As good as resistance exercise is, sometimes you need to be sure that your machine is working perfectly. For the perfect workout, the resistance in your elliptical motor must be working at peak performance. This guide will be all about how to test elliptical resistance motors.
To test an elliptical resistance motor, you need to check the voltage. You can do this with a multimeter pretty easily. There are two variants – battery powered ones and wall powered ones. Both can be checked easily with a multimeter.
That is just the surface though. There is much more to it. Well, for starters to get the best idea and to know what you are actually doing, it’s good to understand how these motors work. Then I will go into a bit more detail on how to test them. So, let’s get started.
How Does Elliptical Motors Work?
Okay, the basics of it all are that the motor creates some form of resistance when you paddle it. You are essentially required to power the motor and work against the resistance. This will in turn give you a workout.
As you can probably tell, the motor, along with other things, is very important. But I do think the motor is one of the most important aspects of an elliptical machine since that is the thing that gives you resistance. Which, of course, makes a workout possible.
These machines are also called cross-trainers. The type of resistance that an elliptical machine makes is called ‘silence magnetic resistance’.
You will notice that some parts or components are common among these types of machines. There will be a console, a resistance motor with a resistance cable, wire harness and a variation of the flywheel or a resistance mech and magnetic bracket.
When you, the user will change the resistance of your machine, this signal is transferred to the resistance motor. Depending on whether you want to increase or decrease the resistance, the resistance cable will either be wound up or get released.
Some units will have an internal eddy mech, the resistance will increase when the motor releases the cable. This happens because the magnet brackets inside the mech will move closer to the flywheel.
The motor will wound up the resistance if you decrease the resistance settings which will essentially pull the magnet bracket away from the flywheel.
The main thing to remember here is the closer the magnet bracket is to the flywheel the higher the resistance. So, naturally the further away the magnet bracket is from the flywheel, the lower the resistance.
Both these actions will cause the machine to increase or decrease its resistance. Which will give you the exact and precise workout you want. Pretty cool and straightforward stuff.
As the user, you get data and information about what the resistance is and how much is the motor wound up. This is done by the motor itself since it does two jobs. As we already mentioned, one of the functions is to release or wind the resistance cable.
The other is to tell the console how far the motor rotated which will give you an idea of what resistance position it is in. All these are done through a 5-wire harness. That is pretty much the basics of how it all works.
How to Test Resistance: Easy Guide
As you can now tell that resistance plays a big role in ellipticals. That is what they are based around basically. The resistance is what gives you a lighter or a heavy workout based on the settings you choose.
To make sure you get the right resistance and also to test that the resistance motor is working in your elliptical, there are a couple of very simple steps you can take. Do not worry though, you do not need to be an engineer or have a master’s in electrical engineering to figure it out.
There are two different kinds of ellipticals. One will use a battery to power the motor and the other type will connect directly to a wall outlet. Here is how to test both of them:
Testing a Battery Powered Elliptical
To test a battery-powered elliptical machine, checking the DC voltage is basically all you need to do. If you get a good reading when you manually change the resistance on the console, then you are all set to go – your motor is working.
Do this by using a multimeter to measure the voltage at the resistance motor. If the motor does not run when it is getting voltage from the console, you need to replace it.
Testing an Elliptical That Plugs In
Some elliptical machines will plugin directly to the wall for power. Before checking these motors, you must completely unplug the machine from the power outlet first. This will make working with it safe.
Now what you need to do is check the wire harness connections between the motor and also the console. Just like before, use a multimeter to check the voltage. You need to check continuity through the resistance motor and wiring.
If there is any damaged wiring then you will probably need to replace the wiring itself. And if your multimeter is registering infinite resistance through the resistance motor, then it is time to replace the motor.
Keep in mind that sometimes the motor might not be the issue. It can be the console itself. If both your motor and the wiring are fine, you might need to just change the console at this point.
Best Practices to Keep Your Motor Working for A Long Time
Before I finish this guide, I wanted to leave you with a few tips and tricks to keep your elliptical machine working for longer. These will be maintenance best practices to make sure your machine and by extension, the motor stays in perfect operating conditions for longer.
Keep It Clean
Honestly, this is a no-brainer. Keeping your machine clean and tidy is perhaps one of the simplest and also one of the most effective things you can do. keeping it clean will prevent dust and gunk from accumulating inside it which can also mess up the motor.
Tighten the Nuts and Bolts
Making sure to tighten the nuts and bolts after a couple of weeks of use is always a good idea. Some machines will need to be assembled before you can use them. While we are sure that you tightened all the nuts and bolts while assembling it, checking them after a few weeks or so does not hurt.
Ellipticals that see a lot of users will have the fasteners come a little loose over time. An easy way to avoid this is to, of course, do regular checks. So, check loose fasteners to avoid major repairs. Trust us, this will not take you much time. And might end up saving you hundreds of dollars.
Adjust Your Elliptical Machine
Sometimes it is not the motor but other components that may have slipped or have come loose that is causing the problem. So, double-check to make sure that nothing on your machine needs to be adjusted before you can use it properly.
For example, some machines will come with a drive belt. This belt might be needed to adjust if you feel like the pedal is slipping.
Since now you know how to test elliptical resistance motors, you can diagnose a faulty motor yourself. Make sure you follow the best practices when using the machine and you will need to do fewer repairs in the long run. I hope this article was informative enough to help you with your queries.