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Inexpensive Alternative to TreadDesk Treadmill

Hey all, I've been walking/working on my treadmill desk for over 2 weeks and I'm lovin' it.  I'm so glad I took the plunge!

Here's my setup: I got an IKEA Fredrik desk off of Craigslist for free (lucky for me, it still looks brand new) and I configured it for standing height.  Then, after standing for a week, I realized my feet actually feel BETTER moving and shifting weight, so a week later, I purchased a treadmill that I've had my eye on at Amazon for a while - the Confidence Power Plus Treadmill.  I gravitated toward it because: A) It was a really inexpensive NEW electric treadmill ($239) and none of the Craigslist options looked appealing to me, B) The footprint of it is really small and would fit under my desk nicely, C) It was advertised as lightweight (I hate bulky equipment) and C) The handlebars APPEARED to be easy to disassemble completely.  The only problem was, there wasn't that much information about it, especially for treadmill desk users.  Luckily, I was confident in Amazon's return policy so I thought I'd be the guinea pig for the treadmill desk community. :)

Verdict: I couldn't be happier!  The treadmill is super light yet sturdy, very quiet, and the console is small and was easy to disassemble from the handlebars.  Check out my photo to see it - I believe it's comparable to the $820 Tread Desk treadmill, yet the speed goes as high as 10mph.  The only downside is that it automatically stops after 30 minutes, but I don't mind this " feature" and I've grown to like it very much.  It reminds me to take a little break, stretch, and tally up all of the 30 minute sessions I've done for the day.  It goes as slow as 1mph, but I've gone as fast as 3.4mph when I'm doing less intensive tasks such as surfing the web or replying to casual emails. :)

 

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Hi Amy, I had a look this afternoon, and knowing nothing about electronics could not pinpoint what was making the sound. It seemed to be coming from under the LCD (the two blocks). Question: how did you disconnect the power cord from the console? I played with it a little bit, and I couldn't tell if it was soldered on, glued or hooked? Any ideas?  Thanks!

Hey Ted,

The wire is just glued on top of the the latch for security.  I simply used an Exacto blade knife and cut through the clear glue and then I carefully unplugged the wire.  It takes a little gentle wiggling here and there - like Pamela says - it's sort of like an old phone jack plug.

Hi Amy,

First, thank you, for pioneering the Confidence Power Plus "hack" for all of us.  Your work and willingness to share what you did made it possible for so many of us to get started with a treadmill desk.  I couldn't be more grateful.

In the comment above, you mention cutting through "clear glue" and it sounds like cutting through it with the exacto blade required care, but appears to have been pretty much uneventful.  

Cutting through the glue and removing the cable from the jack was more eventful for me. I have a hunch there are variations in the manufacturing process, or changes that have occurred in the nine months since you bought yours, which may explain why my experience was possibly different.

Rather than the "clear glue" you described, the manufacturer used a yellow glue to adhere the plug to the jack on the unit I just received. This yellow glue was tacky and required considerable time and care to cut through before it was possible to wiggle the plug out of the jack on the circuit board.  

The challenge confronting me, which may or may not have been the same for you, was that the manufacturer glued the plug to the inside of the jack as well as the seal on the (top) outside of the jack. 

First, I had to carefully cut away the glue on the outside of the jack. Not necessarily a big deal except that the jack isn't exactly secured stablely to the circuit board. Three smalll wires connect the jack to the circuit board, so it's necessary to hold the jack down against the board to keep it stable while cutting through the glue, lest any of the wires snap.  Nothing to be fearful about, just be patient and aware, take your time, and be careful.

Next, I gently inserted a knife blade between the plug and jack; cutting through the glue and gently prying the surfaces apart. Again, caution was necessary when doing "wiggle tests" to see if the plug was sufficiently disloged from the glue in the jack to safely wiggle it out. Too much force could snap the jack right off.  [Word of advice to others: don't force it.  Keep cutting the glue until it's ready to come out. You'll know.] Again, nothing to be fearful about, just be patient and aware, take your time, and be careful. 

