Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

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jscott66
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Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by jscott66 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:43 pm

Hi,

I bought a used Fortius trainer and have been seeing the "locking up" issues that others have seen. It happens in every mode, including 'Free Cycling'.

Here are the steps that I have taken:

1. Calibrate (1.5)
2. Check the screws in the motor brake connector (none loose)
3. Smooth any GPS files I was using
4. Swapped out new cadence and head unit cables

The issue still happens and there is usually no record in the log file from when it does happen. Is there a way to increase the verbosity for the logging?

Here is a snippet from a recent log:

[INFO 2013/01/04 10:24:07:8607] CONTROLCENTRE: LoadLayout: StartTraining
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:24:27:2938] RUNSERVICE: Selected program: FR_Aube-Valley
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:24:27:7968] TRAININGCENTRE: Connected to the internet.
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:24:29:4239] TRAININGCENTRE: LoadLayout: SingleVideo
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:38:43:8738] NEWS: Starting news retrieval.
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:38:44:2638] NEWS: Loaded news feed.
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:38:44:7908] NEWS: Starting news retrieval.
[INFO 2013/01/04 10:38:44:7968] NEWS: Loaded news feed.

During the time I was training (10:24 - 10:38), the motor brake did a partial lockup several times and a full lock up twice. Needless to say, I got frustrated and quit.

The specs for my system:

Machine:
Dell Precision 490 w/dual quad core xeon @ 2.33 Ghz
16GB Ram
NVidia GeForce 210 w/1GB ram
Win7 64bit

Tacx:
TTS 3.12.0

VR:
Serial nr. 321007700
version 0.2.0

Motor Brake:
Serial nr. 491004002
version 0.10.7
110v v2

I had a Tacx I-Magic for the last 8 years and was extremely satisfied with it. This purchase, on the other hand, is appearing that it might not have been the best choice. I am out of my depth right now. Any troubleshooting help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim

Gordonk
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Connector on the Motor Brake

Post by Gordonk » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:23 pm

This sounds like a situation I had a while back. I turned out to be a loose wire in the plug that connects to the motor brake. There is a thread on here some where with a great tutorial on how to check to see if the wires are loose. Its an easy fix, all you need is a screw driver. (as always, don't forget to unplug it before taking the plug apart.

try this link viewtopic.php?t=10467

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malfukt
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Post by malfukt » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:08 pm

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jscott66
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Post by jscott66 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:16 am

I appreciate the replies and the additional troubleshooting steps from both of you.

However, I already tried that fix with the cable.
jscott66 wrote: Here are the steps that I have taken:
...
2. Check the screws in the motor brake connector (none loose)
...
Jim

thebigoneinfront
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Post by thebigoneinfront » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:31 pm

Just to make sure what you mean with "locking issue": Do you mean the brake jamming completely or the brake applying full force every few pedal strokes?

jscott66
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Post by jscott66 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:21 pm

thebigoneinfront wrote:Just to make sure what you mean with "locking issue": Do you mean the brake jamming completely or the brake applying full force every few pedal strokes?
I have seen several types of "locking".

1. The brake engages and the pedaling gets a touch harder. This is intermittent, as well as a for very brief period of time, but I am able to pedal through it. The amount of time this happens appears to lessen as the motor 'warms up'. This can happen several times per minute.

2. The brake engages fully. The pedals come to almost a complete stop. I am unable to pedal through this. I usually stand to get the pedals going again. This seems to happen once every 3 - 5 minutes I am on the bike, regardless of how long I have been on the bike that particular session.

3. The brake engages fully. However, I have to allow the pedals to come to a complete stop before pedaling again. If I try to pedal through this episode, I can hear the motor trying to engage and the pedaling is not smooth. The motor does not allow me to continue pedaling until I give it a short 'rest'. This is not regular, but has happened 3 or 4 times since I have had the unit.

In essence, I have seen both of the locking types that you have described, but one more, as well.

Does that give you any additional thoughts?

Jim

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Post by thebigoneinfront » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:26 pm

The (or some of the) effects you see may be due to an adjustment of crank magnet and cadence sensor that is somewhat "borderline" and fails to produce a cadence signal at all times. This causes the brake to apply full force as a safety feature. You may want to check and decrease distance between magnet and sensor. May be a half-millimeter issue. A bicycle frame can flex considerably when you pedal hard, this can affect the cadence signal.

