motorbrake locking problem

Fortius, i-Magic , Cosmos, Flow , upgrade kits

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doodle
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 pm

motorbrake locking problem

Post by doodle » Thu May 21, 2009 12:00 am

Hi,

I wonder if anyone can help me with a problem I've started having with my Fortius i-magic trainer. I've had it for a couple of months now and everything has been fine until now - basically when I start cycling the motorbrake locks hard after a couple of seconds and it takes all my strength to make it move at all. This goes on for a few seconds then it releases for a few more seconds then locks again. I've tried reconnecting everything, recalibrating etc. but to no avail. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Richard

mcorn
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Re: motorbrake locking problem

Post by mcorn » Thu May 21, 2009 12:36 am

doodle wrote:Hi,

I wonder if anyone can help me with a problem I've started having with my Fortius i-magic trainer. I've had it for a couple of months now and everything has been fine until now - basically when I start cycling the motorbrake locks hard after a couple of seconds and it takes all my strength to make it move at all. This goes on for a few seconds then it releases for a few more seconds then locks again. I've tried reconnecting everything, recalibrating etc. but to no avail. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Richard
The most common cause is the cadence sensor not working or not aligned. The Fortius has a safety interlock feature that requires continuous cadence input to prevent auto-motoring.

You can use the Tacx System Test program to confirm cadence is working correctly. You can also use an ohmmeter to check the cadence sensor, which is a simple on-off switch. When the magnet is adjacent, the switch closes. So, be absolutely sure cadence is working. Also, do not try to overpower the brake when this happens.

normh
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 4:07 am
Location: Australia, Adelaide
Contact:

Post by normh » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:57 am

I have had this problem since 2006 and it has never been fixed, I am not the only one either but is seems to be ignored.

I have tried differenct computers, I have tried just a basic install on my computer - minimal other services running, you name it but it still happens at least once per ride.

I have replaced my "brake unit" thankyou to

Craig Kilpatrick
National Sales Manager

Apollo Bicycle Company
44 Parkhurst Drive
Knoxfield Melbourne Australia 3180
Ph: +61 (0) 3 9881 6600
Fax: +61 (0) 3 9881 6660
Email: craig@apollobikes.com
Web: www.apollobikes.com
Web: www.bikelink.com.au

great customer service from Craig and support.

And the thing still "locks up" you can usually tell when it is going to happen cos the feel on the pedals will momentarily feel soft/easy and then the brake unit goes hard on, your opponents keep right on pedeling and you have to slowly get back up to speed again and chase them down. If I didin't know better that it was a fault you might view it as a feature for training to chase down to get back on. :-(

mcorn and I have had this discussion in the past and it has never been fixed. It is this "bug" that causes me to never recommend the Fortius to any of my friends, in fact I actively talk about it as the only problem with it but it is bad enough that I discourage anyone from purchasing one.

Best of luck with your problem, I have mine down to once a ride now normally, it was 2 or 3 times a ride but I have done nothing but make sure I keep the latest upgrades in place and hope one day TACX take this seriously and fix it.

For history on this problem just do a search on the title motor brake or search my name and you will see me and others complaining from 2006 about this.

cheers

Norman.

normh
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 4:07 am
Location: Australia, Adelaide
Contact:

Post by normh » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:00 am

I have had this problem since 2006 and it has never been fixed, I am not the only one either but is seems to be ignored.

I have tried differenct computers, I have tried just a basic install on my computer - minimal other services running, you name it but it still happens at least once per ride.

I have replaced my "brake unit" thankyou to

Craig Kilpatrick
National Sales Manager

Apollo Bicycle Company
44 Parkhurst Drive
Knoxfield Melbourne Australia 3180
Ph: +61 (0) 3 9881 6600
Fax: +61 (0) 3 9881 6660
Email: craig@apollobikes.com
Web: www.apollobikes.com
Web: www.bikelink.com.au

great customer service from Craig and support when a power outage by ETSA when I was using my trainer caused the brake unit to blow up :-( .

The thing still "locks up" even after a latest/greatest unit. You can usually tell when it is going to happen cos the feel on the pedals will momentarily feel soft/easy and then the brake unit goes hard on, your opponents keep right on pedeling and you have to slowly get back up to speed again and chase them down. If I didin't know better that it was a fault you might view it as a feature for training to chase down to get back on. :-(

mcorn and I have had this discussion in the past and it has never been fixed. It is this "bug" that causes me to never recommend the Fortius to any of my friends, in fact I actively talk about it as the only problem with it but it is bad enough that I discourage anyone from purchasing one.

