The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Fingers Crossed


It *APPEARS* that I have been able to be successful in getting the damn infernal treadmill machine back into service!!!!

1.  After getting home as early as I could yesterday, I started to work on the beast again.  Lots of drilling of holes through metal support arms, lots of drilling of other anchoring holes, lots of use of bolts, nuts, washers (including lock washers), lots of finagling with wires and sockets to get the electronic "gizmos" reconnected and attached, and lots of finessing and fussing getting plastic shields and other screws and other things to "fit" into the appropriate spaces areas.  But, by around 6:30pm, I had the damn thing together, and decided to turn it on.

2.  It turned on!  But then it said, "Safety Device Not Detected".  I started to grumble under my breath, but I remembered..... oh it is that damn little "Plug In" thing that has a cord attached to it that then attaches to me, so if I fall off the beast, the plug pulls out and the machine stops (theoretically to limit injury to me).  So I rummaged around on my workbench and found the errant little plug-in cord.  I plugged it in........ "Safety Device Not Detected" continued to splay across the screen.  I then began to REALLY grumble, mutter, and cuss under my breath.

3.  Normally, with such a perplexing situation, I would fill a bowl of one of my pipes with some dark brown crumbles of pleasantly potent pipe tobacco, chomp on the stem, and ignite my pipe.  As the lovely nicotine would caress my brain's neurons and the flavors and aromas would stimulate my olfactory and taste receptors, I would ruminate on how to solve the vexing problem.  But, as you unfortunately realize, I have not had the guidance of my pipes in that regard for some time now.  So instead, I slumped in the chair at my workbench, scowled, rubbed my face with my hand, and without the assistance of my pipes, tried to figure out what was the next step.  

4.  I came to the sad (shall I suggest.... agonizing?) conclusion that the only thing I *could* do would be to dismantle roughly 95% of all of my work to gain access to the innards housing the electronic "gizmo" circuitry to attempt to see if I could find out what about the "safety" device's innards were not up to snuff.  

5.  Dismantling took a long time, reopening up the fascia to the "gizmos" had to be done with painstaking patience because the plastic is old and the various clips are a bit brittle (as the machine is roughly 20+ years old) and I did not want to break any so as to create more issues. Finally, I was at the circuit region for the damn safety device.   I had not really paid any heed to it before, but now I had to figure out how the safety device worked internally and at the same time try to figure out why it wasn't working anymore.  Very, very fortunately, it *appeared* that during my unplugging plugs, dismantling wires, and re-plugging in wires and plugs for all the other electronics.... the "safety" circuit device's electronic contacts had rotated a bit (due to a loose screw I had NEVER touched before) so that no contact with the safety key (the "Plug In" thing) could be established.  It was a relatively easy manipulation to rotate these contact bands back into position and to tighten them in place by tightening the loose screw (Hey.... no jokes about me having a "screw loose"!).   

6.  I then went through the machinations of reassembling all the shields, guards, gizmos, and what-not.  Then I reassembled the entirety of the armature of the braces I had made and reinstalled all of it onto the arms of the beast.  I then gingerly turned the beast back on......... and on the electronic screen came the message.... "Safety Device Not Detected" started to flash again........ I cursed audibly, "SH*T!!!!".... but then I remembered.... I had NOT yet put the safety key back into the slot.  So, I scrambled back to the workbench and grabbed the key and inserted it.... and THE NORMAL POWER UP SCREEN APPEARED!!!!!!!!!! 

7.  But... I could not test it out quite then.  Over the multiple days of trying to create this fix, I had realized that all of my drilling, fussing, etc..... might have resulted in the release of a variety of metal and wood fiber shavings being released from all the drilling, filing, and fussing I had been doing...... AND.... if there were any of these within the mechanics of the machine, it could wreck havoc with the function of the motor, the belt and other aspects of the treadmill.  So, even though I wanted to turn it on to see if the belt and everything started as usual..... instead, I went and first brought down the shop vacuum from the garage and vacuumed every nook and cranny I could reach in and around the beast.  I then went and made a pail of warm water with some "Spic-N-Span Cleaner" in it, grabbed an old wash rag, and proceeded to wipe down... not once, but TWICE....  all of the surfaces of the treadmill, hoping to capture any harsh, stray shavings that might be lurking about.  I especially focused on making the rolling tread especially clean as I worried if there any shards of metal on there that they might be fed back into some of the mechanics of the beast, potentially causing failure.  

