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Old 01-06-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Another servo winch building tutorial

This is a tutorial showing how to turn a servo into a winch.


Start with a servo:




Remove the access plate by unscrewing the four screws.



NOTE: Sometimes when you remove the bottom of the servo case, the entire area is taken up by circuit board. These ones are harder to modify.
There is a picture at the end of this post to give you an idea of what to do in this case.

Remove the two wires going to the motor. Heat the connection on the motor terminals with your soldering iron. Once the solder has melted, the wire should lift off.





Now remove the screw that is holding the potentiometer in place. The potentiometer ("pot" for short) is the round (sometimes it is square) device with three wires going to it. The screw has been removed in this photo. It was in the hole at the 5 o'clock position of the pot. Sometimes it is held by plastic clips.



This photo is over exposed to show the plastic clips inside that are holding the green coloured pot. Just pry them away a little and you can get the pot and circuit board to come out.
If your pot is really stuck in there, read on a little to find out about how you can press it out from the other side.

Flip the servo over again so that the output shaft is on the top.



Lift off the upper lid to expose the gears.




What we need to do is get access to the output gear so that the pin that limits rotation can be removed. Just lift off the middle gear.
If it is stuck on, a little careful prying with a small screw driver should help it off. If you weren't able to remove the pot in the last step, this will expose the shaft of the pot. Now you can press down on it to make it pop out the bottom.





The pin needs to be removed from the output gear. I like to use some sturdy side cutters or pliars to grip the pin while I hold the gear in my other hand. The pin is pressed in but you can work it loose with some twisting and pulling and grunting.




Pin is out!



Put the gears back in place.



Place the top cover back on top of the gears.


Flip the servo over again. This photo shows the winch controller ready to be installed.




Before soldering in the winch controller, it is a good idea to make sure the motor terminals aren't bent over too close to the motor case as they might short together.


Solder the winch controller output wires to the motor.
Pretend that they are really soldered onto the motor tabs in this picture. I don't have easy access to a soldering iron as I am writing this procedure.



The winch controller slides into the servo case.


Screw the servo case back together.




Ready for testing!

I like to put some sealer around the opening for the servo wire to keep some of the water out of the servo.

Attach your winch drum and some line and a hook and go pull something!


================================================== ===============

Note: This is what you sometimes find inside the servo case. Mostly on higher end servos:



Once you desolder the motor connections, you can often pry up the circuit board to expose its innards.

Last edited by heyok; 03-19-2018 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Replaced the missing images. They are a little different than before.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Great write up! Where/how does one make the winch controller?
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

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Originally Posted by multi-bash View Post
Great write up! Where/how does one make the winch controller?
Thank you!

The winch controller is an item that I make. Click the link in my sig to see those things.
It is possible to use the servo's own circuit board to operate the winch, but this often results in grief. The winch line tends to creep in or out and can cause the winch to break itself (by winding too tightly) or get the winch line caught up in your wheels because you don't notice it in time.

I'm sure others will chime in with the downfalls of running the servo circuit and offer other solutions too if you ask, but I make several controllers depending on the sort of performance you are after.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Hey Al,

I notice that you didn't replace the pot back into the servo, does this affect the performance? Because the final gear seems to be pivoting on the pot. Also could you possibly make a 2 position HV version? Because I bought the RTR honcho that comes with the flysky GT-2 transmitter. I would like to upgrade to the GT3-B (The RX are compatible) and run your winch controller on the third channel wich is to my knowledge a 2 position switch(on the GT3-B). I plan, if you could make a 2 position HV version to run your controller in a Crawford performance engineering servo @7.2v from my CC BEC (not direct, from the receiver power).

Thanks

BTW: I just noticed your from BC, I'm from Quebec

Last edited by TrailAddict; 02-08-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

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Originally Posted by TrailAddict View Post
Hey Al,

I notice that you didn't replace the pot back into the servo, does this affect the performance? Because the final gear seems to be pivoting on the pot. Also could you possibly make a 2 position HV version? Because I bought the RTR honcho that comes with the flysky GT-2 transmitter. I would like to upgrade to the GT3-B (The RX are compatible) and run your winch controller on the third channel wich is to my knowledge a 2 position switch(on the GT3-B). I plan, if you could make a 2 position HV version to run your controller in a Crawford performance engineering servo @7.2v from my CC BEC (not direct, from the receiver power).

