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Thread: No Drift Winch Controller! (using 3 position transmitter channel)

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default No Drift Winch Controller! (using 3 position transmitter channel) - Part No. 3PW

Maybe you have heard of or experienced first hand what people are calling winch drift or winch creep...

Are you running a winch that you made by modifying a servo? A lot of people are finding that the winch tends to drift over time.
They might be driving along and suddenly realize that some length of winch cable has been unspooled and if you are really unlucky, it ends up wrapped around your axle!

I've built a replacement for the electronics inside a servo that won't drift on you. Remove the old servo controller circuit by desoldering it from the motor and pot and then solder this new circuit to the motor.

An added benefit is that when the winch is stopped, the circuit provides an electric "Brake" to help hold the winch unlike the stock servo circuit that doesn't provide any electric braking.

** EDIT:
This picture is how the winch controllers look these days. The packaging has evolved somewhat so I thought I should have an recent picture available. The information that follows is still valid.





The servo's original electronics are at the bottom of the image.
The new electronics are soldered to the servo motor.




The winch controller fits nicely inside.





Put a little silicone on the opening for the wire and away you go!





My controller also works with the 3racing winch.
Connect it to the winch in place of the old controller.
If you ask at time of ordering, for a small extra charge, I can add a JST connector so that you can just plug into the winch and not have to do any soldering.


I make two versions of the winch controller. One version works with a transmitter with a three position channel. The other version works with a transmitter with a two position third channel:
Winch Controller for Radio with 2 Position Third Channel - RCCrawler.com Bulletin Board

Things change over time as I make adjustments and improvements.
This is how the controllers look now:




No Drift Winch Controller (using 3 position transmitter channel)
Part No. 3PW $25 plus shipping
Need the controller with a JST connector? Order Part No. 3PWJST $27 plus shipping


* Note that the maximum voltage is 6 volts *

July 4, 2014 - SOFT START! - when you order your winch controller, consider having me install the Soft Start option as it will help save wear and tear on the winch line and drive train.
Read more here: Soft Start Winch Controller

Thanks for taking time to read this!

Al

PS:
Need to make a servo winch?
Another servo winch building tutorial

Last edited by heyok; 07-22-2017 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Photobucket support over, switching to imgur
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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PM sent!
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:04 PM   #3
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Glad to see you made it over. I heard about you and this seems like a good deal.
So my next question is will this work on all digital servo's?

Im looking to purchase a Hitec with high torque for one of my applications.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:50 PM   #4
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Nice job! This is pretty cool, about time too. I like that it all fits back in the servo case.

I just took a small esc and wired the servo motor the same as a normal esc to motor hook up. But, even a small esc can't fit inside the servo case.

Nice thing is it can handle 3s lipo which equals 50% or so more power than the 7.4 volts that the original board could do, what is the most voltage your controller can handle?
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:00 PM   #5
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Hi guys. Sorry for my slow reply - I'm out to watch my daughter in a play and only have my blackberry to try and post with.

The controller will work with any servo motor that you can operate with two wires (like a brushed motor would work).


Max of 6 volts for this controller. If there is interest, I will see about developing a higher voltage version.

I will try and respond to pm's soon.

Thanks,
Al
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Very interested in a board that would handle more voltage ! Would it be possable to build one that could run direct off of the 3 cell lipo and have the voltage output on the board adjustable ? It would eliminate the need for an addition BEC and that would be a bonus
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by hotwheels000 View Post
Very interested in a board that would handle more voltage ! Would it be possable to build one that could run direct off of the 3 cell lipo and have the voltage output on the board adjustable ? It would eliminate the need for an addition BEC and that would be a bonus
I suppose it would be possible. Might start to get bulky and expensive and you might decide at that point to get a small esc, but I will keep this in mind. That would be one speedy winch!
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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I suppose it would be possible. Might start to get bulky and expensive and you might decide at that point to get a small esc, but I will keep this in mind. That would be one speedy winch!
yes, it would be quite speedy if ran off the full 11.2 volts.Although that is not what I was thinking. Being able to connect direct to the 3 cell lipo with out needing a external BEC to limit the voltage down to a managable point would be the bonus.No need for the additional wireing/components and would make for an overall cleaner build.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
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yes, it would be quite speedy if ran off the full 11.2 volts.Although that is not what I was thinking. Being able to connect direct to the 3 cell lipo with out needing a external BEC to limit the voltage down to a managable point would be the bonus.No need for the additional wireing/components and would make for an overall cleaner build.
And, servo torque is mostly linear, so a 200 oz-in servo at 6v, is about 400 oz-in at 12v. The servo boards can't handle this voltage, but usually the motors can. (Do no quote me on this, but my cheap digital servo converted to winch duty is working just fine on 3s...)
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #10
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I use a DX6i ( stick radio) with one of the channels mixed into the right joy stick for "in" and "out" for my servo winches. I still get the servo creep, so one of your products might work for me, I'm just not sure which one. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team3six View Post
Glad to see you made it over. I heard about you and this seems like a good deal.
So my next question is will this work on all digital servo's?