8.  By this time, it was 8:30pm.  Since I had not ran for either of the last two mornings, I was about 20 miles (~32 km) behind where I would normally be in working to accomplish my weekly goal of 55 miles (~88.5 km).  So, I went upstairs and changed into my running shorts, and went back into the basement.  I started the beast, and when I turned on the belt, it too began to roll in its predictable manner!!!!  So..... I started to run.

9.  I had envisioned trying to run 10 - 12 miles last night (16 - 19 km), but by that time of the evening, I was tuckered out and just did not have that much energy to give.  So, I allowed myself to stop when I reached 6.5 miles (~10.5 km).  I then went upstairs to eat and watch television with my wife.  

10.  I envisioned getting up this morning and pushing like hell to get a lot more miles in, as I was still WAY behind and was worried about hitting the 55 mile (~88.5 km) goal for the week. So, I got up early, and jumped into my shorts, and slipped on my clodhopper sized running shoes and went to the basement.  Again, I envisioned trying to play catch-up on miles.  I was just a few steps past the start of my 5th mile (~8th km) when my wife comes down the stairs...... with a big, burly, bald-headed fellow in gray coveralls (and wearing a mask) behind her!  


My wife had set up an appointment a few weeks ago to have our furnace company do their yearly inspection and testing of our house's heating system.  Not only was I nearly naked (other than running shorts, socks and shoes), but the noise of me running on the machine.... was just too much.  So, I turned off the treadmill, and quickly went upstairs to wash up and get ready to go to the U.   This means I am STILL ~20 miles (~32 km) behind in my weekly goal because today's and yesterday's runs were both prematurely truncated!  I am going to have to force myself to run a lot of miles today, and a lot of miles tomorrow if I have any hope of reaching the weekly goal.  And, truthfully, I do not WANT to run on Sunday, so I am going to try to run additional miles today, and will try to run any remaining miles on Saturday that I need to reach my weekly goal.  

So..... a couple of busy days ahead physically.  BUT..... BUT..... I can at least take a little bit of pride in the fact that I WAS able to repair this beast (still keeping my fingers crossed), and it only took around $20 of materials and a whole helluva lot of elbow grease, and careful thought.   That is about it..... I have to go and run a BUNCH more miles.



Blogger Pat McDowell said...

Congratulations, Professor! You're good with your hands, and you're quite the problem-solver. One question, though: Do your rodents have rodent-sized treadmills of their own? :)

Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger PipeTobacco said...

Actually…. I DO have a rodent treadmill! It is a bit different of course, but it is designed to allow me to monitor and record their walking speeds amongst many other parameters!

The “fancy scientific name” for my rodent treadmill is that it is called a rotarod.


Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger Pat McDowell said...

Wow! That looks even less enjoyable than a treadmill for humans! Rotarod

Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

As the rodents say, "Oh rats, the treadmill again!?"

Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Just to clarify that was as seen from your POV, not mine, the reader's.

Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

Thread mill repair. Hubby and I had to replace belt.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger austere said...


eh.. would you know why my Samsung Android M 31 phone will charge only in the morning, after ten hours "at rest"?
With this I have to now revise my opinion of Americans as people who throw things away.

Friday, 14 January, 2022  
Blogger Margaret said...

What an incredible series of repair actions you had to undergo! I wouldn't have a clue where to even start. Can you count all your work on the machine toward a few miles? :) So glad it's up and running--you too!

Saturday, 15 January, 2022  
Blogger GaP said...

Impressive focus, Professor!

Sunday, 16 January, 2022  
Blogger The Blog Fodder said...

You are a mechanical inspiration

Tuesday, 18 January, 2022  

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