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Help me help myself. I need a good troubleshooting course 101

vestaviascott

Jul 28, 2013
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I just started buying and selling fitness equipment as a side job to supplement my income and some of the free or very cheap fitness equipment have electronics issues that I need to troubleshoot and try to fix.

With that said, I'm a very hands on curious person and I learn fast, but I would like to start out with a fundamental understanding of basic electronics troubleshooting from the power supply to the control panel.

I have a multimeter but I don't know how to use it to troubleshoot power to console issues.

Can anyone recommend a good tutorial series or Udemy course that will walk me through the basics of troubleshooting electronics?

The situations I've encountered thus far are:

1) Frayed wiring harnesses - easily fixed.

2) Dead console - no joy. I need training on how to troubleshoot dead consoles.

3) Bad resistance motor - bought two replacement resistance motors for an elliptical before I figured out that the issue was the control panel, which otherwise functioned perfectly, was not sending the proper signal to the resistance motor.
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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Not quite that simple.
Does this involve Treadmill equipment etc?
There are many posts across many forums on the diagnostic and fixing of these.
Many have been reverse-engineered, as it is often a need to know circuit detail in order to fix, and manuf. are loathe to supply these.
Give some make models/details of equipment.
M.
 

vestaviascott

Jul 28, 2013
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Yes, mostly treadmills I'm buying and reselling but I currently have a dead console on a Nautilus T614 Treadmill (Thread here with full details) and a NordicTrack Gx 2.7 exercise bike (dead console). Both units are in like new condition otherwise.

I'm not really asking for simplicity, but a starting point for learning basic troubleshooting from the power supply to the display console. I understand there are likely some deep complexities involved in this but I'm looking for a basic approach that I can take to eliminate the most common issues in order to determine if something is fixable or not and to identify what needs to be fixed utilizing available testing tools like a multimeter or logic probe.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Knowing how to fix something first means knowing how they work.

You need to be able to 'break down' the device (whatever it is) into relevant sections (that may be repairable) that themselves could be further broken down to isolate a fault. Having a service manual would be an almost essential requirement but these are rare and difficult to obtain.

There are 'board swapping' repairs - where you simply replace a suspect board with a known-good one and see if the fault is fixed or...

...there are repairs to component level that require a much higher and involved knowledge of how things work.

For someone who is a 'beginner' and trying to tackle faults such as those you suggest I'd recommend you fix yourself up with the required spare boards, power supplies and motors and clue yourself up on how they are supposed to work such that you can recognise the 'section' that may be at fault. If you swap a board out and it starts working then you could send the board to someone competent at repairing them as trying to do this yourself - or even trying to learn how via a forum like this - is not an easy or quick task.
 

vestaviascott

Jul 28, 2013
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm just looking for a recommendation for a good intro to electronics troubleshooting. I'm not looking to become an expert in a week from reading a forum.
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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To my knowledge. there is no 'Troubleshooting 101' it comes from a developed skill, for this field I would look at some of the reverse-engineered schematics on the T.M. controllers, as this is often where most of the faults occur, there are basically two types, the simpler SCR bridge controller and the later PWM versions.
Another problem is that some of the latest types have embedded software controllers in them, rather than simpler logic control.
But as many faults occur in the power control devices, these are relatively easy to replace.
Trouble shooting ability just comes from a sound basic knowledge of electronics.
In some cases you have to reverse-engineer a particular section of circuit yourself, so the ability to draw out the circuit in a standard format helps.
Also Google AC 1phase motors as well as brushed DC.
M.
 

vestaviascott

Jul 28, 2013
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Jul 28, 2013
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If anyone finds this thread and is searching similar to me for basic understanding, here's a few videos I've found helpful to start my journey:




 
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