Best of luck with your problem, I have mine down to once a ride now normally, it was 2 or 3 times a ride but I have done nothing but make sure I keep the latest upgrades in place and hope one day TACX take this seriously and fix it.

For history on this problem just do a search on the title motor brake or search my name and you will see me and others complaining from 2006 about this.

cheers

Norman.

mcorn
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:55 pm
Location: USA, Bellingham, Washington

Post by mcorn » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:46 am

Norm-

You have a defective unit. I would not have put up with this since 2006. The only time my unit locked up was in the early days of bad firmware. It hasn't happened to me in many years.

geebee
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:40 pm
Location: Tasmania, Australia

Post by geebee » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:41 pm

I get this very occassionally and traced it down to when the heater in the bathroom is on, the load must make the Fortius lose sync with the power line.
You are dead right in that you can feel it go funny/light before the heavy braking which warns you what is about to happen.
I dont have a problem if the heater is not in use.
Dont know if this can help you tracing the problem but it might be worth considering.

mcorn
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Post by mcorn » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:19 pm

geebee wrote:I get this very occassionally and traced it down to when the heater in the bathroom is on, the load must make the Fortius lose sync with the power line.
You are dead right in that you can feel it go funny/light before the heavy braking which warns you what is about to happen.
I dont have a problem if the heater is not in use.
Dont know if this can help you tracing the problem but it might be worth considering.
What the unit is supposed to do when it loses synchronization with the line is to release all resistance, not lock up. I had this happen a couple of times. It will release for a couple of seconds until it resyncrhonizes, then it continues. If other electrical devices in the local system are causing interference, you could try a high quality line filter (not a UPS). The problem with a filter is it may not eliminate the specific noise that is causing the problem, so it can be pretty hit and miss. It is important that there may a high-qualilty ground in the system as well.

scapaslow
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:44 pm
Location: Dollar, Scotland

Post by scapaslow » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:24 am

I posted this in an earlier thread but it might be relevant here and worth a shot as i had similar random motorbrake locking problems:

The problem may be loose wires in the round plug that connects the powerback (silver box) unit to the motorbrake.

Make sure the cadence sensor is working before trying this. A problem with your cadence sensor is more likely. If you've eliminated that then try this:

Connect the plug to the motorbrake with the power switch at the off position and disconnected from mains! and screw tight as normal.
Carefully unsheath the plug by turning the hexagonal cable grip then plastic screw body anti clockwise and slide them down the cable to expose the cable fixings of 4 wired connections to very small screws.
Move the cable in different directions to see if any of the 4 wires are loose.

If you find a loose wire(s) (as i did) unscrew the tiny screw(s) then reinsert the wire and tighten. Check all screws are tight then put it all back together and hope for the best!

If this doesn't work then contact Tacx Support - you should not be putting up with this and i'm sure they can help solve your problem.

eric_the_viking
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:39 pm
Location: Teddington, England

Post by eric_the_viking » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:59 pm

Interestingly I've been having the same problem (of the braking intermittently locking on). This has been a real issue especially during a recent ramp test and highish power and cadence intervals.

After reading this thread I checked the connections at the plug and found ALL 4 SCREWS LOOSE :D :D

This maybe be a quality issue for Tacx and it would be interesting if the problems stated in the other responses were found to be caused by this issue and people needlessly changed their units out :?: :? :?:

mcorn
Moderator
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Location: USA, Bellingham, Washington

Post by mcorn » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:11 pm

Tacx Support does have a very useful service bulletin with pictures and text describing how to correct this problem. It would be helpful if it were posted on the website, as I am sure that this kind of non-secure electrical connection could cause lots of problems.

BigGar
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:05 pm

Post by BigGar » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:48 am

I'm having the same problem tonight. Had a few issues with my Fortius Multiplayer. Anyway, I was sent a new power unit (great service) and all's been working fine.
Wanted to attempt the Galibier tonight and as soon as I hit any sort of slope the motorbrake kept jamming and then releasing etc. Happened when the slope got to approx' 5%.

Then had a go in Catalyst. Seemed to work fine in there until I upped the slope to approx' 3 to 4%. Have checked the tyre against roller pressure etc and all seems fine and it's driving me mad! Feel like bunging the thing out of the window which is a shame cos when it works well it is amazing
Really don't know wat to do next.

mcorn
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Post by mcorn » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:53 am

BigGar wrote:I'm having the same problem tonight. Had a few issues with my Fortius Multiplayer. Anyway, I was sent a new power unit (great service) and all's been working fine.
Wanted to attempt the Galibier tonight and as soon as I hit any sort of slope the motorbrake kept jamming and then releasing etc. Happened when the slope got to approx' 5%.

