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Author Topic: Electric Winder Misadventures  (Read 408 times)
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BigR
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« on: August 14, 2019, 07:43:42 PM »

HI All,

I found a Joe Williams Moffett that survived the move from Kalifornia the other day while cleaning the garage. I built it a number of years ago, took it to one of the monthly contests at Perris. Wasn’t allowed to enter it because it didn’t have the leg for the “three point stance.” Got disgusted and went on to other pursuits. My friend Shig saw the model took it home and made up a “takeoff” wire support. So now I gotta fly it.

Put 40 grams of one eighth rubber, sixteen strands. Went out to test fly. Boy, that’s a lot of turns and kinda tiring to wind. Only got up to 700 or so and was pooped. There has to be a better way.

Why not use the cordless drill for a winder? Shig does this and uses a stopwatch to estimate the number of turns. Now, I have read all the advice about drilling a hole in the shaft of the drill to retain the hook, which has a right angle bend in it. This way if the drill chuck comes loose the hook won’t come flying out. I wasn’t able to get the chuck off my good drill and didn’t want to use more force to well, force the issue.

I discovered that the inside of the chuck has three jaws that close down as the diameter is reduced but there is still a space behind the jaws that remains bigger. So I made up a hook with the non-rubber end having a couple of bends to retain a washer. Soldered the washer to the hook. See the pics. When I opened the jaws all the way the washer could fit inside the drill chuck. As I tightened down on the jaws they grasped the wire hook but the washer was trapped behind them. I tightened the chuck all the way on the wire then loosened it so the hook was loose. It still was retained by the washer pushing against the closed down jaws, this seemed safe. Retightened the jaws really hard.


Then I had another brilliant idea. When you use the drill as a driver there is a way to adjust the clutch so you won’t overdrive the screw. Why not use the variable torque setting on the drill to adjust the amount of twist? That way you could always wind to the same torque for each flight. So I went to calibrate the drill with my torque meter. Even at the lowest “one” setting it was way more than the 40 inch ounce meter was able to handle. So much for that idea.

Out to the field. Hooked up the plane, torque meter, blast tube, blast tube wire extension and drill to the stooge. Stretched the motor out. Wow, that’s a long way to the plane, way over there!  Started to wind.

Results: The drill wasn’t designed for a reverse thrust and complained a bit.  But it sure was a lot easier to wind. No turn counter, I was relying on my now suspect torque meter, no longer calibrated after the abusive treatment during the drill clutch test. No real feel for the tightness of the motor.

Plane didn’t fly too great. I’m not a rubber guy. Quit when I  started seeing broken strands. Guess that torque meter is shot.  How about if I try the drill on the Hotbox P30?

Again, it was less fatiguing to wind. But there was no feedback to tell when you were coming up on too many turns. It was very easy to go too far unless you were very conservative with the winds.  I broke a number of motors.

Bottom line: for small planes like P30 you are better off winding by hand. I like my Sterling 5 to 1 hand winder. It gives very good feedback, as does the John Morrill winder. There may be a place for the electric drill for bigger motors if one took the time to get the “drill” (sorry) down.

John in Prescott, Arizona
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Electric Winder Misadventures
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John in Prescott
lincoln
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 02:12:05 AM »

I made a hand winder from a dead electric drill. Has good feel and seemed ok with many (20?) strands of 1/8. Usually use with less than 4. Had a counter made from a calculater, a reed switch, and a magnet. 8.3:1

I think an electric motor with good bearings and adjustable, regulated current might be great. Especially in mass launch events. Just let it rip and it won't overwind. Backing off a controlled number of turns might be tricky.

Torque meters are quick and easy to make. Probably are a number of threads about making them here at Hip Pocket.
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lincoln
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2021, 05:25:49 AM »

Ran across this recently. It's unlikely your torque meter needs re-calibration if it still comes back to zero and doesn't exhibit any odd behavior. If it doesn't come all the way back to zero, you can always apply the difference as a correction,or adjust the position of the indicator. I suppose it MIGHT be possible to change the spring rate of the meter if you severely abused it and stretched or bent the wire inside.
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