March 30, 2008

truck view

Here's the view you would see from the truck. Should easily see the gage, spinning reel, and how much line is left. The gage will get a painting after testing.


Spent the day redoing the line tension system. I put it all together and hooked the trailer up to the truck to drag it home and found out that the gage I had made was too high to see out the rear view mirror. Slight over sight. Here are some pictures finally.
Here's the brake disc mounted to a sprocket and painted

This is the heart of the line tension system. It pivots on the right. A rod extends up to the gage on the back side of the pulley. The springs try and hold it down. The cable is there for a positive stop if a spring breaks.
The disc and caliper mounted on the winch.

Here's the motor, belted from a centrifugal clutch to a 10" pulley on a jack shaft. then from a 4" pulley up to a 16" on the reel.

Here's a shot from the back showing the teflon fair lead.

March 29, 2008


Tore the winch all down yesterday, and painted it. When the paint was (mostly) dry I put it all back together, and put the line on. Had a friend hold the spool of spectra while I ran the motor. I got cocky and wound the motor up, which spun the spool very fast. When I let off on the motor the spool didn't slow down, over spun itself and turned into a rats nest. Word of caution here, don't do this! It takes hours of unneeded untangling, causing you to drink excessive amounts of beer and have a serious case of drag ass in the morning. When I get around to it I'll mount it on the trailer and take lots of pictures and post them here. That, calibrating the line tension, and hooking up the brake is all I have left to do before testing it out. It looks awesome.

March 23, 2008

Line Tension

Well I forgot the camera, but I did get the springs and line tension linkage done. It's going to be a foot round mechanically driven gage that you should be able to easily see from the rear view of the truck. It runs off the first pulley and has some push rods and linkages all running a giant line tension gage. The idea is to always know what the pilot is feeling at the end of the line.

I didn't get to the motor mounting yet but that is on the agenda for today. I'm running a small gas motor(2.5 hp) with a centrifugal clutch, belt driven to a 10' pulley on a jack shaft. On the shaft is a 4" pulley belt driven to the reel with a 16" pulley. This should keep the reel from spinning too fast and still have the motor wound up to fully engage the clutch, to combat over heating the clutch.

March 21, 2008

more work on the winch

spent allot of time on the winch today. started the day off with adding all the supports to the stand. After that I did the mock up to start on the brake caliper. It has to be dead on. I built the caliper support out of 1/2 inch plate and threaded the holes to hold the caliper. The plate is welded to the support arm. I'm very impressed with myself how straight and true everything is. The "wobble" in the reel when spinning is under 2 mm and in the brake it's under 1 mm. I have the pulleys just about mounted where they need to go and put on the line guide. I'm using a piece of teflon for the line guide but I'm guessing it won't last long. I'll likely go to rollers soon. The reel has been radiused to get rid of the sharp edges. I'm going to work on it tomorrow and will try and remember a camera. I had planned to take step by step pictures but it never worked out that way. My project for tomorrow is to get the motor and jack shaft mounted and belts on it.

I received my spectra yesterday. I was very impressed by the light weight of it. It was packaged very well and I tried out the fids already too. I would gladly send any one to Towmeup. they are first class.

March 18, 2008


I welded the hubs that attach the hubs to the drum today, and got one bolted to the drum. I have to pick up a keyed shaft to bolt the other side on so I can line up the key ways straight. The "hubs" are a weld together chain gear and weld in hub that I drilled 4 holes in. The price is right compared to getting one spun on a lathe. I also picked up the brake rotor. On my original winch I went with the same rotor and caliper that I had on my truck (91 chev) just for the heck of it. I've heard of people having heating problems so I figured bigger wouldn't hurt. Because that winch was a wide drum with small diameter it took very little pressure to work. Now with going to a larger diameter the bigger brake will need more pressure to brake the same. I still will have more than enough brake. It worked well on the old winch so I'll give it a go on this one. Everything is going better than expected. I don't have much time to work on it but I squeeze a few minutes every day.

March 15, 2008

Drilled aluminum

Did a little more work on the winch today. Drilled out the 24 holes in the drum sides. Welded the stand tube to the base and started to guess work on the line sensing pulley. I found a spring that expands to 8" from 4" at 50 lbs. I'll mount it to the arm the pulley is on so at 200 lbs line tension the spring will be extended just about fully. There's a little guess work involved because I have an idea of what I want in the end, and a bunch of steel and a welder laying on the floor waiting to be assembled. The stand tube is 2.5" heavy wall square tubbing and 5'6" tall. At the top will be the nose release. I would like to use a fixed release point and make all gliders that want to use my winch set a nose rope length suitable to their preferred angle of attack, But it makes set up a time consuming process. I'll likely just use the standard three string with a rope pull, it's easy.


Living on the prairie, hangglider's need to tow to get into the air. There are many different forms of towing but I prefer the payout winch. I built a quick one for last year but it was tough to run and didn't work too well. I'm in the process of building another. I will post pictures here and blog my progress. It will be a skinny drum, friction brake, gas motor rewind, and mounted on a trailer. I have ordered the line from towmeup, the line chute from here, and the rest of the parts I'll make out of whatever I can find/buy locally or on ebay. I'm hoping to have it done in a month for it's first testing. The weather here is getting good to fly and to get regular airtime without driving 1000 km round trip this is the only way. Commercially bought, a good winch will run >$3000 to $7000. I plan to spend $2000 or less. The majority of the cost is the line.

I have already had the 1/4" aluminum drum sides cut for me on a cnc plasma cutter. They are 30" round. The inner diameter will be at 16" and the spacing between the sides will be at 1 3/4". I chose this spacing because 3/8 reddi rod couplings (really long 3/8 nuts) are this long. There will be 24 of them spaced evenly at the 16" diameter. These dimensions should hold plenty more line than I need.
Here's the trailer I'll mount it on, half disassembled. It was my old 4 wheeler trailer

The 1/4" aluminum drum sides ready for drilling

March 12, 2008

I'm lazy

I've decided to make my life easier and start a "normal" blog so I can post easier on the fly. You can find my old blog here. It has a complete history of my flying up till now. I'm no computer whiz so I was dreading posting to my old site as I couldn't remember how to do some things. This will make life easier, and I'll post more often.