Then had a go in Catalyst. Seemed to work fine in there until I upped the slope to approx' 3 to 4%. Have checked the tyre against roller pressure etc and all seems fine and it's driving me mad! Feel like bunging the thing out of the window which is a shame cos when it works well it is amazing
Really don't know wat to do next.
Be sure your cadence sensor is aligned correctly and not moving around when you put on a lot of pressure. Also be sure it is plugged firmly into the silver box.

calk23
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:12 pm

Post by calk23 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:49 am

Dear God, what would we do without this forum? I've been having the phantom brake locking problem too - it started within the last week. I unscrewed the power cable and discovered one of the four wires very, very loose. Even after pulling it out and re-tightening the set screw it still doesn't feel very secure (at least, not as secure as the remaining three wires).

I won't have a chance to test the fix until tomorrow a.m. (BTW, I'm running with the upgraded 110V brake unit which I purchased early spring this year).

mcorn
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Post by mcorn » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:09 am

calk23 wrote:Dear God, what would we do without this forum? I've been having the phantom brake locking problem too - it started within the last week. I unscrewed the power cable and discovered one of the four wires very, very loose. Even after pulling it out and re-tightening the set screw it still doesn't feel very secure (at least, not as secure as the remaining three wires).

I won't have a chance to test the fix until tomorrow a.m. (BTW, I'm running with the upgraded 110V brake unit which I purchased early spring this year).
For everyone else, see this Sticky I posted as well:

viewtopic.php?t=10467

calk23
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:12 pm

Post by calk23 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:08 pm

Success!!! No lockups in VR or TTS Ergovideo, RLV and Catalyst modes. Thanks to mcorn and everyone else who posted their issues/solutions. I highly recommend making this thread a "sticky" - it seems like more and more of these connections are starting to vibrate loose.

mcorn
Moderator
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:55 pm
Location: USA, Bellingham, Washington

Post by mcorn » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:40 pm

calk23 wrote:Success!!! No lockups in VR or TTS Ergovideo, RLV and Catalyst modes. Thanks to mcorn and everyone else who posted their issues/solutions. I highly recommend making this thread a "sticky" - it seems like more and more of these connections are starting to vibrate loose.
There is already a Sticky at the top. For some reason, I think this problem is mostly confined to 220 volt units. I did check a couple of 110 volt units. Although the screws could be tightened somewhat, they were not really loose. My guess is this was an assembly issue for a batch of 220 volt units. I don't really believe it is a vibration or thermal issue, although that could contribute to a plug that was not initially assembled correctly.

PeterDK
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Location: Albertslund-Denmark

Post by PeterDK » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:39 pm

According to our national distributor they have been informed from Tacx that it has been seen a number of times that the connector fitting into the motor have loose cable connections inside the plug-

Mine had..... after all kind of issue with sudden heavy resistance, suddenly no resistance etc etc, been fixed and have done numerious training passes without a single issue.
Initially I even re-installed sw etc etc and it was all coursed by a simple connector issue !

br,
Peter

calk23
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:12 pm

Post by calk23 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:03 am

Sorry, should've noticed the sticky! I guess I have one of the few 110V units with the problem (although I notice another poster, eurosportscanada, may have the same issue).

mcorn
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Post by mcorn » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:34 am

calk23 wrote:Sorry, should've noticed the sticky! I guess I have one of the few 110V units with the problem (although I notice another poster, eurosportscanada, may have the same issue).
It is useful to know that the problem can occur with 110 volt units as well. This is something that is relatively easy to check and to fix, which is good news.

Jan49
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Location: Trondheim, Norway

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!!!!!

Post by Jan49 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:01 pm

Two years with problem has hopefully come to an end! My system has been in to repair twice without finding any problems, the last time was in January this year. The problem was present from day 1 after purchase.

I have posted a couple of post regarding this. The same reply as from the supplier: Check your cadence sensor. I doubt there is a cadense sensor out there that has been checked so many times as mine! In long perids everything was fine, but suddenly the chopping and the strange sound could appear.

THis week the thing stopped after 10 minutes of riding. Permanent. I couldn't get it started again. There was simple no braking at all. Tried to power of/on numerous times (it has helped before), but no way.

Then a in despair I was looking for a update to the motorbrake FW or something, when I more or less by chanse found this post.

Opened the damn connector and found 3 - three - loose wires o-yeah!!
So now I'm just riding and smiling, but is a little bit angy one someone even though I'm not sure who I'm angry on?

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