Thanks
There are actually a pair of bearings on the output gear. One bearing below the gear that sits on the servo case and one above the gear that sits in the case lid. The pot shaft is coupled to the gear by a somewhat soft connection made from a plastic insert (usually) in the bottom of the output gear. I can see what you mean though, it does look like the pot shaft is helping with the support of the gear. Maybe it works that way on some servos?

If you get yourself the GT3B, do yourself a favor and get the firmware update. It becomes an amazing transmitter once you install it.

To answer your question, yes, I can make a two position version of all my winch controllers. Just send me a PM and I will give you a quote on that as we aren't supposed to talk pricing in this part of the forum.

Thanks,
Al
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Thanks sending PM
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Awesome write up. That thing just drops right in and works like a charm!

Thanks again,
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

good thread i got your winch controller and F$&King love it not on a servo winch but on the rc4wd bulldog and even that tired old winch will pull my rig off the ground it could never do that before i used your product good job
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Your winch controllers are awesome - nice write up as well.

Just a tip, some servos have the motor soldered directly to the board in three places. It's very beneficial to have some sort of de-soldering device (wick, suction, ect.) to remove solder as you obviously can't heat all three contacts at the same time.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highmark View Post
Your winch controllers are awesome - nice write up as well.

Just a tip, some servos have the motor soldered directly to the board in three places. It's very beneficial to have some sort of de-soldering device (wick, suction, ect.) to remove solder as you obviously can't heat all three contacts at the same time.
That's a good tip.

Here is a picture of the sort of circuit board that is soldered directly to the servo motor:



There should also be an arrow saying "Desolder here" in another spot where I had desodered a pad already. It is just above and to the right of the second large IC.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Nice work ! Don't mean to offend but is there a reason why you are not using continuous rotation servo ? You'd save yourself some time wouldn't you ?
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

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Originally Posted by slitcher View Post
Nice work ! Don't mean to offend but is there a reason why you are not using continuous rotation servo ? You'd save yourself some time wouldn't you ?
No problem!
A continuous rotation servo would be great. You can use whatever one you like. I'm using the highest torque, lowest price, yet reliable servo I could find. Maybe you have found something better. Happy to give it a try.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

I honestly haven't looked into torque ratings for a winch servo and I don't have any experience in using a winch for an RC so I'm not awared of the necessity for any specific torque as a winch servo.

But hey ! whatever floats your boat !
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Fantastic product. I love how it fits right inside the servo. Great work.

I am going to use the stock board and run an on/off switch to stop the winch
line from"drifting".

So all i need to do is remove the stop pin and put everything BUT THE POT back the
same way correct ?
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by multi-bash View Post
Great write up! Where/how does one make the winch controller?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyCrawler View Post
Fantastic product. I love how it fits right inside the servo. Great work.

I am going to use the stock board and run an on/off switch to stop the winch
line from"drifting".

So all i need to do is remove the stop pin and put everything BUT THE POT back the
same way correct ?
If you are keeping the stock controller, it will need to see a voltage divider, so you can either use the pot or replace it with two equal resistors. 1K to 5K should be fine. Remove the mechanical link to the pot though! The servo rotating should NOT rotate the pot.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Great write up. I am adding this to mod down the road. Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by heyok View Post
If you are keeping the stock controller, it will need to see a voltage divider, so you can either use the pot or replace it with two equal resistors. 1K to 5K should be fine. Remove the mechanical link to the pot though! The servo rotating should NOT rotate the pot.

So when you say "remove the mechanical link to the pot",

do you mean there is a removable piece on the pot or

grind the little nub off that is poking up in this pic?

I will be using the same servo as well.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyCrawler View Post
So when you say "remove the mechanical link to the pot",

do you mean there is a removable piece on the pot or

grind the little nub off that is poking up in this pic?

I will be using the same servo as well.

Take the pot completely out. There is a screw on inside of case that holds it in and push it out from the side you pictured. Pot is not needed when using his controller

Then fill hole with silicon to keep water out
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:26 AM   #19
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

Where can I get a winch drum?
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:46 AM   #20
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Default Re: Another servo winch building tutorial

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Originally Posted by CalebTheRCguy View Post
Where can I get a winch drum?
I can get you either a machined aluminum spool or the bobbin type. Send me a PM and I will help you.
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