED. This blocks the light beam and causes the sensor to give an inconsistent output or no output at all. This can be resolved by cleaning the lens with an air blast or removing the dust with a small, clean paint brush.

Wires & Connections
Optical sensors can have 3, 4 or 5 signals wires depending on the configuration. These small wires can be trapped or snagged under screws and can easily become disconnected. Check connection and wire continuity using an multimeter. Repair and damaged wires or replace device. (Wiring and pinouts vary and cannot be easily tested using a multimeter without knowing the circuit)

Physical damage
Usually a thin metal castellated disk mounted to the motor shaft is used to interrupt the light beam of the sensor. This disk is prone to being bent or damage and can rub or scuff the side of the plastic enclosure of the LED or the circuit board. This can sometimes create debris which can block the light beam or in extreme cases cause complete failure of the sensor. Clean the lens and remove any plastic debris and re-try otherwise replace the device.

Monday 29 February 2016

E1 Error Codes

A Technical Paper Courtesy of

Checkout the online parts store at


Error Code – E1
This Error Code may appear under 3 different situations:

The “Start” button is pushed and the E1 error code is displayed immediately.
The “Start” button is pushed, the display counts for 3 seconds, the DC Motor begins to run and then stop after 6 seconds, when the E1 error code is displayed
The “Start” button is pushed, the display count for 6 seconds, and then the E1 error code appears. The belt does not move in this situation.

After you determine which of these scenarios is occurring, please follow the instructions below to correct the problem.

If the E1 error code shows immediately it is likely a wiring connection problem. Check the connector at the back of the display, in the handlebars and at the bottom of the right side support post. Make sure that the connectors are turned the right way, that none of the pins are bent and that they are firmly pressed together. If this does not sole the problem you may have a problem with a wiring harness. Check to see if the harness was damaged during assembly by visibly inspecting the harness where the handlebars and the support post are connected during assembly and where the support post is inserted into the base. If there are signs of damage, you can isolate the mid-section of wiring harness and test to see if this is the problem through removing the display from the handlebars and attaching it directly to the end of the wiring harness coming out of the right side of the base. If the display now works properly, replace the damaged wiring harness.

If this does not resolve the problem, remove the bottom hood cover and replace the wiring harness from the controller board to the base. 

If the E1 error occurs after the belt starts to move for several seconds, the error code means that the system is not picking up the speed of the motor. This pickup comes from a magnet mounted on the front roller pulley and a speed sensor, or a problem with the magnet. To resolve this problem, follow these steps:

A.     Check the connection between the speed sensor and the controller board. This connection will be sealed with hot glue to keep it from loosening. Make sure that the connection is secure without removing the hot glue.
B.      Make sure that the magnet is properly installed on the front pulley. If you cannot located the magnet on the pulley order a new magnet.

C.      Replace the magnet sensor by following the instruction found in this manual.

If the E1 error after the display count the workout time for 6 seconds but the belt never begins, the error code means that the DC Motor or circuit board  is likely defective and needs to be replaced. Although unlikely, the problem could also be associated with a defective Transformer.

In this case you should seek expert assistance (refer to to arrange a site visit or to locate your nearest service provider) 

Wednesday 10 February 2016

New Online Store NOW OPEN!

Buy with confidence from my new online store!

Parts for Treadmills

Treadmill Spares

And much more!

International shipping on spare parts and consumables for treadmills, cross trainers, elliptical trainers, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, strength machines and spin (indoor) bikes.