Most treadmill users are unaware of the part of their treadmill called the “controller.” This is the component located in the console that converts the AC current provided by your electrical outlet into the DC current usable by your treadmill. The controller also regulates the voltage sent to the treadmill motor through changes by the user on the treadmill’s display.
Home treadmill owners do become aware of the controller if they find out that it needs replacing. Replacing a controller typically becomes necessary because it has been damaged by impact, though, like other electronic devices, they occasionally stop working for unknown reasons. The controller is one of most expensive parts of a treadmill, often costing several hundred dollars to replace. Extended warranties can protect against such expense. For less expensive treadmills, it may be more economical to simply buy a whole new treadmill.
Types of Controllers
Controllers come in two varieties. The first, and less expensive, is the solid state controlled rectifier (SCR). A more recent innovation is the pulse width modulated controller (PWM). PWM controllers tend to be quieter and use less electricity than SCRs. They also last longer and may cause the treadmill motor to last longer as well. Not surprisingly, less expensive treadmills contain SCR controllers and the more expensive ones use PWM controllers.