Your issue 1 sounds a bit familiar for the Fortius on steep uphills at low cadence. If that is just the Fortius's known feature of "choppiness" in that situation, you cannot do anything about it except upgrading to a Genius.

jscott66
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Post by jscott66 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:07 am

thebigoneinfront wrote:The (or some of the) effects you see may be due to an adjustment of crank magnet and cadence sensor that is somewhat "borderline" and fails to produce a cadence signal at all times. This causes the brake to apply full force as a safety feature. You may want to check and decrease distance between magnet and sensor. May be a half-millimeter issue. A bicycle frame can flex considerably when you pedal hard, this can affect the cadence signal.

Your issue 1 sounds a bit familiar for the Fortius on steep uphills at low cadence. If that is just the Fortius's known feature of "choppiness" in that situation, you cannot do anything about it except upgrading to a Genius.
I had already moved the cadence sensor to just outside of 'contact range', where the pedal magnet was just missing the sensor, and was still having this issue.

Regardless, wouldn't I see this error documented in the logs?

I am familiar with the "choppiness" you describe. After 'tuning' the calibration, I have been able to successfully 'climb' ~12% grades with minimal choppiness. I do have to slow the cadence down to ~80, drop the wattage down below 300 and concentrate on smoothing the pedal stroke.

However, the brake issues I am describing happen regardless of the grade. I can be going downhill and it will lock up.

One other tidbit: I also have the lockup issues when doing 'pedal acceleration' drills. I maintain a steady wattage output and stomp the pedals in order to increase the acceleration. The brake locks up immediately.

I am wondering if I have a bad transformer or motor. Does anyone have any idea how I can narrow this down?

Thanks, everyone that responded, for all the effort in helping me track this down so far... I appreciate it...

Jim

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malfukt
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Post by malfukt » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:27 am

What you are describing is similar to my early days with Fortius trainer over 6 years ago,(as i had purchased new) I tried through FISHERS the distributor in the UK ( :cry: ) so went directly to Tacx, they were excellent, over a period of couple of weeks changed interface & powerback, i still had the issue but it was very very rare after that, so you may have faulty unit
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jscott66
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Post by jscott66 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:32 am

malfukt wrote:What you are describing is similar to my early days with Fortius trainer over 6 years ago,(as i had purchased new) I tried through FISHERS the distributor in the UK ( :cry: ) so went directly to Tacx, they were excellent, over a period of couple of weeks changed interface & powerback, i still had the issue but it was very very rare after that, so you may have faulty unit
Thanks for the confirmation of the next direction I should take.

I will email Tacx all information gathered and see what they have to say.

I will post when we have come to a conclusion.

Jim

swanng
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Re: Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by swanng » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:53 am

Jim-

Did you ever get a reply from Tacx on your motorbrake issue? I would be interested to know, since my motorbrake locks up every time I start to pedal. I think it's the Powerback unit, but have no way to confirm.

My brake roller is fine when the Powerback is disconnected.

Any hints? Anyone? Hello?

Greg

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malfukt
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Re: Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by malfukt » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:14 am

There was a post a while back where the issue was with cadence sensor, the sensor itself was NOT faultly , the socket in powerback was & he solved it by pulling the sensor plug out slightly to get a connection..
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swanng
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Re: Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by swanng » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:26 pm

The fuse is blown on my Powerback unit. It is a T1946.50, serial # 46050287. It had the latest firmware.

Does Tacx have replacement units available?

Howsteepisit
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Re: Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by Howsteepisit » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:41 pm

Suggest you check in your cross post in his same topic, swanng
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Re: Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by malfukt » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Contact them at support@tacx.nl

alternatively you should try your local distributor/supplier

Also : http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a39810 ... =GBP&cn=gb

:)
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Re: Fortius Brake issues - Troubleshooting help requested

Post by jimm » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:55 pm

Greg
I never got anything from Tacx other than contact your dealer and their stupid link to troublesoot the issue. I did however get in touch with a US dealer who is phenomonal. He knew more about the issues and solutions then any previous contact. He is at 1 800 621-5129. His name is Rudy and I would strongly suggest speaking with him.

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