I posted a series of pictures in an album, but here are a couple pictures related to the plug/jack on the circuit board.

  The plug/jack connected to the circuit board.

So you can see the shape of the plug and jack.

 

Nope - I decided not to try.  Based on my (very) limited knowledge of electronics, I reckon it's likely that either the speaker is part of some other vital component, or yanking it out might cause the device's firmware to believe that the product broken and refuse to start up.  So I've decided to live with it.  If you decide to try it, let us know how it goes...  :)

Hey all!

 

I finally got my treadmill & and running in my office space @ work! I'm in an office cube and it fits nicely! I will take a pic upon my return from this work roadtrip I'm on.  I agree the beep is annoying but...the stupid LOUD auto punch stapler we have by our copier is worse so it's not big! :)   My only worry when I was deconstructing it was that last step when you have to get TO the circuit board. The one little "old telephone jack" kind of plug ON the circuit board stumped me for a minute as I was not sure which part actually pulled out OR off! Luckily I have engineers at work and they confirmed it was built LIKE an old phone jack plug so DONT PULL THE WHOLE PIECE OFF THE BOARD for future treadmill deconstructors! That was hard for me!  At first I thought there was a glitch.....well I think there is but I've found the alternative of..... the speed changing from 1 to 3 mph at about the 6th minute! So I frantically have to pull the panic cord off!  Somehow if you just turn it on, uhm, let it beep than hit the on off, it then counts down, 3,2,1 and start & goes to 1pm and LETS me go to 1.2. or 1.3 or 1.3 or whatever.  At first I thought it was a glitch. (I still think there's a glitch in the program one on mine at least.) But, its quiet, works well and I like it! :)  I will take a pic because its a different SPIN on layout than many of you have.  I'll do that when I get back home!  Keep on treadin'!  :) - - Pam

Great tip. Thanks. I've been looking for a good "under the desk" option for awhile.

Thank you so much for this information. I just got the Confidence treadmill for my birthday and I am trying to set it up as you explained in your post which was very helpful, but I'm stuck on the wiring. I took the back off of the box and I see the white little box with the colored wires going into it. How do I detach the wires from the base? Thanks so much for any advice.

Cat,

I had the same question for Amy last week. You may have found it later in this blog. Anyway, it pulls out like a phone jack after you tease it apart with an exacto knife. Just take your time and you'll work it free. Then tie a string to the end and pull it through. You can use the string to pull the wire back though should you wish to return or sell your treadmill. Good luck!

I am so excited! I just picked up a Jerker that I found on ebay and my confidence plus treadmill will be here on the 24th! I can't wait to use your helpful directions to get it set up!

Sounds great!  The Jerker is supposed to be even better than the Fredrik - sturdier I think.  Please be sure to post a pic of your setup once it's built.  Good luck and happy walking!

I like the low-profile of that treadmill! I've got a very similar setup on my treadmill desk blog (almost identical, in fact - just a big higher up).

It's awesome that you were able to get a brand new treadmill for so cheap!

A quick update. After a frenetic month of unexpected travel, I'm finally walking on the treadmill. After about a week I can say that the beeping I complained about in an earlier post is nothing and really easy to live with. Like Amy, I appreciate that the treadmill shuts down after 30 minutes. The breaks are a welcomed opportunity to stretch out hip flexors and mentally, it's makes the idea of walking all day more manageable. 

Question: how often does one lube this machine? I've only used it for a week, but after several minutes a faint smell is given off by the machine?

My biggest issue is that I purchased Ergodesktops Kangaroo, which is an adjustable standup desk. Since I'm a writer, I find that my hands lightly resting on the Kangaroo cause it to shake slightly, despite the brace I use that was included in the package. I made this purchase because I needed to keep the desk I was using and it looked like a good option. I'm sure another brace will do the trick, but I won't know until I try. 

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