Im looking to purchase a Hitec with high torque for one of my applications.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSki View Post
I use a DX6i ( stick radio) with one of the channels mixed into the right joy stick for "in" and "out" for my servo winches. I still get the servo creep, so one of your products might work for me, I'm just not sure which one. Any suggestions?
I think you would be happiest with the Three Position Winch Controller. If you use a stick to control it, you would adjust the trim so that the winch is stopped when the stick is pulled to center by the spring. Then when you push the stick up or down, the winch would wind in or out.

One of the other services I provide is to modify transmitters to make them easier to use with a winch or other three discrete position device. I will probably post about this in more detail later but the idea of what I do is install two toggle switches. One switch selects between "stock operation" and "3 position operation" of one axis of one of the sticks. The other switch comes into play when "3 position operation" is selected. This is a three position switch with a spring return to center (or not spring return if you prefer). This would be for winding the winch in and out. So when you want to run your scale truck with its winch, you have that selected and when you go back to flying your plane or heli etc, you flip back to "stock operation".



In the above picture, the switch is labeled "3 POS" and "ELEVATOR" instead of "stock operation" but you get the idea. The unlabeled switch on the top right is the three position switch.

Anyway, I'm babbling again! Sorry to get off track, but I thought it might be a little relevant.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by team3six View Post
Glad to see you made it over. I heard about you and this seems like a good deal.
So my next question is will this work on all digital servo's?
You bet it works on a digital Norm I had Al do this mod to two digital servos, a Hitec 5955 and 5645. I was running one in my blue Jeep at scale nats this year. As you might recall, a bum motor meant I did a lot of winching during the TTC. Never let me down once. And you all know I'm hard on stuff
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by heyok View Post



My controller also works with the 3racing winch.
Connect it to the winch in place of the old controller.
When using this controller with the 3Racing winch, I can power the winch from the reciever and not have to have an additional power source?
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by finishline View Post
When using this controller with the 3Racing winch, I can power the winch from the reciever and not have to have an additional power source?
That's correct. The plug you see in the picture goes to your receiver where it gets the power to operate the winch. As it says in the description for the winch controller, a maximum of 6 volts is allowed.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:23 PM   #15
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Hey Al, I got mine today. I'll be installing it on a 7955 in the next few days and try it out. Thanks, looks nice.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #16
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Hey Al, I got mine today. I'll be installing it on a 7955 in the next few days and try it out. Thanks, looks nice.
Cool! I'm looking forward to hear how it works for you.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #17
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So, not so good. I wouldn't recommend trying this with a 5955 or 7955. The board is soldered onto the motor, and when I was trying to de-solder the tabs I broke one off of inside the end bell of the motor, and I'm pretty sure I can't fix it. I called Hitec and they won't sell a replacement motor. They said if I sent it into them that they'd fix it for the cost of parts, but that would also involve soldering the board back onto the motor. They won't let a servo back out the door that isn't working properly even if I want to modify it for a servo....the motor alone is $60, so I'm pretty much screwed.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:17 PM   #18
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I'm really sorry you ran into trouble. Here is a picture of the circuit board from a HS5995TG servo. Maybe it is similar. Not that it does you any good right now.





I will send you a PM and see if we can work something out.

.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by heyok View Post
I'm really sorry you ran into trouble. Here is a picture of the circuit board from a HS5995TG servo. Maybe it is similar. Not that it does you any good right now.





I will send you a PM and see if we can work something out.

.
Yep, that's the one. I de-soldered one side and was prying up a little on the board and the tab on the other side broke off. Not much I can do now...just wish I had known that the tabs were so tiny and fragile before I popped it off. Anyone know if the 5955/7955 and 645 motors are the same?
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:22 AM   #20
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Alright, after calming down a little and having a beer, I started to figure out how to fix this. I had an old servo winch motor that I took apart and saw how it is built. I decided that it worth a try to carve away the plastic in the endbell on the motor and see if I could get to the broken off tabs. I used an Xacto knife and spent 15 minutes carving around the tab and finally got enough of it that I could get a dab of solder to adhere to it, and I was able to attach a couple of small wires to it. Yayy, seems that this isn't a total loss after all.

What the solder tabs should look like on the motor.



What mine look like after carving away the plastic and soldering on the wires.



If anyone plans to do this to a 5955 or 7955, please be careful when you are removing the board from the motor, the tabs are very fragile. I'll be soldering on the new controller tomorrow and trying it out...

Al, the gray controller wires aren't marked, I assume that they can solder to whatever wire on the motor (+ or -) right?

I'm really sorry that I've made this into such a soap opera, but hopefully this will help out someone else before it happens to them .
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