Question about Fitness Quest Eclipse 1100 Hr/A Elliptical

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How can I get the timing circuit and/or circuit board fixed on the Eclipes 1100Hr/A?

When I call the customer service number or (try to) go to fitnessquest.com they appear to be out of business. I am willing to send the board somewhere, but don't know where or if it would even be worth it.

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You're quite correct: Fitness Quest failed, and replacement parts prove virtually non-existent. The company faced a huge recall for a machine which the 1100/hra served as the replacement. (Searching and auction sites only very rarely come up with such items as your console.)


My story with the Fitness Quest1100Hr/A:

Are you certain that the console's innards are shorted out? During the last few turbulent years, spiders seemed prefer lodging and breeding in the console of my same-model elliptical--the board proved filthy and covered with spider webs!

I have a good background with self-building PCs: That involves fooling a good deal with circuit boards. Forgive me for not making a youtube video--frankly, I figured that my chances of success proved quite poor. (I did succeed, though: It seems a miracle.)


Retracing your steps:

It's likely a good idea to take a video of disassembly with your phone or other camera/videocam--then, you'll be able to note again which screws and parts prove necessary to replace--in the correct locations--upon reassembly. Put a good light overhead--or, have a good lamp nearby--decent lighting improves photo resolution.


Tools needed:

1. Appropriate-sized Phillips screwdrivers.
2. Some type of very pure alcohol--95%, or bettter. Ethyl Alcohol ("Everclear" from a liquor store) may be the best choice for most non-pros. Old-fashioned Tape head cleaner is mentioned favorably, too--it's hard to obtain these days, though. If you must use a solvent, acetone is my favorite--it's really pure and evaporates really quickly. (I'd avoid solvents, though--they may hurt the circuit board or electronics. (Electronics jargon: PCB--printed circuit board)
2. A clean (new) toothbrush--or, better yet--a special brush, intended for cleaning from a hardware store. (These tend to be from China and are in sets of three--you need the brush with the nylon bristles, of course.) Why not both the toothbrush and the better hardware store brushes?!
3. Compressed air can.
4. Alternately, A techie friend, relative, or teen--knowledgeable with fixing PCs, TVs, phones, tablets, consumer electronics, or circuit boards--if practical. (Often, "gamer" whiz-kids qualify.)


Removing the console from the machine:

Use jar lids, small saucers, etc. to keep identical screws and fasteners together and intact--corralled! (Also, they actually might not lodge into your bare feet later!) Plates or smaller plastic containers, etc. will help you to corral the plastic parts--front/back plates, bezel, etc.

1. Unplug the power cord/power block from the console. (An aside: The power block (technically (and, fittingly) called a "rectifier") changes your wall's alternating AC voltage current to a far weaker "straightened" continuous DC current and voltage. Circuitry generally requires such weak DC power. Such circuitry naturally proves quite delicate and also really sensitive to static electricity. (Thus, the need for grounding oneself.) The need for DC current indicates why you see so many of these blocks prove necessary for electronics--if such a block is not necessary outside such devices, internal circuitry likely must achieve the same results.)

2. Unscrew the console from the top tube. (Larger screws here.)

3. Undo the connectors of the wires (three, I believe--two are associated with heart-rate monitoring) connected to the console. Keep track of the wires--if necessary, tape them to the outside--on the sides analogous to original connection. Don't touch any parts of the circuit boards or LED screen at this point.


Dealing with the circuit board.

1. Find a place featuring clean hard-surface flooring (a clean kitchen counter top or a clean good table). Try to avoid carpet. If necessary, obtain an anti-static wrist strap--if pressed for a better environment, as described--waiting a few days from an online vendor like amazon, newegg, or tigerdirect may prove a good idea. (Radioshack may still have these, too.)

2. Ground yourself (and, the optional wrist strap) by touching the middle screw of a nearby electrical outlet--or touch a metal plumbing fixture. Alternately, if you have a plugged in desktop PC nearby (and have turned if off), touch a mounting screw for its power supply. Probably, something large and metal will do, as well. It's a very good idea to re-ground yourself often when fooling with the boards and other electronics (LCD/LED screen).

3. Unscrew the back plate from the console. Note any damage (burned electronics, etc.), dust, debris, and cobwebs. Note also the screws holding the circuit boards to the front plate and those attaching the bezel (the plastic "frame" at the front which secures the LED/LCD) to the front plate. It's an analogous and similar setup for laptops, PC monitors, phones, and tablets, by the way.) Certainly avoid breaking plastic parts--they simply may not be replaced.

4. Carefully, use the canned air to blow much or most of the debris away--try to avoid pointing the can downward too far--the air will then prove even colder, causing a little condensation on the boards/LCD. It's probably OK, though--such condensation likely evaporates pretty rapidly.

5. If you believe that enough debris proves left to short out the board, don't reassemble and plug it in to test--yet! (Please note step 6 (the LCD area), too.) Given that compressed air isn't enough, and, remembering to ground yourself (again!)--unscrew the circuit boards from the front plate. Note that the main (or, another) circuit board is attached to the LCD with a small ribbon cable. Undo the connector--noting the orientation of the relevant connector--it likely fits in only one manner, anyway. (Your phone or cam may prove useful again, here.) I believe that a small piece of tape (similar to duct tape) weakly secures the small ribbon cable to the LCD--simply peel that from the LCD--leave it attached to the cable. (Note the tape's purpose.)

6. Note the space between the front plate/bezel and the LCD. If you have major debris problems, undo also the bezel and the small LCD screen. (be gentle and "static-free," of course!) Carefully invoke the canned air again on the LCD--avoid condensation onto that. Keep track of your screws, fasteners, and plastic parts.

7. Given stubborn debris (or cobwebs) remain, ground yourself again, and work over the circuit boards gently with the brush and alcohol.

8. Let the ethanol or other nearly-pure alcohol or gentle solvent dry for several minutes.

9. Retrace assembly. Plug in the rectifier, and note function.


Given that you (and, your pal(s)) can't get your console to work, loads of used ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes prove available at used sporting-goods stores, thrift stores, online/craig/ebay, or free/inexpensive print classifieds ("Iwanna," etc.).

The economy remains still at least somewhat poor: Such beasts prove too heavy to ship economically--thus, users must sell or donate locally. Moving, deaths, illness, quitting, space, and shedding keeps prices low. (This includes instructive content--really, almost anything exercise/fitness gear-related--resistance-cords, weights, benches, etc.)

Replacement may prove a better solution than trying to find someone to fix your console's board(s)/LCD. (Besides, such pros likely prove not well set up to test the board(s)/LCD--certainly, without the rest of your machine!)

Frankly, such pros these days prove too busy fixing phones, tablets, laptops, enterprise-computing/networking, and expensive LCD/LED TVs/pricey home theater electronics to fool with this. Thus, it will prove difficult and expensive to find a business willing to take this on--it's far too rare a request--a specialized and discontinued item, as well. If your console proves actually broken--"biting the bullet" by obtaining used or new likely prove better options....

I know that this appears long and complicated--once you get into it, it's much easier than this seems! I'll keep track!




Posted on May 16, 2014

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